Looking for the best and most reliable wireless car charger? Lucky for you, in this buyer’s guide 2018, we’ve reviewed the TOP 6 Best Wireless Car Chargers along with their differentiating features. Read on to find out about these awesome devices, how they work, and what to look for when buying.

We all make a point not to leave home without our smartphones these days, right? Naturally, these devices have become more than just a way for us to be reached, or to call out when we need help. These pocket computers have become something of an extension of our minds, as we spend the majority of our time “plugged in”. Naturally, driving while on these devices is a no-no, not just by the law, but by common sense and safety. Still, it’s in our car with us at all times.

Are you tired of having to make sure you’ve charged your phone before you leave home, work or other places? Are you tired of worrying about how much of your battery you use as you idly peruse your phone in lines, in restaurants and other places, when it may be a decidedly long time before you can charge your device again?

Well, unsurprisingly, car chargers for wireless devices are quite a big business these days, and there are countless brands, styles, and technologies available to choose from as a result. But, what kind of charger is best for your phone, your car and your needs? That depends on a plethora of factors.

Below, we’re going to learn a little bit about the two types of charging methods commonly used today, the handful of technologies used to obtain power from your vehicle, and of course, look at some of the top chargers following a few form factors and styles.

There’s no single right type of charger for everyone, and given the number of types of phones out there, even the right style of charger needs variations to account for this.

TYPES OF CHARGING METHODS

There are basically two types of charging methods used to deliver power to a smartphone or tablet. The most common, and compatible with all devices, is through a MicroUSB, USB-C or proprietary iPhone cable.

The most common of these is MicroUSB, which adapts to standard USB ports. Any USB port can be used to charge these devices, which allows any USB device, which can get power either from your car’s alternator or cigarette lighter, qualify as a car charger in a pinch.

The other approach is what’s known as induction, which is a relatively new technology. Well, that’s not entirely true.

The concept of induction for delivering current was actually pioneered by Tesla over a century ago, but it was never that practical for most devices before efficient rechargeable batteries were invented.

Induction creates a high-powered electromagnetic field (note: this doesn’t cause magnetic effects) which then converts to current as it contacts the charges on the battery. This field-to-electrodes contact is the same principle that allows wireless signals to work as well.

Not all phones and batteries work that well through induction though, most devices made after 2016 will work well enough this way. Some induction chargers can interfere with WiFi/Cellular reception while in use. This is the hallmark of a less than well-engineered phone or charger, one or the other, but it does seem to be one of the common problems this approach suffers from.

CHARGER DESIGNS

Generally, there are three types of charger form factor designed with vehicles in mind.

The most common of these is a dash mount. These rigs hold the phone, allowing hands-free use, while also charging the device, and in some cases, depending on the other accouterments present in the vehicle, a multimedia smart experience.

Another, more recent approach is cup holder chargers, which can be harder to fit in some vehicles due to the non-standard approach behind cup holder design.

Finally, there are a number of general chargers just intended to fit in the center console, on top of the dashboard or anywhere level, which phones can cradle into, lay atop, or plug into, delivering a charge.

The most popular is a mounting system, though depending on how they get power, they can be a lot harder to install, and could be problematic in the case of accidents.

BUYER’S GUIDE - WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SHOPPING

The first thing to consider is which form factor you want, and how much trouble you’re willing to deal with in installing it.

Deciding your form factor will be determined mostly by how much you want to use your phone while driving. If you plan to use it much at all, then you better have a hands-free mount for your safety and the legality of your driving.

If you just want it to charge, then a cup holder or generic cigarette lighter charger will work for you, and not provide some of the difficulty and inconvenience that a mount will.

If you plan on charging multiple different types of phones with your mount, you will want a “wireless charger”, more correctly termed an induction charger. This prevents clashes with MicroUSB/USB-C/iPhone port differences. If you don’t want a mount, generic multi-chargers will adapt fine to just about any phone.

