Wireless charging is becoming the standard for mobile devices, saving you fumbling about trying to plug in cords, and the Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad (often listed as “Boost↑Charge”) is one such offering. It does as it says on the box, offering 7.5W ‘magnetic’ wireless charging for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 ranges, and it does it kind of okay.
Is the Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad a potential alternative to Apple’s MagSafe Charger?
Well, maybe. When you compare it to a premium product like Apple’s MagSafe Charger, the Belkin doesn’t quite cut it. However, it does the job it is designed to do and at a reasonable price point. But this comes with a few caveats (which I will share later). But… if you are keen to save a few dollars, Belkin’s pad may be what you are looking for.
Now, it is going to be unfair to compare Belkin’s Boost Charger Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad to Apple’s offering, but I’m going to in a few areas below. But do keep in mind that this is an entry level solution.
The Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad is CHUNKY
My desk is a bit of a mess as I write this and real estate on it is at a premium. I want a nice, clean wireless charger, one that sits neat on the desk, looks semi-decent, and the phone will sit on without issue. The Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless 7.5W Charger Pad does not fulfil these requirements.
Compared to the Apple MagSafe Charger, Belkin’s offering is noticeably bigger. And, I mean noticeably.
In fact, it stands over TWICE as high as Apple’s charger. Belkin’s charger is considerable 11.5mm high, sitting high on a rounded base. Apple’s is charger is a slim 5mm high. Your phone naturally sits with a bigger clearance from the desk, meaning it’s more likely (in my experience) to be knocked and fall off balance, tilting the phone / charger combination.
In terms of diameter, the Belkin is a reasonable 60mm, which is a comparable size.
Belkin’s charger is a plain, matte black. If it fits your aesthetic (most tech on my desk is black, after all), it will blend right in. This charger pad now sits on my bedside table and doesn’t stand out against the dark timber, so I’m happy with the look. But, it is a very plain look; Belkin definitely is runner up in the tech beauty contest here.
Belkin’s Cable: A win with a 2metre cable, but a loss with how thick it is
It is thick. Compared to other cabling, it is really thick, like a fireman’s hose. It is about 4.5mm thick and definitely not pliable. In fact, with the charger plugged in beneath my desktop and the charger being on the edge, the charger won’t lay flat on the desk often unless my phone is sitting on it. That said, Belkin offer a generous 2metre cable.
I feel this extra length is a win for Belkin over a lot of other chargers, including Apple. The loss in pliability can be overcome by good placement and maybe a bit of time. But you can’t get extra length on Apple’s charger.
Magnetic vs MagSafe
Belkin calls this product the Boost↑Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad. It also advertises itself as “MagSafe Compatible.”
I’ll be honest here, I don’t know if they are not allowed to call it a MagSafe charger because, well, Apple are Apple and the like their trademarks. But this charger isn’t MagSafe. What I will say is when you put your phone on this charger, there is only a little bit of magnetism. Noting that the case I am using on my phone doesn’t allow for the full MagSafe capability (i.e. magnets don’t stick as strong to my phone), the charger shifts slightly as required to align to the wireless charge points on your phone. But that is it. I lift the phone, between the weight of the charger and the weaker magnetic pull, the charger falls away instantly.
That said, if I take the case off of my phone, the Belkin charger sticks to the back of the phone without too much issue. It is strong enough that the charger will easily stay put, which is quite convenient with the 2metre cable, meaning you can charge and talk on your phone with ease. But this is only good if you have either a magnet in your case or no case at all.
At 7.5W, how does the Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad perform?
A charger is a charger is a charger. To a point. On the box, Belkin advertise a 7.5W charge capability down in the bottom corner of the box. This charger is decent, but it is not mighty powerful, that’s for sure.
I ran some experiments a few times over a few weeks for consistency (hopefully not ruining my battery in the process). Running my phone down to 30% battery, I placed it on the Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad. On average:
- 30 – 70% – 62 minutes.
- 70% – 100% – 76 minutes
So, to charge from 30% to full charge, it took approximately 138 minutes, or just over two and a quarter hours. It’s reasonable, but not great if you are in a hurry. Other chargers have much faster charge capabilities, which result in faster charging times (at least until ~75%), but Belkin does a job here.
Why did you copy Apple, Belkin?! WHY?! NO POWER BRICK!
There are two things that I have hated in tech in 2021.
One has been that so many products still insist on Micro-USB ports for charging their devices. It’s 2022 in a day or so; let’s go to an industry standard USB-C cable for all things, please.
And my biggest annoyance of the year is Apple claiming to save the environment by not including power bricks in their Apple products, because there are so many out there already, despite changing their charge cable requirements from USB-A to USB-C.
When I bought my new iPhone 12 a while back, it came with the USB-C to Lightning cable for charging. Which was so useful, since, you know, all my power bricks in this house are for USB-A. I had a voucher for Good Guys, so I bought an Apple MagSafe Charger thinking “It’s a charger, it will have everything I need to charge my phone.” I was so tired that night; I did click and collect, walked out the store as they locked the doors, and got to the car to find a narrow little package… where no way was a power brick included. Sure enough, still no power brick, and I had to go via OfficeWorks to pick up a USB-C brick.
When offered the Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad, I thought “Great, I can use a second charger.” When the package arrived, I thought I was in with a chance. But, sure enough, emptying the box yielded no power brick. So, now I have a USB-C power cable and two USB-C wireless chargers, and one power brick to power them all. Handy. Real handy.
Belkin can do so much here by offering this as a complete product for people stepping into wireless charging with their shiny new phone by including a USB-C power brick or offering a discounted bundle. Despite what Apple think, not everyone has dozens of USB-C power bricks lying around (though, we may have plenty of USB-A bricks). If someone ran a trade in scheme where you could trade in two or three old power bricks and get a new USB-C brick at a heavy discount, there’s better chance of making positive environmental impact.
Final thoughts on the Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad
Belkin has reconsidered pricing on this product recently and the Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad retails for AU$49.95.
Compared to the $65 for Apple’s MagSafe Charger, which is a premium product in comparison, this may not be the perfect solution for you, however it is a viable, more affordable option. It does exactly what it says on the box and charges your phone.
However, those caveats. If Belkin were to reconsider their power brick stance, and offer the Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad with a compatible USB-C power brick for around the same price, I would be strongly recommending this. Alternatively, if this came in at around $40 (i.e. this is a great buy if you see it on sale), I would also be recommending it.
At this point, however, I would suggest considering spending the extra money to get an Apple MagSafe Charger.
If you do wish grab one of these, you can purchase through Belkin’s website, on Amazon (which, if you purchase using this link, may throw us a few cents to keep the lights on) or through various retailers such as Harvey Norman, Good Guys and JB Hi-Fi.
Thank you, Belkin, for providing us the opportunity to review the charger. this one may not be a favourite for me, but always looking forward to future releases from Belkin all the same!