Although there is no shipping date yet, Apple has sent samples of reviews of the upcoming MagSafe Duo charger to reviewers. It’s a travel charger that combines Apple’s new MagSafe charger with an Apple Watch charger and a USB-C to Lightning cable.
It costs $ 129, but this price does not include a USB-C charging brick. You will need to purchase it separately and make sure it can supply at least 20 watts of USB PD power to charge your iPhone quickly. Apple sells one for $ 19.
$ 129 is $ 100 more than I paid for one wireless charger that can charge my phone, AirPods and Apple Watch at the same time. This charger does not wrap in a neat little package and can not quickly charge an iPhone at 15 watts, but uses USB-C instead of Lightning and has few lights to show that it works. The regular MagSafe charging costs $ 39.
The Apple MagSafe Duo charger is made of a kind of elastic white material. It looks great when it comes out of the box, but it is made by casting between the two sides. This means that there is a huge kind of seam around it, which I still think is a strange design trend. (See also: Surface keyboards and iPad smart keyboards.) The rubber hinge between the two sides also developed folds immediately.
Because the material is a little greasy, it does an incredible job of picking up any dust or dirt you may have on a table. Within two minutes of taking and taking photos, it was dirty. The dirt it got was wiped out – and I think it will be easy to clean with a little water or (if needed) isopropyl alcohol – but it still feels bad to have to do it first.
Since it folds in half, you can do a little trick where you fold it backwards and just charge the iPhone. This is neat. The Apple Watch charger flips over so you can use it in nightstand mode.
If you buy the MagSafe Duo charger, you need to learn the right way to remove the iPhone from the dashboard so that it does not lift with the phone. You have to press a little on the pillow because the magnets are stronger than the force of gravity on the mass of this dock.
It is a well-made object, to be sure. There are magnets that hold it when it is folded in any direction. The hinge on the watch charger is stable and smooth. The height of the whole object helps you to feel it more beautiful and it is somewhat satisfying to close. It also helps to ensure that the entire kit and caboodle do not vibrate off the table when you receive a phone call. I think Apple did a good job implementing this plan, but it probably isn’t the plan I would have followed. I also think it is not worth $ 129.
There are many good ideas built into MagSafe. I continue to believe that using a wireless charger that uses magnets to automatically align the coils for maximum efficiency is a good idea. And I think MagSafe regular charging is a neat idea for people who want to charge their iPhones while holding them.
I hope Apple and other manufacturers create a lot of MagSafe charging accessories that enhance the experience that many cables and AC adapters need to connect all of our things. I hope this happens because I would not want to see anyone feel like they have to buy the MagSafe Duo charger.
Photo by Dieter Bohn / The Verge