You will want to be sure that your charger has a WPC certification, which ensures it safely charges the phone battery with no risk of frying the device or overloading/destroying the battery.

Beyond that, optimal charging speed, support for your type of phone (primarily in the sense of form factor), price and power source will be your biggest concerns. If you don’t want to mess with tying it into your car’s electrical system, and I don’t blame you for that, then be sure to pick one out that works with a cigarette lighter.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

I’ve only had experience with two approaches to car chargers, those being a dash mount cradle charger (which plugged into the cigarette lighter), and a generic cigarette lighter charger which had multiple USB ports to plug things haphazardly into.

I do have experience with induction technology as well, though I’ve never tried to use that in my car due to my shocks being less than magnificent, and many of those needing a stable, level surface.

The dash mount form factor is usually convenient – it lets you use many features of your phone safely, like GPS, Spotify/Pandora, and hands-free communications without a lot of distraction.

However, they can be difficult to mount, depending on the way they’re meant to adhere to your dashboard. Mine had high-grade suction cups, which worked most of the time, though when it got very hot, sometimes it’d lose grip out of nowhere and fall down.

Speed bumps and potholes had a tendency to exacerbate this quite a bit.

Another problem with these is, passengers have had a tendency to bump elbows or even knees on them when they climb into my car with too much of a sharp angle of attack, causing them pain and knocking my charger off.

Currently, I just use a cigarette lighter charger with a somewhat cannister form factor, that has several USB ports on it. I made a jury-rigged little mount for my dashboard out of Velcro and a soft case. I plug the audio in through a dual-male audio cable into an auxiliary input my car stereo has. While the mounting aspect isn’t that convenient, the charger sure is.

I’ve never tried to install one that ties directly into the car’s power system, and when I’ve seen it done, it’s tremendously onerous to achieve.

TOP MOUNTS

iOttie Easy One Touch 3 Dashboard & Windshield Car Phone Mount – Most Compatible Mount

iOttie Easy One Touch 3 Dashboard Windshield Car Phone Mount: photo

This Car Phone Mount is the quintessential dash or windshield mount form factor, compatible with larger phones like those from Samsung and Apple. It’s adjustable, meaning it can support smaller phones as well. It will accommodate smaller tablets with a snug fit as well, though only smaller ones.

This mount adheres with the use of a suction cup. It does not provide charge, meaning you will still want a USB adapter which connects to your cigarette lighter.

Features

  • Compatibility – All phone sizes, small tablets.
  • Form Factor – Dash/Windshield Mount.
  • Power Source – None.
  • Power Delivery – None.

Performance

This is a solid, easily-adjusted mount with an industrial suction cup which holds up well enough in heat and rough roads. It doesn’t provide any electrical charge on its own, being just a mount, so you will, in fact, need an additional charger unit of some sort.

Pros: Cons:
  • Supports all phone form factors, and some smaller tablets.
  • Suction cup mounting doesn’t damage windshields or dashboards.
  • Adjustable angles and grips.
  • Attractive and neutral.
  • Heavy.
  • Adjustments can be fiddly and stiff.
  • May obstruct the ports for charging some devices.
  • Wobbles a lot.
  • Suction cups, while of high quality, in
    this case, aren’t as long-term reliable as other methods of mounting.
  • No charging system.
  • Maybe intrusive in small cars.

Conclusion

If you already have a charging method, and just want a mount with a decent grip, trouble-free mounting, this might work well enough for you. However, it’s not perfect, is a bit bulky, and requires extra components to charge your phone or tablet, meaning you may want to consider a mount with charging ability if you don’t already have that component.

Automatic Qi Wireless Charger Car Mount Phone Holder – Mount with Charging Power

Automatic Qi Wireless Charger Car Mount Phone Holde: photo

Wireless Charger Car  is an induction charger with standard mount and adjustability features, capable of delivering rapid charge to most modern phones. It requires a USB adapter, however, to deliver power as it doesn’t connect to the car’s electrical system, and does not include a cigarette lighter adapter, unfortunately.

