Review: Belkin PowerHouse Charge Dock for Apple Watch and iPhone
Belkin's new PowerHouse ($100) is already the second Apple Watch/iPhone combo charger we've seen from the company. The earlier Belkin Charge Dock had the same functionality as this new dock — both docks can charge an Apple Watch and Lightning-based iPhone simultaneously. Both have a built-in, moveable Lightning connector and charging puck. Both docks use their own AC adapter to supply power — 2.4 A to iPhone and 1A to Apple Watch simultaneously for full speed charging. And both docks have a small dial to raise and lower the height of the Lightning connector to adjust for different iPhone case sizes. The biggest differences between the two Belkin docks are seen in the materials, and the corresponding price tags.
Whereas the Belkin (Valet) Charge Dock features an aluminum base and chrome-finished arm, PowerHouse is made of a soft-touch rubber and white plastic — the rubber seen on the front of the dock also covers the bottom of the base to prevent scuffing. The new PowerHouse dock still feels substantial, though, with a weight comparable to Charge Dock, clocking in at slightly more than a pound. But the overall footprint is smaller as PowerHouse measures 3.8” x 3.25” x 3.6”, with the arm’s length measuring 5” wide. While the older Charge Dock has a more premium look, it’s also $30 more expensive than the PowerHouse. We appreciate the clean, simple look of PowerHouse, and some users may prefer its design to the Charge Dock.
Using PowerHouse is simple. The dial easily allows users to adjust to various iPhone cases, and we didn’t have an issue with any of the cases or iPhone sizes we tested. An Apple Watch is easily docked on the built-in charging puck, as well. Although it’s possible to activate Nightstand mode if you place an Apple Watch strap behind the docked iPhone, the dock clearly isn’t designed for that use. It’s nice that Belkin offers a complete docking solution with power, so no extra cables are necessary.
There’s little difference between PowerHouse and Belkin’s prior (Valet) Charge Dock. But PowerHouse saves you $30 without losing any functionality. While some would rather pony up for the aluminum-and-chrome look of the other dock, PowerHouse is no slouch in the design department, either. It’s a matter of preference, but we give PowerHouse the slight edge, based on price.