Belkin USB-C Car Charger + Cable Review: We can C its utility

Alex Kidman 7 July 2016

BelkinUSBC_450

If you’ve got a phone or laptop that charges via USB-C, Belkin’s USB-C car charger can help solve your power woes.

If you’ve invested in any of the newer phones that charge over USB-C connections – devices like the HTC 10, Google Nexus 6P or Google Nexus 5X – then there will come a time when your battery runs low. This presents a particular problem for USB-C charging phone owners, because unlike the majority of Android, or for that matter any iPhone owner, the chances of your workmates or friends having a USB-C charger are relatively low. That’s the market that Belkin’s USB-C Car Charger targets, giving you the ability to keep the juice flowing to your device of choice.

Belkin USB-C Car Charger + Cable
FormatCar Charger
ConnectionUSB-C
Output2.1A
CableUSB-C to USB-C
Price$79.95

Upsides: Why you’d want the Belkin USB-C Car Charger + Cable

  • Simple to use: You’ve probably used a car charger before, and in most important respects, the Belkin USB-C car charger is no different. Plug it into the cigarette lighter adaptor, plug in the USB-C cable and you’re away. One handy aspect of USB-C here is that, naturally, you can’t plug it in the "wrong" way as you can with standard USB Type B connectors.
  • Charges a wide variety of devices: The most likely scenario for charging from this kind of device is to a mobile phone. Our test device of choice was Google’s Nexus 6P, which charged rapidly via the Belkin USB-C Car Charger even on short trips. USB-C is also used in a small number of laptop/tablet style devices for charging. The Google Pixel C charged quite happily from the Belkin USB-C Car Charger, as did Samsung’s Galaxy TabPro S, although we didn’t have access to the newer MacBook model to see if it would happily charge from it.
  • Rapid charging: With 2.1A of output, if you’re charging a mobile device you should see quite rapid charging from the Belkin USB-C Car Charger, which could well spell the difference between your phone lasting the day or not. It also means it can charge a wider variety of devices more rapidly than a standard mobile charger might.
  • Certified USB-C cable included: As USB-C gains wider adoption there’s an increasing range of cables and accessories on the market, but not all of them are certified, which presents something of a risk for USB-C devices. Belkin’s cable is certified, which means it should be safe for your device – and it’ll work as a data transfer cable too.

BelkinUSBC_2

Downsides: Why you might not want the Belkin USB-C Car Charger

  • USB-C has its limitations: As we used the Belkin USB-C adaptor, we were struck by the fact that it might have been improved had it offered USB-C at one end and standard USB at the plug end. That way, you could use the one car charger for many devices, swapping out cables as your device needs varied. As it stands, if you want to change to a non-USB-C device, you’ll have to use another completely seperate plug.
  • It’s relatively expensive: At $79.95 outright, it’s on the pricier side for a car charging adaptor; that’s leaning up towards the price you might pay for a fully portable battery pack to keep your phone charged.

Who is it best suited for? What are my other options?

The Belkin USB-C car adaptor is a pretty simple device, and as such your own phone or mobile device usage will largely determine its suitability. You could pair up a USB type A to Type C cable to any number of chargers, including wall, cigarette lighter or battery packs to keep your devices charged, although providing enough power rapidly to larger laptop style devices may be a challenge.

Where can I get it?

Belkin USB-C Car Charger is widely available at retail with a recommended price of $79.95.

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