Anker PowerWave Base Pad

For awhile I had stayed away from wireless charging and I had told myself it’s because it’s inefficient and will heat up my phone. In reality it was likely entirely down to my own disappointment in the AirPower not becoming a thing. But I’ve read up on a bit and decided on what were the things that mattered to me and picked something based on that.

And the wireless charger I opted to get was the Anker PowerWave Base Pad. The name seems like a bit much but so far I think it does the job. It’s my first wireless charger so I have nothing really to compare it to. It is slow but there is only one speed for charging an iPhone. It does warm things up but it does come with “temperature control” vents. Again, I can’t say if they help but the temperature is reasonable.

The rectangular nearly iPhone 11 Pro sized pad makes it dead easy to get it aligned. The non-slip ring makes it so you can knock the thing about fairly hard and the phone stays in place. The ring also serves as a very easy way to determine where to place the AirPods case - right in the centre of the circle.

Not that it matters but I like that the packaging appears to be entirely recyclable and nothing really in the way of waste - though I kind of wish instructions, notices, etc would move entirely online. There’s likely some regulation that stops that even if they wanted to.

So, over all, I am happy with it for being £20, I think it more than meets expectations. That said there is one big warning I must give and a fault for which I think is actually kind of unforgivable. That is that it does not come with a power adapter - just a USB to micro USB cable.

What’s wrong with that? For starters, I wish micro USB would go away. Anker themselves don’t really do USB-C to micro USB. Secondly, it wants 5V 2A (NOTE: only for iPhone - if you another brand that allows above 7.5W wireless charging then you’ll need more) and while that sounds like it shouldn’t be a problem, actually it turns out from looking at all my USB devices that actually most 5V things are 1.5A or less so yes it is.

There is a warning on the website saying it won’t work with the stock iPhone charger (correct, fewer amps) and it kind of appears to work. My AirPods case did light up. I forgot to check the little indicator light on the charger. For the average consumer who isn’t going to find it on their website but rather just buy it off amazon or some local shop, they’re left with a device that won’t work out of the box or may work poorly as I’m sure they’ll assume their phone charger will work (it’s USB, right?).

I like the idea, we should try to cut down on waste but then why not use a USB-C connection and ditch the cable as well or better yet make the charger optional. I do have something to get me buy but I did end up buying some PowerPorts Atom IIIs from Anker which will be beneficial for other reasons as well but it does mean the overall cost for me to place one charger in one room is now £64.98. Again, that’s slightly misleading because I get a device that can also charge USB-C devices but still Anker doesn’t appear to offer simply USB to UK socket devices.

I’d also note that actually in terms of chargers it feels like there is no really good device. This isn’t just Anker but everyone. You can get chargers that do perhaps 90% of what you want but it’s never just right. Also, most USB cable aren’t flexible and would stick out when plugged in horizontally. Why is it 99% of USB chargers expect you to plug it that way rather than vertically either from the top or bottom? Surely I can’t be the only one that would like to stick these things behind a dresser or other things?