Belkin’s fast-charging Apple Watch power bank could be magic

Today was just another Thursday when my colleague W the edge Senior News Editor Richard Lawler tagged me in a Slack thread. Opening said thread, the pterodactyl screamed. Behold Belkin Postcharge Pro – $99.99 10,000mAh power bank with a small hole that lets you fast charging A compatible Apple Watch or second-generation AirPods Pro on the go (and any device that charges via a USB-C cable at up to 20W).

Is it expensive? Yes, especially since it is not yet available and is only open for pre-orders. I wouldn’t begrudge anyone who isn’t a wearable reviewer or smartwatch lover a cynic. It’s a reasonable reaction, and I completely understand why you think I’m a dingo of the highest order in existence this Glad about uninstalled tool. I also understand that I might have done the equivalent of flushing $108 (with sales tax) down the toilet if that power bank turned out to be useless.

Here’s why I’m willing to take that risk.

Thanks I hate it. This is one of the many boxes I am still sorting through and tagging.
Photo by Victoria Song/The Verge

Smart watches have the distinction of being one of the few types of gadgets Still rely on proprietary chargers. I have a collection of Medusa smartwatch chargers from Apple, Samsung, Fossil, Google, Fitbit, Garmin, Mobvoi, and dozens of other assorted wearable brands divided into several drawers and boxes. While lawmakers can push phones, tablets, and other gadget makers to unite around a charging standard, getting wearable technology to work comes with unique challenges.

Frustrated with my “collection,” a few years ago I contacted designer Gadi Amit, who founded the NewDealDesign agency that Fitbit had previously used on several products. He said to me That every standard connector, whether it’s USB-C or something else, is basically too big to work with a wearable that’s small enough to wear comfortably. That also extends to wireless charging.

Something else? Smartwatches put the health-tracking sensors on the bottom so they can sit on your skin, while the screen is positioned on the other side so you can actually see the dang show. This leaves device makers with very limited options as to where they can actually place the charging mechanism. Complicating matters further, companies may not use the same sensors or components from one device to another. Any major overhaul of internal components or design change may be required afterwards brand new The charger, even if it looks almost identical to the old one.

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Leading smartwatches also have a reputation for not-so-impressive battery life compared to the more energy-efficient fitness bands of the past. Advanced GPS, always-on OLED displays, continuous health tracking, and cellular connectivity—these are all battery-powered features. The more advanced the watch, the worse the battery life. Software innovations have improved battery life over the years, but fast charging is fast, easy, and fast comfortable A compromise solution to the smartwatch battery dilemma.

A fast-charging power bank means you’ll never have to wonder if you packed the right Apple Watch cable

The only problem is that express shipping has different technical requirements than regular shipping. Which means – you guessed it – adding this feature requires a brand new charger. In the case of the Apple Watch, once Apple introduced fast charging with the Series 7, that means you need the new USB-C Apple Watch charger And a A power brick that can save more than 5 watts of energy. Those little cubes that used to come with Apple devices? Those won’t work. For reasons of e-waste, the newer power unit is not included when upgrading to compatible Apple Watch with fast charging.

This is why it can be confusing for the average consumer to know if they are using the right smartwatch charger and Power brick combination to enable fast charging. As my wife says, “It doesn’t help that the old and new chargers look so much the same.” (Pro tip: Always check if it has a USB-C connector and a silver cap on the disc.) That’s only with Apple’s own chargers, which cost an arm and a leg to replace if lost. It could be a free for all on the third party market if you don’t do your due diligence. And even if you want to stick with just Apple chargers, those don’t always work either.

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This thing will not quickly charge your Apple Watch.
Photo by Dieter Bohn/The Verge

Case in point: Apple’s MagSafe Duo. Although it It costs a ridiculous $130 For the privilege of charging your iPhone and Apple Watch on the go, You cannot use it for fast charging the hour.

3-in-1 External Charging Stands? Only some of them support fast charging for Apple Watch Series 7, 8, and Ultra. Even if you buy them from accessory makers that Apple works with — like Belkin. I made the mistake of ordering a Belkin 3-in-1 charging stand for Christmas, and my relatives didn’t check to see if the one they got supported fast charging for the watch. I’m now stuck with it, even though it doesn’t exist The only thing i need In the morning when I get up for an hour and my Apple Watch has 10 percent battery. The result is that my nightstand is a spaghetti mound of cables labeled so that even half-asleep I can pick out the correct charger for the correct device to charge it at the correct speed.

Forget traveling. I do my best to pack the correct chargers, bricks, and power banks for the three to five wearables I test when away from home. I cheated on myself though. Even worse, the wireless magnetic discs and pins used by wearable chargers are not what I would call secure. You can connect your phone to a regular power bank, put it in your backpack and be confident that your phone will charge. This does not apply to smart watches. It depends on whether the spirits of your ancestors will bless your magnetic charging disk on a given day and whether you wander in transit.

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This is definitely a problem for me. But even if you don’t review wearables and have dozens of cables to choose from, there’s always the risk of leaving a cable behind, grabbing the wrong one while packing, and choosing to either buy a new charger…or accept your watch is dead until you get home.

You can connect your phone to a regular power bank, put it in your backpack and be confident that your phone will charge. This does not apply to smart watches

I don’t know if the Belkin BoostCharge Pro will keep its promise. I’ve been burned so many times that I try to moderate my expectations. But the idea is that this little piece in the picture, the one I seem to be able to securely attach my Apple Watch to And connect my phone? And Potentially removing two or three extra cables from my bag? And Give me confidence that if I get this thing I will be 100 percent confident that it will charge my device quickly? And Maybe let me toss my smartwatch cables in exchange for an assortment of 3-5 power banks? For once, enough hope burns in my shrinking heart that I pre-ordered the damn thing to test it out for myself.

Bless Belkin even for trying to bring this into existence. Bless the army of imitators who are likely to get on board and do so for cheaper. Bless the inevitable copycats that will do it for Samsung, Google, Fossil, and other smartwatches.

I will report back once this thing has been shipped.

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