There are plenty of ways to charge your phone sans cables, but, sadly, the best wireless chargers rarely come cheap. A quality Qi charger — like Grovemade’s recently-launched cork offering — can easily run an upwards of $100, though there are more affordable options on the market if you know where to look. Thankfully, David Cogen of TheUnlockr did the digging on your behalf.
Note: As a way to reduce cost, these chargers do not come with an AC adapter. They will work with any you might have lying around, though.
Cogen found cheap Qi chargers in two places: Amazon and through Chinese manufacturers. The three chargers from Amazon are all Prime-eligible, meaning you don’t have to spend extra on shipping, even if Amazon recently raised the subscription fees. The ones from China are a bit cheaper, but the cost to ship them across the globe is occasionally more than the cost of chargers themselves. As a way to eliminate some of the wait times and shipping costs associated with these chargers, Cogen is offering the Chinese chargers on his website.
The Chinese-made Qi chargers are similar in many ways, but differ in a few key areas. The Qi Charging Disk (Style 1) is essentially a plastic disk with a rubberized circle on the top, which is designed to stop your smartphone from sliding off the platform. It’s currently available in black-and-white, and includes a Micro USB cord.
The Qi Charging Disk (Style 2) is smaller than the Style 1, but is more customizable. It comes in blue, black, orange, and white. The charger’s smaller size also means it can disappear under your device, allowing for a cleaner look. Our third pick, the Qi Charging Wooden Disk, combines functionality with a trendy wooden design.
Additionally, there are two Chinese Qi chargers that offer fast charging: The Qi Fast Charging Stand (Style 1) and the Qi Fast Charging Stand (Style 2). Both chargers also hold your phone upright, though, the Style 2 is a bit smaller and more rectangular in shape.
As far as the chargers on Amazon go, you have two solid options. The first, the Yootech Qi charger, features a triangular design and less logos, making for a unique look that will run you about $13. Also priced at $13 is the Amazon Crew Omoton, a slim disc that comes in either black, gold, or rose.
The cheapest of all of these wireless chargers — that is, assuming you have Amazon Prime — is the ALOOK Qi Charging Pad. For only $10, this no-frills disc will charge any compatible device you lay on top of it. It will also work with thin smartphone cases.
Obviously there are other charging alternatives besides these, but we consider these to be some of the better Qi charges, especially when it comes to affordability. Apparently, you don’t have to break the bank in order to bring your charging game into the 21st century.
David Cogen — a regular contributor here at Digital Trends — runs TheUnlockr, a popular tech blog that focuses on tech news, tips and tricks, and the latest tech. You can also find him on Twitter discussing the latest tech trends.