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With the launch of the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus last September, Apple finally embraced wireless smartphone charging, and as of the release of iOS 11.2 in December, the devices became able to support faster 7.5-watt charging.

Belkin and Mophie were Apple's launch partners for wireless charging, with their optimized charging bases launching alongside the new phones and supporting the 7.5-watt power targeted by Apple. While Belkin and Mophie's chargers had Apple's early seal of approval, plenty of other manufacturers already had wireless chargers rated at 5 watts and higher on the market. Pretty much all of them work just fine with iPhones, and in fact in our testing we found not much difference in iPhone charging speed between 5-watt and 7.5-watt chargers.

anker_powerwave_chargers.jpg

Now that Apple's 7.5-watt charging spec has been available for a while, we're starting to see more accessory manufacturers launching new chargers optimized to work with the new iPhones. One of the first major brands out of the gate in this wave is Anker, which has long been very popular with consumers for offering solid charging accessories at good prices with excellent customer service.

I profiled some of Anker's previous wireless chargers back in December as part of my early wireless charger roundup, and several of those models have been strong sellers. With Apple's specs for 7.5-watt charging now available, Anker today is releasing two new wireless chargers optimized to work with the iPhone. The new chargers, arriving under the "PowerWave" marketing name, feature built-in fans to help keep things cool and maintain high charging speeds at both 7.5 watts for iPhones and 10 watts for compatible Android phones. According to Anker, the fans help charge iPhones up to an hour faster than other chargers on the market.
"After testing most of the chargers on the market, we discovered that they shared a major flaw: the wireless coils gradually heat up and this prevents the chargers from dispensing 7.5W for long periods of time," explained Steven Yang, CEO of Anker Innovations. "By adding a fan underneath the coil, we manage to regulate temperature and therefore allow the device to output consistent 7.5W power, resulting in the fastest wireless charge for the new iPhones."
Anker certainly isn't the first company to incorporate fans into its chargers, as the feature has been important for some of the 10-watt and even 15-watt chargers compatible with some Android phones. But pairing a fan-based cooling system with optimizations for Apple's 7.5-watt spec has enabled Anker to charge iPhones even faster.

I've spent some time with both of Anker's new PowerWave offerings, which include a stand model and a pad model. Anker's previous 5-watt stand model has been my charger of choice on my office desk for the past several months, so I was eager to try out that style of PowerWave charger in particular.

anker_powerwave_stand_phone.jpg
Anker PowerWave 7.5W Stand

The PowerWave 7.5W Stand is normally priced at $49.99 and has a similar molded plastic design to the earlier 5-watt model, but comes in white instead of black. The white certainly attracts some attention, which can be a positive or a negative depending on the environment it's placed in. I happen to like the look. The other design difference compared to the 5-watt model is that the base is much thicker in order to incorporate the fan. With the micro-USB port for the stand over to one side of the base, there's room for a relatively large fan grille to help keep air moving.

anker_powerwave_stand.jpg
Anker PowerWave 7.5W Stand

In my testing, the PowerWave 7.5W Stand certainly lived up to Anker's claims of charging speed, as it was able to charge my iPhone X battery from 10 percent to 56 percent in just one hour. Nearly all of the over two dozen other chargers I've tested have only been able to reach between 38 and 43 percent over that time period. Whether charging speed is important depends on your individual use patterns, and some users have concerns over fast charging having a negative impact on long-term battery health, which is also part of the reason for having a fan to keep things cooler. But for many people, the risk to long-term battery health is worth it if they can top off their phones more quickly when they're dropped onto a charger.

While the fan helps keep things cool and lets the charger maintain optimal charging speed for longer, it does make some noise. The stand generates an audible whirring sound that can be heard even from across a quiet room. For that reason, you might want to think twice about using this charger on a nightstand or in other quiet environments. But in a busy office setting with noise around or if you typically have music or other sounds playing while your phone is charging, it may not be noticeable.

