Manufacturer: twelve south
Cost: US $89.99
Test Rig: iPhone 8 Plus, iOS 13.4
I use my iPhone® 8 Plus pretty much as my primary computer. Not only for convenience but because my older iMac® is going through some tech issues and, I don’t know why, I don’t seem to gravitate to my iPad Pro™ that much anymore. (Irony: I’m completing this article as my iMac® sits in the shop. And the latest iPad Pro™ has me rethinking my layout.)
As a result, by the end of the day my iPhone® is in desperate need of a charge. Amongst the never-ending barrage of emails and web ads I was blitzed with over the holiday season, I came across a device from twelve south that not only addressed the issue I had with my then iPhone® charger but headed off one with my future Apple Watch®.
HiRise Duet is a luxe charging stand that powers your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time. With everything you need in one place, HiRise Duet is the ultimate charging companion.
As twelve south is a well-respected brand, I figured I give it the once over. It checked all the boxes, so I ordered one.
The HiRise Duet sports a clean, minimalist design. You place you iPhone® on the top half, secured by the Lightning® charger. On the lower half wrap your Apple Watch® around the base of the stand. With it facing you, you can effortlessly glance over to check the time.
To keep the wiring as unobtrusive as possible, the thin cord attaches at the back of the base.
That’s basically all there is to it.
The first thing that struck me was the sheer heft of the charger. Whereas my iPhone’s plastic Qi charger constantly dragged across the nightstand from the weight of the power cord or precariously balanced my device due to its lightness, this all metal, one pound HiRise Duet stayed put thanks to its weight and its rubber foot pad which covered the entire base. When I reached for my iPhone® in the middle of the night or went to push the snooze button in the morning, my devices didn’t budge an inch.
The HiRise Duet neatly holds and charges your iPhone® and Apple Watch® in one small, 3.75” square footprint. The slight power cable extends from the base of the charger, leaving a clean, minimalist look on your nightstand.
At the end of your day, rest the band of your Apple Watch® around the base of the stand on soft leather, set your iPhone® on the Lightning post and let them charge as you sleep.
Now any ideas, reminders, ToDos, or song requests that spring into my head while in bed, I can easily dictate from the comfort of my pillow and quickly return to sleep (still dealing with Siri’s idiosyncrasies all the same).
The adjustable Lightning® connector pivots back and forth to a small degree allowing for any changes of depth either in your smartphone model or to accommodate a slim case. I would have much preferred a Qi charger set-up.
I understand the decision to be able to accommodate as many models and brands as possible with a single design. But for me, my experience with my iPhone 8 Plus, I found getting the phone onto the Lightning® connector (with or without my slim case) frustrating. Nine out of ten times, I couldn’t get it to line up exactly the way it needed to. And removing it was usually as bothersome.
For me, it became somewhat aggravating particularly in the dead of night. I would ask Siri® to play me a song to lull me to sleep. And Siri being Siri, it would play whatever song it wanted to hear. This meant invariably reaching over to the nightstand, grabbing the iPhone®, Apple Watch®, and charger, bringing it onto my chest so I could reset it and return it to the nightstand in the darkness without losing the watch or smartphone in the process. Bother.
(In fairness, I have a chronic disease which doesn’t allow me to simply roll over and push the buttons on the phone. So, the average person would not have to experience my epic battles. Makes a good story though.)
The other matter I would like to see addressed in future iterations is to make the watch charger magnetic. As it is not at this time, should you bump the stand the watch will go flying off.
Overall, my purchase was worthwhile. With 15-watts of hard wired Lightning® power, the iPhone® will charge 40% faster than standard USB and nearly twice as fast as wireless. As Duet holds your iPhone® upright, you can see and interact with your iPhone® effortlessly while charging.
Apple® could have designed this stand. The curves on the HiRise Duet echo the iPhone® and the Apple Watch® design, plus the finish looks to be a hybrid of slate grey and brushed aluminum.
I contacted twelve south and inquired if there would be a future HiRise Duet USB-C. I was told there would not. (More credence to the future wireless iPhone® rumors?)
The HighRise Duet is compatible with iPhones XS through 5 series and all generations of Apple Watch®.
You can buy the High Rise Duet in the Hubs & Chargers section of twelve south’s store.
Hands down, this is the most solid accessory I have ever purchased for any Apple® device. Well worth every dollar. Peruse their store. They have dozens of accessories, many of which you’ll find useful.
©2020 Frank Petrie