If you’re on the road a lot, it makes sense to invest in an international charger that can plug into a range of power outlets around the world. You can easily get one of those online or even at most airports, but I’d recommend considering Ohio-based accessory maker Fuse Chicken’s latest offering. It comes with two ports, wirelessly juices up supported devices, and packs a power bank to boot.
It’s called the Universal, and it lives up to its name with four included plugs to sort you out in most parts of the world. The device is a little larger than an 87W MacBook charger, but it should save you a fair bit of space in your luggage by handling power duty for a couple of your gadgets on the go.
Before we go any further, it’s important to note that there are seemingly identical products on Amazon and other sites. Fuse Chicken says that its product is the only one that offers fast wireless charging. The company also told me that most knockoffs aren’t FCC or WPC certified, which means they could damage your gadgets, or catch on fire.
Design and features
There’s not much to the Universal’s looks: it only comes in matte black, with a rubberized finish, and there’s a white LED display that lights up on the side panel below the USB ports to let you know how much charge it has left.
You can swap plugs easily enough, by simply sliding them in and out of place from one corner of the Universal’s rounded rectangular body. The charger comes with a black velvet carrying pouch, which is roomy enough to accommodate the Universal as well as a couple of international plugs for your travels.
Using the Universal
The Universal does what it says on the tin, charging every device I own without a fuss, charging its own internal 6,700mAh battery (just shy of two full charges for a Samsung Galaxy S10) in about two hours, and wirelessly juicing up my high-tech earphones while their carrying case rests on its side.
I always carry a couple of chargers, an international adaptor, and a power bank when I travel. The Universal lets me ditch most of those for a single, relatively compact device, which is easier to pack, and easier to remember to bring back home.
I do wish it delivered power at a higher wattage than 18W, though; I’m now spoiled by the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition’s ultra-quick 30W charging, which helps the phone juice up from 0 to 100 in roughly an hour. Still, the Universal is efficient enough to let you use most gadgets while you charge them.
Who’s this for?
If you’re on the road a lot, and are looking for an easier way to manage your multiple devices’ power needs, this is a good way to go – if you can get past the brand name, that is.
The brand is nowhere near as well-known as accessory giants Anker and Aukey, but it’s delivered a solidly built product with a great set of features. This alternative from Anker is a fair bit cheaper, but it has a lower battery capacity (5,000mAh vs. the Universal’s 6,700mAh), and doesn’t support wireless charging.
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Published April 22, 2019 — 12:26 UTC