Can Belkin’s Boost Charge trinity be logical substitutes to Apple’s accessories?
There are choices aplenty at different price points, across product lines. We take stock of the genuine options, and ones you can avoid
Accessories for smartphones aren’t taken lightly, by those splashing the cash. The purchases usually happen in two waves. First, alongside a new smartphone purchase, to get the best out of the promised specs. Secondly, buying some upgrades mid-cycle (chargers and cases tend to be popular). The accessories bucket is extensive – everything apart from your phone can be categorised as one.
Wired and wireless chargers, charging cables, cases, even earphones and wireless earbuds. In the case of tablets, add keyboards, stylus, and mounts too. These are just some examples. The numbers illustrate the burgeoning importance of this space, for brands. Data by Coherent Market Insights, the smartphone accessories market in India will be worth $4376.8 million by the year 2028. This, up from $2115.2 million in 2021.
Belkin is a brand you are likely already familiar with. They make everything from wireless audio products, chargers, rugged cables, smart home products and docking systems. It is no surprise that the iPhone accessory line-up is one that sees refreshes, more often than not.
We tested a troika of Belkin’s latest products for the iPhone line-up, giving us a change to weigh the performance against the original accessories that Apple sells, as well as the options from equally well known third-party accessory makers.
Yes: One charger can rule two devices?
We find the Belkin Boost Charge Pro, quite relevant if you also have a MacBook or an iPad in the mix. This is essentially a 65-watt dual-port wall charger (both ports on the charger are USB-C, mind you, which necessitates the need for correct cables).
This started out with a price tag of ₹5,999 and has since settled at around ₹3,999 (before you snare possible offers and cashbacks), which makes this a more consistent option when compared with a slew of newbie brands (often with lower power ratings) that are commonplace on online stores.
The alternate you may consider is the Spigen PE2007 GaN Dual Port charger, which tops out at 70W and is priced around ₹2,699. Apple only has a dual-port charger in the 33W avatar (costs around ₹5,800), which incidentally is also standard accessory for the Apple MacBook Air (the M2 edition, launched in 2022).
The Boost Charge Pro’s power distribution is done in a way that if you just use the first of the two ports, it will deliver up to 65W of power. That is enough to power the last two generations of the MacBook Air, the previous two generations of the MacBook Pro 13 as well as charge and power all iPad lines (the iPad Pro 12.9 included).
If you do use both ports simultaneously, the mapping will restrict the output from the first port to 45W and the second port to 20W. The former being enough for the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro 12.9 for instance, alongside an iPhone 14 or an iPad or iPad Air.
We noticed that the Boost Charge Pro’s 65W port, when used in isolation, delivers fast charging to most Android phones as well. The dual-port wall charger doesn’t heat up any more than a standard Apple 67W adapter for the MacBook or the 20W fast charging adapter for the iPad do, factoring in consistency of use including the same wall socket.
Maybe: Wireless power bank, to juice up your iPhone
The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is definitely one of the most desirable accessories for iPhone users. It is part convenience, and part is the fascination that it still retains, as the MagSafe wireless charging magnets and a power bank come together. And since it’s made by Apple, for the iPhone, looks good too. But the price tag of ₹12,100 is definitely prohibitive for many.
Utility of a wireless power bank is definitely, albeit limited. Focus is particularly on those who travel often and don’t always have access to wired charging for a sustained period of time. The Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Wireless Power Bank attempts to replicate what the MagSafe Battery Pack does, while demanding much lesser outlay on your credit card. This is priced around ₹4,499.
Inside is a 2,500mAh battery pack, which is more than the MagSafe Battery Pack’s 1,460mAh capacity. The Boost Charge Magnetic Wireless Power Bank is rated at 7.5W, not entirely dissimilar to Apple’s battery pack (though it needed a firmware update to unlock the faster charging speed). Mind you, with these capacities, you will never be able to fully charge your iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus, let alone an iPhone 14 Pro Max – the emphasis is on topping up the charge, for greater endurance.
At least you wouldn’t have to deal with having to handle the troika of your iPhone, a charging cable and a traditional (read, wired) power bank. Though Belkin’s design looks slightly bulkier than Apple’s more seamless blend with the iPhone, that is an incredibly minor trade-off.
No: Another wireless charger iteration, but too slow
Wireless charger choices are aplenty. Many have gotten better with time. Some have stood still. It very much seems Belkin’s Boost Charge Magnetic Wireless Charger Stand sits in the latter category. It is limited to just 7.5-watts of wireless charging speed. You won’t always have time to wait around.
If you aren’t too enthused with having a magnetic wireless charger on your bedside table or workstation, you may want to consider the OnePlus Warp Charge 50 (priced around ₹3,990) which does up to 15W charging speeds for the iPhones. If you are still insistence about the coolness of MagSafe, the Daily Objects Conoid (this will cost around ₹3,199) is a good option – the aluminum finish is a bonus.
Belkin also doesn’t bundle a power adapter with the wireless charger despite a price tag of ₹4,499, which means that’s an additional accessory to purchase. The piano black finish looks good though, but in the grand scheme of things, holds little value otherwise.