Belkin found a way to improve on Apple’s MagSafe charging puck for iPhone. Both charge equally fast, but Apple’s lies flat, while Belkin’s includes a built-in kickstand. Plus, the third-party accessory maker put in a much longer cable. And these are just some of the benefits of the (deep breath) Belkin Boost↑Charge Pro Portable Wireless Charger Pad with MagSafe 15W.
I put the wireless charger through a round of tests. It came through with flying colors.
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Belkin Boost↑Charge Pro Portable Wireless Charger Pad with MagSafe 15W review
MagSafe is easier than plugging your iPhone in to charge. Just place the handset on — or even just near — the charger and magnets will bring them together. Later you only need to pick up your phone and go. It also lets you plug in headphones while getting power.
The Apple MagSafe Charger is the go-to choice, but Belkin recently introduced its own version with a stand that makes it easier to see your device while it’s juicing up. It also has a super-long cable.
The accessory is well suited for use on your desk or bedside every day, or to take on the road.
Hardware and design
The Belkin Boost↑Charge Pro Portable Wireless Charger Pad with MagSafe 15W is a small puck that’s 2.35 inches in diameter and 0.6 inches thick. It comes in black or white.
The accessory is curved almost into a section of a sphere. That makes it comfortable to hold. I can easily use my iPhone while the charger is attached.
The magnets in Belkin’s charging pad combine with the ones in the handset to make a strong connection. I can hold them both up by the accessory’s cable and they won‘t separate. Even when I shake them a bit.
On the back of the Portable Wireless Charger Pad is a fold-out kickstand. In landscape mode, it holds my iPhone 13 at 30 degrees past vertical, a useful angle. The width of your iPhone will have some effect on the viewing angle — larger devices will lean back more — but anything is better than lying flat with the screen pointed at the ceiling.
It can also prop up your iPhone in portrait mode. For my device, that’s 40 degrees past vertical.
In landscape mode, I found the kickstand to be very secure. Even knocking on the screen won’t make it tip over. It tips over more easily in portrait mode, but the iPhone is still usable — you just need to be a bit more careful.
Belkin went all in on the cable built into the Portable Wireless Charger Pad. It’s a full 6.6 feet (2m). That’s plenty to reach a wall socket way, way behind your desk or nightstand.
The cable is top quality, and covered in braided material. But if you’re planning on taking this accessory on the road, note that the cable is kind of bulky, even when rolled up. Belkin includes a straps to make securing the cable easy, but still.
The cable has a USB-C connector on the end. Note that the accessory doesn’t come with the necessary wall power adapter. You’ll need to supply one that provides at least 15W.
Belkin Boost↑Charge Pro Portable Wireless Charger Pad with MagSafe 15W performance
Apple’s MagSafe puck provides up to 15W of power. So does Belkin’s Portable Wireless Charger Pad. That’s not a claim every MagSafe-compatible accessory can make. Many settle for 7.5W.
To test the charging rate in the real world, I used the device to charge a 6.1-inch iPhone 13. Over multiple rounds, it raised the battery level between 28% and 29% in half an hour.
This means that, in general, you can expect it to replenish your the battery in your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 roughly 1% every minute.
Just note that the rate an iPhone charges varies quite a bit depending on the current battery level. The handset charges quite quickly when it’s near 0%, but much more slowly as it nears 100%. I did my testing with the battery level between 20% and 80%, as that’s the most representative.
I used the Plugable USBC-VAmeter to get a reading on the watts flowing to Belkin’s charger. According to this volt meter, 12W is the usual charging speed. But it gets up over 18W when the handset’s battery is very low. The same is true for Apple’s MagSafe charger.
Only the iPhone 12 series and iPhone 13 series have MagSafe. But Apple started building in wireless charging way back with the iPhone 8. I tested, and the Portable Wireless Charger Pad works with non-MagSafe devices.
Belkin Boost↑Charge Pro Portable Wireless Charger Pad with MagSafe 15W final thoughts
The kickstand makes Belkin’s MagSafe charger a generally better option than the Apple MagSafe Charger. The two charge at the same rate, and Belkin put in a much larger cable.
The third-party accessory is bulkier than Apple’s, though.
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That’s $21 more than the typical price for the Apple MagSafe Charger. But, as noted, that device does not have a built-in stand. But you can add Apple’s puck to the Twelve South Forté and have a nice desktop stand with full MagSafe charging.