The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X all have the ability to charge themselves up using the Qi wireless charging standard, while all older iPhones are still fully reliant on the Lightning port to juice up. That said, determined iPhone users with any models can still go tetherless, they just need a few simple accessories.
The easiest way to get wireless charging is to buy one of the iPhones released in 2017, which come with a built-in Qi receiver coil. All these do is catch the electromagnetic field generated by a charging mat and convert it into electric current to refill the batteries they’re connected to. For senior iPhones to achieve the same thing, you just need to plug a receiver coil into the Lightning port, which can be done with a low-cost Qi adapter or a wireless charging case.
I retrofitted by iPhone 6S with two different attachments — Incipio’s Ghost Qi Wireless Charging Case and Asakuki iPhone Wireless Charging Receiver — for a week to see if I could free my phone from being roped to a wall every night. Aside from a few hitches, the case proved to be the most reliable but if you’re looking for a more budget fix or simply to suss out how much convenience wireless charging really has to offer, the Asakuki receiver will probably suit you just fine.
iPhone Wireless Charging: The Power Users’ Choice
If you constantly find yourself low on battery then you might want to slide your phone into an Incipio’s Ghost Qi Wireless Charging Case. This case makes for easy charging and literally doubles the battery life you have available on the go.
Incipio’s case will make your iPhone a fair bit bulkier and heavier. But that’s because it also functions as a battery pack. When you place it on a charging pad, not only is it charging your phone but it also fills its auxiliary battery. Just hold down the silver button on the back of the case to switch it on when you’re running low on power.
The case consistently powered my device without me having to readjust how I placed it on a charging mat, so I never had to worry about waking up without any battery. The biggest headache with the Ghost is that you’re forced to use a dongle for your headphone jack.
The bottom of the case is about an inch long, making it impossible or you to reach your headphone jack with standard iPhone earbuds. You either have to plug in the dongle the case comes with or pop off the case and plug in your headphones before putting it back on.
At the end of the day, that’s a mild nuisance in exchange for not having to worry about my phone shutting off when I’m still out and about. They’ll set you back about $49.99.
iPhone Wireless Charging: The Budget Friendly Choice
If you’re searching for something that’ll be easier on your wallet, you won’t have to look far at all. Amazon is swarming with Qi adapters that can cost as little as $7 but don’t expect the same reliability as wireless charging cases.
After going through the reviews, I picked up an $11 Asakuki iPhone Wireless Charging Receiver on Amazon. It’s incredibly thin and comfortably slips into pretty much any phone case, so if you don’t want a brick phone this might be the move. However, you’ll want to make a habit of double-checking if your phone is actually charging, since the patchwork of attachments proved to be a bit unreliable.
I put my adapter into a Tech21 silicon case and found myself adjusting my phone’s placement on the charging mat to find a sweet spot. There was one night when I set my phone down to charge for the night, only to wake up and find my phone on the brink of shutting down.
Without the case, this was rarely a problem, but having to unplug the strip every time I was done charging defeated its purpose. Which is why this system is best for those looking for a low-cost way to test the wireless charging waters.