I also tested out the $45.99 PowerWave 7.5W Pad, and interestingly, it didn't charge my iPhone X quite as quickly as the stand did, but it was still able to outperform nearly every other charger I've tested, boosting my battery from 10 percent to 49 percent in an hour. Otherwise, this is a pretty typical pad-style charger, although it does have a similar eye-catching white color to the stand and is a little bulkier than some other pads due to the fan underneath the pad.

anker_powerwave_pad.jpg
Anker PowerWave 7.5W Pad

Both the stand and the charger have distinctive small, circular, blue LEDs that light up while charging and flash to let you know if there'a problem. The LEDs are subtle enough that they're not distracting even in dark rooms. The pad's fan is audible, although it sounds significantly quieter than the stand.

Beyond Apple's strict requirements, there's another reason these PowerWave chargers are priced a bit higher than some of Anker's other offerings, and that's the fact that not only do you get a micro-USB cable but also a compact 18-watt Quick Charge 3.0 power adapter with folding prongs and a single USB-A port. The inclusion of the power adapter is important, as these chargers require a Quick Charge 3.0 adapter in order to work at all. If you plug the charger into another power adapter like one of Apple's iPhone or iPad adapters, or even a standard USB port on a hub, the charger will not charge your phone. That's something to keep in mind depending on how you're planning to use the chargers.

Anker's new PowerWave chargers are launching today on Amazon, and the company is submitting them to the Wireless Power Consortium for official Qi certification. The PowerWave stand is normally priced at $49.99 and the PowerWave pad at $45.99, but for a limited time Anker is offering a special deal through Amazon that gives you 15 percent off one charger (promo code POWER752) or 20 percent off two or more (promo code POWER753).

Note: Anker provided the wireless chargers to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.

Article Link: Review: Anker Debuts New 7.5-Watt 'PowerWave' Wireless Chargers Optimized for iPhones, On Sale Up to 20% Off
 
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seatton

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2013
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1,194
Seattle, WA
I am waiting patiently for AirPower so I can also charge my Series 3. Take my money Apple. I am ready no matter how expensive it is!
 
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sc0rch3d

macrumors newbie
Feb 1, 2018
14
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I know this is Apple forum, but having a Pixel phone with USBC-PD and S8 with Fast Wireless charging, wired is the MUCH better way to go. My Pixel can go from 10 to 80% in 1 hour and about 50% in half that time. Fast Wireless charging is about on par with the stats mentioned in this article.

While wireless charging is cool, the value is not there. You're better off with wired when in a pinch and slow trickle wireless charging (i.e. cheaper solution) overnight.
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
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the Alpha Quadrant
Agreed at wired better for rapid charging ^. I have Anker bricks that will charge my iPhone 8+ really fast if I need to. But my cheap wireless charger is where I put my iPhone while I'm at work so I'm always at 100% anyway.

The audible fan is probably what would be a killer for me. I wouldn't be able to use this in my office. Still kinda cool to see this at a reasonable price point.
 
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bigjnyc

macrumors 604
Apr 10, 2008
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I really wanted to like these but they lost me at fan noise.... I charge overnight on a night table right next to me so that's a no go... I'll stick to the anker pad I have now which is nice and thin, and gets the job done.
 
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masotime

macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2012
2,371
1,948
San Jose, CA
While wireless charging is cool, the value is not there. You're better off with wired when in a pinch and slow trickle wireless charging (i.e. cheaper solution) overnight.

IMO the point is convenient charging, not fast, efficient charging, although 7.5W is nice.

I don't care much for the "pad" charger, but the "stand" charger is a revelation to me. I have one of these at work, and I just park it on the stand effortlessly, and lift it just as effortlessly when I need to take a break / go to lunch / go to meetings / etc. Under those circumstances, you're going to connect / disconnect frequently, yet are unlikely to require large amounts of charge quickly. Perfect use case.
 
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thadoggfather

macrumors G5
Oct 1, 2007
13,043
11,056
t
Invisible iPhone!

