Belkin gives wireless charging an innovative boost [Review]

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Belkin Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand review
Belkin Boost Up Charge can wirelessly power your iPhone while its playing a movie.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Wireless charging stands hold your iPhone up so you can easily see the display while the handset is getting power. Belkin has a model that improves on the whole concept: it can charge your device when it’s propped up in either portrait or landscape mode.

Apple liked the design enough to add it to the Apple Store. See what we think in our review.

Belkin Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand review

Because the two wireless power sending and receiving coils have to be lined up fairly closely, typical charging stands work only with the phone propped up in portrait mode. If the handset is sitting in landscape mode, the coils are too far apart.

Belkin’s designers came up with a clever workaround: two small shelves hold the iPhone up so the charging coils align when the device is in landscape mode. It seems like a simple idea, but there are surprisingly few direct competitors. Plenty of wireless charging stands work only in portrait mode.

While the iPhone is designed to be used in portrait mode, many apps are easier to use in landscape. As just one example, this charger can power up an iPhone while it’s playing a movie. And the Lighting port is accessible with the handset resting horizontally.

While the functionality of the Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand is outstanding the look is very… plastic. It’s not ugly by any means. It’s just very utilitarian.

Belkin chose not to include any aluminum or glass — materials that give many rival wireless chargers a premium appearance. This matters because this item is going to sit on the user’s desk or nightstand all day, every day.

A wall charger and the necessary micro-USB cable are included.

Belkin Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand with iPhone XS Max
Belkin Boost Up Charge can handle an iPhone XS Max in portrait mode too, of course.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Belkin Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand performance

iPhones and Samsung handsets support Qi wireless charging, as does this Belkin accessory. It’s available in two versions: one that delivers 7.5W of power and the other can send up to 10W. Apple’s devices can only receive 7.5W, so it doesn’t matter to them which of these versions is used.

In our tests, the Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand was able to raise the battery level of an iPhone XS Max by 10% in 20 minutes. We ran tests with the handset in landscape and portrait modes and there was no effect on charging speed.

Other 7.5W wireless chargers we’ve tested powered up this device at exactly that same rate, so Belkin’s is clearly performing as advertised.

Belkin Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand
Belkin’s Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand is mostly plastic.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Belkin Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand final thoughts

An innovative design sets Belkin’s charging stand apart from its rivals. Being able to access an iPhone in either landscape or portrait mode while it’s charging is very convenient. And something that’s surprisingly rare.

It’s somewhat unfortunate that the entire exterior of the Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand is plastic. The addition of some premium materials would have really improved the look.

Pricing

The Boost Up Charge Wireless Charging Stand 10W sells for $69.99 on Belkin’s website and other retailers. It’s available in black or white plastic.

Buy from: Amazon — $41.99

The Apple Store appears to be the exclusive provider of the 7.5W version. This version of the accessory costs $49.95, and comes only in black.

Comparable products

The Logitech Powered Wireless Charger uses a similar design, and is therefore able send power to a handset in portrait  or landscape mode. It sells for $69.99

Twelve South HiRise Wireless is another strong competitor. This rival looks far better, and the charging pad can be detached and used on the go. But it can’t charge an iPhone in landscape mode. The HiRise Wireless sells for $79.99.

There are, of course, many charging pads that lie flat on a desk or nightstand. The Satechi Wireless Charger V2 is a flat desktop charger that also looks stylish — it goes for $44.99.

Belkin provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.