Tech Review: Cygnett Wireless Desk Charger and MagMount Qi Wireless Car Charger

Being able to wirelessly charge your phone is kind of the dream for most working professionals. No mucking around looking for a cable that will inevitably fray, you just toss it on the charge plate and grab it when you’re ready. With the advent of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, both Qi certified devices, Cygnett are getting on board with the new breed of wireless charging.

Wireless Desk Charger
The Cygnett Wireless Desk Charger, a silver disc that resembles an especially futuristic coaster, sits on your desk and is powered by a USB cable connected either to your computer or to a wall charger. It’s very simple to use — as long as there’s power, you just throw your phone down on top of it and the charging begins.

And that’s really it. Super straightforward, which makes reviewing this device a bit of challenge — that’s really all there is to it. Your phone charges quickly thanks to 9V fast charging and the disc has a nonslip surface to keep your phone from vibrating off the charger should a call come in or the old group chat gets a bit raucous.

If there’s anything about this device that makes me question its usefulness, it’s this:  if the disc is powered by a USB cable, what’s the difference between using this device, and just charging my phone with my regular iPhone cable? Not that much, as far as I can tell. Plugging the phone in and unplugging it when I’m done is only one step further than putting it down and picking it up again. Perhaps if I was juggling multiple Qi-ready phones I would feel differently.

MagMount Qi Wireless Car Charger
This is very similar to the Wireless Desk Charger except you pin it to one of the air vents in your car and use a magnet to hold your phone to its surface so you can charge it while driving and still use your phone as a GPS (if you do that sort of thing).

On the whole, this is a device that I found much more useful than the Wireless Desk Charger. Being able to simply stick my phone to the magnetic pad and grab it when I was ready to get out of the car again was great. It doesn’t take up much room around your instrument cluster, it looks quite nice particularly if your interior is grey or black and it’s quite practical regardless of whether your a professional or everyday user.

Put Em Together
Here’s the thing I wish I’d known when I began the review of both of these devices — they don’t work with anything below an iPhone 8, iPhone X or Qi-ready Android smart phones. That’s my own stupid fault, I should have done my research. Nevertheless, I own an iPhone 6 which does not support Qi wireless charging. This, therefore, means my phone would not work with either of these devices. I could certainly stick it to the MagMount, but I couldn’t charge it. That’s something you should know because I can see a lot of people grabbing these off the shelf at JB Hifi thinking they’ll work with their older model phones. The text on the front of both boxes clearly states which phones they work with, but it is quite small and easy to miss. So if you don’t own an 8 or an X or a particularly new and flashy Android, then consider yourself warned.

It took me a few days to find someone who owned an iPhone 8 and was willing to let me test these devices with their device, but I got there, and my friend was ultimately quite impressed with both chargers having not realised their iPhone could be charged wirelessly with such ease.

Case-by-case, I think the MagMount is the stronger of the two offerings. It certainly proved to be the most useful of the two overall. The Desk Charger is certainly quite pretty but, to me at least, it felt a bit like a solution in search of a problem. Both of these devices are available from your nearest electronics retailer now.

Wireless Desk Charger: 6.5 out of 10
Magmount Qi Wireless Car Charger: 8.5 out of 10
Manufacturer: Cygnett
MagMount Qi Wireless Car Charger – $89.95
PowerBase Wireless Desk Charger – $79.95
Available: Now

Review units supplied by the manufacturer.

Images: Supplied

An earlier version of this piece listed incorrect pricing for both devices and has been updated to reflect the correct amounts.


This content has recently been ported from its original home on The Iris and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT

David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.