Features

  • Compatibility – All phone sizes, small tablets.
  • Form Factor – Dash/Windshield Mount.
  • Power Source – MicroUSB (requires a cigarette lighter or car electricity adapter).
  • Power Delivery – Induction.

Performance

This mount, as mounts go, isn’t as solid as the previous entry, being a bit more wobbly, a bit more delicate and a bit less attractive. However, it provides instant charge the moment an active phone or tablet is placed in the grips.

The absence of an adapter means an additional purchase is necessary to deliver power to this mount, and the induction technology isn’t guaranteed to work with some older phones and battery types. However, it is convenient since it eliminates worrying about which charging port type the phones and tablets have.

Pros: Cons:
  • Supports all phone form factors, and some smaller tablets.
  • Suction cup mounting doesn’t damage windshields or dashboards.
  • Adjustable angles and grips.
  • Induction charging is universal with modern devices.
  • Charges rapidly.
  • A bit flimsy.
  • A bit ugly.
  • Suction mounting isn’t ideal, even if this is a good suction cup.
  • USB cable is short.
  • No adapter included.

Conclusion

While the quality of this as a physical mount isn’t quite up to snuff compared to the previous unit, the induction charging feature is rather convenient and immediate.

Unfortunately, it still requires an adapter to be purchased, and the cable is short. If you don’t mind these problems, this does work relatively well as a universal charger. If you don’t want to fiddle with different cable ports all the time, you might find the slightly weaker build quality worth it.

TOP CUP HOLDER CHARGERS

iKross Universal Smartphone Cup Holder Cradle – Cup Holder Charger with Mount/Cradle

iKross Universal Smartphone Cup Holder Cradle: photo

Universal Smartphone Cup Holder is a hybridization between the classic mounting cradle and the cup holder form factor. While the cradle is a bit questionable with its foam grip, this is a very flexible charger, with additional DC sockets, a cigarette lighter plug (we smokers appreciate this still being available), and USB ports.

It sits in a cup holder, requiring no mounting.

Features

  • Compatibility – All phone sizes, small tablets.
  • Form Factor – Cup holder with an additional mount-like cradle.
  • Power Source – Cigarette lighter.
  • Power Delivery – 2 USB ports, 2 DC sockets.
  • Additional Features – Adjustable gooseneck support; cigarette lighter plug so you can still light one up if you like.

Performance

This is a clever idea, though it’s not perfect. The gooseneck cradle could get in the way, considering where a lot of cup holders tend to be. As you use your gear shift, emergency brake or try to work your dash controls, you may find yourself knocking this thing around.

The foam grips are a bit dodgy, compared to the mounting design used in the previous section, though the padding itself is quite nice. The additional DC sockets mean that you could theoretically hook laptops or other DC devices which can plug into cigarette lighters as well.

Pros: Cons:
  • Supports all phone form factors,
    and some smaller tablets.
  • No mounting or installation necessary.
  • Gooseneck is very adjustable.
  • Cigarette lighter is still available.
  • Extra USB port.
  • Charges rapidly.
  • May get in your way.
  • Clamps are iffy.
  • Gooseneck may wobble.

Conclusion

If you want a mount that doesn’t fasten to the dashboard, and converts your cigarette lighter into a multi-source power supply, this may be worth a look. Just bear in mind your space and your placement of cup holders before committing to this one. If you want to still use your cigarette lighter, the secondary plug for it found on this unit is a rare treat.

iXCC UL Certified 50W/10A Cup Holder Multi USB Charger – Multi-Tap Cup Holder Charger

iXCC UL Certified 50W: photo

Looking for a more basic, down-to-earth cup holder charger, designed to deliver multiple USB charges from your cigarette lighter? This type of design was created with this in mind.

iXCC UL Certified 50W/10A sits in the cup holder, and simply provides multiple USB ports to charge various devices, no frills. It plugs into the cigarette lighter, and requires no assembly, mounting or other adjustments to get it working.

