Most Apple Watch stands released so far have fit a similar mold, basically acting as a place to insert an existing Apple Watch cable while keeping the watch aloft. Which makes Belkin’s Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone ($130) rare — it includes not just integrated charging for an Apple Watch, but also a built-in, adjustable Lightning connector meant to charge an iPhone. Both devices are recharged through the dock using Belkin’s AC adapter, so no extra cables are necessary. It’s an obvious solution, as many users likely charge their iPhone and Apple Watch side by side, but it comes with a high price tag. Note: Belkin is currently referring to the dock as the “Valet Charge Dock” on its website, but our packaging still just says “Charge Dock.” It’s the same product.
As if the price didn’t tip you off, Charge Dock is very much a premium product, with a thick, heavy aluminum base, and solid cast arm with a chrome finish. There’s a non-slip rubber base, in addition to rubber accents around the Lightning connector and on the arm, to prevent an iPhone from being scratched. Charge Dock is 5.28” x 3.47” and 4.3” at its highest point, and it weighs a bit more than a pound.
On the back of Charge Dock is a port for the AC adapter, and a small plastic dial. This dial is used to raise and lower the integrated Lightning connector, to accommodate different sizes (or cases) of iPhones. Belkin also included an extra plastic attachment, which can clip onto the integrated watch charger to provide optional band support.
Overall, Charge Dock works very well. The rear dial moves effortlessly to set the Lightning connector in the proper alignment, and we found it could charge an iPhone 6s or even a 6s Plus, and most cases shouldn’t be a problem. It’s a clever, well-done feature. Watch charging also works just fine, as we saw no issues, but be aware that Charge Dock wasn’t designed for Apple Watch’s Nightstand mode. You actually can activate the mode by balancing the watch a certain way if you’ve got the right band, but that kind of defeats the purpose of buying an integrated iPhone/Apple Watch dock.
Belkin’s Charge Dock is a smart, elegant solution to charging your iPhone and Apple Watch together, especially if you don’t care about Nightstand mode. It works great, and it’ll look nice on your desk or nightstand. But there’s no getting around the price. Charge Dock is easily more than double the cost of most Apple Watch stands or iPhone docks we’ve seen — but this does combine the two, and no extra cables are required. In the end, Charge Dock earns our general recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: Lightning iPhones, Apple Watch