Hands on with first MagSafe-compatible car charger from ESR

Posted:
in iPhone
One of the most unique and potential-filled features of the iPhone 12 lineup is MagSafe. But months after launch, it is still hard to come by accessories that work well are truly useful. We go hands-on with one of the companies leading the charge with a wide array of compatible gear -- ESR.

ESR HaloLock Magnetic Car Charger
ESR HaloLock Magnetic Car Charger


ESR has been selling its HaloLock gear for several years, and fortunately, it works with MagSafe out of the box. ESR has taken things further with officially-licensed MagSafe cases alongside its array of mounts and chargers.




World's only MagSafe-compatible magnetic car mount

Our favorite device from ESR is hands-down the HaloLock car mount. This is the only -- beyond some very sketchy and unreliable no-name brands -- magnetic car charger we've found that is compatible with MagSafe.

ESR HaloLock Magnetic Car Charger
ESR HaloLock Magnetic Car Charger


You just hop in your car, slap your iPhone 12 against the ESR HaloLock magnetic car mount, and you're on your way. Your phone is easily mounted right in front of you, there's no funky clip you have to place your phone in, and it requires no metal shim on your phone.

It truly does just work.

The device itself is a relatively large square with rounded off corners. On the left and right sides are soft blue LED status lights to signify when your phone is charging. On top are a couple of vents to prevent overheating, and the bottom has a USB-C port where you can plug the included USB-C to USB-A cable. Just connect to an 18W or higher USB port, and you're good to go.

Another great feature of the HaloLock magnetic car mount is how it connects to your vent. Rather than a sole clip like most, it also has an adjustable arm that sticks out towards the bottom.

ESR HaloLock Magnetic Car Charger
ESR HaloLock Magnetic Car Charger


This kickstand-like arm leans against your dash or the vents to help keep the stand sturdy. It also disperses the weight across a larger surface which reduces stress on the vent blades themselves.

While this isn't a true "MagSafe" charger that can charge your iPhone 12 up to 15W, it can still deliver up to 7.5W with Qi charging. Then the magnets keep your phone in place and properly aligned.

ESR HaloLock Magnetic Car Charger
ESR HaloLock Magnetic Car Charger in our car


Since we've been using the ESR HaloLock magnetic car mount, we've never had our iPhone 12 Pro Max fall off. It has always held firm. It works with any iPhone 12 model by itself or when adorned with a MagSafe-enabled case.

ESR's MagSafe cases

ESR has a few new cases that are perfect for use with MagSafe.

ESR Bumper case
ESR bumper case


That includes the Cloud Series bumper style, a personal favorite. This is very similar to Apple's old bumper design but in a soft-touch rubberized exterior. It's great because you can see the color of your phone while still providing some protection for your device. Obviously, as there is no back, it doesn't interfere with MagSafe whatsoever.

ESR MagSafe-certified Cloud Soft case
ESR MagSafe-certified Cloud Soft case


Then we have ESR's new MFi case. This case uses Apple's official MagSafe shim. It is visible from the inside with its white background and grey circle. These aren't third-party magnets but what Apple endorses for full MagSafe compatibility.

Almost no cases have launched so far with official MagSafe shims, which sets ESR apart from the rest.

ESR MagSafe-certified Cloud Soft case
ESR MagSafe-certified Cloud Soft case


The case has the same soft feel as the bump, which is very enjoyable to hold. It covers all sides of the phone, including in between the lenses themselves.

Unique mounts and stands

Rounding out ESR's MagSafe-compatible gear are two very unique charging stands.

ESR Kickstand charger
ESR HaloLock Kickstand charger


The ESR Kickstand wireless charger is a new favorite. It is about the size of a silver dollar and connects magnetically to the rear of your iPhone 12. It is made of metal, so it feels solid and premium.

Prop up your phone with the ESR HaloLock Kickstand charger
Prop up your phone with the ESR HaloLock Kickstand charger


It powers up over USB-C to deliver up to 7.5W of wireless power to your device. Then on the back of the puck is a small kickstand. It pops out to act as a kickstand for your iPhone so you can watch a video or take a FaceTime call while you're charging. It is convenient and great for a travel nightstand.

ESR Adjustable Wireless Charging Stand
ESR Adjustable Wireless Charging Stand


Lastly is the ESR desk charger. This has four articulating joints that allow for a wide variety of angles for your phone. The top portion looks identical to the above HaloLock car charger, but instead of the vent mount, it is on the desk top stand.

ESR Adjustable Wireless Charging Stand
ESR Adjustable Wireless Charging Stand


Since it can connect with MagSafe, you can rotate it to varying degrees to watch a video in landscape to take a Zoom call in portrait.

Like the car charger, though, it isn't a MagSafe charger and instead is a Qi charger with magnets surrounding it. That means it charges at 7.5W of power, rather than the full MagSafe 15W.

Pick up your MagSafe-compatible ESR gear

You can find any of ESR's MagSafe-compatible gear on the company's website, as well as Amazon. If shopping on Amazon, you can save 20 percent on almost all of it using the accompanying promo code by April 30, 2021.

The ESR HaloLock magnetic wireless car charger runs $34.99 but is 20 percent off if you use promo code ESR10002. The ESR HaloLock adjustable desk charging stand is $29.99 but promo code ESR10003 takes 20 percent off.

