Belkin Releases Privacy Screen Protectors for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

Belkin this week released new privacy-focused InvisiGlass Ultra screen protectors for the iPhone X and iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.


The screen protectors are designed with two-way mirrored glass that hides the contents of your iPhone screen from onlookers when viewed from the side, but provides full visibility when viewed straight on.

Apple, which began selling the screen protectors this week, says the screen protectors use ion-strengthened glass for improved durability.

The screen protectors are available for $44.95 on Apple.com for each iPhone model. An installation kit and cleaning cloth are included for self application, or Apple Stores can apply the screen protectors when purchased in store.

Keep in mind that many privacy screen protectors are available on Amazon, often at significantly lower prices, although quality varies.

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Review: Belkin’s Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock for iPhone and Apple Watch is Convenient but Expensive

Belkin is known for a range of accessories for the iPhone, and when Apple introduced support for Qi-based wireless chargers, Belkin was quick to come out with a range of options.

The Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock, which debuted in September, is the newest and most versatile offering, combining a Qi wireless charger with an Apple Watch charging puck and an extra USB-A port.


Design wise, the Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock has an upright Qi wireless charger similar in design to Belkin's other Boost Up charging options, with a round charging surface that houses the wireless charging coil.


The iPhone is designed to sit upright against the back of the charger, with the base serving as a stand. Belkin has slightly angled the base, which makes it easier to see the iPhone's display while positioned on the dock. The base is covered in a grippy material that prevents the iPhone from shifting or moving while it charges.


You can't put your iPhone on the dock horizontally because of the Apple Watch charger, so it's limited to vertical charging. The Apple Watch charges on the dock in landscape orientation so it works with Nightstand mode as a clock replacement.


I read some reviews that suggested the Belkin charger was not compatible with the iPhone XS Max in certain cases that make the iPhone a bit taller, but I didn't have that experience. Both my iPhone X and my iPhone XS Max charged without issue in Apple cases, and Belkin says that it supports cases up to 3mm thick.

The base of the dock measures in at 7.4 inches wide, 4.1 inches long, and 4.8 inches tall, so it does take up a decent amount of space on a desk. Since it's combining two charging options, though, it could be a space saver depending on what charging device you currently use.


There's an LED at the side of the dock, which does glow noticeably in a dark room, but it's not so bright that it's distracting or keeps me from sleeping at night. I do wish it wasn't there, but Belkin says it provides foreign object detection to let you know if something's touching the Qi wireless charger that shouldn't be.

Belkin's Wireless Charging Dock supports 7.5W charging, so it can charge the iPhone 8 and later at 7.5W instead of 5W. 7.5W is fairly standard on Qi-based charging devices intended for Apple devices these days, so this comes as no surprise. 7.5W is the maximum wireless charging speed that iPhones support.


The Apple Watch charging puck charges the Apple Watch at 5W, which is standard Apple Watch charging, and the included USB-A port located at the back also charges at 5W. This is not ideal for higher-powered devices like an iPad, which kind of limits the versatility of the extra port.


You can charge your AirPods or another lower-powered device, but if you're trying to charge an iPad or iPad Pro, the charging is going to go slowly. I tested the charging dock on my nightstand, where I keep an iPad mini for reading. I charged my iPad mini with the dock, and it was fine for that purpose.

By the way, for using the extra USB-A port, you need to provide your own cable. The dock does, however, ship with its own power supply.

Bottom Line


I've been testing the Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock on my nightstand, and it's worked perfectly. It's a handy way to keep my iPhone XS Max, Apple Watch, and iPad mini charged, and when it comes to design and functionality, I have no complaints, with the exception of the 5W USB-A port


That's not enough power to sufficiently charge one of Apple's larger iPads, which limits the functionality of the additional port.

The Charging Dock works well overall, but the downside is the price tag. It sells for $160, which is expensive and much pricier than purchasing separate iPhone and Apple Watch chargers. It's nice to have these features combined into one device with a single cable to plug in, but the price is just too high for many people.

