Review: Anker Debuts New 7.5-Watt 'PowerWave' Wireless Chargers Optimized for iPhones, On Sale Up to 20% Off

by

With the launch of the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus last September, Apple finally embraced wireless smartphone charging, and as of the release of iOS 11.2 in December, the devices became able to support faster 7.5-watt charging.

Belkin and Mophie were Apple's launch partners for wireless charging, with their optimized charging bases launching alongside the new phones and supporting the 7.5-watt power targeted by Apple. While Belkin and Mophie's chargers had Apple's early seal of approval, plenty of other manufacturers already had wireless chargers rated at 5 watts and higher on the market. Pretty much all of them work just fine with iPhones, and in fact in our testing we found not much difference in iPhone charging speed between 5-watt and 7.5-watt chargers.


Now that Apple's 7.5-watt charging spec has been available for a while, we're starting to see more accessory manufacturers launching new chargers optimized to work with the new iPhones. One of the first major brands out of the gate in this wave is Anker, which has long been very popular with consumers for offering solid charging accessories at good prices with excellent customer service.

I profiled some of Anker's previous wireless chargers back in December as part of my early wireless charger roundup, and several of those models have been strong sellers. With Apple's specs for 7.5-watt charging now available, Anker today is releasing two new wireless chargers optimized to work with the iPhone. The new chargers, arriving under the "PowerWave" marketing name, feature built-in fans to help keep things cool and maintain high charging speeds at both 7.5 watts for iPhones and 10 watts for compatible Android phones. According to Anker, the fans help charge iPhones up to an hour faster than other chargers on the market.

“After testing most of the chargers on the market, we discovered that they shared a major flaw: the wireless coils gradually heat up and this prevents the chargers from dispensing 7.5W for long periods of time,” explained Steven Yang, CEO of Anker Innovations. “By adding a fan underneath the coil, we manage to regulate temperature and therefore allow the device to output consistent 7.5W power, resulting in the fastest wireless charge for the new iPhones.”

Anker certainly isn't the first company to incorporate fans into its chargers, as the feature has been important for some of the 10-watt and even 15-watt chargers compatible with some Android phones. But pairing a fan-based cooling system with optimizations for Apple's 7.5-watt spec has enabled Anker to charge iPhones even faster.

I've spent some time with both of Anker's new PowerWave offerings, which include a stand model and a pad model. Anker's previous 5-watt stand model has been my charger of choice on my office desk for the past several months, so I was eager to try out that style of PowerWave charger in particular.

Anker PowerWave 7.5W Stand

The PowerWave 7.5W Stand is normally priced at $49.99 and has a similar molded plastic design to the earlier 5-watt model, but comes in white instead of black. The white certainly attracts some attention, which can be a positive or a negative depending on the environment it's placed in. I happen to like the look. The other design difference compared to the 5-watt model is that the base is much thicker in order to incorporate the fan. With the micro-USB port for the stand over to one side of the base, there's room for a relatively large fan grille to help keep air moving.

Anker PowerWave 7.5W Stand

In my testing, the PowerWave 7.5W Stand certainly lived up to Anker's claims of charging speed, as it was able to charge my iPhone X battery from 10 percent to 56 percent in just one hour. Nearly all of the over two dozen other chargers I've tested have only been able to reach between 38 and 43 percent over that time period. Whether charging speed is important depends on your individual use patterns, and some users have concerns over fast charging having a negative impact on long-term battery health, which is also part of the reason for having a fan to keep things cooler. But for many people, the risk to long-term battery health is worth it if they can top off their phones more quickly when they're dropped onto a charger.

While the fan helps keep things cool and lets the charger maintain optimal charging speed for longer, it does make some noise. The stand generates an audible whirring sound that can be heard even from across a quiet room. For that reason, you might want to think twice about using this charger on a nightstand or in other quiet environments. But in a busy office setting with noise around or if you typically have music or other sounds playing while your phone is charging, it may not be noticeable.

I also tested out the $45.99 PowerWave 7.5W Pad, and interestingly, it didn't charge my iPhone X quite as quickly as the stand did, but it was still able to outperform nearly every other charger I've tested, boosting my battery from 10 percent to 49 percent in an hour. Otherwise, this is a pretty typical pad-style charger, although it does have a similar eye-catching white color to the stand and is a little bulkier than some other pads due to the fan underneath the pad.

Anker PowerWave 7.5W Pad

Both the stand and the charger have distinctive small, circular, blue LEDs that light up while charging and flash to let you know if there'a problem. The LEDs are subtle enough that they're not distracting even in dark rooms. The pad's fan is audible, although it sounds significantly quieter than the stand.

Beyond Apple's strict requirements, there's another reason these PowerWave chargers are priced a bit higher than some of Anker's other offerings, and that's the fact that not only do you get a micro-USB cable but also a compact 18-watt Quick Charge 3.0 power adapter with folding prongs and a single USB-A port. The inclusion of the power adapter is important, as these chargers require a Quick Charge 3.0 adapter in order to work at all. If you plug the charger into another power adapter like one of Apple's iPhone or iPad adapters, or even a standard USB port on a hub, the charger will not charge your phone. That's something to keep in mind depending on how you're planning to use the chargers.

