Tesla Wireless Charging Platform review: A premium, Tesla-branded AirPower clone

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in iPhone
Tesla has just released its latest fast charger. It isn't for your car, but rather for your iPhone and other Qi devices -- and it's very different.

The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform
The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform


After getting a sneak preview earlier this year, we finally get to thoroughly review Tesla's first multi-device wireless charger.

It joins other oddities from Tesla, like its desktop cable management solution or portable wireless charger. Like the others, it aims to extend the Tesla brand as a premium accessory.

In total, it can charge up to three devices at up to 15W each and is big enough to fit two "plus" or "max" sized iPhones.

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Dark, menacing aesthetic

This Tesla charger is almost the antithesis of Apple's design language. Everything is a dark, brooding black, from the power adapter to the cable, to the pad itself.

The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform power supply
The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform power supply


While other manufacturers are stripping chargers from their products, Tesla opted to include one with its wireless charger. Not just any charger, but rather a Tesla-designed one you can't get anywhere else.

It has sharp angles like the Cyber Truck and can output 65W of power. We'd have preferred one with collapsable prongs or a secondary USB output, but it is nice to have a Tesla-styled one bundled.

The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform and charger in the box
The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform and charger in the box


When you open the box, you see the charging pad next to the power adapter nestled in and on display. When you lift the charging pad, you'll notice the weight immediately.

It's all aluminum giving it plenty of added heft though the pebbled texture can give off a slight plastic appearance. The underside has silicone rails that keep it in place and grooves where the stand fits together.

The stand, also aluminum, connects magnetically. The silicone, grooves, weight, and magnets all ensure it stays securely in place without any screws, clips, or moving parts.

The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform magnetic stand
The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform magnetic stand


If you use the stand, it will prop up the charger at a slight angle, easily positioning it on your desk or nightstand to view your devices. Optionally, omit the stand, and it will lay nearly flat.

The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform status light
The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform status light


When a device is placed on the charger, a status light illuminates. The light comes on bright to let you know a device has begun charging but then will dim.

The light also points slightly downward, which is helpful if you place it bedside, so the light doesn't point at your face.

The subtle Tesla logo
The subtle Tesla logo


Finally, there's a subtle Tesla logo stamped on the front. It's a gloss black logo on the matte black body that doesn't stand out but is there if you look for it.

Like AirPower, but it exists

Immediately what makes the Tesla wireless charger different is that it is a free placement Qi charger, akin to Apple's failed AirPower. You can place the phone nearly anywhere on its surface, and it will commence charging.

Charge any angle
Charge your devices anywhere


The charger uses Freepower tech, which we first saw in the ill-fated Base Station Pro. Shortly after the Base Station Pro was released, Apple introduced MagSafe.

Apple MagSafe uses an array of magnets that interfered with the Freepower technology and made iPhone 12 units charge far too slowly on the large surface. Since then, Freepower has been working diligently to play nice with MagSafe.

The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform uses copper coils
The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform uses a bunch of copper coils


This new charger shirks those initial woes and works flawlessly with any MagSafe phone, non-MagSafe phone, or Qi device. In doing so, it moved away from a printed circuit board to a more traditional copper coil layout.

The whole idea here is that you don't need to align your device for maximum charging speed. Toss down your phone, earbuds, or power bank, and you'll instantly be charging.

Charging an iPhone on the Tesla Wireless Charging Platform
Charging an iPhone on the Tesla Wireless Charging Platform


With a standard Qi charger, any deviation off-center can drastically hurt your charging speed and efficiency. Freepower alleviates those woes.

Two sets of AirPods on the Tesla charger
Two sets of AirPods on the Tesla charger


For iPhone users, though, MagSafe still be a more attractive option. MagSafe can reach up to 15W of charging while the Tesla Wireless Charging Station caps at 7.5W for iPhones (non-iPhones can go up to 15W).

Should you buy the Tesla wireless charger?

