Belkin has a pair of new wireless Apple Watch chargers it’s announcing today, which are notably the first third-party chargers to support the newly added fast charging on the Apple Watch Series 7.
The $149.95 BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad with MagSafe is the largest of the two, and it follows in the footsteps of last year’s 3-in-1 Belkin charger. Belkin has scrapped the weird sculptural appearance of the previous edition in favor of a more normal-looking flat rectangular pad that will probably sit better on a nightstand, in addition to incorporating Series 7 fast charging.
The new charger aims to hit the perfect trio of Apple charging: full-speed 15W MagSafe charging for an iPhone, Series 7 fast charging for an Apple Watch, and a regular Qi charger for the AirPods. Of course, as has always been the case with Belkin’s combination chargers, the $150 price tag is far more than what it would cost to buy individual MagSafe, fast-charging Series 7 Apple Watch, and Qi chargers, meaning that you’re paying a decent premium for style and convenience here. That price also does include a 40W power adapter, so you’re at least getting a one-stop solution for your money.
The BoostCharge Pro Portable Fast Charger for Apple Watch, which is a pop-up Apple Watch charging stand that costs $59.95, is the other new charger here. Belkin’s single charger isn’t a battery pack-style device for recharging an Apple Watch while you’re out and about, despite the word “portable” in the name. Even more perplexing, the $60 price tag excludes a power adapter: while the stand includes an integrated USB-C connection, you’ll need to supply your own 20W wall adapter to utilize it.
The net result is a larger, bulkier version of the fast-charging cable that Apple includes with every Apple Watch Series 7 — except that Belkin’s version costs literally twice the standalone cable’s $29 price.
Looking at things more broadly, the new Belkin fast chargers demonstrate — once again — Apple’s MFi program’s deliberate constraints. Belkin’s new chargers are now the only third-party fast chargers available, and if last year’s glacial MagSafe rollout is any indication, it will be some time before other businesses are able to gain Apple’s clearance (and parts) to produce alternative options.