Price (RRP): $US39 (Amazon)
The Apple Watch is a great companion for taking on a trip. However since it needs a special proprietary charger, it can be a real pain if you forget to pack it. UGreen’s Magnetic Charging module is a handy option for those who like to pack light.
First, who is UGreen? The company makes a large range of Apple accessories, chargers, audio-video cables, USB accessories, cradles and mobile device holders. They’ve been at it for 9 years, employ about 1000 employees and have a factory based in Shenzhen, China.
The UGreen’s Magnetic Charging module is a compact little unit, and is compatible with all Apple Watches starting with Series 1. It weighs 33 grams, with a 38mm diameter and 13mm thickness.
It doesn’t have an attached cable, and is designed to be plugged directly into a USB port. There’s also a little lanyard loop so you can attach it to a keychain, hang it on a bag or zipper.
Charging and power
Some 3rd party Apple Watch chargers can compromise on charging speed. Thankfully, the Magnetic Charging Module can manage a 2 hour complete charge, which is the same as Apple’s own version.
As per the Apple charger, the UGreen is Apple MFi Certified and combines MagSafe technology with inductive charging. Power is rated at 5V/1A input and 5V/1A output. Keep in mind that you’ll need to connect it to a powered USB port to get the best charging results.
It’s always important to be careful with non-Apple charging accessories, especially from lesser known brands. It’s good to see that UGreen has this covered. There are multiple protections including over-current, over-voltage, short circuit and over-temperature should anything go wrong.
Trying it out
In use, keep in mind that you’ll need enough clearance around your USB connection for the dongle to protrude. Also, depending on the type of watch band you have, things can get a bit fiddly.
For example, I plugged the UGreen Magnetic Charging Module into the powered USB port on the Thunderbolt 3 dock on my desk. Its USB port is only about a centimetre above my desktop.
If I’m wearing a flexible watch band, no problem. However, with less flexible bands such as the Apple Link Bracelet, there’s not enough room beneath for the watch to rest on the charging pad. Yes, I can always remove the band but this is a pain.
My only other small gripe is that the cap that protects the USB plug is easy to loose, so it would be good if it attached to something.
Depending on the USB port it’s plugged in to, The UGreen Magnetic Charging Module can experience a bit of flex. To prop it up, a little rubber collar with a ‘foot’ is included.
Overall, at $US39, the UGreen Magnetic Charger is an inexpensive and useful option for Apple Watch owners. I keep mine at work, and it comes in handy when I forget to charge my Apple Watch overnight. You can plug it into a USB port in your car, take it with you on a trip, or have a couple plugged in around the house. The charger can even plug into a portable battery pack for topping up on the go.