People who know Anker will most likely associate three adjectives with the brand: affordable, high quality, awesome customer service. Well, lately, there's a fourth adjective to be add: beautiful design.
I'm not saying that the products were ugly before. They were just not visually appealing enough to be of much notice. For most of us, those three initial adjectives were more than enough. That has been changing for a while now, specially with Anker's sister brands such as Nebula, Eufy and Zolo - now SoundCore. Anker's PowerPort Wireless line of chargers had already shown a design consciousness, and now the PowerWave series takes it up a notch. Side note: the Eufy EverCam is gorgeous!
The box retains its simple blue-on-white design without any added elements, but the PowerWave box has some embossed illustrations that are just noticeable enough to make a nice tough, while retaining the simplicity we came to know and love. But the real beauty, as is often the case, is inside:
Ain't it beautiful?
The white pad is so beautiful you could just swap the Anker logo for one of the most famous ones and it would be at home - yes, even the Cupertino one. Just like the box, it's simple yet noticeable, with the shade of the rubbery top perfectly complementing the white case, the LED indicator with just the right size and brightness. You can practically tell your phone will be comfortable standing on top of it. While I don't have a PowerWave Stand, I can tell by the photos it will be just as nice.
But being white is not the main point of this charger. Being fast is. That's why Anker presents us with the whole solution: the charging pad, a Micro-USB cable, and a PowerPort+ 1 with Quick Charge 3.0. Everything you need to achieve fast wireless charging right out of the box. While I don't have the means or the knowledge to measure power output and get more technical, I can tell it was able to charge my iPhone 8 about as fast as charging wired through the little brick that came with the phone. Since it's meant to be the "always there" charger, one you put on your office or on your bedside table, it's a great companion for every phone able to charge wirelessly.
The whole package, quite literally
The specs mention a cooling fan, and we can see the vents on the underside. It's true that nor the pad or the phone heat up a lot while using it, but the fan is so silent I couldn't actually tell it was working. I must mention, though, I never had heating issues with my other wireless chargers - a 1st generation PowerPort Wireless and the console on my car.
Cooling fan vents. Don't worry, you have to put your ear to it and listen really hard to notice.
Speaking of other chargers, here's where I came from once I decided the issued brick and cable on my phone wouldn't cut it for my bedside table:
The evolution of my bedside table charging. How far I came!
You'll notice how larger the PowerWave is compared to the PowerPort Wireless. It makes for a much easier target, while providing more support surface area for the phone, which translates into less false-placements - granted, it was also a non-issue with the PowerPort. But there is an outstanding improvement in one aspect: the indicator light. In the PowerPort, the blue LED is bright enough to illuminate the area at night. Not ideal for a bedside table. I had to cover it with electric tape. The LED in the PowerWave is much dimmer, just a subtil indication that the charging is happening. There's no light otherwise - the PowerPort would turn a red LED on, though it wasn't nearly as bright as the blue.
One thing that was already great in the PowerPort and is even better in the PowerWave: reach. The charger will start working way before the phone is actually touching the pad, even with the case on. I'm using an Apple silicone case and, from completely non measured observations, the pad would work with a case three times as thick. I tried to film it to make it more clear but could't get a good shot, but I could hold the phone in the air a little over the pad and it would charge. If you have problems charging with a case, either the case is crazy thick or it's made from a material which prevents the current to pass. Change the case, not the charger.
There's little to be unsatisfied with the PowerWave 7.5 Pad. If I were to be really picky, the cable could be a little longer. I guess some people would also like to have more colour options - something Anker has yet to address in several products. In my case, it matches beautifully my white bedside table, so I have the added benefit of stealthiness. And that's really it. The price is somewhat steeper than the younger brother PowerPort 5, but it comes with the Quick Charge adapter, so it's not really that more expensive. If you are on the market for a wireless charger, you can't go wrong with the PowerWave 7.5 Pad - and I'll go on a limb here and say the Stand as well.