Multi-taskers are great. Think of anything that can perform more than one function, and you've suddenly reduced storage space requirements by half or more. That's the point behind the Twelve South HiRise Duet ($119.99), a charging stand for both an iPhone and Apple Watch. The HiRise Duet was originally released late last year but disappeared from the Twelve South website; it's back again, and better than ever.
As illustrated in the product photo at right, the HiRise Duet doesn't take up a lot of space on a nightstand or desk. The base is 3.75 inches (9.53cm) on a side, weighted heavily (15.1 ounces/428.1 grams) for stability with an iPhone on top (even the iPhone 7 Plus seen in the photo), and with a base that's padded with premium black leather.
Rising from the base is a pillar dominated with the familiar white magnetic charging disc of the Apple Watch, with a Lightning adapter jutting from the top. The design is intuitive; place the Apple Watch on the stand first with the display facing out (perfect for Nightstand Mode), then place the iPhone on top resting against an adjustable metal stand.
One power supply provides charging energy for both iPhone and Apple Watch at at total of 15 Watts, enough to speed-charge the iPhone 40% faster than standard USB. Compare the charging speed to one of Belkin's Qi charging pads, and the HiRise Duet can top off your iPhone almost twice as fast.
The bottom of the HiRise Duet base is thoughtfully covered in a thick rubber layer, ensuring that any "vibrate mode" notifications that sneak past Do Not Disturb won't cause the charging stand to dance off the nightstand.
Compared to some charging stands we've reviewed, the HiRise Duet is definitely compact and more stable. The adjustable back piece on the pillar is really useful, as the HiRise Duet can handle a bare iPhone or one that's encased in something bulky like a LifeProof case.
Many of the other charging stands also require that owners provide their own Apple Watch charging discs, making it difficult to have a spare for traveling. While the price of the HiRise Duet is higher than some of the other stands, at least you won't need to shell out $39 for another charging cable.
Compact, stylish and providing fast charges to both iPhone and Apple Watch, the Twelve South HiRise Duet packs it all into one nice little package.
Note: Shortly after publishing this review, the test HiRise Duet failed. As such, I am reducing the rating on the device by two stars until I see how the manufacturer responds to the issue.
10/31/17: A day after reporting the issue, I received a new unit which worked perfectly. Twelve South has asked to have the initial unit returned for root cause analysis of the failure. Customer service has been excellent. Full rating restored!