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The best wireless car charger and mount for 2020 – CNET

wireless charging pad for your iPhone or Android phone might be a staple in your office or home, but it can also be a useful tool to mount inside your car. Even the best wireless car charger isn’t a totally wireless experience — it requires power and a cable that plugs into the cigarette lighter in your car. But it’s convenient when you don’t have to think about plugging a cable into your phone every time you get in the car.

Note that each wireless charger in this buyer’s guide is compatible with any wireless charging enabled phone, whether it’s an iPhone, Samsung GalaxyGoogle Pixel or other models. And if you’re really attached to your phone case — so long as it isn’t super thick — you can leave it on your smartphone and still be able to charge your phone. 

Read more: The best USB-C PD charger of 2020

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iOttie finally has an “auto-sense” automatic clamping wireless car charger with a phone mount — and it’s a good one. The Auto Sense Automatic Clamping Qi Charging Car Phone Mount is available in a dashboard mount version or a CD and vent clip version (I tried the dashboard wireless charging mount). It has a nicely designed telescoping arm, a strong suction cup, and the wireless phone charging feature is compatible with most phone cases. You get 7.5W charging for an iPhone and 10W for Android phones, which is considered fast wireless charging.

This Qi wireless charger comes with a dual charging USB cigarette lighter adapter. My only gripe — and it’s a small one — is that the included cable is Micro USB and not USB Type-C. Once the cable is plugged in to the wireless car charger you can basically forget about it, but if the cable accidentally becomes unplugged (which does happen), it’s easier to plug in a USB-C cable for phone charging, especially when you’re driving.

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If you don’t mind going with a no-name brand like ZeeHoo, its wireless car charger has most of the features you want for phone charging, including auto clamping, a secure suction cup, USB-C and 10W fast charging for Android phones that support it (iPhones are capped at 7.5W charging). It’s not as slickly built as the iOttie — and it doesn’t come with a cigarette lighter adapter — only a USB-C cable — but it’s $35 less.

It’s one of the more popular generic wireless car chargers with an auto-sensing telescopic arm, and I thought it worked well overall, attaching securely to my car vent mount and giving my smartphone a quick charge. I liked that the wireless car charger came with both a phone mount for my dashboard and an air vent mount. Note that to get fast charging, you will need a power adapter that supports it (not included).

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If you want to go with a little more discreet-looking wireless charger, a magnetic mount is a good choice. The iOttie iTap 2 Wireless is available in versions with air vent, CD slot and dashboard car mount. I tried the air vent version, which has locking mechanism on the air vent clip that keeps the charger mount securely attached to the air vent.

For your wireless phone to work with a magnetic car mount, you either need a case with some metal built into it (which I have) or you can attach one of the included slim stick-on metal plates to the back of your phone (stick it toward the bottom so it doesn’t interfere with the wireless charging circuitry in the middle of it). You can even cover the plate with your phone case, but make sure the case isn’t too thick or your phone won’t stick to the charger mount.

The iOttie iTap 2 includes a dual USB car charger that has an extra USB port for charging a second device. The included cable is a Micro-USB cable, not USB-C, which doesn’t have accelerated charging capabilities. My iPhone 11 Pro stayed on the charger securely, but those with larger phones like the iPhone 11 Pro Max and and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 would probably do better to go with one of the wireless charger options above.

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The X-Doria Defense Helix wireless car charging mount with RoboGrip has powered “robotic” arms that automatically open when you place your phone near the charger and then clamp shut after you dock it. You can easily remove it from its charging station with the touch a button on the dock, which causes the arms to open. It’s compatible to use as a wireless charger for iPhone and Android devices.

This charger comes with an air vent mount, a USB-C cable and dual car power adapter with two USB-A ports (QC 3.0 and 2.1A). It powers iPhones at 7.5W and offers Android phones fast charging at up to 10W.

It’s also well built and relatively inexpensive compared to other wireless car chargers with auto-sense powered arms. The only small issue I had with this wireless charger is that while the air vent mount locks down pretty securely, if you go over a big bump and your car bounces, it will sometimes slip off.

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Originally published last year.

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