Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Belkin preps your bedside for Qi2 with stands, chargers

What is essentially MagSafe for both Android and iPhone is on the way, at least for the chargers, as Belkin releases Qi2 gear.

Near the middle of 2024, it can feel as if phone launches this year feel a bit slow. There haven’t been many major ones beyond the Samsung Galaxy S24 range, but more are coming, and they may even sport a technology that makes them easier to charge.

Owners of recent iPhones may already be totally familiar with the magnetic wireless charging system that is MagSafe, but Android users, markedly less so.

MagSafe is an Apple thing launched with the iPhone 12, blending Qi wireless charging with a magnetic ring, while Android owners with wireless charging have only had the Qi wireless charging technology. That’s what Qi2 aims to address, blending a magnetic ring with faster wireless charging, and supporting the technology on both Android and iPhone.

Last year’s iPhone 15 range supports Qi2, but we’ve not seen an Android phone that does yet. Even this year’s Samsung flagship, the S24 Ultra, missed out on Qi2. Phones with Qi2 are clearly in the pipeline, though, and accessory makers are ready, one of which is releasing its gear right now.

Belkin is releasing three of its Qi2 gadgets to market in Australia arriving with a new version of the BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 stand, and using a Qi2 charger on the main 15W charging panel, while the two other panels provide 5W to an Apple Watch and 5W to wireless earphones.

This one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, mind you; not only is it an update to a model first released in 2021, but this Qi2-infused update was also announced at the beginning of the year.

There’s also the BoostCharge Pro 2-in-1 (above), which is mainly focused on wireless charging for a phone and a pair of earphones, with a USB-C port included for an extra device. The design is such that it’s built to be taken to go. It’s not foldable like the Twelve South Butterfly, but more of a flat-pack charger.

And Belkin also has a Qi2 MagSafe combo BoostCharge Pro Convertible Magnetic Stand, which is a fun way of saying “this is a stand that can hold up your phone and charge it when plugged in, and will fold up for portability”.

Of the Qi2 models made more for Android phones when Qi2 actually arrives in an Android, we’d say that’ll cover the last two, the Convertible Magnetic Stand and the BoostCharge Pro 2-in-1. Qi2 charging pads are backwards compatible with MagSafe, and so these will also likely be fine for iPhones, but it’s more the lack of a watch charger that makes these models suitable for Android devices.

Belkin’s convertible stand for MagSafe and Qi2. That bar with the charging pad folds down.

With the BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1, there are three charging panels, and one of them is made specifically for the Apple Watch. That’s fine for iPhone owners with an Apple Watch, but less so for Android owners, because not only is the Apple Watch totally incompatible with Android, but no other wearable we’ve seen charges on an Apple Watch charger.

Recent AirPods models can charge on an Apple Watch charger — the third-gen standard AirPods and the noise-cancelling second-gen AirPods Pro — but no other wearable, making this model less suitable for Android owners regardless of whether they own a wearable or not. By comparison, the 2-in-1 with its USB-C port will at least mean you can plug in the specific wearable charger you might rely on.

Regardless of your situation, all three models are heading to stores and online now, with the Convertible Qi2 stand costing $99.95, the Boost Charge 2-in-1 for $149.95, and that three-prong update for $229.95. Now we just need a few Android devices with Qi2 onboard, too.

The Qi2-ready Boost Charge Pro 2-in-1 is designed to be carried flat in luggage.
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