Bracketron’s Twist & Charge ($18) is one of the more original charging accessories we’ve seen in a while. Instead of occupying a wall outlet, it actually piggybacks off another plug, allowing you to charge two devices from a single port. In concept, it’s comparable to Twelve South’s PlugBug, although it can be used with more than just Apple’s MacBook power adapters. This accessory is compatible with any two- or three-pronged U.S.-style plugs you might otherwise be plugging in, and can charge any USB-based device, including iPods and iPhones.
Twist & Charge’s black plastic body measures only around 1.25” wide and 2.25” long—it’s very small, occupying perhaps half the physical volume of PlugBug. The grey, flip-out surface with cutouts for three prongs fits neatly against the back when not in use, but can rotate through 270° of freedom to your desired angle. Those holes are quite tight, which makes sense when you consider the need for physical contact to conduct electricity, so you need to push with some effort to get your plug through. Once that’s done, you simply connect it to an outlet like you normally would with any charger. In other words, though Twist & Charge doesn’t have its own wall blades, it can still be attached to virtually any outlet that’s already occupied by a plug.
Twist & Charge works as expected: attach a 30-pin or Lightning cable to its USB port, and it’ll put out 1 Amp of charging power. This is enough to charge an iPhone or iPod at full speed; iPads will still charge, but at a slower rate. The only issue you might run into: if the shape of the wall plug or adapter you’re using doesn’t fit within the Twist & Charge recess, you won’t be able to pair them. Apple’s classic iPod and current full-sized iPad adapters won’t fit due to the shape of their plastic bodies, but the 5W USB Power Adapters it has shipped with iPhones for years fit just fine, as will virtually any conventional wall plug you opt to pass through. Plugs with larger left than right blades work just as well as plugs with identically sized blades.
If you don’t have as many wall outlets as you’d like, or just want to guarantee iPhone/iPod charging access at a hotel, you’ll most likely appreciate the functionality this accessory offers. Twist & Charge is simple and impressively small, making it very easy to toss in a bag and use when necessary. It doesn’t have the same kind of “wow” factor as TwelveSouth’s PlugBug, but it maintains most of the functionality while selling for around half the price, and occupying half the space. It’s worthy of our strong general recommendation.
Company and Price
Model: Twist & Charge
Compatible: All iPads, iPhones + iPods