Mophie has been one of the more prolific MFi partners when it comes to providing charging and power solutions for Apple devices. It was one of the first companies out of the gate with its Wireless Charging Base when Apple announced Qi charging support for the 2017 iPhone lineup, releasing an iterative update six months later in the form of the Charge Stream Pad+ that heralded the beginning of an entire new lineup of wireless charging products from the company, ranging from battery packs to travel kits, all under the “Charge Stream” branding. Today we’re taking a look at another one of Mophie’s recent entries in the family, the Charge Stream Desk Stand, which essentially takes Mophie’s Pad+ and morphs it into a stand so you can charge your iPhone in a more upright orientation.
As you can probably tell from looking at it, Charge Stream Desk Stand is basically a Charge Stream Pad+ combined with a stand. While that’s a fair assessment on the surface — the charging component still works exactly in the same way as Charge Stream Pad+ — there are some interesting distinctions, and Mophie has done a good job with the design here; this is not just a matter of bolting a Charge Stream Pad+ onto a stand.
For one thing, the charging pad component has been specifically designed for a stand, with a slot in the back and a magnetic attachment. The stand itself is also solidly designed, with a steel frame and a weighted base — it’s hefty enough that it won’t tip over or slide around, and balanced enough that you can actually tap on your iPhone while it’s sitting on the stand. Rubberized surfaces on the pad and the base also keep the iPhone securely in place. There’s a stability and build quality here that most traditional Lightning docks can’t even lay claim to. Mophie also includes a five-foot USB cable (micro USB to USB-A), along with a Quick Charge 2.0 compliant wall adapter.
While there’s some assembly required here, it basically involves attaching the arm to the base, and then sliding the charging pad onto the arm at the appropriate height. The arm of the stand slides into a slot on the rear of the pad, which can be adjusted through a range of about 3-4 inches, with magnets holding the adjustment in place; it’s a clever yet simple design that allows for quick and easy adjustments of the pad while still ensuring it stays in the position you set it in. The adjustability not only allows the stand to accommodate iPhone models of various sizes (and other smartphones), but also provides for a choice between portrait and landscape orientation, and the ability to very quickly and easily switch between them. The charging pad can also be removed entirely from the stand and used in the same way as Mophie’s Charge Stream Pad+, so you’re kind of getting two devices in one here.
If there’s one thing we did find odd about the Charge Stream Desk Stand, it was its cable placement and management. For whatever reason, Mophie chose to orient the charging pad with the power connector at the top and the status LED at the bottom. This leaves the status LED virtually invisible unless you’re in a dark room, and means that the cable gets routed out the top of the stand. To address the obvious cable management issue that this creates, Mophie had included a magnetic collar that can be used to attach the cable to the bottom of the rear stand arm. It’s worth noting that the lowest position of the pad, which would be necessary to charge an iPhone XS, iPhone X, or iPhone 8 in landscape mode, would leave very little room for a power connection at the bottom of the pad, so it’s difficult to see how Mophie could have handled this differently without making a significant change to the connector. In the end, it works reasonably well, and there’s arguably even a sort of artistic aesthetic to the cable placement, but it still looks a bit strange to us — although of course the cable connection will be hidden when you actually have a phone docked on the stand.
Performance-wise, Charge Stream Desk Stand works every bit as well as Charge Stream Pad+, which is to be expected since it’s basically the earlier product build to go onto a stand. It’s a Qi-certified wireless charger that will put out up to 10 watts for devices that support it, although for now iPhone users will only need to pull 7.5 watts from it. It’s also case-compatible, with Mophie claiming it will work with cases up to 3mm thick, although in our testing Charge Stream Pad has always done slightly better than that — thicker cases will frequently work, depending largely on the materials that they’re made from.
When you consider that Mophie sells Charge Stream Pad+ by itself for $60, we think that the Charge Stream Desk Stand is a pretty good deal at only $10 more if you’re looking for a wireless charger that will your iPhone upright. Of course, you won’t get the fast charging performance that comes from a directly wired Lightning connection, but you do get the convenience of being able to charge your iPhone in multiple orientations, and the ability to just drop it onto the stand to begin charging. Plus, because the pad itself is detachable, you will get the benefits of Charge Stream Pad+ if you want to use it elsewhere in your home or office, or take it on the road with you.
Company and Price
Model: Charge Stream Desk Stand