Twelve South is making a new 2-in-1 wireless charger for Apple Watches and MagSafe iPhones, and it might just be one of the best designs I’ve seen in a magnetic charger.
The $129.95 Twelve South Butterfly consists of two aluminum-clad discs — one with a MagSafe charger, the other with an Apple Watch charger — tethered by a vegan leather strap. It uses magnets on all sides to allow the pucks to close up for travel or open back to back and form a kickstand or mini pedestal. If you stare at it long enough, you realize that it kind of looks like Apple’s discontinued MagSafe Duo charger if you cut away all the ugly floppy bits.
The Butterfly costs the same as the MagSafe Duo did when it launched, but it comes with a USB-C port, a detachable one-meter / 3.3ft braided USB-C cable, and a 30W power supply (complete with swappable international prongs). The flop that was Apple’s Duo used a Lightning port and did not include an adapter. The Twelve South charger supports full 15W MagSafe iPhone charging and Apple Watch fast charging, and in certain orientations the Butterfly can activate either iOS 17’s StandBy Mode or the Apple Watch’s Nightstand Mode (though only one at a time). Since the MagSafe pad is also Qi compatible, it can also be used to (slowly) recharge a pair of earbuds.
Proper MagSafe chargers are far from cheap, and many of them omit faster watch charging. The Zens 2-in-1 MagSafe + Watch travel charger does cost less at $99.99, but it’s a little clumsier looking, doesn’t include a power supply, and it lacks fast charging for compatible Apple Watches. The Zens is still a nice little 2-in-1, but its hinge-based stand design is just a bit clunkier. The Butterfly is more rounded off and sleek, taking up a tiny bit less space in a travel bag. I like that the Butterfly comes with accessories, but part of me wishes it was offered charger-only at a price closer to the Zens.
The one gripe I’ve found in my short time with the Twelve South Butterfly (aside from price) is that it can make a slightly irksome metal-on-metal grindy noise when its halves are back to back. It’s not quite nails on a chalkboard, but it ain’t pleasant sounding either.
MagSafe chargers are pricey and inefficient compared to simple and faster wired charging, but it’s hard to deny the convenience of dropping down your phone and smartwatch for some quick juice with minimal fiddling. The Twelve South Butterfly blends design and utility in a package that can live by your bedside or travel with you. You just have to be willing to pay $130 for the privilege.