Wireless charging pads promise to make juicing up gadgets easier by eliminating the need for multiple cords and wall outlets. But choosing the best one can be tricky, because they have different charging capabilities and features. To see how they stack up, we drained an iPhone 4's battery and charged away.
The Powermat 2X charges two devices at once, including phones and headsets. As with the other pads we tested, you must use a receiver case or adapter to get a charge. A chirping sound lets you know when you place a device in the right spot. A full charge took three and a half hours.
COST: $80 for a pad and gadget receiver with eight tips; $40 for phone cases
A blue light on this pad, which can charge up to three phones at once, shines when charging starts, which we found more helpful than the Powermat's low chirp. On the downside, the pad is currently compatible with only a limited number of phones, though it has a USB port for one extra device. A full charge took about four hours.
COST: $90, plus $35 per phone receiver case
This pad can charge up to five devices at once, including digital cameras, e-books, and a variety of popular phones. Unlike the other mats we tested, you can place a device anywhere on the WildCharge to power up. It took about four hours to fully charge the phone.
COST: $50, plus $35 for phone charging skins and $65 for a bundle of eight gadget receivers
This mat, which charges up to four devices at once, also has a handy blue indicator light. The pad can charge a variety of phones and the iPod Touch, but not e-readers and other gadgets. Charging took about four hours.
COST: $80 for a pad and iPhone receiver case or $80 for a pad with a receiver and tips for various phones