How to Buy


The Boost Up Special Edition Wireless Charging Dock for iPhone and Apple Watch can be purchased from the Belkin website for $159.99 or from Amazon for $140.

Note: Belkin provided MacRumors with a Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

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CES 2019: Belkin Debuts New Chargers, Power Banks, and Cables

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place this week, popular iPhone accessory maker Belkin is introducing a number of new products, including new cables, chargers, and power banks.

Cables


Belkin is introducing several new Boost Charge cables in various lengths including 4ft, 6ft, and 10ft. All of the cables come equipped with a leather strap for organization purposes, putting an end to tangles, and there's a new speckled design available in black and white.


Cables are priced between $24.99 and $34.99, and will be available from the Belkin website in spring 2019. Belkin plans to offer USB-A to Lightning cables, USB-A to USB-C cables, and USB-C to Lightning cables. Belkin will be one of the first third-party companies to come out with a USB-C to Lightning cable, as Apple only recently began allowing accessory companies to offer them.

Chargers


Belkin is introducing both a USB-C Car Charger and a USB-C Home Charger, both of which come equipped with included 4ft USB-C cables. The USB-C chargers are ideal for charging the iPad Pro, MacBook, or iPhones with a USB-C to USB-A cable.


Belkin says the chargers are compatible with all QuickCharge and Power Delivery Devices up to 27W. The Car Charger and Home Charger will be priced from $39.99 to $44.99 and will be available in spring 2019 from the Belkin website.

Power Bank


Along with new cables and charger options, Belkin is debuting a Boost Charge Power Bank USB-C 20K, a 20,000mAh charger able to fast charge the 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro through an included USB-C cable.


It can also fast charge an iPhone when used with a USB-C to Lightning cable, and there's an additional 12W USB-A port for charging USB-A devices. Belkin says the power bank supports most USB-C devices, including the MacBook and Nintendo Switch.

Belkin plans to begin offering the Boost Charge Power in spring 2019 from the Belkin website.

Lightning Headphones


Belkin's final Belkin-branded product debuting at CES is a set of Rockstar Lightning headphones, ideal for all devices that no longer feature a headphone jack.


The headphones feature silicone ear tips for enhanced fit and seal for noise isolation, and they're sweat and water resistant. Belkin says they've been designed for comfort and quality performance, with enhanced durability that prevents cable strain.

The Rockstar Headphones with Lightning connector will be available in summer 2019, with Belkin also planning to launch headphones with a USB-C connector later this year.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Belkin. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.


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CES 2019: Belkin’s Wemo Brand Debuts New HomeKit-Compatible Light Switches Set to Launch in 2019

Belkin is adding to its lineup of HomeKit-compatible Wemo-branded smart devices with the upcoming launch of two new Wemo Light Switches that are set to come out in 2019.

The Light Switches will work with HomeKit, joining the Wemo Mini Smart Plug and the Wemo Dimmer, devices that offer full HomeKit compatibility without the need for the Wemo Smart Bridge.


Other Wemo products, such as the Insight Smart Plug, Motion Sensor, and existing Light Switch connect to HomeKit setups through the Wemo Smart Bridge. The newest Wemo products are much more convenient, offering a HomeKit connection without the use of the bridge.

Priced at $39.99 for single-pole and $49.99 for 3-way, the Wemo Light Switches feature an updated design that blends in well with a home's decor.

The new Wemo Light Switch options will be available in spring/summer 2019 from the Wemo website.


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Wemo’s WiFi Smart Dimmer Gains HomeKit Compatibility Through New Firmware Update

Belkin's Wemo brand today announced HomeKit support for the Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer, which is being added to existing Smart Dimmer switches through a software update.

Wemo's Smart Dimmer, priced at $79.99, is a wall switch that replaces a traditional wall switch and is designed to dim connected lights.


