August 3, 2016
If you’ve ever watched Star Trek and marvelled at how Scotty was transporting people in record speed, without any cumbersome machinery, well, you’re not alone. It’s this kind of advanced science, magic really, that informs the world of wireless charging as well – imagine, finally, no more tangled wires, frayed ends and lost cables. It’s as simple as placing your smartphones down and having pure power delivered straight into their cores; looks like we just got beamed right into the future. We’ll start with some of the best- looking models out there.
HOW IT WORKS
• An electromagnetic field in the charger transfers power to a receiver that’s in close proximity – one that’s either already embedded within your device, or enabled with an external receiver.
• Most use Qi technology, a standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium for wireless charging.
• Some Qi-enabled smartphones include: Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Nokia Lumia 950, Sony Xperia Z4V
• If you own an iPhone, or non-Qi-enabled model, fret not; you can opt for an external receiver that’s still as sleek. Examples include the iQi mobile receiver that has a smart ribbon cable connected to a at surface you can slip easily under your phone cover (US$35), while there are also charging covers you can snap on, including the ones from Aircharge ($52.49) or IKEA ($39.90 for the iPhone 6).
AUKEY LUNA WIRELESS CHARGER
This one should win beauty pageants, with its slim polished glass top and brushed metallic stand – and it looks just like the moon too. Both gold and silver models allow you to rest your phone on a ledge, or, remove the stand and lay it flat, while there are three hidden overlapping planar charging coils that ensure a fast charging rate of 1.3A. Grab some tea and opt for a little moon appreciation while at it.
US$37.99, available online at amazon.com.
For an utterly zen-like model, go for the QiStone+, which comes without a hint of wires in sight. What’s great is that it’s a totally portable battery pack that can be wirelessly charged itself. The lightweight “stone” works great with Qi-enabled devices, with 4,000mAh of power to keep them topped up all day, and even has the unique quality of charging several devices at once – just hook the other one up to the USB port for some extra juice.
US$79.99, available online at fonesalesman.com.
One of the earliest brands to come up with the tilted design, and via a Kickstarter campaign too, this wireless charger is at a 45-degree angle so you can use your phone comfortably as it charges. Also using the three-coil technology, you can place your phone anywhere on the pad, portrait or landscape, to register a charge. Other than the usual black in a soft-touch material, it’s just as splendid in bright blue or red.
US$49.99, available online at tylt.com.
IKEA RIGGAD WORK LAMP
We go to them for clutter-free, affordable furniture, but the purveyors of Scandinavian design have something ingenious to offer: wireless charging, in the form of lamps, tables and charging pads. Blending in seamlessly into your home, the RIGGAD work lamp sits pretty with its white and natural wood design, offering focused lighting while you can simply place your phone at its base to charge it up. Then, there are the charging pads, both single and triple versions, in neat and wonderfully intuitive designs.
$99 for the RIGGAD Work Lamp, $59 for the NORDMÄRKE Single Pad in Birch or White. Available at IKEA. ikea.com.sg
AIRCHARGE SLIMLINE QI WIRELESS CHARGING PAD
Here we have yet another slim example, though the discreet, no-frills design is delightfully space-saving, camouflaging into your work station while you can easily bring it along on your travels.
$37.49, available online at mobilefun.sg.
SAMSUNG ACTIVE FAST CHARGING WIRELESS CHARGING STAND
Together with the launch of the Galaxy S7, Samsung rolled out a new model of their fast wireless charger, now a stand-up version, with a tiny shelf so you can view incoming notifications or watch videos while it’s charging. Capable of charging at speeds 1.4x faster than the standard wireless charger, it’s kinda useful that there’s a hidden silent fan to keep the temperature down too.
$98, available at the Samsung Experience Store, VivoCity #02-28/29. samsung.com/sg
WASSERSTEIN QI WIRELESS CHARGING PAD
You don’t need to be a hipster to admire this clean wooden design, made by a company that manufactures a wide range of home and electronic products, all with a similar refined touch. Perhaps its small size is an advantage in cluttered desk situations, while a white rubber ring, a nice match for the natural tone, keeps your phones in place.
US$17.99, available online at wasserstein-home.com.
INCIPIO GHOST FREEDOM QI WIRELESS CHARGING PAD
Simple, sleek and highly functional, this device is compatible across all Qi-enabled smartphones, while you really shouldn’t judge its small surface area – there are three internal coils that cover a larger charging surface so you can freely place your phone anywhere
on the pad. The rubberised surface keeps the phone in place so it won’t slip off.
US$59.99, available online at incipio.com.
SWICH PREMIUM WIRELESS CHARGING STAND
Meet the fine wine of wireless chargers, a stunning piece crafted with the premium materials of fine Italian ceramics and Slovenian wood, shaped with pleasing organic lines. The state-of-the-art model by Lutman Design Studio doesn’t come cheap, but you really pay for design – the base is click-fitted so you can rotate the charging pad around, while your phone will seem to float, only because of the micro suction surface that seamlessly holds it in place.
From US$219.99, available online at swichwicharger.com.