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Belkin’s new $150 3-in-1 charger is the first to get Apple Watch Series 7 fast charging

Belkin’s new $150 3-in-1 charger is the first to get Apple Watch Series 7 fast charging

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And is the latest example of Apple’s frustrating MFi program limits

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The BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad with MagSafe
The BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad with MagSafe
Image: Belkin

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 larger of the two is the $149.95 BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad with MagSafe, which follows in the footsteps of last year’s 3-in-1 Belkin charger. In addition to adding Series 7 fast charging, Belkin has ditched the odd sculptural design on the previous model in favor of a more normal-looking flat rectangular pad that will probably fit better on a nightstand.

The BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad with MagSafe
The BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad with MagSafe
Image: Belkin

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 other new charger here is a bit more baffling: the BoostCharge Pro Portable Fast Charger for Apple Watch, which is a pop-up Apple Watch charging stand that costs $59.95. Despite the “portable” in the name, Belkin’s solo charger isn’t a battery pack-style setup for recharging an Apple Watch while you’re out and about. And even more baffling, that $60 price tag doesn’t include a power adapter: while there’s an integrated USB-C cable built into the stand, you’ll have to provide your own 20W wall adapter to actually use it.

The BoostCharge Pro Portable Fast Charger for Apple Watch
The BoostCharge Pro Portable Fast Charger for Apple Watch
Image: Belkin

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 more broadly, though, is the fact that the new Belkin fast chargers show — once again — the intentional limits of Apple’s MFi program. The new chargers from Belkin are the only third-party fast chargers on the market right now, and if the pattern of last year’s glacial MagSafe rollout is anything to go by, it’ll be some time before other companies are able to get the approval (and the parts) from Apple to make other options.

Both the $59.95 BoostCharge Pro Portable Fast Charger for Apple Watch and 149.95 BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad with MagSafe are available to order today from Belkin and Apple’s respective websites in the US, Japan, Hong Kong, and China, with availability in more countries promised in the coming months.

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