With HomeKit integration, the Smart Dimmer can be controlled via Siri voice commands on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod, and it adds controls for the device in the Home app.
"More than 1.5 million Wemo Mini and Dimmers are in the hands of consumers and people can now leverage this software update for use with the Wemo devices they already own," said Justin Doucette, senior director of product management for Wemo. "Our mission is to make the smart home experience simple, approachable and fun to use. With this new integration we aim to continue providing easy solutions to everyday tasks and add value through on-going software updates."
Smart Dimmer switches will also be able to be integrated into HomeKit scenes right alongside other HomeKit devices, and remote access is available through a home hub that includes HomePod, Apple TV, or an iPad.

The Smart Dimmer switches are the second Wemo product to gain direct HomeKit support, joining the Wemo Mini Smart Plug. Other Belkin products, such as the Insight Smart Plug, Motion Sensor, and Light Switch are able to connect to HomeKit setups through the Wemo Smart Bridge.


Wemo says that the update that will enable HomeKit support for its Dimmer switches is rolling out today, with the firmware able to be downloaded through a new Wemo app in the iOS App Store.

The Smart Dimmer can be purchased from the Belkin website for $79.99.

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Belkin Introduces BOOSTUP Wireless Charging Dock With iPhone XS/XS Max/XR and Apple Watch Series 4 Compatibility

Belkin today introduced its BOOSTUP Wireless Charging Dock for wirelessly charging an iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time. There is also a USB-A port for charging a third device like an iPad via Lightning cable.

Belkin BOOSTUP Wireless Charging Dock

The dock is compatible with the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, with wireless charging up to 7.5W, and all Apple Watch models at 5W/1A. It also works with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. The extra USB-A port also has an output of 5W/1A for wired charging of other devices.

The dock is certified under Apple's Made for iPhone program, compliant with the Qi standard, has the ability to charge through iPhone cases up to 3mm thick, and is compatible with Nightstand mode on the Apple Watch. The dock plugs into a wall outlet with a 45W AC adapter included for instant setup.


Belkin says the dock will be available in December at Apple Stores worldwide, priced at $159.99 in the United States.

Belkin also plans to introduce an updated PowerHouse Charge Dock for the iPhone and Apple Watch, for customers who prefer to charge their iPhone via Lightning connector. The new dock looks virtually identical to the previous version, but with a red-colored dial to raise and lower the Lightning connector.

The new PowerHouse Charge Dock

The new PowerHouse Charge Dock will be compatible with all iPhone models with Lightning connectors, including the latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, as well as all Apple Watch models. Belkin says it will be available at select retailers in November, priced at $99.99 in the United States.

The existing Belkin Valet Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone and PowerHouse Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone are not compatible with the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, according to Belkin.

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Wemo Mini Smart Plug Gains HomeKit Support Through Software Update

Belkin's Wemo Mini smart plug has gained HomeKit support through a software update, as reported today by CNET. This means that owners of Wemo Mini plugs can simply open the Wemo iOS app, update the device's software, and immediately gain the ability to add the plug into the Home app, add it into existing scenes, and use Siri to control it without the need for a Wemo Bridge.


Apple first announced that it would update its HomeKit specification during WWDC 2017, so that compatible smart products no longer have to include a hardware authentication chip. For products like the Wemo Mini, this means that authentication goes through software instead and greatly streamlines how developers integrate with HomeKit.

Although announced at last year's WWDC, the change eventually launched in iOS 11.3 in March 2018, and the Wemo Mini is now the first HomeKit product to connect to Apple's platform using the software protocol, a Wemo spokesperson said.
The team at Wemo also tells us that the Mini is the first HomeKit device to connect with the platform using Apple's software protocol instead of the MFi chipset that was initially required at HomeKit's launch. "No other non-chipped product has the ability to do the HomeKit authentication via a software update as of yet," a company spokesperson tells CNET.

