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Wireless charging is becoming more mainstream thanks to Apple's adoption of this years-old technology, but what many people don't realize is that wireless charging typically takes much longer than the old way of doing things. The process of inductive (wireless) charging generates a lot of heat, and a hot battery doesn't respond well to any transfer of power. Personally, I've abandoned wireless charging in the past because it would often take four times longer than simply plugging in the phone.
However, while there are many wireless chargers on the market, Anker's recently-released PowerWave 7.5 Stand and PowerWave 7.5 Pad offer active heat management, resulting in faster charging speeds and improved reliability.
Curious to see how much advancement has taken place with inductive tech, I tested both versions of the PowerWave 7.5 wireless charger, and walked away pleasantly surprised.
Special thanks to Anker for providing the PowerWave 7.5 Stand and Pad for this review!
Anker PowerWave 7.5 Stand Wireless Charger Performance
Offering up to 10 watts of power for Quick Charge (QC) 3.0-compatible phones (Samsung S9 / S9+ / S8 / S8+ / S7 / Note 8), the PowerWave 7.5 Stand is a convenient way to replenish your phone's battery while still being able to monitor on-screen notifications.
Anker has thoughtfully included two charging coils inside the stand, which allows charging in either portrait or landscape orientation. It's perfect for when you want to top off the battery while watching YouTube or Netflix.
The best feature, in my opinion, is an ultra-quiet fan that automatically turns on when the charger is in use. This cooling system draws air across the back of the charging surface, allowing for faster power delivery, as well as significantly less charge time. Pair that with the included QC 3.0 AC adapter, and you've got a solid argument for wireless versus wired charging.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when looking at charging performance -- the size of the battery, phone model, what apps are running, etc. -- but the PowerWave 7.5 Stand can detect the device type and deliver an optimum charge speed of 5W, 7.5W (iPhone 8/X), or 10W (Samsung S6 edge+ and newer).
Here's what a full charging experience looked like using a Moto Z2 Play (with wireless charging Moto Mod).
- Starting battery life: 4%
- After 15 min: 20%
- After 30 min: 35%
- After 45 min: 53%
- After 55 min: 65%
- After 70 min: 80%
- After 100 min: 97%
I picked up the phone throughout the charging process, and was impressed to find that it was just warm to the touch. I've experienced other wireless chargers that made the phone too hot to handle right away; even certain mobile games make this phone hotter than it ever got while using the PowerWave 7.5 Stand.
Considering most new phones can receive a full charge in a little more than an hour when directly plugged in, the PowerWave's approximately 1.5 hour charge time is really good, especially when previous-generation wireless chargers could take up to four hours.
When we performed the same test using a Belkin Boost Up wireless charging pad -- the unofficial Apple wireless charger at the moment -- the experience was less than desirable. The Belkin was very picky about where the phone was placed, and periodically stopped charging for unknown reasons. After 45 minutes, the Moto Z2 Play only collected 12% battery life, well behind the 53% recovered in the same amount of time when using the PowerWave.
Additional highlights of Anker's PowerWave 7.5 Stand include the ability to charge through a phone case up to 5 mm thick, anti-slip surfaces (top and bottom), radiation shielding, and overcharge protection (stops charging at 100%).
Anker PowerWave 7.5 Pad Wireless Charger Performance
For those who prefer a less conspicuous setup, the low-profile PowerWave 7.5 Pad offers the same performance as its sibling, but with a more traditional disc-style form factor.
Honestly, the only noticeable difference between the 7.5 Pad and 7.5 Stand is the design. This version still offers an ultra-quiet fan along with intelligent QC 3.0 charging from the included wall outlet plug; and the pad's charging coil seems to be larger than other similar chargers -- you don't have to be as accurate in finding the exact placement of the phone to initiate a charge.
My Moto Z2 Play test phone charged with the same quickness using the 7.5 Pad as it did with the Stand, and iPhone wireless charging with the PowerWave was actually slightly faster when compared to the original Apple 5W wall charger and lightning cable combination (as reported to me by co-workers).
Should You Buy an Anker PowerWave 7.5 Wireless Charger?
If you're in the market for a wireless charger, Anker's PowerWave 7.5 lineup definitely needs to be at the top of your shopping list. Offering maximum performance right out of the box (a rarity these days, as some companies don't include the wall adapter), the PowerWave 7.5 is a fast, reliable, and convenient solution for those who don't like being tethered with a wire. Both Anker products are 7.5W fast wireless chargers for iPhone X and iPhone 8 / 8 Plus
The biggest challenge will be to put your phone down long enough for it to receive a significant charge. Those who need to constantly check their phone should probably opt for the stand version so the charging process can continue while a really important Facebook notification is tended to.
Another aspect to consider is your personal lifestyle -- are you at a desk for long periods of time, or do you move around a lot? Since it can be cumbersome to travel with a charging base, the PowerWave is most effective for people who work or play in a stationary area for at least 30 minutes at a time. Even at home, we're not always in the same room continuously, so choosing the right placement for the charger is important.
Overall, Anker's PowerWave 7.5 is an excellent alternative to a Belkin or Samsung wireless charger, and is competitively priced at $45.99 (Pad) and $49.99 (Stand).
Be sure to set a Deal Alert for "PowerWave" because Anker's products frequently appear on the front page of Slickdeals.
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