One of the biggest surprises about the iPhone 12 lineup was the introduction of MagSafe technology for charging purposes. We're now seeing the first of the third-party MagSafe accessories emerge, including the three-in-one Belkin MagSafe Charger, dubbed BoostCharge Pro. Available in black and white, the beautifully designed accessory can charge a compatible iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods — all at the same time.
Make no mistake. This is an amazing device. And yet, it could prove too expensive and not necessary for many users. Nonetheless, it shows where accessories for Apple devices could be heading in 2021 and beyond.
Belkin MagSafe Charger
Bottom line: Offering a seamless MagSafe wireless charging experience, the Belkin MagSafe Charger packs a powerful punch and looks great sitting on your desk or nightstand. It's not for everyone, however.
- Charge all of your devices at once
- Up to 15W wireless charging for compatible phones
- Works regardless of orientation
- Compatible with official MagSafe cases
- Includes a 2-year connected equipment warranty
- It's costly
- iPhone 12 series compatibility only
Lots of oomph
Belkin MagSafe Charger review: What I like
If you're like many, your home is littered with charging cables and pucks for your electronics. As a new year begins, now is the perfect time to remove some of that unnecessary clutter by taking stock of your mobile devices and how and where they get charged.
Belkin's latest accessory provides one charging solution for three Apple devices: an iPhone 12 series smartphone, Apple Watch, and AirPods or AirPods Pro charging case. With a modern, practical, no-slip design, the charger has much going for it.
Apple devices are expensive, and no doubt, Belkin took this into account when designing the MagSafe Charger. Weighing 646 grams (1.42 pounds) out of the box, the accessory is much more solid than similar, less expensive products on the market. The sturdy design extends both to its metal arms (made from diecast zinc with polished chrome plating), where the magnets for charging an iPhone and Apple Watch are located, and to its base where you can charge earbuds.
I wouldn't recommend carrying around the charger with your devices attached. And yet, through my tests, at no time did one of my devices fall off the charger because of a ring or buzz. For good measure, Belkin includes a free 2-year connected equipment warranty up to $2,500.
The Belkin BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 charger's MagSafe arm works with the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The Apple Watch arm supports the Apple Watch Series 1 and later, including the Apple Watch SE. The Qi charging pad supports the AirPods Pro, Apple AirPods 2, and any Qi-compatible devices, including the iPhone X and newer.
What about the charging?
Ultimately, charging devices are judged the most by how well they perform the central task.
The included MagSafe on the Belkin charger snaps to an iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max with a forceful click — just as Apple intended. The 15W magnetic charger works as expected, with and without a compatible MagSafe case up to 3mm thick. The magnetic charging pad for the Apple Watch doesn't provide the same forceful click, but it doesn't need to, given the wearable device's lighter weight and smaller footprint. The 5W Qi charging pad also works as expected.
As I also found, Belkin says there is no performance difference whether you're charging one, two, or three devices at the same time. From a technology perspective, this is important to note. And yet, it might not matter to the average user since battery drains occur at different rates across the many devices the charger supports.
Belkin deserves kudos for including two additional features on the charger. First, it's possible to charge an iPhone and Apple Watch in portrait or landscape mode, which is ideal for use on a nightstand. I was also impressed with the accessory's LED light, which shows whether your AirPods are properly aligned during charging or another object is in the way. Subtle additions, yes, but still useful.
Price. Did I mention the price?
Belkin MagSafe Charger review: What I don't like
I can't find anything structurally wrong with Belkin's newest charger from a device standpoint. The two negatives are significant, however, depending on your circumstances.
No doubt, the price will play a big factor for many would-be buyers who can't fathom spending $150 for a device charger. And with far less expensive options out there, including at least one alternative from Belkin itself, the price will look even more extraordinary.
Then there's compatibility or lack thereof. The Belkin MagSafe Charger isn't a practical solution for anyone who doesn't own an iPhone 12 series handset. And if you do have an iPhone 12, make certain you also have an Apple Watch and AirPods. Otherwise, it's best to save your money.
However, if you check all three boxes, I believe the admission price here is justified, given the charger's strong build and ability to charge three devices simultaneously.
Three-in-one MagSafe chargers (and MagSafe accessories in general) will grow in numbers as more compatible handsets arrive on the market. Until then, however, it's Belkin or bust.
Belkin's older BoostCharge, for example, also provides juice for your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. It offers only a (MagSafe-less) 7.5W wireless charging pad for your iPhone, however. Mophie, like other providers, sells a similar product, also with a 7.5W wireless charging pad.
Amazon also sells a lengthy list of charging stations for iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. And yet, again, at least for now, these are lacking MagSafe compatibility.
Belkin MagSafe Charger: Should you buy
You should buy this if ...
You want the latest and greatest
No, you don't need to use MagSafe accessories to charge your new iPhone. Instead, you can continue to charge your handset using its Lightning port with a cable and puck or with less efficient wireless accessories. And yet, the future is calling, and if you believe the rumors, upcoming iPhones are going to lose the port, and charging options will soon narrow to MagSafe and wireless only.
What does this have to do with the Belkin Wireless MagSafe Charger? Plenty, if you're the type who actively seeks to future-proof your technology. If you'll planning to make more iPhone purchases in the coming months for yourself or family members, the Belkin BoostCharge Pro can provide a valuable, long-term charging solution for everyone now and into the coming years.
You're tired of multiple chargers for multiple devices
There are now so many charging pucks in the world that Apple no larger includes them with iPhone purchases! If you're tired of using the charging pucks you have collected over the years and want a central charging solution in your home or office, consider the Belkin BoostCharge Pro. Yes, it's expensive, but so were your mobile devices.
You should not buy this if ...
You want wide compatibility
If you don't own an iPhone 12 series smartphone now and don't plan on buying one, there's no immediate benefit to purchasing this accessory. Instead, consider one of the less expensive solutions that cater to non-MagSafe iPhones. The same goes for anyone who doesn't also own an Apple Watch or AirPods.
You need to spend less
The price can't be overlooked here. The Belkin MagSafe Charger is expensive, although its price should drop over time through occasional sales and attrition. If you can't make a purchase now, consider a less expensive alternative or wait it out.
The original Belkin BoostCharge will charge all three of your devices also — it will just take longer, as will other alternatives.
Belkin MagSafe Charger
Bottom line: The Belkin MagSafe Charger is a modern device that should provide you with years of use. If you're looking for cutting edge and don't mind spending a little bit more, this is the all-in-one charger for you. It's also one of our favorite MagSafe accessories on the market.
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