Although new iPhone-designed wireless chargers from Belkin and Mophie might lead many iPhone users to believe that the wireless charging is somewhat proprietary, the reality is that Apple has promised that the new iPhone lineup is fully Qi compatible and should therefore work with any compliant wireless charger that’s on the market, so we were curious to take a slight departure from the key solutions that Apple promoted in its keynote and take a look at a wireless charging base that’s been on the market since before wireless charging was even on Apple’s iPhone drawing board.
Incipio’s Ghost Qi 15W Wireless Charging Base was originally debuted at CES 2016 aimed at users of Samsung and other Android devices at the time. It’s a small and relatively unremarkable square charging pad measuring 3.5 inches on each side and about half-an-inch in height. It’s accompanied by a 24 watt power adapter that connects to the back with a standard small barrel connector. The top of the base features the Incipio logo and a rubberized surface to prevent scratching, although depending in the case you’re using it won’t prevent the iPhone from sliding around as effectively as the other charging bases we’ve recently looked at.
As you’d expect, using Ghost Qi is a matter of plugging it in and placing your iPhone on top to let it begin charging. An LED on the front will illuminate white when a Qi-compatible device is placed on top, but also provides a red status indication when a metallic device is detected that is not Qi-comaptible, or presumably if a device is not placed properly for charging. Incipio makes no specific claims about case compatibility, but we found that wireless charging worked fine through all of the usual cases — the same cases that worked with Belkin’s and Mophie’s charging pads worked equally well with Ghost Qi, and the few that failed — mostly cases that already support Qi charging themselves and primarily metallic cases — predictably failed on all three. Cases also did not appear to impact charging performance in any way.
The most notable thing about Ghost Qi is that it’s capable of providing 15 watts of power — double that of Belkin’s and Mophie’s products. This is largely irrelevant for iPhone users, however, since as of this writing Apple still limits the iPhone wireless charging capabilities to a mere five watts, and although the company has promised to increase this in a future iOS update, we doubt very much we’ll see it go beyond the 7.5 watts that the Apple-endorsed Belkin and Mophie chargers are capable of delivering. However, users who have non-Apple devices that are capable of faster wireless charging will certainly appreciate the fact that Ghost Qi can deliver faster power to other devices while still fully supporting the latest iPhones.
Incipio’s Ghost Qi 15W Wireless Charging Base is a good example of an existing Qi charger that works great with the new lineup of iPhones, proving that you don’t necessarily need to buy an iPhone-specific model — after all, that’s the whole point of Apple adopting the Qi standard in the first place. That said, our experiences also demonstrate the value of going with a reputable manufacturer; Incipio’s charger works great, but we had mixed results with several lower end off-brand chargers, so you’re getting what you’re paying for here. While we still think that Belkin’s Boost Up and Mophie’s Wireless Charging Base get an edge for their nicer design elements, Incipio’s Ghost Qi gets the job done equally well and provides the option of faster charging for other devices that support it.
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