TL;DR: If you’re interested in the the iPhone 8/X because of the wireless charging, you might not have to upgrade just yet — the Bezalel Latitude iPhone 7 Plus case adds wireless charging like magic, though it isn’t perfect.
I actually visited the Bezalel booth at CES 2016 and was impressed with how forward-thinking their company was when it came to charging technologies. Now, almost two years later, I’m happy to report that Bezalel products have gone through a lot and have come out the other end better than ever.
The folks over at Bezalel were kind enough to send me a sample of their Latitude iPhone 7 Plus wireless charging case for free, so GoGoDadget could give it a fair and impartial review. I actually used it with an iPhone 7 Plus to test it, even though the Latitude with for the 7 Plus is now a slightly different product. (More on that in a bit.) All opinions are our own.
When unpacking the Latitude iPhone 7 Plus wireless charging case, the first thing I noticed was the texture of it. It’s got a very nice and grippy rough feel to it that isn’t overly plastic-y or rubbery in either direction. It has no problem sliding in and out of a pocket, purse, or diaper bag, and when your hands are full of kids and/or kid things, any help is welcomed on keeping things smooth.
Other than that, the case is very unassuming — it’s black, has soft felt inside so your phone doesn’t scratch, and the Bezalel logo all but disappears into the back of it. On the bottom you have the retractable lightning connection that provides the wireless charging power from the case when it sits on a compatible Qi (“chi,” the same tech the iPhone 8/X uses) wireless charger, like Bezalel’s Futura X (review coming soon).
The Latitude iPhone 7 Plus wireless charging case also adopts the same open-bottom design as Apple’s official cases, where the bottom of the iPhone is actually slightly unprotected, but this gives unfiltered access to the grills and the headphone jack (RIP).
There isn’t much I can say here — it just works. I tested the case with two different Qi enabled chargers, and there was no issue initiating a charge. There was no sliding the phone around to make sure it was charging or hitting it in the right spot. It worked flawlessly every time.
The only downside to it is something they’ve fixed on the new 7 Plus version of the Latitude: a way to plug in your lightning headphones, or a wired charger, while the wireless connection is also plugged in. On my version of the case, the lightning connector had to be pulled out and slightly flexed downward to allow a cable to be plugged in. Minor, but I also did not want to break the thing.
Without spoiling another review that I have on deck, the Latitude case also works with Bezalel’s Omnia charger, which is a magnetic wireless charger for your car (!!!). The Omnia just sucks your device onto it when you get in your vehicle, and you’re wirelessly charging from your car’s air vent. No plugging or unplugging required as you get in and out.
Basically, the Latitude iPhone 7 Plus wireless charging case is a cheap and effective “hack” to bring your older model iPhone into the present. If you don’t care to upgrade or don’t have the scratch for a new $1,200 phone, this is a great solution.
I just wish there was a better solution for lightning headphones like the newest 7 Plus version.