It’s been a long time since wireless charging capabilities first started to appear on Android phones. The HTC Droid DNA—released in 2012—was one of the first examples in the United States.
In the intervening years, demand for wireless charging has grown considerably. Today, if you’re in the market for a new top-of-the-range Android device, wireless charging is one of the first features you should expect.
But which are the best Android phones with wireless charging technology? What are their pros and cons? Keep reading to find out more.
If you can stomach the hefty price tag, the Samsung Galaxy S9 (our review) is the best Android phone with wireless charging that you can buy today. Indeed, wireless charging has been a feature on the Galaxy range since the S6 in 2015.
The S9 supports all three of the main wireless charging protocols: Qi, AirFuel, and PMA.
Samsung also boasts that the S9 supports “fast charging.” It’s true, but you shouldn’t be tempted by the new wireless charger the company has released alongside the phone (Samsung Fast Wireless Charger EP-N5100). It’s based on the older Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 standard, meaning it won’t charge devices any faster than its cheaper predecessor (the EP-PG950).
Unveiled at the 2018 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the Galaxy S9 will start shipping in mid-March.
2. LG V30S ThinQ
Also unveiled in early 2018, the V30S ThinQ is LG’s premium model for the calendar year. The V30S model replaces the previous V30 device. The two are broadly similar, but the V30S adds AI capabilities and more RAM.
The phone supports the three main wireless charging protocols. It also ships with a 3300mAh battery which supports the Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 standard.
In addition to the wireless charging capabilities, the V30S offers an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 128GB of internal storage, and a 16MP rear-facing camera. The internal memory is expandable thanks to the presence of an SD card slot. And yes, it has a headphone jack!
3. Nokia 8 Sirocco
Joining the luxury models from Samsung and LG is the Nokia 8 Sirocco. It’s another phone that’s new for 2018.
HMD Global has described the handset as “for the fans.” It features a Snapdragon 835 chipset, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and IP67 dust and water resistance. But the phone really stands out thanks to its form factor. The phone is covered in 95 percent “vacuum molded” Gorilla Glass, offers a 5.5-inch QHD OLED display, and is built around a stainless-steel frame.
From a wireless charging standpoint, all three main protocols are supported.
Interestingly, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is also part of the Android One program. This guarantees that the phone will receive at least the next two major Android operating system updates—and it will do so in a timely manner.
The Moto Z2 Force was released in 2017, but it’s still one of the best Android phones out there.
The device’s unique selling point is its physical toughness. The screen has five layers, and the phone is constructed out of 7000 series aluminum. Thus, it’s almost impossible to break. Indeed, you can throw the phone at a wall or on a concrete floor without a care. Do be careful about applying excessive pressure, however, as it’s possible to dent the screen.
Elsewhere, you’ll get a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, a 2730mAh battery, 6GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 835 processor, and a 12MP camera.
Like the other three phones we have introduced you to, the Moto Z2 Force supports all three wireless charging protocols. However, it’s important to note that wireless charging is only available if you buy the proper “Moto mod”; it’s essentially a new rear case for the phone. This wireless charging mod costs $40.
On the downside, the five layers of protection on the phone’s screen make it feel less responsive and the 16:9 screen ratio doesn’t feel as natural as 18:9. The camera has also suffered from mixed reviews; some users say it takes too long to focus.
Two years after its release, it’s the oldest smartphone here. However, with a price point of under $300, it’s also one of the cheapest Android phones with wireless charging. With wireless technology still not widely available in low-end devices, the BlackBerry Priv offers the best compromise between cost and hardware.
Under the hood, you’ll find a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 CPU and 3GB of RAM. The 3410mAh battery provides solid battery life, and the 18MP camera is still better than many of its contemporary rivals.
But there’s an elephant in the room. The phone offers a slide-out physical keyboard, harking back to the Blackberry devices of yesterday. That might please some hardcore enthusiasts, but most people will never use it. The extra size and weight make its inclusion hard to justify.
Which Wireless Charging Phones Do You Recommend?
Ultimately, your budget will dictate much of your buying decision.
If you’re willing to spend big money, you can choose from any of the flagship devices for 2018. A mid-range budget will see your number of options reduced, while a low budget will restrict you to older flagship phones. But don’t forget that wireless charging is a luxury, not a necessity. You’ll find plenty of great phones that don’t support it.