Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

If you’ve bought a flagship smartphone in the past two years, there’s a good chance it supports wireless charging technology; and wireless charging pads can be bought for cheap these days. So why would you want to spend $100 on Razer’s Wireless Charger? Lights! Fancy, colored lighting effects that add a bit of flair to your desk or bedside table.

The wireless charger uses the Qi standard, which means it supports all the Samsung Galaxy phones, the iPhone 8 and up, the Google Pixel 3, and a whole lot of other devices. It works best, however, with the Razer Phone 2.

Pad or stand

The Razer Wireless Charger is all black, and is notable for its cool strip of light around the bottom of the base that supports 16.8 million colors. It’s also adjustable as a pad or a stand — which you don’t see too often on most wireless chargers — allowing you to choose whether the phone should sit flat or upright.

The flat area your phone rests on has a rubbery coating, so you don’t need to worry about any scratches that may appear from carelessly plopping a phone onto the charger. There’s just one USB-C port on the back, and this is plugged into a wall adapter. It’s not the longest cable, so you may want a longer USB-C to USB-C wire if the outlet is far from the charger’s desired placement.

For almost every other phone we tested — from the Galaxy Note 9 to the iPhone XS Max — we had to place the device in landscape orientation.

A button sits on the front base and when pressed, it turns on the strip of light. The charging pad will start cycling through colors slowly, which is handy if you want to keep it lit up even when there’s no phone on it. It does tend to automatically turn off after a period of time though.

It’s a well-designed system. The base is well-built, and it’s dead simple to change the orientation from a pad to a stand. It has a nice heft to it, so it doesn’t easily slide around when you place a phone down. The quality of the LED strip is also excellent — it’s not too harsh, rather delivering cool, soft colors that are pleasant to view.

Built for the Razer Phone 2

The Razer Phone 2 is the latest gaming-focused smartphone from the company — you can read our full thoughts on the device in our review — and using the Razer Wireless Charger with it unlocks a few neat tricks.

The two are paired via the Razer Chroma app, which allows you to customize the type of visual patterns the colors cycle through: Wave, spectrum, breating, or static. Alternatively, you can select your own color, choose when the lights turn off, the direction for the Wave pattern, and more.

Exclusive for the Razer Phone 2, the base station changes color based on the type of notifications that arrive — exactly like the Razer logo changes on the back of the phone. Get a Gmail notification? The base station will turn red. Did someone send a Facebook Message? You’ll see a blue color. These colors unfortunately can’t be tweaked, and are set by the developer of these apps. It’s useful, but not a reason to buy the charger.

Razer Wireless Charger 2
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Razer Phone 2 is just about the only smartphone you can place on the Razer Wireless Charger in portrait orientation without having issues. This has to do with the coils on the Razer Phone 2, which are quite low. For almost every other phone we tested — from the Galaxy Note 9 and Pixel 3 XL to the iPhone XS Max — we had to place the device in landscape orientation to make sure the phones were being charged. This wasn’t a problem for us at all, but it could be a deal breaker for those who want the phone in portrait orientation.

A word of caution — customizing the lights and patterns is only available if you have a Razer Phone 2 or an iPhone at the moment. The Razer Chroma app sadly is “incompatible” with every other Android phone we tried to install it on, but it surprisingly is available on the App Store, allowing us to pair the iPhone XS Max with it. If your phone is incompatible with the app, you won’t be able to change the brightness of the light, nor the pattern. It will still light up when you place the phone on it (you can always try to ask a friend with an iPhone to download the app and configure it for you, or we’ve seen reports that it can be installed on tablets).

Charging speed

How long does it take to juice up the 4,000mAh battery inside the Razer Phone 2? Around 3 hours. It’s an incredibly long time, considering the wired charger provided in the box can do it much faster, but that’s a trade off with wireless charging. It’s about the convenience, and not having to fuss about with cables.

We placed the Razer Phone 2 down on the charger at 7:57 p.m. with zero percent remaining, and it hit 46 percent at 9:08 p.m. At 11:05, it reached 100 percent. It’s far from fast, so you shouldn’t use this to charge up the phone if you’re in a hurry.

Razer Wireless Charger 2
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

It’s equally not fast for any other smartphone. We placed a Pixel 3 XL on the charger, and it only went from 20 percent to 30 percent in the span of an half an hour.

Price and availability

The Razer Wireless Charger costs $100, and is available now from Razer.

It’s easily the best wireless charger for the Razer Phone 2 — and the best-looking wireless charger, period — but the only reason you’d want it for any other phone that supports wireless charging is the lights. They look great, and they add a distinctive, fun style to your desk or bedside table. Despite its high price tag, if you’re all about RGB lights in your home, this charger is a essential.

Don’t care for the lights? Check out our best wireless phone chargers guide, where you can buy one for as little as $13.


Wireless charging is convenient, but power over distance remains a challenge

While Qi wireless charging is fast becoming ubiquitous for smartphones, allowing us to juice up our devices by placing them on a pad, the promise of power through the air is still unrealized. We take a look at the current state of play.
Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?

Charge your smartphone with Anker’s wireless charger pad, now half off on Amazon

A wireless charger can declutter your space and make charging your phone super convenient. Anker is one of the most popular brands and right now Amazon is discounting Anker's 10W wireless charging pad at half off.
Home Theater

Apple's new AirPods could arrive within months, pack health sensor tech

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Coffee Meets Bagel dating app data may have been breached

Are you planning on using Coffee Meets Bagel to find love on Valentine's Day? If you've been using the app for a while, you'll probably want to change your password -- the company said a data breach may have taken place before May 2018.

Worried about extra data charges? Here's how to check your usage on an iPhone

It's common to get a little nervous about nearing data limits. Keep your peace of mind by checking how much data your iPhone is using. Our guide on how to check data usage on an iPhone helps you stay in control.

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.

North Focals smartglasses discount cuts the price by a massive $400

Canadian startup North is hoping smartglasses will be the next big wearable. After announcing its new Focals smartglasses in late 2018, the company opened product showrooms in Brooklyn and Toronto and has made its first shipment.

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.