It took me a while to realize it was just a wallpaper.

the white background to the cam cut off was what was throwing me off.

thought the author put a white sticker on the top right of his screen, like prototype sticker or something, I don't even know haha

two can play that game (the line is reflection next to the window)
 

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jmgregory1

macrumors 68020
I'll likely try one of these stands, although I am worried that the fan sound will be distracting at my desk. Wish they'd offer a choice of colors, as I'd prefer black over white. Hopefully we keep seeing more brands bringing better looking and fast charging stands to market. It's definitely a market opportunity right now.
 
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unsynaps

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2013
40
78
Baltimore, MD
I know this is Apple forum, but having a Pixel phone with USBC-PD and S8 with Fast Wireless charging, wired is the MUCH better way to go. My Pixel can go from 10 to 80% in 1 hour and about 50% in half that time. Fast Wireless charging is about on par with the stats mentioned in this article.

While wireless charging is cool, the value is not there. You're better off with wired when in a pinch and slow trickle wireless charging (i.e. cheaper solution) overnight.

Comment on a topic saying its on the whole stupid yet then list when its a good situation to use it. Go away android boy.
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
23,769
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In the middle of several books.
The Mophie wireless charger works well for overnight. I have Apple's 29w fast charger if I need an unexpected charge. Don't see a need for any Anker chargers for my setup.

Looks like Anker is trying to make the most of releasing before Apple's new charging pad.
 
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4jasontv

Suspended
Jul 31, 2011
4,072
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A direct comparison to the Samsung Fast Charge wireless chargers would be nice, especially since the Samsung stands and pads can often be purchased on Amazon for under $30 and $25. No name brands can be picked up for about $10.

Is it safe to assume the TL;DR for this review is "wireless charging exists, and if you want it get the cheapest pad from a brand you trust"?
 
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tridley68

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2014
1,058
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( Pretty much all of them work just fine with iPhones, and in fact in our testing we found not much difference in iPhone charging speed between 5-watt and 7.5-watt chargers.)

what's the use of this if in their testing they noticed no difference from Apples 5w cube charger seems like a waste of $50
 
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MrX8503

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Sep 19, 2010
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I don't understand the market for these devices. Is it worth it to pay 2x more to get 2.5w faster charge and then you're forced to use a specific wall wart?
 
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H3LL5P4WN

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
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Pittsburgh PA
I don't understand the market for these devices. Is it worth it to pay 2x more to get 2.5w faster charge and then you're forced to use a specific wall wart?

I mean, any QC3.0 should work. Anker just includes theirs. This is sort of a BOGO type deal, or a package for people who don't have any wireless chargers already.
 
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foobarbaz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2007
596
779
I have the 5W version of the stand. It has no fan, costs half as much and comes in black.

It’s fast enough to keep my phone topped off while I’m at the desk.

But whichever you buy, a standing charger is awesome. Zero friction when picking it up and works great with FaceID.
 
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MrX8503

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Sep 19, 2010
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I mean, any QC3.0 should work. Anker just includes theirs. This is sort of a BOGO type deal, or a package for people who don't have any wireless chargers already.

According to the article:
The inclusion of the power adapter is important, as these chargers require a Quick Charge 3.0 adapter in order to work at all. If you plug the charger into another power adapter like one of Apple's iPhone or iPad adapters, or even a standard USB port on a hub, the charger will not charge your phone. That's something to keep in mind depending on how you're planning to use the chargers.
 
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Marshall73

macrumors 68000
Apr 20, 2015
1,867
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Wireless charging is better suited for cars etc as you are not wasting grid electricity like home charging, where you use ~25% more power to charge your device.
 
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MrX8503

macrumors 68020
Sep 19, 2010
2,285
1,597
Like I said, I'd think any QC3.0 charger should work. Like the Anker QC3.0 that I have plugged into the black Anker pad I have on my nightstand. lol

That’s good to know, but as an Apple user I don’t want to invest into quick charge. I’ve converted to USB C PD.
 
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