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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

Global Editor-in-Chief

Gareth was in charge of phones, tablets and wearables at TechRadar for the best part of a decade and now runs the entire editorial team. He can instantly recommend the best phone for you, or can be found running around the nearest park with the latest fitness tech strapped to his wrist, head or any other applicable body part.