Charging devices is a necessity that most of us take for granted. This is especially true today when the majority of smart devices, such as mobile phones, have batteries that often barely last a day with regular use. If we already have to charge our devices, it’s always good for the charging time to be as short as possible. Most manufacturers approach this task solely from a practical standpoint. Gravastar, however, has to make even that into a cool, futuristic experience, and it’s hard to get any cooler and more futuristic than their Alpha 65 fast charger.
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The main feature of the Alpha 65 charger is its incredibly unique design. The Alpha 65 resembles an adorable little robot and literally looks like it has jumped straight out of a Star Wars movie. The design is so cool and distinct that at first glance, it’s hard to even realize that it’s a charger. And it definitely seems to me that this was partially Gravastar’s intention because the Alpha 65 is not an ugly piece of hardware that you will immediately stash away in a drawer or keep somewhere out of sight. This is a small gadget that you will proudly display on your desk, and I can easily envision it becoming a permanent part of many gamers’ setups.
The Alpha 65 comes in three variants – the war damaged yellow, which we received for review, the war damaged blue, and the pure white color. On the front, it features two LED lights that illuminate when it’s plugged in. On the left and right sides, there are two adjustable legs that can be compactly placed against the body of the charger for when you want to plug it in or extended them to make the Alpha 65 stand upright. On the top, there are two small magnetized protrusions where you can attach two mechanical ears, which come separately in the package with the charger and complete the futuristic robot-like appearance. Moreover, the Alpha 65 is filled with intricate, beautiful details that add to its authenticity and create the impression of a meticulously crafted piece that required a great deal of effort.
Regarding the functional aspect of the design, the power outlet is located on the bottom of the charger, and you can easily fold it down into the appropriate position when you want to plug it in. By default, the power outlet is adapted for the North American market, but the package includes suitable adapters that allow you to use the charger in other regions as well. The adapters aren’t some ugly eyesore too and more or less fit into the Alpha 65 well enough as to not ruin its overall design.
As for the USB ports, they are located on the top side, and the Alpha 65 features three of them – an 18W USB-A port, a 20W USB-C port, and a 65W USB-C port. Each port is neatly labeled, making it generally easy to distinguish where to plug in each cable based on the desired charging speed for your devices. A minor gripe is only that Gravastar hasn’t quite succeeded in fully balancing practicality and aesthetics since, if you plug the Alpha 65 vertically into a wall outlet, you must choose between seeing the LED lights or having the power labels facing the right way.
Regarding the charging performance – the Alpha 65 uses GaN (Gallium Nitride) charging technology, which inherently provides higher charging output with improved efficiency and less heat generation.As mentioned, the Alpha 65 has three charging ports – the 65W, 20W, and 18W ports. However, their usage is not straightforward as one might think. The 65W output is achievable only if the 65W port is the only one in use. As soon as you connect another device to the 20W or 18W port, the 65W port’s output will be reduced to 45W. If you use all three ports simultaneously, each will deliver a mere 15W.
Let’s be clear, this limitation shouldn’t be taken as a con and is not specific to the Alpha 65, but rather a result of the GaN technology combined with multiple output ports. Nevertheless, it’s something to keep in mind if you expected this little guy to output a total of 103W when all its ports are in use. In whichever combination of ports you ultimately end up using it, know that it still perfectly does its job and you won’t have any issues charging anything from phones, laptops and other compatible devices.
Specifically, using the 65W port with an iPhone 14 and Nothing Phone, you could go from 0 to approximately 60% charge in about half an hour, while it would take around an hour for a full battery charge. Even when you don’t want to charge at top speed, you can at least appreciate that a single outlet can now be used to charge 3 devices and 15W is just fine when you aren’t in a hurry or want something charged overnight.
Speaking of that, overnight or any prolonged charging is perfectly safe with Alpha 65 since it’s packed with all sorts of protections. There’s the overvoltage, overcurrent, short circuit, over temperature, overpower, under voltage, electrostatic, and even anti-interference protection. The shell only gets minimally warm when you have multiple devices plugged in, but is also flame-retardant, so it won’t burst into flames no matter what charging torture you put it through.
What makes Alpha 65 even more appealing is that, priced at $60, it doesn’t cost much more than the majority of other triple-port GaN chargers. While you’d be right in arguing that a charger is a necessity, and you only need it for that purpose alone – the appeal of Alpha 65 can’t be denied. It’s not the most practical of chargers, and it isn’t meant to be, going beyond mere functionality by adding a touch of futuristic charm that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who lays eyes on it.