If you have one of the latest iPhones that were released over the last 2-3 years, it’s likely your iPhone has wireless charging capability. So when it comes to charging your iPhone in your car, you might want to lose all those wires completely and go with a wireless mounting solution in your vehicle. Even more so now that you can turn your wired CarPlay system into a wireless Apple CarPlay system. In this review we will be looking at the latest wireless charger from Anker, the PowerWave Face Wireless Car Charger.
The Anker PowerWave Face Wireless Car Charger is an air vent mounted phone holder with a powered Qi-certified backing plate that offers up to a maximum of 10W wireless charging to your smartphone once it has been placed into the mount.
The mount comes with two available mounting clamp types to suit how you wish to place the mount in your vehicle and also allow this specific device to be mounted on more vehicles, including verticle vent slats also – which is not commonly supported with most air vent mounts.
The first clamp that comes bundled in the box is a type that I am seeing mounts adopt more of recently, and that is the crocodile jaws that are secured by rotating a lever that snaps down in place, which makes the jaws tighten onto the air vent blades. This mount from Anker features a flat jaw, which allows it to clamp on more parts of the plastic air vent blade. You simply spin the leaver around to open and reduce the opening of the jaw and to apply greater, locking pressure you simply move the lever over to lock it in place.
With this first clamp system, the weight of your smartphone is resting entirely on the air vent blades, which isn’t a good thing when you are also applying pressure on the phone when you use it. This is when the other clamp system on this mount comes into play. This second bundled clamp adopts a slightly different leaver system, the slimmer jaws still clamp over the air vent blades and a lever locks everything in place, however, below the clamp are two thick plastic legs that rest on the vent dash, thus supporting the whole clamp weight as well as the phone that rests inside it.
Both clamp systems have their merits. They both clamp really well, better than most air vent mounts in fact — and I’ve experienced many. Its jaws are more even and flat than some other clamps that I’ve reviewed, and this really does help reduce overall slippage and the whole mount coming off over time. As to which you choose, it really comes down to your dash layout. If they can support the arm supporting system, I would choose this type as it makes the mount far more stable.
At the bottom of the charging panel of the mount are two prongs/legs that help support the bottom of the smartphone. These legs can be adjusted in their height by releasing a small thumbscrew at the back of the mount to unlock the legs. The legs help you align your phone with the Qi charging plate, so you can get the best position to wirelessly charge from the mount.
With your phone placed on the Qi back charging panel of the mount you manually move both of its arms inwards to cradle and hug the device in place. Rubber inserts inside the arms help to grip the sides of the phone and the arms themselves are angled inwards to prevent the phone from falling forwards whilst the arms are tightened up against it.
When it is time to remove your phone, you can slide the phone out with some force, away from the gripping arms, but this can put pressure on the mount and air vent blades. Instead, you should release the grip from the arms by depressing a button on the right side of the mount. Doing so opens the arms outwards in a silky smooth motion. Releasing this button can lock the arms at their current position, so you don’t always have to open them out at 100%, but just enough to loosen the grip of the phone. This is a nice addition, but as a right-hand driver in the UK, the button is not that well located for me, and placing the button at the top of the backplate would have allowed for a more preferred continuous release of the arms and slide the phone out motion.
It seems ironic that, for a wireless charger, you still need to deal with a wire that powers the Qi wireless charging. Sadly the cable length supplied is a little short for anyone wishing to locate the cable to a power source that’s between your vehicle’s front seats. It will just reach but there isn’t enough length to stow the cable away discreetly. If your power source is located on the dash, this cable will serve you well enough without being too long in length that it would clutter up the console with a loose USB cable.
The PowerWave Face Wireless Car Charger doesn’t come with a USB 12v charger, so you will have to supply one yourself, or use a spare USB port on your vehicle’s dashboard. At a retail cost of $46.99 from Amazon, it is a shame a charger wasn’t included in the box. Overall though, the PowerWave Face Wireless Car Charger is a solidly constructed air vent charger with a lot of customisation tools and features to, not only fit any smartphone but more importantly, fit the air vent of your vehicle. It’s certainly not a tiny or discrete air vent mount, but its entire build quality is well constructed and with parts that are thick enough to reassure you that this mount will last a long time in your vehicle.