Review: Belkin Valet Charge Dock for Apple Watch & iPhone [UPDATED]

 

Now that I have an Apple Watch, I needed a way to keep it charged. Yes it does come with a charge cable, but it’s one more cable that I really don’t want to have. So I relegated it to my travel bag. Instead, I picked up this from the Apple Store:

IMG_0054

Meet the Belkin Valet Charge Dock for Apple Watch & iPhone which allows you to charge both your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time. One of the reasons why I went for this is that besides the fact that this is an all-in-one solution, it has this going for it:

IMG_0055

This dial at the back allows you to lower or raise the Lightning connector. Which means that if you use a case on your iPhone, it will still be able to plug in. This solves the number one complaint that I have with most docks which is that I cannot use most of them with my case on the phone. This is a brilliant idea by Belkin. The phone simply plugs into the Lightning port to charge, though I will note that likely because of the case I am using, plugging in requires some degree of precision. The Apple Watch connects via a magnetic charger. While the magnet is strong enough to hold the Apple Watch in place, I recommend that you use the optional watch band support to make sure that it doesn’t fall off.

From a quality standpoint, this dock feels solid and it’s heavy as well. It also feels like a premium product regardless of where you touch it. There is no question in my mind that this will last over the long term. It comes in silver, rose gold, and black for those who want to match the dock to their phone. Gripes? None. Zip. Zero. Nada. As far as I am concerned, Belkin has hit a home run with this product.

The Belkin Valet Charge Dock for Apple Watch & iPhone goes for $144.95 CDN which isn’t cheap. But given the quality and the utility that’s on display here, it’s worth every penny as far as I am concerned. Take a look at it if you want an all-in-one charging solution for your iPhone and Apple Watch.

UPDATE: Since writing this review I have noted that this product does not work with the iPhone XS and XS Max. Presumably it also does not work with the about to be released iPhone XR as well. That is the first time I have ever seen an Apple MFi certified product not work with an Apple product. Users of this product who complain on Twitter have an interaction like this with Belkin’s social media team (who by the way are clearly not native English speakers when you read the following Tweets):

So Belkin is basically saying to buy their new product when it ships in November. And as you will see in a following Tweet, it looks like Belkin is offering a discount of some sort on a compatible dock. And they are kind of implying that their products are made to be future proof, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Which is understandable to a point. I say that because the whole point of the Apple MFi program is to ensure that this sort of situation doesn’t happen. So from an optics perspective alone, this is pretty bad for Belkin as it looks like they dropped the ball here. Whether they actually did or not is a completely different discussion. But consumers will assume that Belkin is at fault. Which is crystal clear that this is happening from looking at what Belkin customers think of this on Twitter:

In my case, since I am the owner of a new iPhone XS and a Belkin Valet, I will be replacing the Belkin Valet shortly with something from another company. Which is unfortunate as I have spoken to people at Belkin in the past and they have some really unique product offerings. But to be frank, I am now gunshy about going to the well with Belkin again as I believe that this situation was avoidable and could have been handled much better. And I have to wonder if this will happen again with a future iPhone seeing as far as I can tell, no other company is having, or has a problem like this with a MFi certified product that they make. If that isn’t the case, please correct me.

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One Response to “Review: Belkin Valet Charge Dock for Apple Watch & iPhone [UPDATED]”

  1. […] I got my brand new iPhone XS I discovered that my Belkin Valet Charge Dock for Apple Watch & iPhone wasn’t compatible with it as it would not charge my iPhone XS. That was weird as it is […]

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