At Apple’s much ballyhooed iPhone press event in September, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X were all announced to support wireless charging for the first time. Not only that, but they adopted the popular Qi wireless charging standard seen in many Android phones on the market.
We’ve explored everything you need to know about wireless charging and how it works, so now let’s take a look at one of the most prominent wireless chargers out there, the Belkin BOOST UP Qi charging pad.
The BOOST UP was prominently featured during the keynote as one of two options that Apple will have available in Apple Stores. That doesn’t mean these are the only two chargers that work. We’ve featured many of your options aside from Belkin. Considering that Apple worked closely with Belkin in the development of this charging pad, we thought it only relevant we try it.
Charging pads are pretty simple. In many ways, they are similar to Lightning cables. Not a whole lot to touch on other than build quality, special features, what’s included and performance.
In the box, you will find a power cable and the charging pad. Unlike others, it uses a proprietary cable to power itself. The good news is, it makes a more seamless experience. The cord is made to match the curvature of the underside of the pad, going in flush. The power adapter side is also fairly slim, leaving room on the sides and top for a second item to be plugged into the outlet.
This is Belkin, so build quality is pretty top notch. It feels like a solid device and the soft-touch finish on the top gives it a more premium feeling. It is still on the light side, but that is to be expected.
What I thought was really impressive is the small silicone ring around the top. This just helps the iPhone not slip off as it is charging. It is small, subtle and actually quite strong.
I literally held my charging pad nearly perpendicular to the ground and the phone pretty much stayed put. I like this a lot. Chances are the cat, or even my crazy dog could jump around and knock my phone just off kilter enough to stop the charging. This little ring will help prevent that.
As a simple charging mat, there isn’t an excessive amount of features to talk about. A few things I like is the status light. It is just a small, vertically facing LED. Other chargers we’ve reviewed made two common mistakes.
Firstly, the LED light would be facing the side. This is obnoxious when the charging pad is on your nightstand. It basically shines towards you at eye level when you’re in bed. Secondly, they are frequently far too bright. I don’t need a shining star to let me know my phone is charging. Just a simple LED is all that is necessary.
Apple helped Belkin optimize the BOOST UP charging pad specifically for the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X. It supports up to 7.5W of charging power, though currently, the iPhone only supports 5W. Apple said they will be upgrading that later this year to 7.5W and when that happens, the BOOST ↑UP will be capable of supporting that.
In testing, it works exactly as expected. It was really easy to align the phone and it charged almost as fast as I would expect a 5W charger to charge, but just a little slower since it is wireless.
Wrapping it up
Belkin and Mophie were singled out by Apple as their recommended charging pads for the latest iPhones. That comes with a few expectations. A well performing product, as well as a slightly higher price tag.
Belkin’s BOOST UP checks off both of these boxes. It really is a great charging pad that I enjoyed testing, but I do think you can find others for a slightly lower price tag. If you’d like to pick one up, you can find it in Apple Stores, as well as Amazon for $59.
Let us know which is your favorite Qi charger, down in the comments.