Looking for ways to accessorize your iPhone or Android phone for some convenience? These Belkin products will offer at least one way to do it. I’m familiar with the brand, as is, but I looked at a bunch of them for a few months to gauge which ones performed and made the best case to stand out.
These accessories are largely about better charging or connectivity. Are you still plugging in to charge your phone, or have you moved on to a wireless charger? Not all of them are made equal, or even with the same design principles in mind. There’s also proprietary tech to keep in mind, like Apple’s MagSafe, which lets you attach compatible chargers and other accessories to the back of certain iPhones. Not to leave Android totally out—there are workarounds for them too. I’ll start out with three of my favourites in this group and break down the rest of the group after.
3-in-1 Boost Up Apple Charger
Sometimes, you just tip your hat to a device that sits idle a lot of the time. That’s Belkin’s Boost Up 3-in-1 Wireless Charger, a minimalistic stand that can accommodate the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods all at once. So long as you have an iPhone 12 or later, your phone will simply stick to the main stand through via MagSafe, charging wirelessly the whole time. Place the watch along the other upright charging stand, and the AirPods on the flat pad behind it, and that’s it—you’ve got three devices wirelessly charging simultaneously.
The simplicity is easy to appreciate for a couple of reasons. First, it removes all cables for three devices, keeping things clean and uncluttered. Second, it’s always on standby, so once you place any of the devices in their respective spots, you’re good. It also fits wherever you want to put it, be it in a home office or by a bedside table, for instance. There’s not much upkeep for the Boost Up, either. You plug it in the first time and leave it, unless you need to move it.
The Qi-enabled chargers on the Boost Up are not necessarily exclusive to Apple’s devices. You could set down another pair of earbuds instead of AirPods, or lay down another watch that also charges via wireless charging. For Android phones, there is a way to utilize MagSafe, and that’s through a case system like Peak Design, which uses its own magnetic induction system that can also work with Apple’s.
Car Vent Mount Pro
What we have here is a straight up mount for your phone that clips into your vehicle’s air vent. Sturdy and well-built, the Car Vent Mount Pro is MagSafe-compatible, so you can place your iPhone (12 or later) on it. It will even work with cases that work with MagSafe, especially those thin enough to allow the connection to pass through. It rotates so you can orient your phone in portrait or landscape, which is great if you need it for navigation. I can see rideshare drivers liking that particular aspect.
The clip for the vent can also accommodate vertical or horizontal fins, so you should get a pretty secure fit no matter which way you go. The one downside is there is no built-in charger. It’s purely a mount using MagSafe rather than a two-in-one charging mount, but the advantage is you don’t have to stick anything on the back of the phone. You do, however, get a cable management setup in the back to plug in your own charging cable directly to the phone.
As for Android phones, the same situation applies. If you have something like a Peak Design case, or an adhesive disc you can stick to the back of your phone or case, then you can easily take advantage of this mount as well. I tried both methods and they worked just fine. The only other potential drawback I can see is if you have flimsier vent fins, especially horizontal ones where they might struggle to keep the mount (and phone) from tilting down.
This takes the principles behind the previous two products and makes them more mobile. Basically, the Boost Charge is a charging cable with an integrated MagSafe pad at the end to just lock your phone in and charge. It has 10 watts of output, and is just as easy to use as any other charging cable, only you get better handling, in my opinion. Instead of a cable sticking out of the bottom, you can orient the pad to have the cable stick out in any direction you want. My car doesn’t have wireless charging, so I liked using this for that reason. Passengers can just as easily remove a driver’s phone to charge with theirs if it’s compatible with MagSafe.
The Boost Charge comes in one piece, so you can’t separate the two. It’s also a long 6.6-ft. cable; clearly long enough to hide behind furniture, though you would need to wrap part of it up if you plan on using it at a shorter distance. The included wall charger can hit outputs up to 20 watts, but you won’t get that when charging a device wirelessly. You would need to use a different cable and plug in for a wired connection to take advantage of the higher throughput.
Other charging options
Belkin’s Boost Charge 10W Qi Dual Wireless Charging Pad is pretty much as its name describes. You get a Qi wireless charging pad with two distinct spaces for whatever devices can fit on them. That could be two phones, two sets of earbuds, two smartwatches, or any combination. The only thing that matters is whether the devices are compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard. Most are, so it should be fine. It also comes in black or white to match your décor.
If you prefer your phone stand up when charging, you have two ways to go about it. One is the MagSafe route courtesy of the Boost Charge Magnetic Wireless Charger Stand. It is, in many ways, the same as the Boost Charge, only with a built-in stand to keep the phone propped up and visible. That’s good if you want it in the office, bedside or even the kitchen. My one gripe about this one is I wish Belkin made the cable detachable because it makes an excellent stand for watching content. If it were totally free of the cable, you could take it with you, say, during a meal. It is great on a flight, though, since you can charge and mount the phone to watch something all at once.
Your other option is the Wireless Charging Stand, which doesn’t use magnets at all, making it more agnostic to the phone you’re using. This one looks a lot like the other Belkin charging stands over the years, basically made up of a cradle with attached cable. Just lay your phone into it and you should see it charge. The rails on either side allow you to put it in landscape orientation and charge at once as well. That’s great if you need to watch something or do a video call, and since it doesn’t matter if it’s an iPhone or Android phone (provided they support wireless charging), it’s definitely convenient that way.
I got to try the Belkin Connect USB-C 4-in-1 Multiport Adapter, but this isn’t the only one available. Belkin makes a bunch of them, and their purpose is the same, which is to give your computer more ports. This way, you can connect up to four devices at once, like two USB peripherals, plus a monitor via the HDMI port. While I like the smaller size, I tend to recommend going a little bigger because of the extra ports. The 5-port version gives you a memory card slot, while the 6-port version adds an Ethernet port.
Belkin made its name with accessories just like these. Its product lineup goes back years with chargers, hubs and peripherals designed to connect and make things easier with the devices we use most. Much of what I looked at here involved charging, with a heavier emphasis on MagSafe, a solid system to simultaneously mount and charge. Any of these will work well if you’re looking for a way to charge and connect.
You can find all the Belkin products available now, including others not mentioned here.