Bottom line: Native Union's Drop XL Wireless Charger Watch Edition features a sleek and modern aesthetic that will blend into any home. The textured surface ensures that your devices won't move around while charging, and the charging pad has quite a bit of heft to it. The Apple Watch charging puck is detachable and attaches via USB-A, so you can also use it separately. It supports fast charging for iPhone 8 and later up to 7.5W output, and 10W for all other Qi-compatible wireless devices.
Charges iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods simultaneously
Apple Watch charging puck is detachable
Textured surface prevents devices from moving
Hefty enough to stay in place on flat surfaces
Durable nylon braided cable with leather strap
Comes with international adapters for power adapter
Single DC prong power adapter is large and bulky
Requires precise alignment to wirelessly charge devices
Apple Watch charging puck prevents two iPhones from charging (vertical orientation only)
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These days, we just seem to have so many devices to charge up at the end of the day: iPhone, Apple Watch, and maybe some AirPods. Sure, you could have three different chargers and cables to charge all of these, but that wouldn't be as convenient as having one charger for everything. With the Drop XL Wireless Charger (Watch Edition) from Native Union, you're getting just that.
Set it and forget it
Native Union Drop XL Wireless Charger (Watch Edition): Features
Even though this product is called the Drop XL, it's actually not that big at all. It clocks in at 3.5-by-6.73-inches and only weighs a little over a pound, so it should fit on even the smallest nightstands. The nylon braided cable also has a length of over 6.5-feet, so you should be able to reach most outlets without issue. But despite the small and compact size, you could fit two iPhones on this little charging pad, as long as you don't have the Apple Watch charging puck plugged in. But if that were the case, you would just want the regular version of the Drop XL, which is about $30 less.
The thing that sets the Watch Edition of the Drop XL apart from the non-Watch version is the detachable Apple Watch charging puck. On the back of the Drop XL is a standard USB-A port, which is how the detachable Apple Watch charging puck plugs in. This also means that you can take that puck out and plug it into another USB-A port if you just need to charge your Apple Watch. Doing so frees up the USB-A port on the Drop XL Wireless Charger, so you can plug something else in for charging.
As far as the charging puck, it's actually very sturdy. Once you plug it in (it locks in place with a click), it stays put and doesn't move at all. It's magnetic, so your Apple Watch stays in place while charging, and you can even view the time in Nightstand mode. If you have to remove the charging puck, it does take a bit of effort to pull it out — it's that sturdy.
On the top of the Drop XL is a silicone tread pattern, which helps keep your iPhone and AirPods in place as they charge. But it also has another purpose — this textured pattern also helps control the temperature, so you are getting optimum charging speed without overheating.
The dark gray of the silicone tread pairs incredibly well with the black brushed aluminum at the base. At the bottom of the base are curved rubber feet at the sides, which helps prevent the Drop XL from moving around once you place it on a flat surface. With the addition of the nice heft of the charging pad, you won't have to worry about the Drop XL going anywhere.
Like pretty much all other wireless chargers, you aren't going to get the fastest charging speeds with the Drop XL. It is capable of fast charging iPhone 8 and later devices up to 7.5W output. This means about a 1% increase every two minutes. For other Qi-compatible devices, the Drop XL can do 10W output on both wireless spots. However, the Apple Watch charging puck will charge up your Apple Watch as if you were using the standard charger that Apple supplied you with, which is 5W max. The USB-A port itself, without the Apple Watch puck, can output 12W. The total output of the Drop XL Wireless is 32W.
Convenience is the main factor for the Drop XL Wireless Charger (Watch Edition). It's nice to be able to charge up to three things at once with just one charger. However, you do need to be careful of alignment when it comes to the charging spots on the pad — if it is not properly aligned, your iPhone or AirPods won't charge. But once you figure out the proper placement, it becomes a matter of "set it and forget it!"
A perfect bedside companion
Native Union Drop XL Wireless Charger (Watch Edition): What I Like
With the Drop XL Wireless Charger (Watch Edition), my favorite part of it is definitely the detachable Apple Watch charging puck. It's incredibly convenient that it's detachable since it plugs in via USB-A, and if I don't need to charge up my Apple Watch, I can take it out and free up the port for something else. It's nice to have the option to do that. I also don't need to deal with managing the long cord of the charger that Apple provides for the Apple Watch, and can leave those in my travel bags as spares.
I also love the 3-in-1 functionality of this charging pad. I have it on my nightstand, and I drop my Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods Pro on it before going to bed, and everything is charged up and ready to go in the morning. Finding the sweet spot for charging may need an adjustment period, but it becomes muscle memory eventually. At least the silicone treading prevents the iPhone and AirPods from moving during the night.
And this is definitely one of the sleeker looking wireless charging pads I have around the house. The dark gray and black coloring makes it perfect for any home.
Charging placement can be finicky
Native Union Drop XL Wireless Charger (Watch Edition): What I Don't Like
Like other wireless chargers, the Drop XL is also picky about the placement of devices for charging (aside from Apple Watch). You can't just plop your iPhone down anywhere on the pad to charge — it needs to be in just the right spot, and same with AirPods. This isn't just a fault of Native Union though, it's just how wireless charging is. Until there is something that works like Apple's fabled AirPower where you could just place a device down anywhere and have it start charging, this is just how it's going to be.
Another thing I don't really care for is the fact that the 45W power adapter for the Drop XL is rather large and bulky. This is something that I have had to plug into the wall outlet directly in my bedroom because it won't fit on my power strip without blocking other plugs and ports. I wish it was a little smaller, but at least you get international adapters in the box, so this is something you certainly can travel with.
And finally, this is one of the more expensive wireless charging pads on the market. It's just a shame that the detachable Apple Watch charging puck isn't sold separately.
An elegant and convenient charging solution
Native Union Drop XL Wireless Charger (Watch Edition): The Bottom Line
Even though it's a bit pricey, I've been enjoying the Drop XL Wireless Charger (Watch Edition) for the past few months. It looks elegant and sleek enough to fit in with any existing home decor thanks to that silicone treading pattern, which helps keep your devices in place. The detachable Apple Watch charging puck works just as well as the original charger, but without the fuss of a cable. The placement on the mat needs to be precise for charging, but once you get accustomed to it, it's just muscle memory. This is a great addition to any bedside nightstand.
The Drop XL is small and compact, despite the name. You can charge your iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch easily in a single place. The Apple Watch charging puck is detachable, so you can use the USB-A port for something else if desired.
Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.