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Can this 3-in-1 travel wireless charger replace the Apple MagSafe Duo?

This charger can power three devices simultaneously and it's a third of the price of the Apple wireless charger.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Foldable 3-in-1 wireless charging station

GMCell's foldable 3-in-1 wireless charging station.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Apple's MagSafe Duo folding wireless charger is nice. Very nice. 

But it's also expensive and designed specifically for Apple users.

How about a folding wireless charger for the rest of us? 

One that doesn't cost the earth and can even charge three devices simultaneously.

Here's a decent-quality GMCell three-in-one wireless folding travel charger for $40

Also: How to add your driver's license to the Apple Wallet app (and why you should)

Tech specs:

  • Input: 9V/2A 9V/3A
  • Phone output: 5W/7.5W/10W/15W
  • AirPods output: 3W (support 2-3 generations)
  • Apple Watch output: 2.5W (support 2-8 generations)
  • Interface: Type-C
  • Transmission distance: 2-6mm 
  • Dimensions: 9.72 x 2.93 x 0.29 inches
  • Weight: 0.28 lb

What we have here is a three-in-one folding wireless charger that features three transparent charging coils, two supporting a maximum output of 15W for smartphones and earbuds (one coil features MagSafe magnets for easy alignment), and a third for the Apple Watch.

GMCell charger with port flipped up

USB-C charging.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Also: What's the difference between USB and USB-C chargers, and which are the best?

One downside is that the charger does feature LED lights. They are subdued, and nothing that a bit of tape couldn't cover, but I really don't like lights on things that are on my nightstand.

Twin LED lights on charger

The twin LED lights that change from red to blue could be annoying on a nightstand.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The package folds down small for easy transportation. Along with the wireless charger, you'll need a USB-C cable (a USB-C-to-USB-C cable is supplied) and a minimum of a 20W charger (not supplied).

The package is kept together using magnets, so it's not going to fly apart in your bag or suitcase.

Closeup of folded travel wireless charger

The magnets in operation.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Does this wireless charger do the job?

In a word, yes.

Testing gadget plugged into travel charger showing stats

This wireless travel charger delivers on what it promises.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I've tested the outputs and as long as the charger is used with a 20W USB charger, it delivers on everything it promises. The MagSafe magnets do a good job of aligning an iPhone, and the Apple Watch charger also uses a magnet to align the watch to the charging coil, although this feels a bit weaker than the magnet that is found in the supplied charging pad.

All in all, this $40 GMCell Foldable Wireless Charger Station 3 in 1 is a great alternative to the $119 Apple MagSafe Duo charging station, and is perfect for a nightstand or travel.

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