Here's why you should always research AirPower rival charging mats

AirPower alternative
The original AirPower Mat never made it to store shelves. Credit: Apple

After the original AirPower mat from Apple was finally confirmed as dead on arrival, users have been hunting for a decent replica. It looked like one had been found, but that might not be the case.

An AirPower alternative from AirUnleashed promises to charge three devices at once, just like the original device was going to - but some digging from PhoneArena shows there are some elements you'll want to be aware of.

PhoneArena is pointing to the fact the AirUnleashed product is very similar to a much cheaper, off the shelf 'white label' version of the same thing - and there's no way of knowing the quality of that model, or why it's so much cheaper. However, the designs of the two are slightly different, so it could just be a coincidence of packaging.

Name's not down...

So even though the 'original' white-label charger is reportedly $25 (around £20 / AU$35), the AirUnleashed version is $108 (around £80 / U$150) with charger and could well pack alternative features. 

The AirUnleashed charger needs to be at least 10W of power (the standard iPhone plug can pump out only 5W) so you'll need to use an iPad charging brick or better.

This leads onto the second issue: this charging pad is not Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) certified, which means it's not been dubbed as safe by the folks who govern the Qi technology used to chuck out the wireless power.

Of course, there are no reports that this charging pad has caused any issues and there's no reason to expect it to malfunction in any way, but the WPC warns against using any untested brand lest it overheat, cause device damage or emit interference.

Choosing a charging pad that's been verified by an official body is a key thing to look for when thinking about choosing brands you've not heard of before.

However, if you are looking for a quick wireless charging experience for a little less cash, check out this option for a single device:

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.