Features

  • Compatibility – Anything that can take power from USB.
  • Form Factor – Cup holder/cannister charger.
  • Power Source – Cigarette lighter.
  • Power Delivery – 5 USB ports.

Performance

This is basically just a multi-tap USB charger that draws power from the cigarette lighter and can charge up to five devices at a time. It’s very fast, even with all five ports occupied, thanks to the 50W transformer inside.

This is designed to provide this kind of multi-tap power source without it being in the way on your console or on your dashboard, which can be quite convenient.

Unfortunately, if you’re a smoker, it means your cigarette lighter is occupied – it doesn’t provide a secondary plug to work around this.

This might pair well with a generic mount.

Pros: Cons:
  • Charges any USB device.
  • Form factor fits most cup holders and stays
    out of the way.
  • Charges very fast.
  • Lots of USB ports, up to five devices can
    charge at once.
  • No mounting or wiring into the car power is needed.
  • Charger cord is very short.
  • Occupies the cigarette lighter.
  • Requires devices to just sit loosely in the car.

Conclusion

If you just want a multi-tap USB charger and don’t mind the cigarette lighter being occupied, this might be the charger for you. This one is recommendable for families going on long enough trips that recharges are necessary. Unfortunately, you may want to take some long USB extension cables with you, as the 23-inch cord, which they laughably claim is for reaching the back seat, is very short.

TOP CIGARETTE LIGHTER CHARGERS

Cigarette Lighter Car Mount,3-In-1 Wireless & USB Charger – Cradle-Style Multi-Charger for Cigarette Lighter

Cigarette Lighter Car Mount: photo

This is an interesting idea. Cigarette Lighter Car Mount plugs into the cigarette lighter, with an adjustable gooseneck mounting and cradle. At the base are two additional USB ports at 2.1A which can be used to charge the phone or provide additional charging ports for other devices.

This charger also provides induction charging, compatible with most modern devices.

Features

  • Compatibility – All phones, small tablets.
  • Form Factor – Cradle.
  • Power Source – Cigarette lighter.
  • Power Delivery – 2 USB Ports; Induction.

Performance

This is a hybridization of the mount/cradle concept, intended to simply sit in the cigarette lighter plug. This is an interesting idea, but it may be wobbly and get in the way. The induction charging is very fast, but the USB is only 2.1 A which is incredibly slow for most modern devices.

The USB ports do mean smartwatches and other induction-incompatible devices can still charge with this device. It occupies the cigarette lighter, much to smokers’ chagrin.

Pros: Cons:
  • Charges any USB device.
  • Fits all phones and small tablets.
  • Charges very fast via induction.
  • USB ports.
  • No mounting or wiring into the car
    power is needed.
  • May get in the way.
  • Occupies the cigarette lighter.
  • Very slow charge via USB.
  • Cradle is subpar.

Conclusion

If you want the features of a mount, and don’t mind this obscuring your dash controls, this might be a suitable compromise for you. The induction means most mobile devices made after 2016 will charge without having to fret over whether or not you have the right USB cable.

The gooseneck is adjustable, but this may swing around in the plug, or wobble a lot on bumpier roads, or on a vehicle with less than excellent shocks. If these concerns don’t bother you, this might be worth a look.

YTech Wireless Car Charger – Induction plate Charger

Wireless Car Charger YTech

YTech Wireless Car Charger is a standard induction plate charger, not specifically intended for vehicles, despite most of the images of it showing it being used there. This device simply plugs in through a USB adapter, and devices rest on it.

It requires an additional adaptive coupling to either the cigarette lighter or the car’s electrical system in order to deliver power. It can be mounted with a simple adhesive strip. It has no way of holding the tablet or phone in place as it rests on the plate.

Features

  • Compatibility – All phones, small tablets.
  • Form Factor – Induction Plate.
  • Power Source – Cigarette lighter (Adapter required).
  • Power Delivery – Induction plate.

