ESR's HaloLock™ 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with CryoBoost is a great, capable 3-in-1 charger as long as you can get past the fan noise.
- + It looks fantastic
- + You can fast charge the Apple Watch Series 7 (with cable)
- + It supports MagSafe for the iPhone and AirPods
- You need your own Apple Watch charger
- The AirPods charger isn't guided well without MagSafe
- You can hear the fan when Cryoboost is turned on
Ever since Apple announced the return, or actually, the introduction of MagSafe to the iPhone, I've been waiting to try out a MagSafe-compatible charger that can charge my iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods — all in one. I initially purchased the MagSafe Charger that Apple sells but the cord was way too short (who can run a three-foot cable for a bedside charger?) so I've been on the hunt for something that I can plant on my nightstand to charge my iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods at the same time.
Up until now, I've been using the Nomad Base Station Apple Watch Edition. It's a great multi-device charger that supports wireless charging. It also looks fantastic and the build quality is stellar. However, it didn't have MagSafe compatibility. That's not a knock on Nomad — I'm pretty sure the original Base Station came out before Apple announced MagSafe was coming to the iPhone 12 and the company has since been releasing some MagSafe-compatible chargers.
However, Nomad's high-quality engineering comes with a high-quality price. The same goes for other go-to charging brands like Belkin and Native Union. So, I was curious if there were other brands out there that could get you the MagSafe experience without the high price point.
ESR reached out to me about their new MagSafe-compatible Cryoboost chargers so, naturally, I asked them to send one over. I've been living with one for about two weeks now and, I have to say, ESR made all of the right decisions here — except for one.
ESR HaloLock 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with CryoBoost: Price and availability
ESR's 3-in MagSafe-compatible charger is available now for $79.99. The company offers the charger on its own website for that price and allows you to choose between a U.S., UK, or EU power adapter so you can get the wall connection you need right out of the box.
Since Amazon is the world's shopping mall, the company offers the charger on there as well. The list price on Amazon is $69.99, but we have seen sales on the charger that brings the price down as low as $59.49. If you do purchase it on Amazon to save some money, make sure you are on your country's Amazon page. It appears that ESR changes the charger based on that rather than allowing you to manually choose it.
ESR HaloLock 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with CryoBoost: What I liked
It's a MagSafe-compatible 3-in-1 charger for less than $100. What's not to like?!
One of the things that surprised me most with the ESR 3-in-1 charger was how good it actually looks. In my opinion, the pictures on ESR's website do not do the charger justice. It's quite heavier than I expected and the materials, especially the aluminum stand, feel really nice. It looks and feels more premium than the price they are selling it at, which is a great surprise for anyone who picks it up, figuratively and literally.
The other thing that I appreciate with this charger is that it's gone deep into Magnetland here. At first, I was only expecting the iPhone charger to feature a magnetic connection. However, it also supports AirPods that have MagSafe charging. That only applies to the AirPods Pro with the updated charging case and AirPods 3, but it's a nice addition since all new AirPods models will start supporting MagSafe charging going forward. The AirPods charging pad still supports regular wireless charging as well so, if you have a pair of AirPods without the MagSafe charging case, they'll work just fine.
Another thing that I personally like but that many won't (more on that below) is the lack of a built-in Apple Watch charger. This allowed me to use the fast-charging cable that came with my Apple Watch Series 7 to take advantage of the faster charging speeds that the Series 7 is capable of. With that charging cable, my Apple Watch can charge up to 33% faster than the Series 6 and go from 0 to 80% in 45 minutes. I'll take the lack of a built-in charger for that boost.
The last thing that I like but also take umbrage with in its execution (more on that below as well) is the Cryoboost technology. Adding a cooling fan to the iPhone charger has definitely resulted in faster charging speeds for my iPhone 13 mini. ESR says that its charger is about twice as fast as Apple's own MagSafe Charger, and my experience lines up with that.
Okay, on to the bad news. Thankfully, there's not much of it.
ESR HaloLock 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with CryoBoost: What I didn't like
I can only think of two things I don't like about ESR's 3-in-1 MagSafe charger. I'll start with the first which is kind of a thing I don't AND do like.
One of the things that ESR elected to do with its 3-in-1 charger is to require you to provide your own Apple Watch charging cable. While some chargers have the Apple Watch charging component built-in, you won't find that here. For some, that's disappointing because it can mean having to buy another Apple Watch charger for when you need to take one with you — unless you want to go through the process of removing it from your home charger every time you need it elsewhere. I doubt anyone wants that unless you're some kind of ultimate minimalist.