In that sense, the ability to connect with HomeKit via software instead of hardware represents a fairly significant step forward for the platform, and one that could make it easier for other existing devices to jump on board. That'd be a win for Apple, which has thus far struggled to keep up with Amazon and Google in terms of the quantity of devices that work with its smart home platform. Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.
The $34.99 Wemo Mini is a smart plug that lets users add smart home control to normal products, like a bedside fan, lamp, coffee pot, and more. Smart plugs are a popular HomeKit accessory given their compatibility with a wide range of devices and cheap price tag. Other companies that make HomeKit smart plugs include iHome, iDevices, Koogeek, and Elgato.

Belkin initially introduced HomeKit support for its Wemo products with the Wemo Bridge, and although the Wemo Mini will no longer require a Wemo Bridge for HomeKit compatibility, other Wemo products will still need the Bridge to connect to Apple's platform. The team is working on updating other products similar to Wemo Mini, and says the Wemo Dimmer accessory is next on the roadmap for a HomeKit software update later this year.

For the Wemo Mini, users will see the HomeKit software update beginning today, and a rollout to all customers is expected to be finished as soon as next week.

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Review: Belkin’s Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand and Pad Feature 7.5W Speeds and Quality Designs, but Price is High

Belkin was one of the first companies to come out with a faster 7.5W wireless charger for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus after wireless charging launched, and the company has now had time to create a second round of wireless chargers with a more refined design.

Released this spring, the $60 Belkin Boost Up Bold Wireless Charging Pad and the $70 Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand are Belkin's newest wireless chargers designed for the iPhone, offering up the same 7.5W charging capability in a better package.


Both of these chargers are 7.5W, which means they're able to charge an iPhone with Qi wireless charging capabilities at a faster speed than traditional 5W chargers. I tested Belkin's two new chargers with an iPhone drained to 1 percent, and both charged up to right around 40 percent after an hour, which is in line with other summertime 7.5W charging speeds that I've seen.

Belkin advertises these chargers as 10W, but 7.5W is the maximum charging speed for iPhones. So if you have a Samsung device or something else that also charges via Qi and can charge at a faster speed, Belkin's charging pad and stand can charge those electronics at their maximum charging speed too.

Wireless charging speeds can vary quite a bit depending on factors like temperature, so you're not always going to see a lot of difference between 5W and 7.5W chargers as explained in our wireless charging guide.

For example, the original Belkin charger I have can charge my iPhone to about 46-48 percent in an hour during the wintertime (when it's ~65 degrees), but those speeds drop when the ambient temperature is higher in my apartment in the summer and I see a smaller difference between 5W and 7.5W.

In general, I've found it's better to use a 7.5W charger to eke out every bit of speed that you can, but on the whole, there's not going to be a huge difference between 5W charging speeds and 7.5W charging speeds, and bells and whistles like fans and power management options (Belkin claims optimized performance via "premium shielding" and "precision resistors") don't seem to make a noticeable difference.

With performance not drastically different between wireless chargers - and to be clear, Belkin's are charging at 7.5W - choosing a charger comes down to factors like price point and design. Belkin's not going to win in the former category, but when it comes to design, these are well thought out.

Belkin's Boost Up Bold Wireless Charging Pad


The Belkin Boost Up Bold Wireless Charging Pad is similar to the original Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad sold at Apple retail stores in that it offers the same simple, round shape, but it's smaller, which makes it easier to use.


I've used an original Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad on my nightstand for months, and it's been a frustrating experience just because it's so large. Finding the sweet spot on the charger to get my iPhone X to charge is one of my absolute least favorite late night activities, and with a smaller area for the Bold Charging Pad, I am able to get my iPhone X situated in the dark much more quickly.

New charging pad on left, old charging pad on right

Belkin sells the Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad in pink, black, or white, and each is made from plastic and rubber. At the base, there's a rubber bottom to keep the Charging Pad in place on a desk or a nightstand, and there's a matching rubber ring at the top to prevent the iPhone from slipping when it's placed on the charger.


