The Twelve South Forté turns Apple’s MagSafe iPhone charging puck into a stand. So rather than your handset lying flat on a table, it’s held up so you can more easily see the display. And the elevated charging mat swivels so you can pick your viewing angle for watching video or making FaceTime calls.
I put the Forté to use in my home office. Here’s what it’s like to use in real life.
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Twelve South Forté review
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series offer an improved form of wireless charging that uses magnets to align the handset to the charger. These magnets make MagSafe a blessing to iPhone charging stands. They let the handset and the charger cling together.
Clip an Apple MagSafe Charger into the Twelve South Forté, and it can hold up your handset where it’s easier to see and to use.
And, of course, the combination is charging the iOS device while holding it up. And looking good while doing it. Especially because the iPhone appears to be floating over your desktop.
Hardware and design
The base of the Twelve South Forté measures 3.25 inches wide by 4.25 inches deep. It’s weighted with metal inserts, so the whole accessory weighs almost a pound. You aren’t likely to knock it over. A support strut attaches to the base with a removable screw. At the end of this strut is a circular clip that holds the charger.
Just so there’s no confusion, the Forté itself isn’t a charger and doesn’t come with one. It includes a circular holder for the Apple MagSafe charging puck. This is set on a hinge that swivels.
Because the iPhone is held to the charger with magnets, you can put its screen in landscape or portrait — it’s your choice. Or anything in between. The swiveling hinge just below the charging pad lets you angle the screen over 70 degrees to point it directly toward your face for video calls — a feature not every iPhone stand provides. And the hinge isn’t flimsy, so it stays where you put it.
Removing the handset from the stand is as easy as picking it up. But don’t be concerned it’ll fall off. The MagSafe magnets hold the iPhone in place tightly. I can tap on the screen, even thump the front or back of the handset, without it coming loose.
The power cable for the MagSafe charging puck fits into a slot in the support strut, so it remains mostly out of sight.
All the Twelve South Forté components are white plastic. It looks professional, and goes well with Apple’s preference for white accessories. Still, a black or dark gray version would have been nice, too.
The stand isn’t really intended for travel. But the two components of the stand can be separated by removing a screw. This means you could take them apart and put them in a bag. You’d need to keep a small hex key in your kit, though.
As noted, the Twelve South Forté is a holder for the official Apple MagSafe Charger. This offers 15W, the fastest wireless charging option available for an iOS device.
In my hands-on testing, it raises the battery level of an iPhone 12 between 25% and 30% in half an hour.
Because the accessory requires MagSafe, it was designed for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series. That said, there are adapters that let earlier models use MagSafe accessories.
Twelve South Forté final thoughts
MagSafe is a real boon for charging stands. The magnets built into the handsets and charger let them easily connect and detach. The Twelve South Forté takes proper advantage of the system. And its ability to angle the screen directly at the user makes it a better option than some of its rivals.
Apple likes this device enough to give it a cameo during the iPhone 13 launch event. And the iPhone-maker sells it directly.
The Forté is available now on TwelveSouth.com. It’s $39.95. As noted, the accessory also can be found on Apple.com and in Apple stores worldwide at that same price. And it’s in the Cult of Mac Store, too.
Buy from: Cult of Mac Store
Just remember you’re going to need an Apple MagSafe Charger. The suggested price for this is $39, but you can often find it for less.
The Mophie Snap+ Wireless Charging Stand is less flexible but comes with a built-in charger. It sells for $59.95. Be sure to read my review.
And there’s the Belkin Boost↑Charge Pro 2-in-1 Wireless Charger Stand. It also isn’t flexible, but can simultaneously charge an AirPods case, which explains why it costs $99.95. I reviewed this accessory, too.