Samsung's Qi chargers haven't had the best designs, but this one gets it right.
Last year's Galaxy S6 edge+ and Note 5 brought along with them new faster wireless charging tech, but that also required a charging pad that was able to output enough power to make it all happen. Samsung's only fast wireless charging pad was a pretty solid improvement over the previous standard-speed model, but we weren't surprised when Samsung rolled out a new model with the launch of the Galaxy S7.
This new "stand" style fast wireless charger has a new look, and definitely takes up a little more room, but has a few advantages over what was previously your only fast wireless charging choice. Here's a look at Samsung's Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand.
If you've used or even seen Samsung's previous iteration of the fast wireless charger, you'll be well on your way to knowing what this new stand-up version is like. Samsung took the same basic design and shape of the old version and tilted it upwards to about a 65-degree angle with a round base below. The base serves as a sturdy platform, though it isn't quite as sleek as you'd expect considering how thick the rest of the charging pad portion still is. At the very bottom there's a tiny shelf for your phone to sit on, coated in some rubber to help fight slippage.
Best of all, you won't be blinded by the charging LED anymore.
The charging surface is just a tad larger than last year's — with a bit more sticky rubber to go along with it — and ditches the clear plastic ring around the edge, which is a bonus. The LED status indicator at the base of the charger is another area where this design is an improvement over the last model, as it isn't nearly as bright or spread out. The small LED is bright enough to indicate when it's charging (blue) or fully charged (green), without being too bright and annoying in a dark room.
Just like the last generation you'll notice slotted openings in the back of the charger, which are paired up with a very slow spinning fan to dissipate extra heat generated with fast wireless charging. You can't hear the fan and if you never turned the charger around you wouldn't ever notice the difference from other fully enclosed Qi chargers.
Samsung includes a Fast Charge wall plug and USB cable with the charger, which is the same plug included with your Galaxy S6, S7 or Note 5. Samsung recommends that you use the included charging plug or the one that came with your phone, as it can't guarantee charging speeds or safety with any other charger. (And remember, even with all of this "Fast" branding plastered everywhere, a standard Qi phone will just charge at its normal rate on this pad.)
Samsung seems to position the charger as being designed to hold your phone vertically to charge, though a pretty good portion of a larger phone — like the Galaxy Note 5 or Nexus 6 — sticks out above the charger and is susceptible to tipping over if the table it's on is bumped. To keep things sturdier, you can place the phone on its side, where it still charges just fine and is much more stable.
This design dramatically improves your chances of properly aligning your phone.
Though the stand-up style of charger takes up a bit more room, it sure makes getting your phone positioned properly on the charger a lot easier. Whereas the flat models are quite easy to misalign a phone on, there's no mistaking where your phone will go here — just place it on the shelf at the bottom, and you're going to be covered. It's something that other charger manufacturers have figured out, and it's good to see Samsung take a swing at the style as well.
Combine the easier positioning with the subtle improvements in the charging status LED, while also keeping the same fast wireless charging tech inside, and this is quite easily the best wireless charger that Samsung has ever made. And while it doesn't offer as many benefits to someone who won't be charging up a modern Galaxy phone, it is definitely a better choice than last year's flat model if you do have one of Samsung's latest phones.
Where to buy
Samsung's Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand has a retail price of $69.99, but has already taken discounts down to the realm of $50 — which is really the price that better reflects what it's worth. You can pick one up at the retailers below.