The Native Union Drop XL Wireless Charger Watch Edition is the latest in Native Union’s line of wireless chargers that promises to be your one stop device to charge three different products—your phone, your earbuds, and your Apple Watch. This device comes from Native Union, so it’s expected to be a premium product with a very premium price tag. The Ferrari of wireless chargers if you will.
I want to start this review by discussing the features of this charger that really stand out to me as excellent. By far the biggest appeal of the charger is its elegant design. As is clear from these pictures, the oval charging base has space for multiple devices and has a detachable Apple Watch charging puck. The top of the device itself is dark grey with a textured top that is a lighter shade of grey. The texture provides enough grip to prevent your device from slipping off the charger, as well as keep your phone from overheating. The light grey on dark grey combination pairs well and gives off a premium device vibe. Furthermore, the charger is relatively hefty and has rubber grips at the bottom of its aluminum base to keep the charger from slipping around.
While the phone itself can wirelessly charge any phone capable of being charged wirelessly (I used my Galaxy S10+ to test for this review), the watch charging puck will only work with an Apple Watch. That limitation isn’t squarely on Native Union as much as it is on Apple for only having a nonstandard charging option for the Apple Watch. I really appreciate the fact that the puck is removable because it makes it much easier to travel with the charger. It also makes it easier to charge two phones vertically at once as removing the puck makes room for the second phone.
As for the charging itself, the base of the charger has two charging spots that offer a maximum of 10W of charging—depending on the device that you place on it. iPhones for example are capped at 7.5W while Galaxy phones can utilize the full 10W the charger has to offer. (Side note: this review is not about which is better between iOS and Android; take that fight elsewhere.)
I personally prefer wireless chargers that stand upright as opposed to flat ones because upright chargers double as a stand and allow you to use your phone in more situations while charging. The Native Union charger, on the other hand, requires you to have your device flat on it, and just in the right position. If the only thing that you’re looking to charge is your phone, and you do care about the money that you’re spending, it’s possible that this isn’t the charger for you.
I mention money because the price of this charger is just short of ludicrous. This charger will set you back a good $149.99. There are wireless chargers that are just as effective as this one that can be found at a much lower cost. Essentially, you’re not buying this because it is the best wireless charger in the world as much as you’re buying it to show off how much money you have to burn.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the device it is not always clear how exactly you should place your phone on the charging pad to actually get it to charge. As you can see in the picture before, I placed my phone on the charger at just the right angle to get it to charge. Sadly, you can’t just place your phone randomly on the charger and then forget about it as there’s a good chance that you will have to move your phone around a bit before getting confirmation that it is actually charging.
There’s also an issue with the giant DC cable that comes with the charger. While a giant brick at the end of the charger is better than having three separate chargers to charge three different devices, it still takes up a lot of outlet space. On the plus side, the charger comes with three detachable plugs, so you can use this charger in the US and UK without having to get an entirely new charger.
Overall, this is a very pricy product that has a real premium design. Whether this is worth your time depends on if you prefer looks over quality. If quality is all that you care about, then you might as well look for a cheaper option, but this charger certainly take the cake for looks.
PRODUCT AND TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (Per Native Union's website)
This product is compatible with:
- iPhone 8 or later
- iPhone SE (2020)
- AirPods Pro
- AirPods 2nd Generation (also known as AirPods with Wireless Charging case)
- All other Qi-compatible devices
- All Apple Watch models are compatible with the included Apple Watch charging puck
This product is NOT compatible with:
- iPhone 7 or earlier
- AirPods 1st Generation
- Any iPad models
Please note, Drop XL Wireless Charger (Watch Edition) does not support Apple Watch charging on the pad itself, but you can plug the included Apple Watch charging puck into the USB-A port for Apple Watch charging.
Total Max Output: 32W
Qi Wireless #1: 10W Max
Qi Wireless #2: 10W Max
Verified & optimised for iPhones 8 or later. 7.5W Fast Charging
USB-A Port: 12W Max (5V/2.4A)
Apple Watch Charging: 5W Max
Input: DC: 15V/3A
Included in the box:
- Drop XL Wireless Charger
- Detachable USB-A Apple Watch Charging Puck
- 6.5-foot (2 meter) AC Power Adapter
- US/EU/UK Model: Power Adapters for the US/Canada, UK, and EU
- US/China/Australia Model: Power Adapters for the US/Canada, China, and Australia
Product materials: ABS+PC, Aluminum, Polyester, Silicone
Power Source: Included AC Power Adapter (Wall Plug)
Height: 3.50 in / 8.90 cm
Width: 6.73 in / 17.10 cm
Depth: 0.40 in / 1.04 cm
Weight: 1.10 lbs / 0.50 kg