If you’ve got a reasonably modern smart phone, you’ll want to get yourself a wireless charger for your Tesla Model 3.
Having had a TapTes wireless charger in my car for a while, one thing really frustrated me with it. Having asked about that issue online vs the Tesla version, I went ahead and spent the £120 for the Tesla version.
I thought it’d be useful to compare the two before I sell on the TapTes one. To be really clear, this is not a paid review, I purchased both the Official and TapTes charger with my own money.
What’s in the box
As you’d expect from a pricier item, the packaging for the Tesla unit looks and feels a bit classier, it’s also a fair bit bigger too.
Inside the box for the official charger you get the wireless charging pad (USB cables can not be removed from the back of the unit) and an extended phone shelf.
TapTes (most generic 3rd party chargers)
Inside the box for the 3rd party charger you get the wireless charging pad, the USB cables that plug into the back of the unit and also two USB splitters so you don’t end up using all your available USB ports in the car. There is also a built in USB-C charging cable in the built in phone shelf on the TapTes unit (likely on others) should you wish to charge a compatible Android phone.
Fit and finish
The Tesla unit definitely feels more like an OEM part, it’s a softer grey colour and clips in better to the new shelf. The thing to mention is that there is more design that has gone into the Tesla unit. What made me order this was that you can lift up the phone tray / wireless charging pad with the charger on and it doesn’t catch on the cover, as it curves at the top as you can see in the photos.
There’s nothing wrong with the build quality of the TapTes unit, but there is just less thought about the design (catches on the lid, no clips at the bottom to lock it in place etc..)
EDIT – 4/6/2020 – Just noticed that TapTes have another new version of the charger available that seems to be curved at the top of the charging unit, similar to the Tesla one, hopefully avoiding this issue in future – Link below.
Videos of the annoying issue that got me to buy the Tesla charger.
Pros and cons for both
Official Tesla charger
Pros – Fit and finish more in keeping with the design of the car, doesn’t catch on the lid when lifting it up to get to the storage underneath, texture on the unit feels more grippy.
Cons – Can only charge in portrait mode, no built in capability for charging via cable, no LED status lights, expensive, design that attracts dust.
Aftermarket (TapTes in this instance) charger
Pros – Much more affordable price, LED status lights, portrait and landscape charging, built in charging cable for non wireless capable phones, splitters included in the box.
Cons – Fit not great in that it’s not as secure in the car and also to my annoyance it catches on the lid when opening, not quite as OEM looking.
EDIT 4/6/20 – As above, TapTes now have a version with the curved top, hopefully avoiding the issue of the charger catching on the lid
The aftermarket options are great value, charge your phone as expected and don’t look too out of place in your car. However, the time hasn’t been spent on finessing the design as they are made to price, which is why you get the design issue of not being able to lift up the phone pad to get to the storage.
If the issue mentioned above doesn’t phase you, then there’s no absolute need to spend the extra money as the phone will charge and you have the option of landscape if you wanted it too.
For me, being a bit OCD with these things, I’m happy I’ve moved over to the Tesla charger, even though it was a fair bit more expensive.
Other charging options are also discussed on another entry on this site: Charging your phone in your Tesla Model 3
VXDAS Tesla Model 3 wireless charging pad – No landscape option but priced keenly with good reviews and available in the UK for quick shipment.
VXDAS Tesla Model 3 wireless charging pad with landscape option – As above but with the option for landscape for a slightly higher price
TapTes Tesla Model 3 wireless charging pad – As per the above pictures, shipment from China though which is definitely not as fast as it was before COVID-19
NEW TapTes Model 3 wireless charging pad with the curved top – Hopefully addressing the issue of the charger catching on the lid, I’ve not tested this but the design principal is the same as the official Tesla unit.
If you are purchasing a wireless charger, you will want to get a USB hub of some kind to ensure you still have USB ports available to you. Here are some blog entries I’ve done on options and a review of the TapTes hub.