The Belkin Qi Wireless charging pad is priced at Rs 2,900.
Supports Samsung Galaxy S8, S9-series, Note 8, iPhone 8 and iPhone X models.
No adapter in box, no support for quick charging.
Wireless charging has been around for a few years now, but only a handful of smartphones support the feature. Samsung was one of the first OEMs to introduce wireless charging with the Galaxy S6, and all the flagship smartphones after that. And even after all these years, only a handful of smartphones support the new charging standard, including the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
Wireless charging pads don’t come bundled with these smartphones, and they are additional accessories that you need to buy separately. But are wireless charging pads any good, and it is really worth spending your money? I purchased one to use with my Galaxy Note 8, and I also recently got the one from Belkin for review, which is priced at Rs 2,900. After using the Belkin Qi Wireless Charging Pad for over two weeks, here’s what I feel.
What is wireless charging?
Before we get to the review, let me first highlight what wireless charging technology is all about. A simple explanation – charging the device wirelessly without having to plug in the cable is called wireless charging. Also referred to as inductive charging, you get the wireless charging device that has the magnetic circuitry to transfer energy wirelessly. The back of your smartphone, on the other hand, has a receiver coil that can accept the transmitted energy, and charge your device.
If you think that wireless charging would be something like Wi-Fi where you can roam around anywhere in the room, while being connected to the internet, that’s not how it works. You still need to connect the charging adapter to the power outlet, and the charging cable still exists, which you connect to the charging mat. The only benefit is that you don’t connect the cable to the microUSB, USB Type-C or Lightning charging port of your smartphone, which in turn will slightly increase the longevity of your connector, nothing else.
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Belkin Qi Wireless Charging Pad performance
The charging pad from Belkin is very basic. It has a round, saucer-like design with just a micro-USB port on the side, to connect the charging cable. There are no other connectors, and sadly, the package doesn’t come with a charging adapter; you’ll have to use the one that came with your smartphone. However, you do get a 6-foot long data cable, which is a good thing.
In terms of performance, despite using a fast charger, the charging mat only supports 5W / 1AMP output, which means longer hours to charge. I used the wireless charger to charge my Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which features a 3,300mAh battery. It took three hours and 28 minutes to charge the phone from empty to full, which is more than double the time it takes with wired charging. I even tried charging the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9, both of which feature 3,000mAh batteries, and they both took three hours to charge from empty to full, again, which is more than double.
The charging experience wasn’t cool either. After every 30 minutes, I used to check up on how much it charged, and the device would get quite warm. And honestly, knowing what happened with the Galaxy Note 7, I did panic a couple of times. I also tried charging the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus owned by my colleagues, and the same story continued – it charges slow at snail’s pace, and the device also gets quite warm.
As I mentioned above, I had bought a Baseus wireless charging pad for my phone priced around Rs 1,200 from AliExpress, and it supports fast charging too. While it is not as fast as wired charging, it does charge the Galaxy Note 8 from empty to full in roughly two hours and 30 minutes.
Verdict: Should you buy a wireless charger?
The short answer is no, you don’t need a wireless charger. You don’t get any real benefits of going truly wireless, as some people may expect it to. Plus, you need to keep the smartphone on a charging pad, where the transmitter and receiver coil are in contact with each other. Also, if the phone is not properly aligned with the charging mat, it does not charge. The Belkin option here doesn’t really offer any real benefits for its high price.
Overall, the idea of a wireless charger sounds good, but it is nothing more than a gimmick. It’s a piece of technology that you don’t actually need, and looking at how it works, I don’t think there is any point in investing in one. Still, if you don’t mind the slow charging, the device getting slightly warm, and want to do away with the plugging and unplugging of the charger cable, you can consider buying a wireless charger.
The convenience is that you simply place it onto the mat and take it off when you need it, and charging takes place when you might not normally have bothered charging your phone with a wire. Considering its price of Rs 2,900, there are products with fiercer pricing (Rs 800 and above) available on Amazon India and AliExpress offering additional features.