First Reviewer Underwhelmed By Apple’s Expensive, New MagSafe Duo Charger

Apple MagSafe Duo Is It Worth It 5 Credit: Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch
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Apple’s MagSafe Duo charger isn’t available quite yet, but the company has seeded units to the press for review. One of the first reports on Apple’s wireless charger comes from TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino. In his review, Panzarino praises the charger for its convenience while knocking it for its high price tag and poor design choices.

It Works As Advertised

According to Panzarino, the MagSafe Duo charger works precisely as you would expect. “Your iPhone will rest comfortably on the MagSafe side of the charger, aligning using the internal magnets,” writes Panzarino.

“The Apple Watch side pops up and out to allow easy access for closed-loop bands. The whole unit folds over to make it easier to travel with and will even fold over backwards if you don’t need one side or the other. It works, for sure.”

It holds the iPhone 12 and a companion Apple Watch securely and charges quickly as advertised, but that is about the best thing Panzarino has to say about the MagSafe Duo.

The Hinge Isn’t Up to Apple’s Design Standards

Panzarino criticizes Apple for the hinge on the MagSafe Duo charger, which lets you fold the wireless charger for transport or storage. The hinge is made out of a thick rubber that won’t rip or tear but is “not exactly confidence-inducing.”

“This is an inexpensive hinge solution that you would expect to see from a price-conscious third-party accessory, not from Apple,” writes Panzarino.

White Is a Poor Color Choice

Panzarino also notes that the white coloring used in the charger is already getting dingy after using it just a short time. Panzarino states that he “can’t even travel anywhere right now,” which makes this staining somewhat concerning.

Sloppy Manufacturing?

The base for the MagSafe charging unit is press-molded, but the manufacturing is sloppy. The base “has a basic seal on it but you can see the layers of lamination if you look closely,” writes Panzarino.

He adds that it “looks ripe to nick, fray, bend and get dirty. Not great for something that’s meant to throw in a bag.”

The Duo Is Challenging to Pick Up

While the new MagSafe charger is easy to use when the phone is attached, Panzarino can’t say the same thing about the MagSafe Duo. It’s a bit more “awkward” to pick up the Duo when you have the Apple Watch charger portion indirectly attached to the back of your phone.

It’s Expensive

The most significant gripe with the Duo is its price tag. The wireless charger costs $129 and ships only with a Lightning cable. It doesn’t ship with a power brick. If you want to use a power brick, you have to shell out another $19.

Not only is it expensive compared to third-party accessories that perform equally as well, but it also feels sort-of cheap. Panzarino writes that the Duo “feels like it should be $70” and adds that “when you realize that it is a charger that doesn’t come with a power adapter, I would not be shocked if you mentally downgraded it to $40.”

Be sure to check out the best power bricks, here.

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