Review: Belkin unveils PowerHouse charging dock for iPhone and Apple Watch

Belkin's sleek powerhouse charging dock for iphone and Apple Watch. Image ©2016 steven sande

Belkin's sleek powerhouse charging dock for iphone and Apple Watch. Image ©2016 steven sande

Accessory manufacturer Belkin today released the PowerHouse ($99), a combined charging solution for Lightning-equipped iPhones and Apple Watch. The device combines a built-in Apple Watch magnetic charging module with an integrated Lightning connector for the iPhone, allowing owners of both devices to charge the two simultaneously.

Design

The PowerHouse features a very clean design, with a white polycarbonate base and a dark gray rubberized material covering the charging surfaces. An included AC power adapter plugs into the back of the PowerHouse, allowing quick charging of both the iPhone and Apple Watch. A short "arm" with the Apple Watch magnetic charging pad on it protrudes from the right side, allowing a Watch with any band to easily slip on and off for charging.

One feature of the PowerHouse that I really like is the fact that the position of the Lightning connector can be moved up or down depending on the thickness of the case that you have your iPhone in. The adjustment is made by rotating a single dial located behind the iPhone charging stand.

The PowerHouse has received an Apple MFi certification, ensuring that it works well with the two Apple products it's meant to charge.

Function

Setting up the PowerHouse is a breeze; you simply plug the AC adapter into a wall socket, plug the other end of the cable into the base of the accessory, and you're all set. 

You'll need to do a one-time adjustment to ensure that the bottom of the iPhone is supported by the PowerHouse and not the Lightning adapter. The dial makes this quite simple -- I just put the iPhone onto the Lightning adapter while holding it up, then used the dial to move the adapter down until the phone was fully supported. For those iPhone users with thick protective cases, you may have to move the Lightning adapter up.

I like the fact that the PowerHouse uses its own Apple Watch charging pad, as that means that Watch owners can use their Apple-supplied charging cables for travel. While the horizontal orientation of the charging arm doesn't allow for the Apple Watch "night mode" (in which a tap on the device displays the time for a few seconds), I find I never use that feature anyway...

Compared to the Valet Charge Dock, the PowerHouse doesn't take up as much space on a nightstand (see image below).

Belkin powerhouse (left) next to belkin Valet Charge dock (right). image ©2016, steven sande

Belkin powerhouse (left) next to belkin Valet Charge dock (right). image ©2016, steven sande

Conclusion

Kudos to Belkin for coming out with a less-expensive dual dock than the Valet Charge Dock ($129.99). I also like the fact that they've come out with a one-color-fits-all design rather than having to try to match all of the different iPhone colors. The PowerHouse looks great, adjusts to prevent damage to the Lightning port, and should be a nice accompaniment to your iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2!

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★