The year 2017 was the year of Qi wireless charging for Apple devices. Much of the buzz surrounding the iPhone 8 and iPhone X revolves around the additions of a built-in charging receiver and glass back. While the simplest way to get Qi charging is to upgrade, iPhone owners may not want to spend the money. Luckily, for those with earlier model iPhones there is a cheap way to try wireless charging with your existing iPhone.
Step 1: Install a Qi wireless receiver
All that's required is the addition of a charging receiver or "patch" for the back side of the iPhone. These thin, inexpensive accessories connect to the Lightning port of the iPhone, adding a metal coil to the back of the device. They can be attached with adhesive, or placed inside most non-metal iPhone cases to hold them in place. Several companies make these Qi wireless receivers with Lightning connectors, for example:
- The Nillkin Magic Tag runs $12.99
- Cloele sells its 3rd-generation iPhone Receiver for $16.98
- Komost offers a Wireless Charging Receiver Patch priced at $10.99
Step 2: Get a Qi wireless charging pad
To charge the iPhone once the Qi receiver is installed, simply place the iPhone on a Qi wireless charging pad. Charging pads or bases are available from a wide variety of accessory makers. Prices vary, however at the low end Qi wireless charging pads can be purchased starting around $16-$20.
Here's a rundown of 4 wireless chargers compatible with Qi charging receivers. Many accessory manufacturers such as Belkin and Mophie are offering MFi-certified charging accessories. IKEA has jumped on board the wireless charging bandwagon, offering Qi charging bases in lamps and furniture. Even car manufacturers are adding Qi chargers to their latest models.
Just remember, once the charging receiver is plugged into your iPhone's Lightning port it cannot be connected to headphones or used to stand the iPhone in a Lightning charging base. Of course, adding a charging pad to the back of your iPhone is completely reversible. Just unplug the Lightning cable.