I’m a big Apple Watch fan and have been happily wearing my Series 4 throughout this past year. But it’s also brought me two lingering problems to solve…
The fueling of my Apple Watch has been entirely reliant on the one magnetic charging puck that came with the Apple Watch when I bought it. If it breaks or I misplace the cable, my watch will effectively become a hockey puck within 48 hours.
(I don’t have the same challenge with my iPhone XS Max, because over the years, I’ve accumulated several backup cables and USB wall chargers through past iPhone purchases.)
The other ‘problem’ is the general clutter that both my Apple watch and iPhone creates when I’m charging them overnight on my nightstand next to the bed.
An Apple Watch ‘charging dock’ would certainly help clean things up a bit…
Assessing the Landscape
So, of course Apple provides the perfect solution… but at a premium price.
- The official Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock goes for $79.
- And a simple back-up Apple Magnetic Charger to USB Cable costs $29.
So, I did a little research to see what else was out there, and surprisingly, I found a fairly barren landscape…
Most third-party Apple Watch charging stands are just… stands.
(You’ve got to provide your own magnetic charging cable and USB power adapter.)
And nobody with any recognizable name is making their own magnetic charging cable for less.
There does appear to be a healthier market for ‘portable’ Apple Watch chargers with their own batteries for on-the-go travel… but that’s not specifically what I was looking for.
The Belkin Choice
I did find one name-brand candidate…
It lists for $79.99, but Amazon had it for $34.95.
The Value of Yesterday’s Model
It seems like this Belkin model was more in vogue a few years back and has been superseded by a dual charger design by Belkin that also handles an iPhone.
But I’ve got my iPhone XS Max imprisoned in its ‘bullet-proof’ Kevlar protective case made by Pelican. So my iPhone isn’t slipping easily into a sleek charger any time soon.
After some intense research, I scrounged up two other choices to consider.
(The market is really almost nonexistent.)
- Mangotek Apple Watch Charging Stand
$46.99 on Amazon Prime
This one looks a lot like the Belkin and also comes with a USB charging port you can plug your iPhone into.
- UGREEN Portable Charger Stand
$33.95 on Amazon Prime
Its portable design flips open to become more stand-like if you want, or you can also use this black charger in its flat position.
While both stands are Apple MFi-certified, include integrated chargers and also receive decent reviews, at the end of the day, I decided to go with the ‘name’ manufacturer I knew.
Buying the Bargain
I presumed the Belkin’s price was cut by more than half, because it’s a relatively old model, and at only five dollars more than just the cost of the simple Apple magnetic puck, I figured it was a real bargain!
Belkin Really Isn’t the Choice… Anymore
But as satisfied as I am with my Belkin purchase, there’s a major wrinkle…
As I prepared this post to share my happy story, I realized a disturbing reality that made me feel a bit like the last man on Earth… or the last man on Earth to buy this Belkin charging stand… because I think I am.
It’s not available anymore on Amazon.
And Belkin’s website lists it as having only a “last few remaining.”
So, I got a close-out deal on yesterday’s tech that there’s apparently no market for anymore…
(Hey, Belkin… Really?!)
I usually try to end these blog posts with a clear choice or solution that I can extend out to the world…
Something is better than nothing…
(UGREEN and Mangotek are really the last two third-party stands with integrated chargers left standing.)
Of course, there’s always the option of going with the Apple-made dock.
It’s already perfect.
You’ve just got to spend more money…