Mophie’s 3-in-1 Travel Charger Is the Last Charger I’ll Ever Need
Enough with the separate cables and chargers for your iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch. This foldable charger is all you need.
Traveling with electronics is annoying, especially if you’re dragging along anything more than your phone. Any charging device that can cut down on the number of cables and charging bricks (as of the last time I flew, that included 1x Lightning cable, 2x USB-C cables, 1x Apple Watch charger, and at least three charging bricks) makes a meaningful difference.
Apple once pitched AirPower as a sort of miracle charging solution — a mat you could put your phone, watch, and headphones on, and charge them regardless of where they were placed. Tesla’s Wireless Charging Platform that my colleague Raymond Wong reviewed mostly achieves what AirPower didn’t. Ultimately, AirPower never saw the light of day, but Apple did release a convenient charger that can power multiple electronics at once. It’s called the MagSafe Duo, and it costs way too much money at $129.
But worry not, because you can purchase a charger that can give you all of the benefits of the MagSafe Duo — charging your iPhone and Apple Watch — with the added perk of a dedicated spot for juicing up your AirPods, and much nicer fabric finishes. And you’ll only have to pay slightly more for it at $149. It’s called the Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe, and it might be the last charger I ever buy.
The key aspect of Mophie’s charger is that it folds, layer cake style, into a much smaller puck than its size would suggest. The exterior of the 3-in-1 Travel Charger is wrapped in a gray fabric that matches the gray felt of its carrying case, while the rest of the charger is matte or glossy black plastic. It’s not the best-looking option when it comes to accessories, but it fits the utilitarian purpose of Mophie’s charger.
The 3-in-1 Travel Charger is MFi certified, the official standard that means Mophie’s device can take advantage of the charging speeds typically reserved for Apple’s own products. In the case of the MagSafe component on the 3-in-1 charger, that’s 15W charging, which is supposed to get you at least 50 percent battery in 30 minutes, and was typically true for me, unless I had Clean Energy Charging enabled on my phone. Next to the MagSafe charger, there’s a pop-up Apple Watch charging puck (perfect if you use Nightstand Mode) and on the other side a little Qi charging tray for AirPods or AirPods Pro.
Unlike the new higher-watt USB-C charging cable Apple started offering with the Apple Watch Series 7 (with the right charging brick you can go from zero to 80 percent in 45 minutes), the 3-in-1 charger is not blazing fast, but it gets the job done. If you sleep with your smartwatch on you might wait a bit longer for it to charge than you’d like, but it’s by no means a dealbreaker.
Some Things Should Be Cable Free
I generally maintain that cables are okay, and even preferable, to wireless options that have been foisted upon us by electronics manufacturers. You’re almost always going to get a better experience physically plugging things in. But when I’m traveling in somewhat high-stress, time-dependent environments like CES 2023, I accept wireless charging if it means the things I use daily (my phone, earbuds, and watch) are as easy to grab as they are to charge.
Charging should be “set it and forget it.”
The Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe does the job, and then some, besting what Apple has to offer and doing it for an overall better price, which was exactly what I (and I think a lot of people) am looking for. Charging should be “set it and forget it.” With Mophie’s charger, I get as close as I think I’ve gotten yet.