The rest of the top of the charger is a soft, smooth material that has a subtle Belkin logo, and all in all, it's a clean, attractive charger with no obvious branding.

The side of the Charging Pad is made from a shinier plastic that goes well with the matte top, and an unobtrusive LED at the side comes on when the iPhone is in the right spot, which lets you confirm that it's being charged. I like the soft light that's included on the charger - it's not overly bright while providing me with charging status at a glance.


This same LED will light up if a foreign object like keys or coins are placed on the charger that could potentially affect wireless charging speeds.


At the back of the Charging Pad, there's a single hole for the power source. All 7.5W chargers need ~18W+ power adapters to charge at maximum speeds, so Belkin has included its own 22.5W adapter. The adapter has a rather large power brick for a wireless charger, which may be of concern if you have limited plug space. It otherwise has a long 1.5m cord that can reach a power strip underneath a desk.

Belkin's Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand


Belkin's Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand, available in black or white, is the first stand-style wireless charging device that Belkin has designed for the iPhone. Rather than laying flat, the iPhone sits upright in Belkin's Charging Stand in either portrait or landscape orientation.


Design wise, the Charging Stand looks similar to the Boost Up Bold Charging Pad, but with a plastic frame to hold it upright. The charging surface of the stand is just a bit larger than the pad's surface, but the overall footprint is larger because of the design of the frame.

The frame extends several inches behind the charger and about an inch in front of it to provide stability. Each portion of the stand that makes contact with a desk or a nightstand is covered in a grippy rubber material to keep it in place, while the front of the stand and the charging portion are both covered in a soft, smooth silicone-style material.


An iPhone can either rest on the bottom of the stand's frame while in Portrait orientation, or lay across the top of the frame while in landscape orientation. While the iPhone isn't going to go anywhere on its own, it's not as stable as a flat design just because the iPhone is in an upright position. That said, though, the design of the frame means that it's not going to move from slight bumps.


There are two LEDs on the Charging Stand's surface, one visible when the iPhone is in portrait orientation and one visible when it's in landscape orientation. These use the same soft light as the Charging Pad, providing a way for you to tell if your device is charging without a glaringly bright LED drawing your eye at night.

The Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand ships with the same 22.5W adapter and power cord that comes with the Charging Pad.

Though the Charging Stand has a larger footprint than the Wireless Charging Pad and other similar flat wireless charging options, I liked that it was impossible to place my iPhone in the wrong spot. That made it perfect for nightstand use, because I can just drop my iPhone in place without needing to worry that it's not getting power overnight.


I was also able to glance over and unlock it with Face ID in some situations without even picking up the iPhone, just because of its upright position.

It would be nice if Belkin had made the stand adjustable in some way to let people change the angle of the iPhone if desired, but by default, it's in an ideal position for movie watching in landscape mode if you also want your Charging Stand to double as a regular stand.

Bottom Line


At $60 for the Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad and $70 for the Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand, Belkin is charging a lot more than some other companies. At this point, you can get a 7.5W charger for $20 to $40 from Amazon. Not all of those are Apple certified, of course, which is worth noting.

Belkin does have Apple approval for its wireless chargers, and both the pad and the stand come with the Belkin Connected Equipment Warranty. Belkin says if your device is damaged by an electrical charge while properly connected to the charger, it will repair or replace it up to a value of $2,500. I don't know of anyone who has had an iPhone damaged by a wireless charger, but I guess it could happen.

Clear Apple certification is one benefit of the Wireless Charging Pad and the Wireless Charging Stand, but design is another. Most of the cheap chargers on Amazon all look and function the same. Belkin's Wireless Charging Stand, though, offers a unique, hassle-free design that looks nice on a desk and provides the convenience of not having to fuss with positioning.

The Wireless Charging Pad isn't quite as unique looking, but it features a solid build with grippiness in all the right places, along with a size that isn't overwhelming to also make for easier positioning.

