this thing's incredible

This Phone-Charging Picture Frame Passes As Living-Room Décor

Photo: Retailer

Whether it’s a phone, a tablet, a portable speaker, or a pair of headphones, we all have something we need to charge. Always. It is a necessity in our continuously connected world. It’s also a source of constant clutter. I used to flinch as I walked past the cabal of chargers littering the side tables, counters, bookshelves, and even windowsills around my family’s apartment. With two adults and two tweens sheltering at home, our living room had taken on the vibe of an AT&T display case. We needed something to reduce the number of cables in our home. This all-in-one cable is close, but it isn’t something I want to leave out all the time. The Twelve South PowerPic charger, however, is.

If you didn’t know the PowerPic was a phone charger, you’d think it was a typical five-by-seven photo frame — and a nice one at that. It’s made of New Zealand pine and comes in either glossy black or white. But just below the picture, the frame has a built-in wireless charger that works with most newer phones from Samsung, Apple, Google, LG, Microsoft, and Sony. Set up is simple: Just put a picture in the frame and plug the USB cord into the back. My one complaint is that the frame doesn’t come with a power adapter, just a USB-C cable, but we keep a big bag of device dregs around the house for moments just like this. (If you don’t have a similar bag, you can pick up an adapter pretty cheap here.)

When it’s time to charge your phone, just set it in the frame, where it rests securely on the lower lip. LED status lights are built into the back of the frame — solid blue for charging, solid green for full charge, and flashing blue to warn if there’s a problem. I didn’t use them much, since most phones have their own status display, but the flashing lights were helpful whenever we’d forget to remove my son’s pop socket from his phone before dropping it into the frame. Most other cases up to three millimeters thick will easily pick up the charge.

Though our Twelve South charger is usually in the living room, I recently began moving it into the kitchen in the evening so can I follow recipes and watch videos while I cook. And if I happen to forget it there, instead of seeing an ugly cable left on the counter, it just looks like I added an extra photo to brighten up the room.

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My Phone Charger Is Also a Good-Looking Picture Frame