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Belkin boost wireless charger

While waiting at the Apple Store a few weeks ago I noticed these little round circles sitting on the tables.  Wireless chargers, I thought.  I asked, and yes, I was right.  As it happened I needed to replace my phone and the new one is capable of charging wirelessly.  I liked the little round circles, which exuded the cool factor in their elegant simplicity, so I decided to indulge.  But I picked one up at Amazon where I could save a few bucks.  I settled on a 10 watt Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad.

It was worth it!  I place my phone on the circle.  A little LED turns on to confirm I placed it right. The phone screen lights up, as it does when you plug in a wired charger, to tell you it is connected to the charger.  The phone charges.  Magic.

Well, they say that magic is simply science we don’t understand, so how does this little white disk charge my phone?  Physicist Michael Farraday first described the process, called magnetic induction, in 1831.  So I should know by 2019 that it’s not magic. But it seems like magic to me.

It has to do with a coil of wire and magnetism.  You push alternating current through a coil in the little white disk to produce a magnetic field.  The phone reverses the process, using a built-in coil to convert the magnetic field back into current it can use to charge the battery.  The trick is to get the phone’s coil close enough to the magnetic field produced by the charger’s coil.

So to make this work you need a phone with a coil built in.  This particular Belkin Boost charger works with iPhone Xs, XS Max, XR, X, (X is pronounced 'ten' - I asked.  And by the way, why did Apple skip 9 when they named their new iPhones?) 8, 8+ / Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, S9, and Note9, among other phones.

It is compatible with any QI phone, which is a standard of magnetic induction charger that works up to 4 centimeters.  This means that you can charge your phones without taking off the case if the back is less than 4cm.

Belkin Boost Wirelss Charger

The circular disk, a usb charger, and a cable come in the box.  You plug the into each other, and that’s it.  Put your compatible phone on the disk and wait for it to charge,.  I expected it to take forever.  It is actually quite fast.  I haven’t tried a comparison test, but it is anecdotally at least as fast as a wired USB charger.

When I started writing this review I thought, what can I say?  This thing is so simple.  It just sits there and works.  Though nobody (but me) ever reads manuals, this thing is too simple even for a manual.  What’s it going to say?  “Plug in.  Put phone on it.”  It is one of those rare, pleasing things that just makes life a little bit better without making a big deal out of it.

I have seen other brands with more bells and whistles.  Well, bell and whistle... it has a blue light that circles the rim of the disk when your phone is charging.  Mostly they just sit there.  And charge.  Come to think of it, that is exactly what I do when I shop on Amazon!

Plugging a cable into my phone never seemed like a particularly onerous task.  But simply plopping the phone onto that little white disk has spoiled me.

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