Belkin BOOST↑UP 10W wireless charging stand and pad (Australian review)
Belkin has added a BOOST↑UP 10W wireless charging stand and charging pad to its growing range of Qi chargers. Qi adds unmatched charging convenience.
Belkin’s range is extensive and covers three levels of Qi charge – 5W, 10W and 15W.
Qi charging 101
It is best to think of these as
- 5W slow (overnight – around 10 hours for an iPhone 8 Plus)
- 10W normal (takes up to double the time of a 5V/2A wall charger – around four hours for an iPhone X)
- 15W fast (around the same time as a 5V/2A charger)
Each smartphone has a maximum charge speed. It intelligently communicates this to the charger. For example, the Apple iPhone 8/Plus/X charge at 7.5W. So, a 10A charger will lower the amperage to match. You can’t hurt the phone by using any version of a charger.
Some of the recent Samsung Galaxy devices can take 10W, so a 15W charger is best. Belkin makes a Samsung version that supports its adaptive fast charging (5V/2A, 9V/1.67A) to cut the charge time even more.
This pad works with any device. It is fastest with a Galaxy S8/9, Note 8/9 or Qualcomm Fast Charge 3.0/4.0 smartphones.
So, let’s not get technical – this pad is capable of up to 10W charging if your device accepts it.
Belkin BOOST↑UP Bold Wireless Charging Pad 10W for Apple, Samsung, LG, Google and Sony
BOOST↑UP Wireless Charging Stand 10W for Apple, Samsung, LG and Sony
Both use the same charging pad. Each has a 1.5m cabled AC adaptor that provides 12V/2A (24W) power to the pad. That is converted into appropriate voltage and amperage for charging.
We tested an iPhone 8 Plus with a 2,675mAh (10.28Wh) battery. All tests were with the phone using Wi-Fi/Bluetooth but all background apps disabled, e.g. after a cold boot.
The iPhone 8 has 1,821mAh (6.96Wh) battery so that it will charge faster. The iPhone X has a 2,716mAh (10.35Wh), so it will be marginally slower than the Plus.
- A standard Apple 5V/2.4A, 12W wall adapter full charge took just under four hours.
- Using a standard 5W Qi pad (up to 5W delivered) took over 10 hours.
- The BOOST↑UP 10W (7.5A delivered) pad a full charge took about six hours.
- The BOOST↑UP 15W (10A+ delivered) made no difference to the 10W charger time.
But there is an interesting issue here specific to the iPhone 8/Plus and the iPhone X. Apple states it support USB-C Power Delivery standards 1.0 (7.5W), 2.0 (60W) and 3.0 (100W).
That means the iPhone 8 can take from 5V/2A to 15V/2A (29W). Using Apple’s 29W wall charger model A1540 the iPhone 8 Plus reached 50% in about 45 minutes, and 100% in just on three hours.
Any USB-C charger supporting Power Delivery with a USB-C to Apple Lightning connector can achieve this. We retested using Belkin’s 45W USB-C charger and got the same results.
Build and design
The Bold desktop pad is black or white. It has a rubberised grip ring to reduce the incidence of a glass curved back phone slipping off.
There is a white LED indicator at the front that confirms charging. Make doubly sure you see it light up as its fairly easy to offset the iPhone from the charge coil.
Both will charge through typical 3mm cases. If in doubt, ask the salesperson to test with your case before you buy.
Both have foreign object detection – it won’t charge your car keys …
The Stand also comes in black or white. The pad angles at 35° to allow for the phone to sit on an ‘easel’. You can charge in portrait or landscape mode (the phone sits on the side ‘legs’. It is thoughtfully designed.
Interestingly I prefer the pad, but my wife prefers the stand (limited bedside table space).
I can’t explain either preference as Apple iPhone X (an OLED screen) does not have an always-on-display (you can install an A-O-D app here).
Belkin matches its quality with a three-year warranty (if registered on the website) and a $2,500 connected equipment warranty. It covers damage by an electrical charge.
Note that Qi charging does generate some heat between the phone and the pad. This is entirely normal and in tests with a variety of pads has never exceeded 35°.
GadgetGuy’s take. I love Qi charging, and Belkin’s BOOST↑UP does it for me.
First, I am not an Apple user so thanks to the willing Gadgeteer that helped me test the units. As far as he is concerned, using the Stand beside the bed and the pad in his office are no-brainers. In fact, he is off to buy two more so his wife can have the same convenience. He is a convert.
Me, I am a QI tragic. I have been since Nokia (the real ones) introduced it around 2012. Perhaps I go overboard by having a pad beside my bed; in my home office; at my office; beside the couch; and in the car. Qi is about intelligent charging and top up. I never leave without the phone being at 100%.
The unmatched convenience pays dividends. Ironically I never had issues with the ill-famed Samsung Note 7 with a cigarette lighter. I always used Qi charging.
Qi is kinder to the battery. You never risk damage from continually placing a cable into fragile micro-USB, and not so fragile USB-C and Lightning ports.
Here is a current (perhaps not exhaustive) list of QI devices
Rest assured that I add an extra point for this when reviewing smartphones.
- Apple iPhone: 8, 8 Plus, X
- Samsung Galaxy: Note 9, S9, S9+, Note 8, S8, S8+, S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6, S6 Edge
- Sony: Xperia XZ3, Xperia XZ2 Premium, Xperia XZ2
- LG: G7 ThinQ, V30, G6 (US version only), G4 (optional), G3 (optional)
- Nokia: 8 Sirocco
- Huawei: Mate RS Porsche Design
- Microsoft Lumia: 1520, 1020, 930, 929, 928, 920
- Motorola Z series (with Qi charge Moto Mod)
- Google Nexus: 4, 5, 6, 7 (2013)
- BlackBerry: Priv
Many smartphones can have an inexpensive adaptor added. See here. And several accessories support Qi as well. Earphones, watches and more.
Anyway, I digress. BOOST↑Up is well made. Its price reflects the quality. It delivers up to 10W which is about the same as a 5V/2A wall charger.
A final note. There is an Anti-Belkin ‘fake review’ Qi campaign on the Apple Forums – ignore it. My advice is to buy the product. If it does not meet your expectations, Belkin is a very reputable company that will replace or refund.
- Well made
- Pad or stand – the choice is yours
- Three-year warranty (if you register)
- $2,500 connected equipment guarantee
- Reasonable efficiency in converting energy to Qi – about 75% of the speed of a 5V/2A wall charger
- Good for all Qi phones – only the Belkin Samsung version with a Note 8 or S8/9 is faster
- Works with most cases up to 3mm
- 1.5m cable to the charger is good but can be a little short at times
- Some users report glass backed phones slipping off
- Make sure the LED light comes on. It is easy to miss the optimum coil position
- Does not work with thicker leather or MIL-SPEC style cases
Rated as a Qi 10W charger capable of powering any Qi device.
- Overall: 4.6 out of 5
- Features: 5 out of 5 – I would have preferred a slightly longer cable but no issue
- Value for Money: 4 out of 5 – Belkin are a standard price
- Performance: 5 out of 5 – fit for purpose and charges as any other 10W brand/pad does
- Ease of Use: 4 out of 5 – Requires good placement
- Design: 5 out of 5 – Simple and elegant
- BOOST↑UP desk pad is $99
- BOOST↑UP stand is $109