Price (RRP): $approx 200-250
The Ampere Unravel AW+ fast wireless charger is a three panel, fold-out charger supporting two Qi 10W charger pads and a 2.5W Apple watch magnetic charge pad.
The Ampere Unravel AW+ unique proposition is the ability to charge three devices at the same time – iPhone, iPod and watch – oh, and Android users can get a 3+1 version with three charger pads and a 5W USB-C output.
We put the Ampere Unravel AW+ through its paces and it passed with flying colours – just as well as it comes with a choice of fire emoji red, pure black, glow in the dark green, sky blue, coral and navy highlights.
Ampere Unravel AW+ – this is the product Apple tried to build but could not!
Price: From US$109.95 (30W adapter) to $124.95 (60W) plus currency conversion, shipping etc. Allow about 50% more in AU. It is listed on Amazon Australia at $409.95 inc shipping – forget that!
It is a little larger than expected at 88 x 88 x 30mm (stacked) or 270 x 88 x 10mm (flat) x 248g (plus a charger). That is not a bad thing as the pads (about the size of a thick drink coaster) need to be large enough to place an iPhone on. It is quite solid too, with large hinges and screw-together construction -– quality, not cheap!
If you want to use all three pads, you need at least a 30W USB-C PD 2.0 (or later) charger but we recommend a 60W (if only because you can, and it does not cost a lot more). Or you can use any other USB-C PD charger above 30W.
You may be tempted to use it flat for three devices, but the clever Z-hinge and a magnetic clasp allows for FaceTime charging, or watch only, or one pad.
The 10W pads have a non-slip charging ring, and the centre pad has non-slip edge pads. The 2.5W watch pad has the Apple Magnetic holder.
The only issues we found are
- The indicator LED on each pad is obscured by the iPhone – not so with the Air Pods or watch
- The watch when charged flat need some precision placement and the band must be capable of opening fully – it can act as a vertical charger, and the band wraps around it.
- There were some comments that the ‘glow in the dark green’ version is a little bright
Tests (iPhone X and Apple watch 4)
Qi 10W charging means a 5V/2A (10W) coil that is perhaps 75% efficient (7.5W) matching the exact needs of an Apple iPhone.
While a 30W USB-C PD works with all three devices at the same time, charging time is over eight hours. If you use a 60W charger, then that reduces by about 30%.
Note Qi charging is not as fast as cable charging – it is more an overnight thing. Unravel claims 3.1hours to charge the iPhone X with a 60W PD – we assume that time is for the iPhone only.
Works with phone cases up to 3mm thick.
Temperatures – warmish – perhaps 5-10° over ambient
- Four pogo pins that work with a special Unravel USB-C PD 20,800mAh power bank (not tested).
- Foreign object detection – it won’t charge you keys!
- Automatic trickle charge top-up (as all good QI charges should have)
- Optional zip-up travel case
The 3-in-01 device (not tested)
Requires a 60W charger. Outputs 3 x 10W Qi charges and 5W USB-C.
GadgetGuy’s take – Ampere Unravel AW+ is a multiple all-in-one Apple wireless charger
Like so many Kickstarter campaigns it got off to a well-funded but shaky start with early shipments not quite delivering on the Apple Watch promise – Guys under-promise and over-deliver!
The finished product does what it says, although it is not perfect. For example
- I think it’s a little heavy (the box says 196g and its 228g plus a charger)
- Its landscape mode (clip-out stand on panel one) works but the charging panel is a tad lower than ideal
- You can use portrait mode on panel two but it is too easy to defy gravity and knock the phone off
- The 2.5W watch pad needs some precision in placement although the clip out stand is close to perfect and you can then put a solid band around the panel.
Still, it is well made and it will do what you want. I suspect Apple users, however, will want something a little more ‘Applesque’ perhaps in rose gold, silver and space grey.
Android users need to be aware that the 3-in-1 version has only a 5W USB-C output and that is not a lot of use as a charger port except for watches and other low wattage devices.
Our rating assumes a price of around A$200-250 – any more it is out of the ball-park. You can explore other Qi chargers that GadgetGuy has reviewed here.
Ampere is also releasing Unravel 2 – 2 x 15W pads with “up to 60W passthrough”. But do the math – each 15W pad takes about 20W (at typical 75% Qi efficiency), so it can only pass through the left-over power! But they have taken our advice and it comes in Apple’s faux Rose Gold, Silver and Space Grey!