Uniq Hoveo Review: The cheaper better MagSafe Battery Pack alternative for your iPhone 12

You might have heard about the new MagSafe Battery Pack (S$139), which can wirelessly charge the iPhone 12 by simply snapping it on the back of the smartphone.

If you think the MagSafe Battery Pack is too expensive, there is actually a cheaper and better alternative with the new Uniq Hoveo (S$69).

PRICE: S$69, available in Uniq Creation Store
WEIGHT: 140g

Available only in one colour of grey, the Uniq Hoveo is pretty similar to the MageSafe Battery Pack but offers more.

On first look, it looks like any other portable power bank with its rectangular shape. It measures only 16mm thick and its surface area is slightly bigger than your EZ-Link Card or CashCard. Thus, you can easily tuck the Hoveo into the pocket of a backpack or even your pants’ side pocket.

The Hoveo is slightly bigger than a CashCard. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

The flattest side of Hoveo is the magnetic wireless charging surface. There is a USB-C input/output port on one side of Hoveo. On its back, there are four LED indicator lights and a large power button.

There is only one USB-C input/output port on Hoveo. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Here, you can also find the retractable aluminium viewing stand. There is no catch or button to release the viewing stand. Just pull the stand towards the back and it is ready for use.

The nice part about the Hoveo’s magnetic wireless charging surface is that it does not automatically charges the smartphone when you place it there. You have to press the power button to start charging.

The Hoveo is a magnetic wireless charger for your iPhone 12. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

+ Affordable
+ Compact and lightweight
+ Retractable viewing stand
+ Can also be used as USB-C portable charger

– Not MagSafe
– Viewing stand only have one angle

As such, you can actually use the Hoveo as a viewing stand anytime. But I found it can only be used with the iPhone 12 series. It works perfectly with an iPhone 12 mini, iPhone Pro and my iPhone 12 Pro Max, but cannot “stick” on the back of a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra or a Huawei P40 Pro.

When magnetically attached to the Hoveo with the stand pulled out in use, you can watch movies on your iPhone 12 in horizontal or vertical orientation. Great when you are having your breakfast and trying to catch up on the late-night football match you missed.

The Hoveo allows the iPhone 12 to be in horizontal orientation. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Of course, the main objective of the Hoveo is to charge your iPhone 12 wirelessly. Using the magnetic wireless charging surface, my iPhone 12 Pro Max was charged from 50 per cent to full in around 2 hours 40 mins.

You also use the Hoveo as a wireless charging stand when it is connected to a power supply. It will charge the iPhone 12 first before it recharging the power bank.

There is no manual way to turn off the wireless charging. But it will automatically turn off when it detects no devices after 30 seconds.

If you have an additional smartphone other than an iPhone 12, you can use the USB-C port to charge them via the wired option. For instance, a Huawei P40 Pro was charged from 75 per cent to full in only 44 minutes.

You can use the USB-C port to charge other smartphones. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

On the downside, the Hoveo is not a MagSafe device. So, it does not really attach itself tightly to the iPhone 12. It can be quite easily dislodged if you are not careful.

Not to mention, the retractable stand only offers one angle of viewing. But this is more of a nitpick than a real issue.

If you are looking for a magnetic wireless charger for your iPhone 12, the Uniq Hoveo is a cheaper and more versatile alternative to Apple’s offering.

DESIGN: 8/10

Trevor Tan

Started out with dreams to become a street photographer, Trevor Tan somehow became a tech journalist with over 16 years of consumer tech experience. Maybe he plays too much video games and buys too many new gadgets.
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