Anker's new PowerWave chargers are launching today on Amazon, and the company is submitting them to the Wireless Power Consortium for official Qi certification. The PowerWave stand is normally priced at $49.99 and the PowerWave pad at $45.99, but for a limited time Anker is offering a special deal through Amazon that gives you 15 percent off one charger (promo code POWER752) or 20 percent off two or more (promo code POWER753).

Note: Anker provided the wireless chargers to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.

Tag: Anker

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
29 months ago
Interesting wallpaper

Can we get that image? :)

Edit I guess you just took a pic of your case
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
I have the 5W version of the stand. It has no fan, costs half as much and comes in black.

It’s fast enough to keep my phone topped off while I’m at the desk.

But whichever you buy, a standing charger is awesome. Zero friction when picking it up and works great with FaceID.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

While wireless charging is cool, the value is not there. You're better off with wired when in a pinch and slow trickle wireless charging (i.e. cheaper solution) overnight.

IMO the point is convenient charging, not fast, efficient charging, although 7.5W is nice.

I don't care much for the "pad" charger, but the "stand" charger is a revelation to me. I have one of these at work, and I just park it on the stand effortlessly, and lift it just as effortlessly when I need to take a break / go to lunch / go to meetings / etc. Under those circumstances, you're going to connect / disconnect frequently, yet are unlikely to require large amounts of charge quickly. Perfect use case.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Micro usb? What the hell?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

I am waiting patiently for AirPower so I can also charge my Series 3. Take my money Apple. I am ready no matter how expensive it is!

This is a great example of how we have ended up with incremental updates and phones costing 1k+.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
I really wanted to like these but they lost me at fan noise.... I charge overnight on a night table right next to me so that's a no go... I'll stick to the anker pad I have now which is nice and thin, and gets the job done.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Doubles the Price of RAM Upgrade on Entry-Level 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Saturday May 30, 2020 4:00 pm PDT by
Apple today doubled the price for upgrading the RAM on the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, with customers in the United States now being charged $200 to move from 8GB to 16GB compared to the previous $100 upgrade price. Similar increases are seen in other countries, such as moving from €125 to €250 in Germany and from £100 to £200 in the United Kingdom. Current pricing on RAM upgrade for ...

8 Mac Tips and Tricks You Might Not Know

Friday May 29, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
There are tons of hidden features and shortcuts for Macs that Apple has built into macOS over the years, ranging from shortcuts to keyboard commands to other little hacks to make Mac usage just a bit simpler. In our latest YouTube video, we highlighted several of these tips and tricks, and some of them might just be new to you. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Tr...

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iPhone XR Models

Thursday May 28, 2020 9:50 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished iPhone XR models in select colors and capacities for the first time in the United States. Refurbished iPhone XR models are priced at a roughly 16 percent discount compared to current pricing on brand-new units, knocking $100–120 off of the regular price. In addition to the 64GB and 128GB capacities matching current brand-new iPhone XR models, ...

Top Stories: macOS 10.15.5, New Powerbeats Pro Colors, iPhone 12 and 13 Rumors, and More

Saturday May 30, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting mix of news and rumors on the Apple front, led by the release of macOS 10.15.5, which brings a new battery health feature to newer Mac notebooks, while we also saw the official announcement of new colors for the Powerbeats Pro earphones. On the rumor front, we heard a few tidbits about not just this year's iPhone 12 but also next year's iPhone, while we saw...

Powerbeats Pro Debut in Four New Colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue

Friday May 29, 2020 10:00 am PDT by
Following a couple of leaks in recent weeks, Beats today is officially announcing four new colors for its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new earphones will go on sale June 9 and sell for the same $249.95 price as the existing color options. Aside from the colors, the new Powerbeats Pro models are otherwise identical to the...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

Apple Making It Harder to Avoid Nagging macOS Update Notifications

Thursday May 28, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 and related security updates for macOS Mojave and High Sierra earlier this week, Apple is making it more difficult for users to ignore available software updates and remain on their current operating system versions. Included in the release notes for macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is the following:- Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when...

Leaker Shares Details on 'iPhone 13' Camera [Updated]

Wednesday May 27, 2020 4:27 pm PDT by
The next-generation iPhone 12 lineup coming in fall 2020 isn't out yet, but Fudge (@choco_bit), a leaker who sometimes shares information on upcoming Apple devices, today offered up details on what Apple has in store for the 2021 iPhone 13's camera setup. A simple design drawing depicts a device with a four camera array, which Fudge claims will have the following features: 64-megapixel...

More Photos and Video of Apple's Redesigned Leather Loop Watch Band Surface

Thursday May 28, 2020 10:50 am PDT by
Images of a new version of the Leather Loop that Apple appears to have in development surfaced yesterday, and today, Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn has shared additional photos and videos that give us a clearer picture of what to expect from the new band. The bands come in colors that include red, hot pink, blue, black, and brown, with some of the bands featuring different colored accents at the...

Tile Writes to EU Accusing Apple of Abuse of Power

Friday May 29, 2020 4:29 am PDT by
Bluetooth accessory maker Tile has written to the European Union accusing Apple of abuse of power and of illegally favoring its own products. According to a report by Financial Times, in a letter sent on Tuesday to the European Commissioner for Competition, the accessory maker said that Apple is making it harder for users to use Tile products on iPhone because it has its own rival Find My...