These chargers aren't going to be for everyone because there are much cheaper options on the market, but for customers who want the peace of mind of Apple certification or more thoughtful design elements, the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad and the Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand may be worth paying a premium for.

How to Buy


You can buy the Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad ($60) and the Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand ($70) from the Belkin website.

Note: Belkin provided MacRumors with a Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad and a Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.


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Belkin Debuts First MFi-Certified Power Bank With Lightning Input

Belkin today is launching the first power bank with Lightning input to be officially certified under Apple's MFi licensing program, assuring that the product meets Apple's standards for quality and compatibility. Belkin's BOOST↑­CHARGE Power Bank Lightning 10K, priced at $59.99, offers 10,000 mAh of charging power and is recharged over a Lightning connector using either a USB-to-Lightning cable or a compatible Lightning dock sold separately.


On the output side, the Power Bank Lightning 10K includes a pair of USB-A ports, one at 2.4A for faster charging of iPhones and iPads and one at 1A for slower charging. A button-activated set of four LEDs on the top of the Power Bank shows the current charge level, and the button also lets you toggle between charging input and output modes if needed.


While power banks most commonly use micro-USB for charging input and a few are shifting over to USB-C, Lightning offers the benefit of needing only a single cable to both charge the battery pack and use the battery pack to charge your phone. If you've got a Lightning dock on your desk, you may also be able to use that to recharge the power bank, although it is significantly thicker than an iPhone so not all docks will be able to accommodate the power bank.

Charging on an Apple Lightning dock

The Power Bank Lightning 10K measures about 6 inches long, around 2.75 inches wide, and a little under 0.75 inches thick, so it's slightly smaller but substantially thicker than a Plus-sized iPhone. It weighs a little over 8 ounces, about 25 percent more than a Plus-sized iPhone.

In my testing, the power bank worked well, efficiently charging an iPhone connected to the 2.4A USB port. It also appeared to be able to maintain rated charging speeds with devices connected to both USB ports simultaneously. Recharging the power bank took three hours or so when connected to an iPad charger.


Beyond standard power banks, the launch of the first MFi-certified Lightning battery may also bode well for future similar accessories from other manufacturers, including the possibility of iPhone battery cases with Lightning input, a product family long requested by users.

Belkin's $59.99 BOOST↑­CHARGE Power Bank Lightning 10K will be available in black or white and is available for pre-order starting today through Belkin. It should begin shipping around the beginning of August.

For peace of mind, the BOOST↑­CHARGE Power Bank Lightning 10K includes Belkin's $2500 Connected Equipment Warranty, offering protection for any equipment damaged by power spikes or surges while properly connected to the power bank.

Note: Belkin provided a sample of the Power Bank Lightning 10K to MacRumors free of charge for the coverage purposes. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Belkin and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.

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Belkin’s New Wireless Charging Stand and Wireless Charging Pad Are Now Available

Belkin at CES debuted new wireless charging accessories, including the Belkin Boost Up Bold Wireless Charging Pad and the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand, both of which are now available for purchase.

The Belkin Boost Up Bold Wireless Charging Pad is similar to the existing Belkin Boost Up Charging Pad, but it comes in a variety of colors that include pink, navy, black, and white.


It offers up to 10W output for fast charging on all Qi-enabled devices, and it supports the 7.5W charging necessary for fast wireless charging on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

The Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand features the same circular design and the same colors as the Bold, but it features a frame that holds the iPhone in an upright position allowing the iPhone to be charged in landscape or portrait mode without the need for it to be flat on a table.


Like the Charging Pad, the Charging Stand supports the faster 7.5W wireless charging specification for the iPhone.

Belkin's Bold Wireless Charging Pad is priced at $60, while the Wireless Charging Stand is priced at $70. Both can be purchased today from the Belkin website or from Amazon.com (Pad) (Stand).

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