For as good as the Tesla Wireless Charging Platform is, there are still considerable drawbacks. For many iPhone users, this will still be a tough buy.

Functionally, this works flawlessly. It has so many little touches, such as the flat cable that can route through the magnetic stand, the status light that dims to be unobtrusive, and the massive charging surface that fits up to three devices.

The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform
The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform with three devices


There is something a little freeing about quite literally tossing your gear onto the surface and knowing it will charge without thinking about it. For multi-platform households with some Android devices, this could be ideal.

Currently, there are no other free placement wireless chargers that work as Tesla's does.

If you're all-in on Apple's ecosystem, though, MagSafe is probably a better choice. You can get up to twice the charging speed for iPhones, and the magnetic alignment still ensures you don't have to line your phone up to charge.

The price is also inflated here, likely because of that Tesla logo emblazoned on the front. $300 is a lot to cough up for a charger.

This is possibly the nicest, most high-quality charger we've tested, with unique features and premium materials. It's just hard to recommend wholeheartedly.

The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform
The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform

Pros

  • Incredibly solid all-metal construction

  • As premium as it gets

  • Freeplacement surface

  • Solid charging speeds

  • USB-C charging brick included

  • Optional magnetic stand

Cons

  • Not as fast as MagSafe

  • Cable is non-removable

  • USB-C power adapter may be superfluous

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Grab the new Tesla Wireless Charging Platform from Tesla's website for $300 with orders shipping in March.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    jas99jas99 Posts: 156member
    This screams out “lack of focus”. There is absolutely no reason for Tesla to issue products like this. They need to take care of their primary business, and say no to superfluous products that simply take time and attention away from their very challenging primary product.
    napoleon_phoneapartlkruppStrangeDaysradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 32
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,857moderator
    With a standard Qi charger, any deviation off-center can drastically hurt your charging speed and efficiency. Freepower alleviates those woes.”

    Are we sure about alleviating efficiency woes?  There’s a reason MagSafe tightly aligns a iPhone’s coil with the charging coil.

    Also, the whole thing seems a bit, inelegant.  Not unlike the Cybertruck it’s patterned after.  (And that’s coming from a Tesla fan and shareholder.)
    edited March 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 32
    Can it charge an apple watch?
    caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 32
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,786member
    Looks fantastic, plenty of room for multiple devices, unobtrusive design, great build quality, what’s not to like? 

    $300? Dang. 

    But I’d still like to buy one. 

    Maybe after the iPhone 15 and next gen watch are in my hands. 
    neoncatbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,786member
    “With a standard Qi charger, any deviation off-center can drastically hurt your charging speed and efficiency. Freepower alleviates those woes.”

    Are we sure about alleviating efficiency woes?  There’s a reason MagSafe tightly aligns a iPhone’s coil with the charging coil.

    Also, the whole thing seems a bit, inelegant.  Not unlike the Cybertruck it’s patterned after.  (And that’s coming from a Tesla fan and shareholder.)
    It’s definitely more Blade Runner than Apple (as is the Cybertruck), but it works and it isn’t so different that it ruins any schema going on. It’s a black rectangular slab. I think that fits with any modern and elegant theme. 
    neoncatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 32
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,786member
    jas99 said:
    This screams out “lack of focus”. There is absolutely no reason for Tesla to issue products like this. They need to take care of their primary business, and say no to superfluous products that simply take time and attention away from their very challenging primary product.
    Let’s see - Tesla uses electricity to enhance our travel  lives, makes car chargers to keep the batteries charged, harnesses solar to enhance our home lives, and now makes a charger to enhance our communications lives and keep our devices charged. 

    Seems like it fits the ethos very well. 

