The Galaxy S9 has been out for a few weeks, and if you’ve already purchased one you’re probably in the market for a wireless charging pad to go with it. To make that a little easier for you, we got our hands on Anker’s new PowerWave wireless charging stand for a review.
The PowerWave 7.5 offers a standing cradle design, built-in fan, and slightly faster charging for your device. Is it a worthwhile package? Let’s find out.
Personally, I like standing wireless chargers much more than flat charging pads. They’re both functional, but when your device is lying flat on a tablet it’s pretty useless to interact with unless you really like voice commands. A charging stand can double as a bedside dock or an easy way to watch movies while your phone charges, and in a pinch you can still tap out replies to text messages or browse Twitter.
Anker addresses that with the PowerWave stand which charges your device while it’s sitting at a ~60 degree angle. There’s no fear of your phone sliding off of it, and it’s still usable.
The cradle part of the stand has a very slightly rubberized finish which keeps even the glossy Galaxy S9 from sliding around, and the lip sports a blue LED indicator to show that your device is charging.
LEDs are always a nice touch, and fortunately Anker didn’t overkill it, so don’t worry about the blue light keeping you up at night.
On the not so fortunate side, Anker didn’t use particularly premium materials on the rest of the charging stand. It’s all lightweight plastic, and you can tell. There’s not a ton of weight to the stand and it feels like, well, plastic. This isn’t a device that you’re going to be moving around all the time, so that shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but I’m not sure it would survive a fall off an end table onto hard flooring.
Interestingly, Anker has built a fan into the base of the charging stand, and it claims that “cooling system” allows the charger to juice up your device quicker. And, honestly, it certainly makes me a little more comfortable knowing that’s an active cooling fan running at night so the plastic and my phone don’t get too hot.
The fan isn’t particularly loud, but in a completely silent room you’d definitely be able to hear it. I sleep with an overhead fan on, anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal at all, but keep that in mind.
As a side note, I would’ve loved to have seen a heat sink or some other dissipation mechanism that actively pulled heat away from the device while charging. That would’ve justified the fan more and would make it even more efficient. Small idea, but hey, maybe next iteration?
Speaking of that fancy charging system that charges your device faster, if you have a compatible device (like a newer Samsung model) you’ll notice a slight increase in charging speeds thanks to the 10w of power. It’s a 30% improvement over your standard wireless charging according to Anker, but since the lack of a cable already slows things down I don’t know that it makes a significant difference. It did charge faster, don’t get me wrong; the speed just wasn’t a wow factor.
On a few other positive notes, the charging stand does work with most cases, you can also use your phone in landscape orientation and it will still charge, and Anker tosses in one of their own Quick Charge 3.0 wall adapters and microUSB cables in the box, adding some serious value. But you probably noticed I said microUSB, and yeah, I also would’ve really liked to see USB-C support on a device in this price range.
At $49, it’s definitely not the cheapest Qi charger on the market, but you get Anker’s extremely high quality and excellent support, plus extra speed and safety features to try and justify the price. You’re paying a premium, but if you don’t mind dropping the extra cash, it’s a solid addition to your office desk or night stand.
Buy it now: Amazon