I've found the best iPhone charger for cars – and there's a desktop model, too

It only took me 15 years to find the best iPhone car charger, and now I want the desktop version as well

ESR HaloLock charger for iPhone
(Image credit: ESR)

I've had every iPhone since the 2001 original, and chargers have been a constant thorn in my side ever since – especially in the car, where the choice tends to be a huge suction cup on the windscreen that falls off when you hit a bump or a vent-mount one that blocks the air on a hot day and drops your phone when you hit a pothole. So you can trust me when I say that finding the best car charger earlier this year was a very happy day for me.

The charger I bought was the ESR HaloLock, which is a vent-mount but flexible enough not to block my aircon. And because it's MagSafe, I don't have to fiddle with wires any more: I keep the charger connected and simply attach my iPhone 13 Pro with a satisfying thunk. The magnets are really strong, which is handy because I do most of my driving in Glasgow where the potholes are more like sinkholes and every journey fills you with fear that your suspension will be shot by the time you make it to the supermarket. 

Unlike every other iPhone car charger I've ever owned, this one has never fallen off or let my iPhone fall out. It wasn't cheap – I paid about £40 – but this is my forever charger now. So I'm delighted to see that ESR is bringing essentially the same charger to my desk, where it can charge iPhones and AirPods alike.

ESR HaloLock

The car variant of the ESR HaloLock.

(Image credit: ESR)

The MagSafe charger that's faster than Apple's

The new desktop charger is the first of two: the HaloLock 2-in-1 wireless charger is for iPhones and wireless charging AirPods and is available now, and it'll be joined in August by a 3-in-1 that'll also charge your Apple Watch. Like my car charger it's MagSafe for the iPhone 12 and 13, and it's easy to adjust the angle for the best viewing and to move between portrait and landscape. You can also disable the status light if you're using it on your bedside table, although if it's the same brightness as the one in my car you probably won't need to: it's hardly retina-popping. 

If you don't already have a MagSafe charging case ESR will happily sell you one too; I've got an Apple one, although I'm not sure I'd recommend it: it hasn't lasted as well as my previous Apple iPhone cases despite the typically Apple price.

The unique selling point here is what ESR calls CryoBoost technology, which cools your phone while it's charging to deliver faster charging speeds. It's a combination of a small fan and a heatsink. When you connect it to an 18W or better power adapter it'll charge faster than Apple's MagSafe, even if you're using the phone for something demanding at the same time.

I think I'm going to get this one. The car version is brilliant and I'm way overdue investing in a decent desktop charger for my phone and various earbuds. Like the car charger it isn't the cheapest option – it's $59 in the US and £41.99 here, and you need to provide your own power adapter – but it looks like it's the best wireless iPhone charger for me.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).