iOttie iTap Wireless charging car mount review: As good as it gets

If you've ever used a wireless charging stand before, you know that the two biggest issues are lining up your phone on the charging coils and keeping it there. Nothing is more frustrating than thinking your phone has been wirelessly charging only to discover it got knocked slightly off its orientation.

It's a great accessory for any device that supports Qi charging — including the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

iOttie has a great solution that uses the power of magnets to keep your phone in place and includes two different mounting options so you can use it in your car or at your desk at work. The iOttie iTap Wireless car mount, which runs about $70, features Qi Fast Charging capabilities, too, meaning you'll be able to conveniently charge your phone faster than a traditional third-party wireless charger simply by installing a thin metal plate to the back of your phone or to a thin case. It's a fantastic option for anyone who owns a Galaxy phone, since wireless charging has been included as a regular feature in the latest Samsung flagships — including the upcoming Galaxy Note 8.

The kit comes with everything you need in the box: the wireless charging pad, two adhesive mounting pads (a flexible one perfect for mounting to your car dash and a flat, rigid one ideal for your desk), a car charger adapter and Micro-USB cable for supplying power, and two metal plates in black and grey to help match your phone's color. You're able to adhere it to the back of a thin case or directly to the back of the phone (though I recommend the former, for obvious usability reasons).

You only get one shot at installing the metal plate, so make sure that you do it right the first time. On a Samsung Galaxy S8, you'll want to line it up as I've done so here. If you're concerned about the plate getting stuck to the back of your phone forever or leaving any unsightly marks, I can report that while it certainly feels forever stuck once you've applied it, you can safely work it off of the back of the phone with a credit card along the thin edges.

So how does it actually hold up in use? I tested the car mount on the notoriously pothole-ridden streets of Winnipeg and while I was fairly sure the bumpy ride would jostle the phone free — if not the entire mount itself — everything held up just fine. There's a built-in fan that helps to counter the heat generated during charging, and it helps keep your phone cool which is especially important with your phone sitting on your dash on a hot summer day.

My Galaxy S8 immediately started charging as soon as the mounting magnets did their job, although it took a few seconds before it jumped up to fast-charging speeds. Starting with 11% of remaining battery life, it gave me an estimated full recharge time of just under two and a half hours — significantly faster than regular wireless charging speeds, but still not quite as fast as doing so via USB-C.

Therein lies the dilemma: there's no denying that wireless charging is futuristic cool, and being able to just grab your phone and go without dealing with wires is great, but if I'm looking to top up my phone's battery during a short trip across town, I typically want the fastest charge available. For that reason, I'd be more inclined to using the iTap as a car mount only and swapping the Micro-USB cable powering the wireless charging pad for a USB-C cord plugged directly into the phone. Either way, it's great to have multiple options and its functionality as a sturdy dash mount alone makes it a worthwhile investment.

If you want to take advantage of your phone's wireless charging capabilities and don't mind the idea of attaching a metal plate to the back of your phone (or a case), the iOttie iTap is the perfect answer.

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Marc Lagace

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.