Anker’s a very popular brand for charging accessories, and if you’ve had a smartphone for more than a few years you’ve most likely used some of their stuff. We get to review some of their products on here every once in awhile, and more often than not we find them to be great devices with reasonable price tags.
This time, we’re checking out the PowerWave 7.5 Qi wireless charging pad, the sister charger to the PowerWave 7.5 wireless charging stand. Instead of a cradle to keep your phone upright, this PowerWave charger is more traditional in that you simply lay your device on top of it horizontally.
But is it worth your cash? Let’s find out.
The design is pretty simple, as there’s not all that much you can do with a plastic charging pad. It matches the design of Anker’s other newer PowerWave products with a clean, white aesthetic and a small blue LED light to indicate that your smartphone is charging properly.
The pad is also fairly wide, which actually does make a difference. I’ve used a few very cheap charging pads, and size (whether the total size or just the size of the charging coils) is one of the first things to shrink to cut costs. That can mean a more compact design, sure, but it can also mean you drop your phone off to charge before going to bed, then wake up to 18% battery because it didn’t line up properly.
Fortunately, the larger size of Anker’s PowerWave charging pad makes it really hard to mess that up. As long as your phone is on the pad and reasonably centered with a large margin of error, you’ll get a wireless charge. That sounds simple, but comparing it to some cheaper charging pads and even the charging stands, it makes a huge difference.
When the device is charging, you’ll notice a small blue LED light that indicates a charge going to your phone. Personally, I’m a big fan of small lights on gadgets like this, although I can see how it’d be a turn off for some people. I don’t think the light is bright enough to keep you awake at night, which is important, but it makes a great, simple way to check at a glance if your device was properly positioned or to see if it gets knocked off the charging coil.
You will find a microUSB charging port on the charging pad, and Anker includes a QuickCharge 3.0 wall block and cable to help you utilize the fast charging capabilities of the pad. That’s a great value, but what I always end up mentioning in these wireless charger reviews is that it’s still a little disappointing to be stuck on microUSB when so many other devices are racing towards USB C connectors. It’s a wireless charger that you’re not going to be moving around too often, so I get that it’s not a dealbreaker, but it would be nice to see nonetheless.
Speaking of that fast charging, the PowerWave brand of chargers touts a fast wireless charging method exclusive to Anker products. It can deliver 7.5W of power to a compatible iPhone or up to 10W of power to a compatible Samsung device, juicing up your device significantly faster than a standard 5W wireless charger.
I say significantly faster, but keep in mind that in 2018, you’re not going to find any wireless charger that can match a fast charge with a high wattage charging block and a direct, wired connection. Technology isn’t quite there yet.
You’ll see an improvement, and it should supposedly charge your phone up to 30% faster, depending on usage. It’s mostly accurate, but it’s a 30% increase over a slow standard, so don’t expect to use a wireless charger to quickly juice up your incredibly dead phone in an emergency.
As a contrast to the charging stands that keep your phone upright, you’ll lose a bit of functionality when you go for something like this. Using your phone will cut off the charge, and you can’t see your screen very well so it won’t work well for a dock or anything.
However, the trade off is that it’s much, much easier to drop your phone off and get a charge without trying to make sure it’s actually charging, which is something I admittedly struggle with when you’re talking about charging stands.
My advice is to base what you’re going to buy based on where you’re going to put it. If you need a bedside charger or possibly a cradle that you can watch videos with, a wireless charging stand is hard to beat. But anywhere else, especially in a situation where you’re going to repeatedly be picking the phone up and down or you just want to be able to set it down, like in a kitchen, beside a couch, or on your desk, a wireless charging pad is an excellent choice, and Anker’s PowerWave 7.5 is a solid, if expensive, option for that.
Buy it now: Amazon