Tidying up the charging experience and taking advantage of Apple’s improved high-speed charging is something that could eliminate untidy cable areas and clean up bedside tables and kit bags, so there is a growing market for 3-in-1 charging options. Not all, however, are neat enough to be easily portable, nor sport an official Apple ‘Made For MagSafe’ approval. Anker has done both here, so the question is whether it’s up to the task (and where it’s worth the price).
iPhone compatibility: iPhone 12 and up
Apple Watch compatibility: Apple Series 1 and up or SE
Airpods compatibility: AirPods Pro (all), AirPods 2nd Gen and up
Fast charging: Yes, 15W
Wall charger: 30W
Dimensions: 61 x 64 x 61 mm (approx. 2.4-inch cube)
Weight: 412g (14.5oz)
Build & handling
There is no doubting the elegance of Anker’s design, and you feel a robust heft as soon as you pick it up. This weight supports a big iPhone in a case even when viewed at 60˚ away from the level – we tested with the 240g (8.5oz) iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Under the hinged phone door is a second charging point for an AirPods case, while to the side a push-and-pop-out drawer conceals an Apple Watch charger. The slide in drawer needs to be pushed a good 3 mm back into the cube to reliably ‘click’ back. When opened a similar push releases a spring to push it some of the way, but you’ll have to slide the tray all the way out by hand. It’s elegant, though we weren’t entirely sure the plastic of the drawer matched the shell quite perfectly. Very close though.
In the box, you’ll find a 1.5m (5ft) cable and a small 30W power brick with (in the US at least) folding pins.
We had no trouble charging an iPhone 14, and you’ll get the advantage of 15W fast charge from iPhones at series 12 and up. Similarly the watch charging tray can provide a fast-charging to Series 7 and up, though will handle any other Apple watch too. In fact the only thing we weren’t convinced was charging was a knock-off AirPods case, but it turned out to work too.
The strength of the magnetic lid made for a good viewing stand too; there is something a bit odd about the phone seeming to hover like a tiny TV but it’s useful, and even solid screen pressing didn’t tip it. Admittedly it might occasionally by handy to be able to open the lid beyond 60˚ (if the cube were on a bedside table and you were trying to watch streaming video from the pillow). Presumably, however, that’d require more counterweight which we wouldn’t appreciate.
(Given weight is an inevitable aspect of the design, we found ourselves wondering if it might be possible to fill it with batteries, so the cube could also function as a power brick.)
The included power adapter has regional adapters and a single 30W USB-C connection which, when not charging the cube, can be redirected to keep a laptop going.
This is a love-it-or-hate-it solution to a problem a lot of us have; annoying trailing cables on the bedside table or, worse, crammed into that shameful pocket of your travel bag. It comes at a price though. Two actually; one metaphorical and the other actual. The former is the weight which, including its neat power brick, is a noticeable addition to a rucksack.
It does look gorgeous though, and we’d speculate that anyone with three Apple devices recent enough to benefit from the cube might be able to stretch a few extra dollars for an elegant piece of design. The heaviness issue might actually be counterbalanced if it became your traveling laptop charger too – at which point you’d have just one compact power brick, one USB-C lead, and a very neat cube. We find it hard to believe an Apple fan would be disappointed by this device – and it’s a great gift for the Apple fan who has everything!
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