Performance

Induction charging is surprisingly quick, due to the absence of modulation bottlenecks and physical transmission media to carry the energy. However, this being a plate, your phone runs a good chance of sliding/rattling off the plate if you hit bumps in the road, have to take a sharp turn or any number of other things.

This means it may not be that ideal for a lot of vehicles, though as just a charger, it’s quite nice and universal. It will not, however, work with smartwatches and handheld gaming devices which have interference-resistant circuitry that still somehow passes FCC regulations.

Pros: Cons:
  • Charges any phone or tablet made after 2016.
  • Very fast charge.
  • Mounts via adhesive, easily.
  • Doesn’t hold the phone in place, meaning
    it may fall off when the car is jostled or takes
    a sharp turn.
  • Requires an adapter, which is not included.
  • Won’t charge watches or gaming units.

Conclusion

If you just want a basic induction charger, this one is pretty quintessential. However, I don’t feel comfortable recommending one of these for a vehicle, for the same reason you wouldn’t sit a drink on a flat surface in a vehicle and expect it to stay put.

In an RV or another more stable vehicle, perhaps.

FAQ

Why you need a wireless phone charging car mount?
If you do a lot of hands-free phone stuff such as GPS, multimedia, etc., then you want something that can hold the phone for you, and provide the charge. As for wireless, it works with any phone or tablet made within the last few years, and honestly, several older designs as well.

How to install?
Most of these just mount with a suction cup, sit in a cup holder, or simply sit in the plug they go into. Some mounts wire into the car’s electrical – don’t buy one that does this.

Is it safe for my phone to use the wireless charger?
Yes. If the charger doesn’t work on the device, it simply won’t take a charge, there will be no lasting effects. If it takes the charge, the current produced grounds into the trickle circuit connected to the battery. The field cannot harm circuits – they’re shielded against this kind of interference.

Is it safe for me to use the wireless charger?
The field produced by induction has no effect on the human body whatsoever. Anyone claiming to be sensitive to electromagnetic fields produced by this technology is, in fact, imagining it.

Comparative Chart of Wireless Car Chargers

Product Features Price

iOttie

iOttie Easy One Touch 3 Dashboard 1

Compatibility – All phone sizes, small tablets.
Form Factor – Dash/Windshield Mount.
Power Source – None.
Power Delivery – None.

OCTING

Automatic Qi Wireless Charger Car Mount Phone Holder 1

Compatibility – All phone sizes, small tablets.
Form Factor – Dash/Windshield Mount.
Power Source – MicroUSB (requires a cigarette lighter or car electricity adapter).
Power Delivery – Induction.

iKross

iKross Universal Smartphone Cup Holder Cradle 1

Compatibility – All phone sizes, small tablets.
Form Factor – Cup holder with an additional mount-like cradle.
Power Source – Cigarette lighter.
Power Delivery – 2 USB ports, 2 DC sockets.
Additional Features – Adjustable gooseneck support; cigarette lighter plug so you can still light one up if you like.

iXCC

iXCC UL Certified 50W 1

Compatibility – Anything that can take power from USB.
Form Factor – Cup holder/cannister charger.
Power Source – Cigarette lighter.
Power Delivery – 5 USB ports.

Elewelt

Cigarette Lighter Car 1

Compatibility – All phones, small tablets.
Form Factor – Cradle.
Power Source – Cigarette lighter.
Power Delivery – 2 USB Ports; Induction.

YTech

YTech Wireless Car Charger 1

 

Compatibility – All phones, small tablets.
Form Factor – Induction Plate.
Power Source – Cigarette lighter (Adapter required).
Power Delivery – Induction plate.

Conclusion

You need a way to keep your devices charged while out and about – and you really, really need it if you use your phone on the road for music, navigation, and calls.

If you have kids, and you’re going on a car trip, you better keep their phone or tablet charged, because anyone who remembers car trips as a kid before these devices, knows how miserable they made their parents out of the abject boredom and claustrophobia these trips brought on.

One of these chargers is almost definitely going to suit you, it just depends on what does and doesn’t annoy you.