The cheap thrill of inductive (wireless) charging

Having recently bitten at Apple’s trade-in incentives to move from an iPhone 7 Plus to an iPhone XS Max, I was finally able to enjoy the benefits of inductive, or “wireless,” charging. Being cheap and biased toward Amazon Prime options, I ended-up buying a very inexpensive charging pad. Recently, I bought a couple of their two-packs to put wireless charging within reach around the house. How’s it working?

Quite well, honestly.

While I’m somewhat averse to no-name products, there are certain classes of products — such a Lightning cables for iPhones — where I just don’t see any point (at all) in paying the Apple premium to get a “genuine” cable. Whether genuine Apple, or knock-off, they just don’t last indefinitely, so why pay more than needed?

I wasn’t going to apply the same logic to the wireless charging pads, but in the end, I tried a cheap Yootech pad for a whopping $13. It worked flawlessly, and did what it needed to do. The company offers them in two-packs for less than $22, so I recently picked-up a couple of those and dotted them around the house in the places they’re needed.

The Yootech product does not come with a USB power adapter; it’s just the pad, and the cable. But given how many spots in the house have USB ports in the power outlets at this point, I didn’t need them; just plug, and play.

The only issue I’ve encountered with the Yootech pads (and it’s been only a couple of times), is that they can get a little confused if you move the phone around too much while getting it into the right position. The pad’s outer LED ring starts blinking in some sort of error condition. Once unplugged and replugged, it comes right back to life. The lesson: Put the phone down and leave it down. If it’s not in the right position to begin charging, pick it back up from the pad, and place it back down.

For the price especially, they’ve made me a huge fan of inductive charging, especially since the new iPhone XS Max uses Face ID to unlock. If I have to pick it up to unlock anyway, I may as well not have to fight with a stupid cable in the process.

You can find the Yootech charging pads on Amazon.