Best Wireless Car Chargers for 2024 - CNET

It's time to ditch the loose wire in your car. These wireless car chargers will have your phone juiced up by the time you arrive at your destination.

Updated Jan. 28, 2024 5:00 p.m. PT Racing Switch Panel

Best Wireless Car Chargers for 2024 - CNET

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It's important to know how much you want to spend before you start researching, as most of our recommendations will be $50 or more.

Do you need your phone to charge quickly on short drives, or are you okay with a slower charge because you have a longer drive? You'd be surprised what a difference charging speed can make.

Not every charger comes with a power adapter, and not all power adapters are created equally.

Do you want your phone clipped to an air vent, mounted on your dashboard, or some other place in the car?

In 2024, wireless phone charging will be an essential feature for cars, especially when so many phones support wireless charging. The reality is that the vast majority of newer cars don't have wireless charging capabilities. When they do, it's available only as an overpriced add-on. That means it's up to you to get wireless chargers for yourself.

It's hard to say exactly what the best wireless phone charger for your car is, especially because some wireless car chargers equipped with MagSafe are more geared toward iPhone users than Android users. We like wireless car chargers that have an auto clamping feature (the arms on the mount open when you move the phone close to the mount and shut when you put the phone on the mount), which is why a model like the iOttie Auto Sense Wireless Car Charger is at the top of this list.

Note that each wireless charger on this best list is compatible with any wireless charging-enabled mobile phone, whether it's an iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy, a Google Pixel or any other Qi-enabled phone (some magnetic mounts include stick-on metal plates for Android devices to make them adhere to the mount). I've personally tested all the devices in this round-up and have tested over 20 wireless phone chargers in my car over the last four years. And we'll continue to evaluate new wireless car chargers for your phone as they hit the market to determine the top models, including the best values.

Read more: Best car mount

iOttie's "autosense" automatic clamping wireless car charger with a phone mount is one of the best out there. While it's fairly pricey, we've seen some nice discounts on it recently. The Auto Sense Automatic Clamping Qi Charging Car Phone Mount is available in a dashboard mount version or a CD and vent clip version. (I tried the dashboard wireless charging mount.) This wireless car charger mount has a nicely designed telescoping arm with a strong suction cup, and the wireless charging mount feature is compatible with most phone cases. You get 7.5-watt charging for an iPhone and 10-watt for Android phones, which is considered fast wireless charging.

This Qi wireless charger comes with a dual-charging USB cigarette lighter adapter. My only gripe -- and it's a small one -- is that the included cable is Micro-USB and not USB Type-C. Once this Qi charger is plugged into the wireless car charging mount you can basically forget about it, but if the cable accidentally becomes unplugged (which does happen), it's easier to plug in a USB-C cable for phone charging, especially when you're driving.

If you don't mind going with a no-name brand like ZeeHoo, its wireless car charger has most of the features you want for phone charging, including auto clamping and a secure suction cup that can be installed on your car's air vent, windshield or dashboard. It has USB-C and up to 15-watt fast charging for Android phones that support it. (iPhones are capped at 7.5-watt charging.) This upgraded version has a sleeker design than the original (see below), and it costs about $20 less than the iOttie above. This wireless charger doesn't come with a cigarette lighter adapter -- only a USB-C cable.

This wireless car mount charger is one of the more popular generic wireless car chargers with an autosensing telescopic arm, and the original version I tried worked well overall, attaching securely to my car vent mount and giving my smartphone or QI-enabled device a quick charge. I liked that the wireless car charger came with both a phone mount for my car's air-vent mount (if you want just the air-vent mount, there is an air-vent-only version that costs $30).

Note that to get fast charging, you will need a power adapter that supports it (not included).

Belkin makes a MagSafe car-vent mount that costs around $40 as well as the BoostCharge Pro ($100, see below), which is Apple-certified and wirelessly charges iPhones at up to 15 watts. While this model -- the Belkin BoostCharge Magnetic Wireless Car Charger -- only charges iPhones at up to 10 watts, it's more affordable at around $60. Its USB-C cable is removable (it's integrated into BoostCharge Pro) and you get a 20-watt cigarette-lighter power adapter. I personally like a car power adapter with two USB-C ports so a passenger can plug in a cable and also charge his or her phone, but you can always opt to add that later. 

While ESR is known to make some value accessories for the iPhone, its MagSafe wireless car charger is fairly pricey at around $100 (that seems to be par for the course for MagSafe-certified wireless car chargers with fast 15-watt charging for iPhones). Its design is pretty elegant, the magnet is relatively strong and the air-vent mount has a strong clamp and some extra support that allows it to hook on very securely. Additionally, the mount has some built-in cooling (ESR calls it CryoBoost) so the charger doesn't overheat.

It's also worth pointing out that a power adapter is included and it does have two USB-C ports, so you can charge a second device using a USB-C to USB-C cable or USB-C to Lightning cable. ESR makes an inexpensive magnetic wireless car charger that sells for less than $35, but it charges iPhones at 7.5 watts and doesn't come with a power adapter. That model isn't an official MagSafe charger.

iOttie offers this MagSafe-compatible wireless car charger with a car vent mount. It has a strong magnet, so your iPhone stays on the mount, and it also has an integrated USB-C cable and cigarette-lighter power adapter so you're ready to start charging out of the box. Note that iPhone "fast" charging caps out at 7.5 watts.

