qCharge 2.0 from Citius Systems is a power bank with built-in charger especially for Apple Watch. With one of these, you can replenish the device almost anywhere, no wall socket needed.
I tested it out with my own Watch. Here’s why I like it.
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qCharge 2.0 review
Charging an Apple Watch used to be a no-brainer: you put it on its little charging mat overnight. But then sleep tracking was added to the wearable so now everyone who wants to use that feature must find an alternative time to juice up their Watch.
qCharge 2.0 gives you a lot more options. It’s a portable charger, and also has a 2,000 mAh battery. You can sit in a coffee shop or out in the wilderness and get your Apple Watch ready for the day.
As a bonus, it can also power up AirPods Pro 2 — the case for these wireless earbuds supports all Apple Watch chargers.
The product is the follow-up to an original version that Citius Systems launched back in 2017. That version held 1,200 mAh so the new one is a considerable upgrade.
Very portable Apple Watch charger
Citius Systems says the hardware is “big enough to easily find, small enough to easily carry anywhere.” And that’s an accurate description. The unit is 3.5 inches by 1.5 inches, and 0.8 inches thick. It weighs in at 3 ounces.
That means qCharge 2.0 fits in a pocket, or goes easily into a purse of backpack. There’s key fob so you can attach it to your bag. I doubt many people will connect the device to their keys: it’s not that small.
The product comes in white or black depending on what you want it to match other Apple accessories or maybe your Apple Watch or its band.
Of course, the most obvious feature is the Apple Watch charging mat. This works like Apple’s own — the wearable magnetically clings to the mat and power flows magnetically. It’s compatible with every Watch version going back to 2015.
On one end of qCharge 2.0 is a USB-C port. Plug the accessory in and it acts like any other Apple Watch charger. This is also how the built-in battery gets filled up again.
A very nice USB-C cable comes bundled with the product. This is thick and covered in PCB so it makes Apple’s own cables look cheap. A wall charger is not included, though.
On one side of qCharge 2.0 is a power button you’ll need to press to start wireless charging.
A series of while LEDs on the top shows the remaining charge in battery, and a blue LED lights up when wireless power is ready.
The one flaw in the device is that the USB-C port can not be used to charge other devices. It can’t give your iPhone an emergency boost — it doesn’t put out any power.
Expect 2 or 3 charges
qCharge 2.0 is built around a 2,000 mAh battery. I ran some tests to see how this translates to real-world use. I’m pleased with the result.
Over multiple recharges, it was able to raise the battery level on my Apple Watch 167%. For me, that meant three recharges — my device isn’t fully drained at the end of the day.
In other words, I took my Watch off the charger by bedside on Friday morning and didn’t have to return it to that charger until Monday night.
qCharge 2.0 final thoughts
To me, the biggest advantage of a battery-powered Apple Watch charger is the assurance that I’ll be able to keep the wearable going, no matter what. I don’t have to worry about getting back to the bedside charger. I always have one with me, and it doesn’t need a wall socket.
I dinged the device for its USB-C port being unable to charge an iPhone, but other than that I love this little accessory.
Citius Systems qCharge 2.0 costs $59.99. That’s not a bad price considering Apple charges $30 for its not-very-portable charging cable without a battery.
If you can live without the built-in battery and just want a portable charger, check out my review of the Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch, or my Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock for Apple Watch review.