Hands on: Can the Wyrex Qi charger beat out Apple's AirPower?

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2018
Since AirPower still hasn't seen the light of day, other companies are flooding to market hoping to overtake Apple's charger in design and ability. Is the newly launched Wyrex charger up to the task?




Wy-what?

Wyrex is a new wireless charger aimed at taking on Apple's yet-to-be-released AirPower mat, and the manufacturer claims that it is capable of charging up to four different devices simultaneously. That means two iPhones, an Apple Watch, and a set of AirPods all powering up at once.

Wyrex charging stand


It is a bit on the large size to accommodate such a medley of devices and works either propped up as a stand or lying flat as a pad. This is some much-needed versatility, Since iPhone X unlocks via Face ID, being angled upwards makes it easy to unlock and use while still charging.

The body of Wyrex is made of plastic, with subtle grooves on the front that indicate where devices can be placed to charge. An off-the-shelf power cord comes out of the back, with no ability to remove or replace it.

Wyrex status lights


Below the charging devices lies a bar housing a series of status LEDs. We found these lights far too bright and in a dark room at night, they are a bit distracting.

Right above the status bar is a slot where the stand can be inserted or removed, depending on whether Wyrex is going to be used at an angle or lying flat. It isn't the most sturdy stand, but it works.

Wyrex internals


Technically, there are six charging coils within Wyrex -- a 5W Apple Watch charger, a 5W Qi charger for smaller devices (i.e. AirPods), and four 10W Qi coils.

The 10W coils are stacked two-and-two and are meant to accommodate devices of different sizes and orientations. While there are four total, only one from the left and one from the right can be used at the same time. Apple's iPhones can only take advantage of 7.5W of available power, but it gives other devices the ability to use more.

Wyrex Apple Watch charger


Speaking of the Apple Watch charger, you don't have to insert your own charger, like normally seen in third-party solutions. It is built-in, which also makes it blend in for a more seamless look, and less cable mess.

But, Wyrex's solution does not have a strong magnet. That, coupled with the lack of support on the right side causes the Apple Watch to tilt when used as a stand.

Versus AirPower

There's much we don't know about AirPower -- but we do know enough to compare it to Wyrex.

The sample of Wyrex we tested was still a prototype and will improve before release, but it isn't close to Apple's craftsmanship.

Apple Watch, iPhone, and Airpods


Wyrex wins out when it comes to versatility, being able to charge not just three devices, but four. It also can charge any Apple Watch, and not solely the Series 3 that AirPower is limited to. There is also the ability to prop up the charger instead of being relegated to lying on a table.

That flexibility also has a bit of rigidity to it though. Wyrex can charge all of those devices, but they do have to somewhat go into specific spots. Apple Watch must go on the charging puck and phones can't fit where AirPods rest.

If any users will be charging with Android devices, Wyrex may be the better option with the ability to support up to 10W of wireless power.

Conclusion

So which is the best wireless charger? We don't yet have AirPower in our hands, but it is unquestionably the better of the two.

Wyrex charging pad


It is tailor-made for iOS/watchOS devices with far better build quality. Each device can be placed in any position on the charger and can power the Series 3 Apple Watch without a charging puck.

Another aspect we don't know about AirPower is the price, but it will certainly carry a premium over Wyrex.

For those who are looking to save a bit of money and have many devices to charge, Wyrex could be a winner. For those who still want the best wireless charger, they should probably hold out for AirPower.

If you want to pick up Wyrex for yourself, you can currently find it over on Kickstarter where it already has been fully funded.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,115member
    Yes. All it has to do is ship and it will beat the AirPower. My only thought is there is some patent or IP hold-up on AirPower (like some company saying we get 1% of all Apple's profits if you use our patent).
    watto_cobraKsenSava
  • Reply 2 of 17
    I own all 3 devices (incl. iP7). The thing missing for me in Airpower is that it does not appear to support my watchband which does not open and lay flat. I currently use the non-wireless OLEBR charger which accommodates my watchband. It appears that the Wyrex will work for me and the Airpower does not. I will buy the so-called iPhone X Plus as soon as it is available and will likely buy the Wyrex if Airpower is as shown. Sure, I like the better quality of Apple products but may have to buy something else.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,593member
    For what it's worth (perhaps nothing) the latest price report, one I read early today, pegs the AirPower at $160 and change. 
    [Deleted User]
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,593member
    gatorguy said:
    For what it's worth (perhaps nothing) 
    And we can stop right there.
    SoliStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,593member
    Rayz2016 said:
    gatorguy said:
    For what it's worth (perhaps nothing) 
    And we can stop right there.
    Yup :)
  • Reply 6 of 17
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 272member
    This is a clever design, but build quality seems terrible, the rocking of the whole thing when you place the phones is too much. The cable coming out of the top left corner looks like an after thought. And you guys don't mention anything about the apple watch charger quality, as far as I know Apple doesn't licence made of AW program for chargers, so this could potentially damage the watch. Also, you say AirPower can charge 3 iPhones, there's simply not enough space on the mat for 3 phones.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 243member, editor
    gutengel said:
    This is a clever design, but build quality seems terrible, the rocking of the whole thing when you place the phones is too much. The cable coming out of the top left corner looks like an after thought. And you guys don't mention anything about the apple watch charger quality, as far as I know Apple doesn't licence made of AW program for chargers, so this could potentially damage the watch. Also, you say AirPower can charge 3 iPhones, there's simply not enough space on the mat for 3 phones.
    Good questions/points!