Scosche's MagicMount Pro Charge is designed for both MagSafe-enabled iPhones but can also be used with Android devices if you stick the included MagicPlate on the back of your phone or case (it's a metal plate that sticks to the mount's magnet). 

You have the option to buy the mount in a variety of styles, including air-vent and dashboard versions as well as one with a telescoping arm. A 20-watt car power adapter is included, and the Qi wireless charger offers up to 15-watt charging speeds with certain Android devices (it drops down to 7.5 watts for iPhones). 

The Belkin BoostCharge Pro Wireless Car Charger with MagSafe is one of the few official Apple-certified MagSafe wireless car chargers, which means it can charge iPhones at the top wireless charging speed of 15 watts (most wireless car chargers only charge iPhones at up to 7.5 watts). The mount swivels, so you can view your phone in landscape or portrait mode, and a 20-watt car power adapter is included.

This is a vent mount and it stays in place pretty well and has a strong magnet. That said, it's got a bit of heft to it, and I have had it come off the car vent when I hit a bump in the road (not a small bump but a bigger one). It's also pricey. If you really want that fast 15-watt charging for your MagSafe-enabled iPhone, this is the wireless charger to get. 

If you've already got Apple's MagSafe wireless charging puck, this Spigen mounting accessory is a good option for bringing it into your car. As I said, the MagSafe wireless charger isn't included. Nor is a USB-C cigarette lighter adapter, but at $30, this is a fairly affordable magnetic mounting accessory.

Note: Just make sure to get the right cigarette lighter adapter with it to get the maximum 15-watt charging speed. Also, since this relies on the magnets from the wireless charging puck for your phone to stick to it (MagSafe case required if you are using a case), this isn't recommended for the larger iPhone 14 Pro Max as it's more likely to slip off the mount -- especially if you hit a bump -- because of its weight. 

The Scosche MagicGrip FreeFlow Autogrip has two key features: an auto-sense arm that opens automatically when you place your phone in front of the mount (and closes around your phone when you place it on the mount), plus an articulating swing arm that offers flexible viewing options for your device, including landscape and portrait modes. 

This wireless car charger offers up to 10-watt charging speeds for Android devices and 7.5-watt for iPhones. A 12-volt power adapter is included.

OK, so this isn't a wireless charger, but a lot of the wireless car chargers on this list don't include a cigarette-lighter power adapter, so I thought I'd throw this on the list at the end. I originally had an Aukey power adapter on this list, but it's out of stock, and this low-profile Ainope mini fast USB Car Charger offers even faster charging (up to 24 watts) and costs less. It has both a USB-C and USB-A port so you can charge two devices at the same time, but to get 15-watt wireless charging you're going to be better off charging one device. 

Note that to get the fastest wired charging for iPhones, you'll need to use a USB-C-to-Lightning cable. That cable isn't included.

Before anything else, you'll want to figure out how much you're willing to spend on a wireless car charger. Value-priced chargers continue to improve, so you can find a decent wireless charger for less than $40. But if you're looking for a more premium model, you'll likely have to pay more than $50 and even more for MagSafe-certified chargers.

Typically, wireless Qi chargers that are designed to charge both iPhones and Android smartphones offer faster charging speeds for Android devices with speeds capped at around 7.5 watts for iPhones. If you have an iPhone and want faster charging speeds, make sure to review the charging specs for iPhones before buying.

Some wireless chargers come with a cigarette lighter power adapter, and some don't. Some have the cable and power adapter hard-wired into the mount. It's best if the power adapter has a second port for charging additional devices and ample wattage to charge two devices at the same time at high speed.

Some mounts stick to your dashboard. Others clip into your car's air vent mount or sit in a cup holder. Some have adjustable or rotating arms or pedestals. Pay careful attention to the type of mount because it will determine where your phone rests while charging and whether you can view it easily.

We evaluate wireless car chargers using a few different criteria, including design, features, performance and value.

When we look at the design, we check whether the mount adheres securely to either the dashboard or air vent (certain mounts also fit in CD slots or cup holders) and test how durable it is over at least two weeks of use.

For features, we look at including an auto-clamping mechanism, MagSafe compatibility and what sort of power adapter and cable are included. Some charging cables are integrated into the charger's design while others have a detachable cable. Also, some power adapters have additional ports for plugging in a second cable, allowing you to charge a second device.

When it comes to performance, we look at how strong a magnet might be on the mount and what the wireless charging speeds are for iPhones and Android devices.

In selecting best products, we also take into account how much bang for the buck they offer. Value is determined by the quality of the product in relation to its price.

Wireless charging doesn't mean there aren't any wires involved. You'll still need to connect the charger to your vehicle. Once it's set up, all you need to do is pop your phone in when you want to juice up.

For the fastest charging speeds, you should opt for the wired route and use a USB-C or Lightning cable with a high-wattage cigarette lighter power adapter and fast-charging USB-C ports. Going wireless is clearly more convenient. With a wireless car charger, you just place your phone in your car mount -- or on it -- and your phone automatically starts charging. You don't have to worry about plugging a cable into your phone every time you get in your car.

Best Wireless Car Chargers for 2024 - CNET

Car Mobile Charger No. Any magnetic mount will allow your iPhone (with MagSafe) to adhere to the mount. Only MagSafe-certified wireless chargers allow you to charge your iPhone at top speed (15W). They are typically more expensive.