Although Belkin was one of the first two companies to unveil an official, Apple-certified wireless charger for the 2017 iPhone lineup — even getting screen time at Apple’s iPhone event — its original Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad has begun to look like a bit of a behemoth in an era of much more compact solutions. While some may appreciate a larger pad that provides a slightly more secure base for the iPhone, it’s clear that the industry has been going in the direction of smaller, coaster-sized wireless chargers, and Belkin appears to be following suit now with its new Boost Up Special Edition Wireless Charging Pad.
The new Special Edition unit is available both in the original white, which includes a silver chrome finish on the bottom, or a new black option, which is complimented by a darker chrome accent. Both models also feature a stainless steel base behind the chrome, providing a bit of heft and stability. Like most wireless chargers, the top pad is a flat silicon soft matte surface that will hold an iPhone securely in place — which it does quite well — and the same rubber coating is used on the bottom to keep the charger itself from sliding around.
Boost Up Special Edition includes the pad itself, along with a standard AC power adapter with a five-foot cable that connects to the rear of the pad using a small DC barrel connector. Unlike other pads we’ve seen, the plug doesn’t mount flush into the pad, but Belkin has accented the tip with a chrome finish that matches the base of the charging pad, which is a nice touch — if the connector has to protrude, at least it looks good doing it.
The special edition Boost Up is clearly designed specifically with Apple users in mind, since unlike many other wireless chargers we’ve been seeing lately, it only puts out 7.5 watts of power — more than enough for all of Apple’s current iPhone models, but less than the 10 watts that some other Qi-capable smartphone brands can draw. Other than that limitation, however, which won’t matter right now if you’re exclusively an iPhone user, Boost Up Special Edition works just as well as any other mainstream wireless charger we’ve seen, including all of the standard features like an LED status light, foreign object detection, and compatibility with all but the thickest iPhone cases.
As we’ve noted before, we’ve started to reach the point where wireless chargers have become commoditized, with design frequently being the only differentiating factor. Belkin’s Boost Up Special Edition is a perfect example of this — for iPhone users it does the same job as any other Qi-certified wireless charger, demanding a slightly premium price purely for its aesthetics. That said, it’s definitely a solid and well-built charger — something that we’d expect with the Belkin name behind it — so if you like the style the price may be worth it, but keep in mind that you’ll be limiting yourself to 7.5 watts of charging power, and while that’s enough to wirelessly charge any current iPhone at top speed, it falls short of what many Android devices can draw, and possibly even what future iPhone models may be capable of.
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