There are thousands of charge docks for the iPhone, and probably hundreds that we've seen for Apple Watch. But until now, I don't recall reviewing a charge dock that can power both the iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time. Belkin's Valet Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone (US$129.99) does just that, and does it while looking pretty darned classy at the same time.
The Valet is a cleverly designed, sleek package that is rather simple when you get right down to it. For the iPhone, there's a built-in Lightning connector in the base that can be adjusted up or down to fit whatever case -- or lack thereof -- you have protecting it. For the adjustment, you just rotate a knob that's located on the back of the Valet. Once you place the iPhone onto the connector, it rests against a horizontal crossbar that holds up the charging adapter for the Apple Watch. The result? Both devices can be charged at the same time.
The base is finished in that same matte aluminum used on a lot of Macs, while the arm that charges the Watch is covered in chrome. It looks good! There's a snap-on plastic piece that can be used if you wish to have something to wrap the Watch's band around -- it goes onto the Watch charging adapter with a slight push.
Probably the best feature of the Valet from my perspective is that it includes an integrated Watch charger. Just about every other Watch charging dock I've reviewed has required the owner to supply his or her own charging cable. Not so with the Valet. The dock is powered by a single AC adapter that supplies juice to both Watch and iPhone.
Setup of the Valet was very easy, since I didn't have to unplug my Apple Watch charging adapter from some other dock and then wind the cable through this unit. Instead, I just found a place to plug in the device, placed the iPhone onto the Lightning connector and adjusted the knob in back to raise it slightly, snapped the plastic watchband holder to the Watch charging dock, and placed the Watch onto the Watch charger. Done.
I was fortunate to do my review about the time that the latest upgrade to watchOS became available, because this is the perfect setup for doing a Watch update. The two devices are both getting power, they're inches away from each other, and neither one of them are going to move because they're on the dock.
One minor complaint is that the design of the Valet dock doesn't allow for the Watch's Nightstand Mode, which can be rather useful to those who like to have their charging Watch act as a clock with a quick tap. However, since the iPhone is literally about an inch away, it's quite simple to just tap its screen to see what time it is.
The Valet is expensive, and that's my other complaint about the unit. As an equivalent, though, you'd need to buy Apple's $49 Lightning Dock and the Magnetic Charging Dock at $79, and you'd be right at $128 -- and you wouldn't have a single unit that takes up a single plug on your wall. For many owners of both iPhones and Apple Watches, the Belkin Valet Charge Dock is going to make a lot of sense.