The AirPower wireless charging mat may have been a complete disaster but Apple definitely made a comeback when it announced its new MagSafe wireless chargers. Apple actually announced two chargers in October but only one has been available, perhaps raising worries of a repeat of the AirPower. Although there were hints at an upcoming launch date, it is definitely a pleasant surprise to see the MagSafe Duo Charger finally available for sale, though people might want to keep an important thing or two in mind before they buy one.
The new MagSafe Duo Charger will let you charge an iPhone or a Qi-compatible device as well as an Apple Watch at the same time. It’s not as ambitious as Apple’s aborted accessory but it gets the job done, especially when you have both kinds of devices. You can even prop up the Apple Watch while charging to activate its Nightstand Mode.
Apple reused its old MagSafe brand to name its own spin on wireless charging while keeping compatibility with the Qi wireless charging standard. What makes it special, at least compared to regular wireless chargers, is how it magnetically latches on to the back of an iPhone 12 to remove the need to properly lay the device above the charging coil. It also charges iPhones faster but there’s a catch to that, especially with this dual charging mat.
The MagSafe Duo Charger requires at least a 20W USB-C charging brick, preferably Apple’s, to charge an iPhone 12 at 11W, which might sound a bit low. Apple actually recommends using a 27W or higher charger to reach the MagSafe Duo Charger’s maximum 14W capacity. Even in that case, however, it falls slightly behind the max 15W of the single MagSafe Charger.
The other catch is that the Apple MagSafe Duo Charger doesn’t come with a charging brick of its own, despite the $129.99 price tag. You’ll have to add at least an additional $19 for Apple’s 20W USB-C charger to your cart, presuming you don’t have one yet or aren’t comfortable using a non-Apple accessory for it.