This move is good, however, for anyone that has an Apple Watch Series 7 and newer. With the Apple Watch Series 7, Apple updated the charging architecture of the watch which, along with the included fast-charging cable, increased charging speeds by 33% compared to the Series 6. Apple says you can charge the Series 7 from 0 to 80% in 45 minutes now.
So while the lack of a built-in Apple Watch charger may be disappointing for anyone with a Series 6 and under, I'm actually happy since I can use my Series 7 charger to get the faster charging speeds. The charger includes both USB-A and USB-C ports so, no matter what Apple Watch charger you have, it'll work (I imagine you could run into trouble with third-party chargers, though).
ESR could have also put in a faster charger, but I imagine that would have driven up the price in order for it to adhere to Apple's MFi accessory program. I'll take the tradeoff on this one.
My biggest complaint with the charger is actually one of its key selling points.
One of the issues with wireless charging is that, while chargers can usually start out at their maximum charging speeds, heat can quickly build up. In order to continue charging, chargers will lower the wattage to dissipate the heat, resulting in slower charging speeds.
ESR aims to fix that with its Cryoboost lineup by adding a cooling fan to its iPhone charger. The company claims that it can charge an iPhone 13 from 0 to 100% in three hours — four and a half hours faster than Apple's MagSafe charger. It says that, because of Cryoboost, its charger is also faster than third-party chargers by almost two hours, but it's unclear which brands it is comparing itself to.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am all for faster wireless charging and if a cooling fan is a way to get me there, sign me up. And, it works! I did notice faster charging speeds on my iPhone 13 mini when connected to the ESR charger with Cyroboost turned on. However, my biggest issue with the charger is that Cryoboost, or fan cooling, is turned on by default when you connect your iPhone to the charger.
While fan-cooling certainly helps with heat dissipation and keeps your charging speeds up, the fan is definitely not silent. It's not super loud, though. It's not like I'm thinking I turned on Top Gun in the room when I'm trying to charge my phone. There's just a faint whine that is loud enough to notice.
This whine is especially noticeable when you're closer to the charger. So, if you have one on your nightstand or desk, you're going to notice it when you're trying to sleep or work. Because of this, I find myself turning off the Cryoboost most of the time. If I'm doing stuff around the house and need a charge, boost me up, Scotty. However, if I'm near it and need to sleep or work, it's too distracting.
ESR could fix this in two ways: It could obviously work on the engineering of the fan to make it more silent, or it could have Cryoboost turned off by default. Either of these solutions works in my eyes. Want faster charging? Turn it on. Just don't make me turn it off every time I connect my iPhone.
ESR HaloLock 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with CryoBoost: Competiton
ESR's 3-in-1 charger is, of course, not short of competition. There are a ton of 3-in-1 chargers that charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods — all at the same time.
One of the go-to 3-in-1 chargers is the Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE PRO 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with MagSafe. Unlike the ESR, Belkin's charger does include a built-in Apple Watch charger and looks arguably even better than ESR's offering. However, it does cost $150, over twice as much as the ESR charger when you buy it on Amazon. Does a higher-quality design and a built-in Apple Watch charger justify an extra $90? I'm sure it does for some.
Other brands like Native Union, Anker, Mophie, and Apple also offer some of the best wireless chargers for multiple devices. They range all over the place in terms of price and features, but the core purpose is the same. We've reviewed Mophie's 3-in-1 travel charger with MagSafe and loved it, giving it a four and a half out five stars. This one is in the design of a charging pad, though, and is also priced at $150.
ESR HaloLock 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with CryoBoost: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You want sustained fast charging for your MagSafe-compatible iPhone
- You have your own Apple Watch charging cable to use
- You need a 3-in-1 charger that looks great
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want the Apple Watch charger built-in
- You don't want the charger to make any noise
- You don't need a 3-in-1 charger
After spending two weeks with ESR's 3-in-1 charger, I'm sold on MagSafe charging. It's so much more convenient and precise and, admittedly, much cooler and satisfying to hear and feel that magnet click onto my iPhone.
In addition to using the 3-in-1 charger, I've also been using the company's 2-in-1 charger, which chargers an iPhone and AirPods, at my desk for when I'm working. It's a great setup and I've been enjoying it immensely. My only wish is that the company fixes that fan noise or turns it off by default.
Faster charging gets fan-powered.
The ESR HaloLock 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with CryoBoost lets you charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods magnetically. With support for MagSafe, the phone charger is also fan-powered for even faster charging.
Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
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