When Apple debuted its 2017 iPhone lineup with wireless charging capabilities last fall, Mophie was ready right out the gate, with its Wireless Charging Base actually getting featured on stage by Apple as one of two new Qi-compatible chargers being produced specifically for the new iPhone models, and earning a spot on the shelves of Apple stores. Now, six months later, Mophie has produced a new version that’s an iteration on the earlier model, seemingly intended to provide more charging power and broader compatibility, with a similar look but some interesting differences.
At a glance, Mophie’s new Charge Stream Pad+ is almost indistinguishable from the Wireless Charging Base — it’s a small black disc just under four inches, with the same rubberized coating to hold an iPhone or other smartphone securely in place and stay in place on most surfaces you’ll use it on. About the only noticeable difference is that Mophie has replaced the circular Mophie monogram logo found on the earlier model with the company’s logotype design instead. Less visually noticeable, however, is one other important distinction: While the Wireless Charging Base uses a standard AC adapter and barrel connector, Charge Stream Pad+ is powered by a USB connection, with a QC 2.0 compatible wall adapter in the box that supports variable outputs of five volts at three amps, nine volts at two amps, and 12 volts at 1.5 amps. Like the power cable packaged with the Wireless Charging Base, the included USB-to-micro-USB cable is specifically designed to fit into the disc, sitting flush with the curvature, which provides the same nice clean design aesthetic we appreciated on the earlier model.
From a technical perspective, the key differentiator with Charge Stream Pad+ is the ability to provide 10 watts of power, making it a universal Qi charger that can also handle full-speed charging on other devices like Samsung and Google phones that push above Apple’s 7.5-watt draw. In other words, Charge Stream Pad+ is primarily an upgrade for those who need to charge something other than an iPhone, or those who may want to invest in a bit of “future-proofing” in the event that this year’s iPhone lineup increases Qi charging speeds.
The catch, however, is that for users of current iPhone models — the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X — Charge Stream Pad+ offers little more than Mophie’s earlier Wireless Charging Base, and to be fair, the rather disjointed product branding between the two models would suggest that Mophie doesn’t really consider this an “upgrade” — It’s not billed as a “Wireless Charging Base Pro” for instance, but rather a completely different device that just happens to be almost identical in appearance. Charge Stream Pad+ sells for the same price as Wireless Charging Base (although it appears Mophie has dropped the price on the earlier model by $10 on its website, it’s not clear whether that’s a temporary or a permanent price drop). While there’s little incentive for anybody who already has a Qi charger to run out and upgrade to Charge Stream Pad+, we do think this version offers enough benefit over the prior model — and even most competitors — to make it our preferred choice if you’re looking for your first Qi charging pad; while it functions as well as just about any other Qi-certified 10-watt charger, the elegance of Mophie’s design really helps to set it apart.
Company and Price
Model: Charge Stream Pad+