There are so many devices that need to be charged, but not all chargers are created equal — especially when it comes to speed. CES 2019 featured a few exciting announcements for wireless chargers, powerful fast chargers that take advantage of GaN (gallium nitride) to shrink down in size, and even car mounts. To get a better grasp of the evolving charger market, we decided to round up the best new charging gear so you can figure out what your next charging setup should be.
Griffin’s new wireless chargers
Apple’s AirPower is still nowhere to be seen, so Griffin announced a charging dock that could fill in the gap. Its PowerBlock Wireless Fast Charging Pad is a 7.5-watt Qi charger with a spot for both an iPhone and an Apple Watch, and it’ll go on sale within the next couple months for $79.99. An iPhone-only version was also announced.
Griffin also debuted two other wireless chargers. The PowerBlack Wireless charging stand can transform from being a stand to a flat pad, and the Reserve Wireless Charging Bank is a 5,000mAh portable battery back with a wireless charging contact point for your phone. The chargers will cost $39.99 and $34.99, respectively, when they launch in Q1 2019.
Anker’s GaN fast charger
Accessories manufacturers like Anker are starting to produce fast chargers that contain gallium nitride (GaN), which allows for smaller bricks and more efficient charging. One of the first is the 30-watt Atom PD 1 charging brick that launches later this month for $29.99. It isn’t much larger than a typical iPhone charger, but it’s able to fast charge an iPad Pro, smartphone, or 13-inch MacBook Air.
A GaN charger can better withstand heat, draws less power, and delivers power faster than traditional fast charging bricks. Competition in the GaN charger space is already arriving, so it’s high time for Anker to get its first option out there.
Portable wireless charging with suction cups
This one is a Kickstarter, and I’ll admit it’s little odd but interesting. The Yoolox portable wireless charging pack includes small suction cups so it can stay attached to your smartphone. They have enough suction to keep your phone from falling, with or without a leather case. For the $79 price tag, you get a 10,000mAh battery with both USB-C and USB-A outputs.
Unfortunately, it only supports 5W wireless charging, which is below fast charge speeds. One can still dream of the ideal suction cup wireless charger.
iOttie’s motorized wireless charging car mount
One of the other strange but useful chargers at this year’s show was iOttie’s car mount, which has motorized arms that automatically “hug” your phone when you place it down. It’s called the Auto Sense Wireless Fast Charging Car Mount. It supports 10W charging speeds, and it will cost $54.95 when it goes on sale later this year.
Belkin made the first third-party USB-C to Lightning cable
Apple has long maintained strict control over Lightning connectors, and that’s meant that finding USB-C to Lightning cables could be a challenge. In fact, the only legitimate option has been Apple’s own flimsy cable.
Finally, third-party choices are arriving. Belkin is releasing a USB-C to Lightning cable in four-foot, six-foot and 10-foot versions in a speckled black and speckled white designs. Their prices will range from $24.99 to $34.99, once Belkin ships the cables later this spring.
Griffin also made some third-party USB-C to Lightning cables
If you’re not keen on getting your USB-C to Lightning cables from Belkin, then you’ll be glad to know there’s an alternative. Griffin has also announced some new cables, in two styles: premium with a woven cable and aluminum head or standard model that’s made of plastic with a lower price. The premium cable measures five feet long, while the two standard cables come in four- and six-foot models. The standard Griffin USB-C to Lightning cables are available in black or white, while the premium one comes in silver, black, or gold.
As for pricing and availability, the shortest standard cable will cost $19.99, the six-foot standard will cost $29.99, and finally, the premium cable will knock you down $34.99, once they ship out between April and May of this year.