Review: Mophie Wireless Charging Base | iLounge

Review

Review: Mophie Wireless Charging Base

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Highly Recommended

Company: Mophie

Model: Wireless Charging Base

Price: $60

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Jesse Hollington

Mophie's Wireless Charging Base is the second of the two iPhone-optimized wireless chargers that Apple announced with its debut of its new iPhone lineup last month, joining Belkin's Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad. Mophie's solution is a smaller disc, measuring just under four inches in diameter, and provides wireless charging capabilities that allow you to simply lay an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X or any other Qi-compatible device for charging.

In releasing its wireless charging solution, Mophie eschewed any specific product branding, choosing to simply call the product the “Wireless Charging Base.” In the box, you’ll find the charger itself — a disc that strongly resembles a coaster — and a standard AC power adapter with a five-foot cable and a small barrel connector on the end. Much like Belkin’s charger, the cable flush mounts into the curvature of the disc, providing a nice clean design aesthetic. The entire top of Mophie’s Wireless Charging Base is coated in a non-slip rubber that will prevent even a naked iPhone from sliding around on the charger. A white LED is found on the front bottom edge that lights up when a Qi-compatible device is placed on top, although how visible the LED is depends on the size of your device and how you place it on the pad.

As with most wireless chargers, using Mophie’s Wireless Charging Base is extremely straightforward: Plug it into an AC outlet, place your iPhone on top, let it charge. Mophie makes some more specific claims about case compatibility, noting that non-metallic cases that are “no thicker than 3mm” should be fine, however we tested Mophie’s Wireless Charging Base with over a dozen typical cases and had no problems with wireless charging with any of them, even thicker ones that included some minor metallic components. Generally, in our experience the only cases that seem to block wireless charging are those that an a primarily metal backing to them, such as some of Element Case’s higher-end models, and cases that already provide their own Qi charging capabilities — although in the latter case these will still charge from the Mophie Wireless Charging Base if you connect them to the iPhone’s Lightning port.

Like Belkin’s Boost Up, Mophie’s Wireless Charging Base also provides up to 7.5 watts of power, which the company bills as a “fast charge.”  At this point the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus only draw five watts, however, meaning that Mophie’s charger won’t be able to charge your iPhone any faster than the USB power adapter that Apple includes in the box. Apple does plan to increase this speed with a future iOS update, however, and in the meantime some third-party Qi-compatible cases can also take advantage of the pad’s full 7.5-watt charging performance, although if you’re looking for really high-speed charging on the new iPhones you’re still better off going with a wired connection and a Fast-Charge capable adapter such as Apple’s 29W USB-C Power Adapter.

It’s important to keep in mind that there’s a reasonable tradeoff between faster charging speeds and wireless charging that makes this a minor concern at best. It’s hard to fully appreciate how much easier wireless chargers are to deal with until you’ve been using one for a while, and having a wireless charger on your desk or side table means that you’re more likely to leave your iPhone charging when you’re doing other activities like working or watching TV without needing to give it much thought, which means you’re less likely to find yourself in a situation where you suddenly realize you need a quick charge before heading out the door. It’s also worth noting that common worries like overcharging and battery wear from topping up are urban myths and have never been a problem for iPhones even with wired charging, and wireless charging is no exception — you can top-up your iPhone charge as often as you need to and leave it on the wireless charger as long as you’d like with no ill effects.

Like Belkin’s Boost Up, Mophie’s Wireless Charging Base isn’t a new idea — Qi charging pads have been around for years — but it does have the advantage of being specifically designed for the new iPhones. Since Qi is supposed to be a standard, it’s debatable how much of an advantage this is, but from our negative experiences testing the iPhone 8 with a couple of more generic Qi chargers, we do think there’s value in having some guarantee that the charger you’re buying will in fact work with your iPhone. We also particularly liked the effort that Mophie has put into the design here, which looks a lot more attractive than most of the generic Qi chargers you’ll find. Mophie’s Wireless Charging Base features a very different look from Belkin’s, but we’d say that both solutions work equally well, leaving the choice between them down to a matter of personal taste.

 

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Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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