    Added revenue stream from a product that caters to the best selling ecosystem in the devices market sound like smart business as well. And since they’ve pretty much nailed most, if not all the challenges presented to them in developing electric vehicles, there’s plenty of room to develop a very small product like a phone charger. Tesla drivers use phones, eh? Give them the Tesla charging experience they know and love with their cars - for their devices. It’s a no-brainer really. Good business and smart move. 

    Separate and apart from the Tesla brand, As most of the types of chargers suck, it’s nice to see one with class, usefulness, and ruggedness. 

    You want to see “lack of focus?” Visit a BMW dealership and take a peak in the showroom floor. Doodads and knickknacks galore, most of which aren’t automobile related. 
    byronl
  • Reply 7 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    If it can’t charge an Apple Watch then what’s the use to an Apple user?
    jibcaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 32
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,342member
    While it is nice to see that the AirPower concept can work, I think this review reveals the real reasons Apple abandoned their project:

    1. Inefficiency — they realized there was a better way, and thus we got MagSafe
    2. Safety concerns/inefficiency — I’m sure the Tesla version is currently safe, but I’ll bet it gets pretty warm when three devices are on it, and I have to wonder how well it will age over time. In addition, it’s simply not a very efficient charger for iPhones, and likely an inefficient Qi charger by any standards.
    3. Expense — $300 can buy you a LOT of MagSafe chargers. IIRC, Apple would have sold the AirPower for about the same amount, meaning regular consumers would not really have bought them in sufficient quantities.

    Tesla fans, OTOH, are used to paying — and paying some more — for their stuff.
    entropysradarthekatbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 32
    waveparticlewaveparticle Posts: 1,497member
    At this premium price, it should include a rechargeable battery before I consider one. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,971member
    Sorry, but will never buy anything that adds to the dragon hoard of that South African white guy who deep in his soul believes turning his country back to its Blacks was a mistake. 
    9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 32
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,920member
    Non-removable cable? Not fast charging? And not an issue for me, but it doesn’t swap out for in-Tesla console placement?

    Man you gotta love Tesla to fork out $300 for this. 
    edited March 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 32
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,899member
    Seems likely that Mush heard about the AirPower failure and ordered his people to make the tech work so he could thumb his nose at Apple. Any day now he will make some snide comment on Twitter or somewhere regarding this product and Apple. Tesla does amazing things and is organized to make things happen quickly. They employ a lot of hard working big thinkers. Watch the almost four hour long Investors Day 2023 video on Youtube and you'll see that Tesla as a company and it's employees are much greater than it's CEO. I have no doubt that nearly all of the things Mush takes credit for and presents as his ideas are 100% not.
    edited March 2023 radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 32
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,786member
    chasm said:
    While it is nice to see that the AirPower concept can work, I think this review reveals the real reasons Apple abandoned their project:

    1. Inefficiency — they realized there was a better way, and thus we got MagSafe
    2. Safety concerns/inefficiency — I’m sure the Tesla version is currently safe, but I’ll bet it gets pretty warm when three devices are on it, and I have to wonder how well it will age over time. In addition, it’s simply not a very efficient charger for iPhones, and likely an inefficient Qi charger by any standards.
    3. Expense — $300 can buy you a LOT of MagSafe chargers. IIRC, Apple would have sold the AirPower for about the same amount, meaning regular consumers would not really have bought them in sufficient quantities.

    Tesla fans, OTOH, are used to paying — and paying some more — for their stuff.
    And apple fans aren’t? LOL

    You get what you pay for. You want something nice? Buy Apple and Tesla. 

    You can pay less, but then you get android and Chevy. 
    neoncatApplejacsradarthekatMplsPbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 32
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,786member
    welshdog said:
    Seems likely that Mush heard about the AirPower failure and ordered his people to make the tech work so he could thumb his nose at Apple. Any day now he will make some snide comment on Twitter or somewhere regarding this product and Apple. Tesla does amazing things and is organized to make things happen quickly. They employ a lot of hard working big thinkers. Watch the almost four hour long Investors Day 2023 video on Youtube and you'll see that Tesla as a company and it's employees are much greater than it's CEO. I have no doubt that nearly all of the things Mush takes credit for and presents as his ideas are 100% not.
    Just like Jobs(especially Jobs. Amazing as he was, dude took credit for everything. Even had his name on the patents), Cook, and most any CEO. that role gets presented a million ideas a year. It’s up to them to ensure it’s:

    a) good
    b) viable
    c) profitable
    d) fitting

    not necessarily in that order. 

