You may think the Apple Store is the best place to find iPhone accessories. It's not. It's the expensive place.
For example, if you're getting ready to-- or you have any iPhone that supports wireless charging, from the iPhone 8 on up -- you'll see that Qi (pronounced "chee") charging pads start at $40.
Elsewhere, they cost less -- like, way less. For example, for a limited time, and while supplies last, Choetech (via Amazon) has this Choetech Qi charging pad for just $4.99 with promo code PS4JKAAF.
Two things you should know about this pad: It's Qi- and ETL-certified, and it's not a fast-charger. That means it'll charge your iPhone at a "normal" rate: That is, roughly as fast as the bundled one-amp wall charger and cord. (One excellent Amazon customer shared some detailed comparison data on this.)
Actually, a third thing: The pad has over 5,200 user reviews and an average rating of 3.9 stars. The major complaint, it seems: Some users found the front-facing LED too bright for nightstand use.
Guess what? A little piece of masking or duct tape can fix that right quick. And did I mention this Qi pad is five bucks?
If you'd rather keep your phone upright while charging (which I prefer for desk use), Choetech has this Qi charging stand for $9.99 with promo code MACHO524.
This one does support fast charging (up to 10W), but doesn't have the Qi or ETL certification. How important is that? I'm honestly not certain. The Wireless Power Consortium would tell you it's important, but I haven't heard stories of any non-certified pads or stands causing any trouble.
And while we're scratching our heads, the stand has a 4.2-star average rating and an Amazon's Choice badge -- but Fakespot says nearly 90 percent of those reviews are "low quality." But ReviewMeta gives roughly half of them a passing grade. Hmm.
Yeah, I don't know. If you're just putting your phone on your nightstand to charge overnight, fast charging is totally unnecessary. And you probably don't need it to stand up there, either. So we're back to $5 of Qi-certified wireless charging goodness, instead of $40-plus at the Apple Store.
By the way: Yes, absolutely, both these products will work with non-Apple phones -- any model that supports Qi charging. I specifically called out iPhones because I think a lot of iPhone customers assume they have to buy accessories like these from Apple proper. My job as the Cheapskate: to educate as well as share deals.
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