The TrueFreedom Pro is understated and sleek (if a phone charger can be sleek), with a matte black surface and chrome trim. Nothing interrupts this surface except the port to power it, although it would be nice to have a USB-A or USB-C port for charging non-Qi compatible devices. Many, if not most, of the bigger wireless chargers have them, and at $ 130, it feels like Belkin is cheap here.
However, most of Belkin’s rivals don’t have overlapping charge coils and the best thing is how incredibly forgiving the placement is on this thing. Not only does it work if your phone is slightly off-center, but it can also be charged at the far edges, as long as enough wireless charging components can interact.
Along with the familiar vibration or LED light as your gadgets start to charge wirelessly, the mat has two LEDs along the edge to indicate when devices are on. I wish they had gone for something that lights up along the top edge of the charger. If you decide to position the mat lower, for example on an armrest or a low shelf, it’s easy to miss the indicator light.
And you might want to be careful. I’ve tested several phones and devices that charge wirelessly, including two sets of AirPods, an iPhone 11 Pro Max, Pixel 5, iPhone 12 Mini, and some older phones from OnePlus and Huawei, and the mat could manage load combinations of any of the above. With an iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, however, I had the first appearance of the amber light – meaning a device was not charging properly. With a few coaxing, I managed to get a sustained charge in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but that thwarted the purpose of this charger.
I checked with Belkin, who said “testing of all iPhone 12 models is still in progress.” He added that the TrueFreedom Pro was designed for the iPhone 8-11 “only” – these are the models listed on the box. I wonder if MagSafe affects these multiple coils – magnets and inductive load use the same rules of physics.
What happened to Apple’s AirPower?
Apple’s AirPower wireless charger was intended to power multiple devices (your iPhone, your wireless charging AirPods, and your Apple Watch) from a single surface, no connectors needed. AirPower would have had multiple overlapping coils to avoid the curse of wireless charging points, and the terrain involved intelligent power management between devices to prioritize what gets charged first – something Belkin’s charger didn’t. not brag.
But AirPower never happened. Eighteen months after being announced during her opening address in September 2017, the company has halted development of the charging mat, while Apple’s senior vice president of hardware Dan Riccio said, “ We have concluded that AirPower will not meet our high standards.
He added, “We continue to believe that the future is wireless and we are committed to advancing the wireless experience.” The result, presumably, was MagSafe, which came a year later.
No, the TrueFreedom Pro cannot charge your Apple Watch or many phones, like the Pixel 4a or OnePlus Nord, which lack wireless charging to begin with. There are also, again, those typical caveats of wireless charging, namely that it is inefficient and slow – although 10 watts of charging is better than early 5W wireless chargers. The inefficiency charge is particularly true here – all those coils for charging just two devices?
The TrueFreedom Pro is a better wireless charger though. It accepts more devices, which means you can (slowly) charge a guest’s phone next to yours, and there’s no need to line it up or verify that it’s charging as it should. must – iPhone 12 Pro issues aside. I wish all wireless chargers were this accommodating.