    If a CEO approves an idea and directs the company to pursue it, it’s a risk for that person as there remains much in the way of engineering, management, supply chain, sales channels, and marketing to do. If it’s a failure, the CEO takes the blame and repercussions. It follows then, that they deserve some credit for the successes as well. Lots of people have good ideas. Not so many can turn them into a successful-selling reality. 
    edited March 2023 byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 32
    omasouomasou Posts: 592member
    Is Apple the only company that knows how to build a universal power charger into a device with country specific cords/plugs instead of a bulky, ugly, space blocking/sucking brick?
    radarthekat9secondkox2
  • Reply 16 of 32
    waveparticlewaveparticle Posts: 1,497member
    chasm said:
    While it is nice to see that the AirPower concept can work, I think this review reveals the real reasons Apple abandoned their project:

    1. Inefficiency — they realized there was a better way, and thus we got MagSafe
    2. Safety concerns/inefficiency — I’m sure the Tesla version is currently safe, but I’ll bet it gets pretty warm when three devices are on it, and I have to wonder how well it will age over time. In addition, it’s simply not a very efficient charger for iPhones, and likely an inefficient Qi charger by any standards.
    3. Expense — $300 can buy you a LOT of MagSafe chargers. IIRC, Apple would have sold the AirPower for about the same amount, meaning regular consumers would not really have bought them in sufficient quantities.

    Tesla fans, OTOH, are used to paying — and paying some more — for their stuff.
    And apple fans aren’t? LOL

    You get what you pay for. You want something nice? Buy Apple and Tesla. 

    You can pay less, but then you get android and Chevy. 
    I would not buy a Tesla EV without Apple CarPlay. 
    radarthekatigorskywatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 32
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,195member
    Sorry, but will never buy anything that adds to the dragon hoard of that South African white guy who deep in his soul believes turning his country back to its Blacks was a mistake. 
    Seriously? I mean, seriously?
    9secondkox2Japheybyronl
  • Reply 18 of 32
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,265member
    FTA:
    The price is also inflated here, likely because of that Tesla logo emblazoned on the front.”

    Isn’t that what Apple critics say about products with an Apple logo emblazoned them? We counter that it’s worth the extra money, as it’s a great product. I wager Tesla would say the same thing. 
    edited March 2023 muthuk_vanalingam9secondkox2byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 32
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,128member
    BiC said:
    They have a history of BURNiNG your car down - I hope it doesn't burn your house down!  I've never heard of a Challenger being burned down with the exception of a Nascar Race but that's a complete different story.  Canadian OiL for LiFE.
    Well, now you have:
    https://swartzlaw.com/chrysler-recalls-dodge-challengers-v6-for-risk-of-fire/

    And
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWdK40v0XK4

    There's a lot of pretty spectacular fire photos.

    Canadian Chevy Bolt Driver for Life!  :D
    byronl
  • Reply 20 of 32
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,977member
    Let’s get this out of the way there is no such thing as a wireless charger right now today, one day, you will be able to carry around your iPhone or some other device set it on the table, take it with you on the trip do nothing and it will charge as if by magic that’s wireless, that day is not here yet. It will be available to the public in 50 years or 100 years and the people in the future will look back and laugh.

    And that Tesla charger looks as bad as the dashboard in a Tesla, or the Ribbons UI in Windows, don’t waste any money trying to design a smart phone, Elon.
    edited March 2023 radarthekat9secondkox2
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