If you have anor smartphone with wireless charging capabilities, you’ve probably already picked up for your office or home — but maybe not for your car. Here’s a look at our top picks for the best wireless car charger, all of which include a mount option. Just as with wireless charging pads, wireless car chargers require power and have a cable that runs into your car’s cigarette lighter — so it’s not a completely wireless experience as you charge your phone. However, it’s nice not to have to plug a cable into your smartphone every time you hop into your car hoping to get your phone fully charged.
Note that all the wireless chargers in this buyer’s guide work with any wireless-charging-enabled phone, whether it’s an iPhone,, or other models. And if you’re really attached to your phone case — so long as it isn’t super thick — you can leave it on your smartphone and still be able to your phone.
iOttie finally has an “auto-sense” automatic clamping wireless car charger, and it’s a good one. 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 version.) It has a nicely designed telescoping arm and the wireless charging feature is compatible with most phone cases. You get 7.5W charging for iPhones and 10W for Android phones, which is considered fast charging.
It 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-C. Once the cable is plugged in to the charger 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, USB-C and 10W fast charging for Android phones that support it (iPhones are capped at 7.5W charging). It’s not as slickly built as the iOttie — and it doesn’t come with a cigarette lighter adapter — only a USB-C cable — but it’s $25 less.
It’s one of the more popular generic wireless car chargers with auto-sensing powered arms, and I thought it worked well overall, attaching securely to my car vent mount and giving my smartphone a quick charge. I liked that it came with both a dashboard mount and an air vent mount. Note that to get fast charging, you will need a power adapter that supports it (not included).
If you want to go with a little more discreet-looking wireless charger, a magnetic mount is a good choice. The iOttie iTap 2 Wireless is available in versions with air vent, CD slot and dashboard mounts. I tried the air vent version, which has locking mechanism that keeps the mount securely attached to the vent.
For your wireless phone to work with a magnetic mount, you either need a case with some metal built into it (which I have) or you can attach one of the included slim stick-on metal plates to the back of your phone (stick it toward the bottom so it doesn’t interfere with the wireless charging circuitry in the middle of it). You can even cover the plate with your phone case, but make sure the case isn’t too thick or your smartphone won’t stick to the mount.
The iOttie iTap 2 includes a dual USB car charger that has an extra USB port for charging a second device. The included cable is a Micro-USB cable, not USB-C, and this doesn’t have accelerated charging capabilities. My iPhone 11 Pro stayed on the charger securely, but those with larger phones like the iPhone 11 Pro Max and and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 would probably do better to go with one of the options above.
The X-Doria Defense Helix Car Mount with RoboGrip has powered “robotic” arms that automatically open when you place your phone near the charger and then clamp shut after you dock it. You can easily remove it from its charging station with the touch a button on the dock, which causes the arms to open. It’s compatible with both iPhones and Android devices.
This charger comes with an air vent mount, a USB-C cable and dual car power adapter with two USB-A ports (QC 3.0 and 2.1A). It powers iPhones at 7.5W and offers Android phones fast charging at up to 10W.
It’s also well built and relatively inexpensive compared to other wireless car chargers with auto-sense powered arms. The only small issue I had with it is that while the air vent mount locks down pretty securely, if you go over a big bump and your car bounces, it will sometimes slip off.
Originally published last month.