Wireless chargers are super convenient. Sure, they might not be as fast as a wired option, but there’s nothing easier than just dropping your phone on a pad to charge. While the chargers may be useful, they’re kind of ugly: even the nicest-looking pads kind of look like you accidentally left a hockey puck on your end table. That that’s where Twelve South’s PowerPic comes in. It hides a wireless charger inside of a regular 5x7 picture frame, allowing you to put the pad in plain sight.
Twelve South also recommends setting the wallpaper on your phone to match the print, so that even when you’re charging, you’ll still be able to see the picture, unobscured. It’s a better idea in theory than in practice since phones don’t actually keep their screens illuminated while charging. And while you could set your display to stay on manually, it’s probably not a great idea if your phone has an OLED panel due to burn in. Consider buying a digital picture frame instead.
There are a couple of other nice things about the PowerPic on the hardware side: it supports up to 10W wireless charging, which should be enough to fast charge almost any phone, and the cable is a user replaceable standard USB-C cord. However, it doesn’t come with a wall brick in the box, which is frustrating, considering the $79.99 price point.
I was a bit baffled by the idea at first, but it’s kind of grown on me. The PowerPic isn’t meant to really replace the charger on your desk or your bedside table that you’re using more often. Instead, it’s meant to replace the one on your kitchen counter or in your living room that you only use occasionally.
It’s kind of a luxury sort of gadget to spend $80 on — any regular wireless charger will ultimately perform the same way — but if you’re the type of person who favors design above all else (and still displays physical pictures in your home), it’s a fun idea.