REVIEW: Twelve South’s HiRise Charger Gets It Done In Style
Twelve South – a name not exactly synonymous with iPhone accessories in Australia – has brought out a very good nightstand to charge both your Apple Watch and iPhone.
The ‘HiRise Duet for Apple Watch & iPhone/iPad’ (A$159.99) does have a few limitations – e.g. a non-standard charger that is quite slow by today’s standards – but otherwise, it exceeds expectations and delivers what the customer wants in cord minimisation.
Unboxing the product shows how much effort went into making it simple to setup.
The Space Grey colour isn’t exactly the same as the new Apple MacBook Pro, but is close enough, and at the end of the day not a big deal.
A warning about setup, read the instructions at least twice before starting.
Not because they are written by a PhD in techspeak, but because you have to follow A->B->C->D, or it will just not connect properly.
There is an adjustable base, back and lightning adaptor that requires correct configuration for your personal needs.
All this setup is a minor hassle, but does enable configuration according to you iPhone model, and size of a case.
Once assembled, you will notice a very nice look and feel.
The product has a solid (not cheap) design, and product quality comes through.
You then drop the watch onto the Napa leather base where it automatically meets the magnetic charging disc, which again emphasises luxury.
The watch charges in nightstand mode, which is perfect for all bands, particularly mine as it is a 42mm link bracelet, which expands to open rather than detach.
There are no wires in the way – which is another bonus.
The iPhone then goes on top and looks a bit precarious against the back, but actually is a snug fit.
Conveniently, the HiRise Duet comes with four adapters – AU, UK, US and EU – great for travellers – and great for retailers as they only have to get one SKU.
Unfortunately, it is a non-standard charger, and an under-powered one at that.
It is 5V and 3A – I am sure there is a better USB-C or USB-A adapter that could accommodate the power supply.
I even Wikipedia’d it, but got lost in techspeak, got bored and moved on.
In addition to having a charger that if you misplace will be near impossible to find a quick alternative – the charging time when both phone and watch are connected is quite slow.
It’s advertised as being faster than Qi chargers (the product page says 15W output – but I’m not sure that is even possible from a 5W adapter). I think it is more designed for people to leave it on their nightstand and charge overnight.
Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives.
I’m hopeful that the next version will have a better charger – but in the meantime, the HiRise Duet will deliver what you want. It’s a nicely designed 2-in-1 charger that looks great.
Before you had two chargers plugged in, wires off all akimbo – now you have a neat little item that puts them nicely together.
Props to the design team for the combined look of luxury, industrial design and functionality.
At ~$160 it is a premium accessory that gets rid of two items that were already bundled into your purchase, and therefore is not a dire necessity. However, I would recommend it to people that want to de-clutter, and are prepared to wait a little longer for charging.
Twelve South’s HiRise Duet for Apple Watch & iPhone/iPad is available to purchase from macfixit online for A$159.99.
Overall – 8.2
Performance – 8/10
Design – 9/10
Value – 7.5/10