    Build quality is definitely questionable in this model, but it is a prototype and will be better for final production. That said, some things (such as the rocking) may not change. This didn’t worry me too much though, and it didn’t feel as if it would break. The stand is just somewhat thin. 

    We mention the Apple Watch charger a bit, and Apple does in fact offer a Made for Apple Watch program for third party chargers. Companies such as Belkin and Oittm have been making these for a while. There are several chargers on the market with build-in charging pucks. That said, this doesn’t seem to be one of those chargers. That said, it is just a 5W coil which is exactly what the Apple Watch charger delivers and I’be been testing this a while to be sure it is safe before writing about it.

    Lastly, AirPower does seem smaller, but we will have to have our hands on with it to see what it is and isn’t fully capable of.

    Thanks for the comment!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Meh. You are always better off buying directly from Apple. That way you can get AopleCare for a small extra price.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    irelandireland Posts: 17,585member
    AirPower can’t charge three of anything, as it has yet to ship, and until it does we shouldn’t be claiming what Apple told us it will/might do.
    [Deleted User]
  • Reply 10 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,587member
    ireland said:
    AirPower can’t charge three of anything, as it has yet to ship, and until it does we shouldn’t be claiming what Apple told us it will/might do.
    They said it will do three. There is no reason to believe that’s a “might”. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,574administrator
    ireland said:
    AirPower can’t charge three of anything, as it has yet to ship, and until it does we shouldn’t be claiming what Apple told us it will/might do.
    They said it will do three. There is no reason to believe that’s a “might”. 
    They demonstrated that it will do three when the iPhone X launched. We were there, and wrote about it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,095member
    I would rather wait for AirPower.
    I learned from my mistake of buying BeatsX instead of AirPods.
    (I now have AirPods)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    I would rather wait for AirPower.
    I learned from my mistake of buying BeatsX instead of AirPods.
    (I now have AirPods)
    What didn't you like about the BeatsX?
    (Best Buy has them on sale for $99, so I'm thinking about getting them).
  • Reply 14 of 17

    Putting aside the probability that this may not ship (given that it is a KickStarter project), the one thing that Wyrex has gotten better than Apple's AirPower is the fact that you can use it to charge watches that have straps like the Link Bracelet and the Milanese Loop.

    The AirPower mat seems designed only to charge watches that have straps which can completely open up, like the Sports bands.

    Removing the watch strap to charge the watch on an AirPower mat seems needlessly cumbersome.

  • Reply 15 of 17
    you lost me at kickstarter. so many wonderful devices on there promising the world. they meet and exceed goals, then dates start slipping, then updates stop coming, then it's too late to get your money back and you've been had good and proper.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    adm1 said:
    you lost me at kickstarter. so many wonderful devices on there promising the world. they meet and exceed goals, then dates start slipping, then updates stop coming, then it's too late to get your money back and you've been had good and proper.
    Hi there, Wyrex team is doing its best to make all stages of process works perfectly, including delivering final products. Now as we have 200% our goal funded, there is a green light to start the production. We are working with top suppliers, that’s why we are confident in shipping Wyrex Wireless Fast Charger before Christmas. We won't let hundreds of Wyrex backers down
  • Reply 17 of 17
    steven n. said:
    Yes. All it has to do is ship and it will beat the AirPower. My only thought is there is some patent or IP hold-up on AirPower (like some company saying we get 1% of all Apple's profits if you use our patent).
    Hi Steven, Wyrex' hardware does not overlap AirPower's construction. And as Wyrex has 200% of goal funded, there is a green light to start the production and ship a product before Christmas. 
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