Many Apple fans were thrilled with Apple’s AirPower wireless charger…but that thrill went away when the device didn’t ship immediately. If you’d like a wireless charger that charges your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously, costs $39 instead of whatever Apple is going to charge, and that can be in your hands in April, take a look at the Plux Wireless Charger that’s currently on Indiegogo. I had a chance to try one out and I like what I saw.
Like the AirPower, the Plux is a lozenge-shaped flat surface on which you can lay your iPhone X or 8/8 Plus, your Apple Watch and your AirPods. Now there are a few caveats in there: the Apple Watch can’t just be placed anywhere on the Plux — it has to go onto a standard Apple Watch charging “puck” that’s embedded in one end.
A Qi charging pad is plugged into the charging port on the bottom of the AirPod case and the AirPod case then goes into a silicone sleeve that hides the Qi pad. That sleeve makes the AirPod charging case look a bit “lumpy” (see image at right) and I couldn’t get it to “straighten out”, but there’s also a black case if you think that one looks better. Oh, and one more thing — the Plux only charges the AirPod charging case when it’s flat on a desk. You can’t prop up the Plux vertically and expect the AirPods case to magically stay attached to the charging pad.
Once the AirPod charger has its charging pad attached and is encased in the silicone sleeve, and if you’re willing to put up with those caveats, Plux works just fine! I decided to try it out doing something in which an iPhone and an Apple Watch were charging simultaneously — finally updating my Apple Watch to the latest watchOS version. Likewise, charging the AirPods was just a matter of placing the charging case — in its special silicone sleeve — onto the Plux.
While the Plux Wireless Charger may not be as “Apple-ish” as the upcoming AirPower charger, it works, it’s being manufactured as you read this for distribution in April, and the price is certainly in line. Oh, and you won’t need to purchase a special AirPod case like you most likely will with the AirPower.
Even at the full suggested retail price of $89, Plux is a bargain. It comes with the charging pad, a stand if you want to use it for “vertical” charging, a nice long USB to USB-C cable to power Plux, the AirPod wireless charging receiver and the silicone AirPod sleeve. The only thing you need to provide is an AC to USB power adapter, and the Plux team will sell you one for $8 during the Indiegogo campaign.