ESR's Kickstand wireless charger is $17.99 before the 20 percent discount using promo code ESR10001. Save another 20 percent on the Cloud Soft case with MagSafe using promo code ESR10004 off the original $22.99. The bumper case is $29.99 and currently doesn't have a discount.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    lojacklojack Posts: 28member
    I like my ESR MagSafe car mount. It's nice in that it will do the charging and seems to hold the 12 Pro well over the rougher city streets I've been encountering. Plus much easier to take phone than with old claw mount I had.
    gregoriusm
  • Reply 2 of 11
    mobirdmobird Posts: 533member
    I've used a few of iottie's phone mounts, they build durable and functional products. It looks like they have a few wireless options as well.
    https://www.iottie.com/
    edited March 30 gregoriusm
  • Reply 3 of 11
    jcohjcoh Posts: 10member
    Uh. Not the worlds only MagSafe car charger.  I bought one for 25 on Amazon (not a name brand). Was skeptical at first but as long as you use a 20 watt power supply it actually charges at 15 watts.  The ESR does not, costs more and is bigger an heavier.  

    Search Amazon. There are many better options than this one.  
    urahara
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 439member, editor
    jcoh said:
    Uh. Not the worlds only MagSafe car charger.  I bought one for 25 on Amazon (not a name brand). Was skeptical at first but as long as you use a 20 watt power supply it actually charges at 15 watts.  The ESR does not, costs more and is bigger an heavier.  

    Search Amazon. There are many better options than this one.  
    So... a few things. First, this has been around ages. One that you got that specifically is saying MagSafe had to only have been created after iPhone 12 was announced, this preceded that by a long time. ESR had its own HaloLock mounting feature in its own cases that was fully compatible with MagSafe.

    I also didn't say it was the only one, just the only one from a reputable source. LIke you say, yours isn't a name brand. We would *never* encourage someone to use a non-name brand charger with your phone. It is a very bad idea to use a sketchy third-party device to power your phone. It's great you haven't had any issue, but there is a reason they get the cost to $25 -- cutting corners.

    What you are using is a potentially unsafe, knock-off charger that will certainly be taken down from Amazon AND/OR potentially stop working completely on your device if Apple blocks non-MagSafe-certified chargers from working.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    jcohjcoh Posts: 10member
    I understand what you are saying and do realize that I took a chance with the knock off.  So far it has worked fine but I do realize that it could stop working completely at any time.   

    Your quote 
    “I also didn't say it was the only one“

    just FYI I am not trying to be a jerk or anything but the story literally says.  

    World's only MagSafe-compatible magnetic car mount    

    That’s directly from the post.   

    The issue with the ESR is the 7.5 watts. So I know it’s been around before MagSafe but 7.5 watts just doesn’t charge the phone well when using wireless CarPlay.  My 45 minute drive to work using wireless CarPlay / Waze and my phone will only charge  1 - 3 percent using 7.5 wireless charger in the car.  (Not the ESR But 7.5 watts is 7.5 watts)  the knock off I have is a full 15 watts and will actually charge the phone while using the wireless CarPlay.  (At my own risk. I know )  

    The best solution in reality is mounting the apple MagSafe charger to a magnetic vent mount. Full MagSafe and OEM apple. Yes between the charger and 20 watt PD usb C power supply its  going to be a little more money but probably the most reliable.  

    I assume there will be a MFI MagSafe car charger eventually.   I am actually surprised  that after 6 months we still don’t see one. 


    urahara
  • Reply 6 of 11
    7.5 means it's not a MagSafe, it's just a QI charger. This whole video and article as a cheap ADVERTISEMENT. 
    urahara
  • Reply 7 of 11
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 498member
    There are some nice products here, but they only make me wish for Apple to expand their first party MagSafe options instead of relying on third parties to innovate. The kickstand charger is cool, and I might pick one up, but why didn’t Apple think of it first? I might also grab that car charger, but until Apple can figure out how to deliver wireless CarPlay over MagSafe, I know that it will only be a stopgap. I’m all in on that bumper case, however. Whenever they come back in stock in blue. 
    edited March 30
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Why is the fast charge only 7.5 watts when the phone supports 15 watt fast charging? 
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Why is the fast charge only 7.5 watts when the phone supports 15 watt fast charging? 
    Because he got paid to shill ESR
  • Reply 10 of 11
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,983member
    As I've posted in other threads, I got the ESR car mount/charger when AI first mentioned it months ago. At that time is was the only MagSafe compatible car charger. The Belkin vent mount didn't charge and it was very bulky.

    I use the ESR mount daily and haven't found it wanting at 7.5W. IF the phone (12 mini) was low on charge and I would be away from a charger after my drive to wherever, I might need a 12W (15W for the other 12s) to get a full charge before leaving the car. No Car Play for me but I do use a BT transmitter to "pair" to my car stereo. Not the best but it'll have to do.

    If I needed more power, I'd have to buy the Apple puck, a 12V charger compatible car charger, and a car mount. Since one wasn't available, the ESR was my choice and still works well for me. You can still charge the phone via a Lightning cable if need be.

    Having both a MagSafe puck and stand at home and the ESR car charger, I can say the strength of the two is identical, without using something like a trigger scale or similar to measure. So I don't believe an Apple MS car charger would grip any stronger than the ESR. 

    That said, I did have one occasion where a pothole caught a front wheel and shook my phone off the mount. It was bad enough that I checked the tire and rim to make sure there wasn't any damage. It may be an extreme case, but having a small lip at the bottom of the mount would go far to keeping the phone where you want it in all but the most extreme cases. Speaking of cases, the phone was in an Apple clear MagSafe case.

    The phone can also spin a little freely on the mount, enough that it doesn't always stay level in landscape mode. A small thing that may not bother a lot of people and can probably be modified easily enough.

    The vent mount clamp is thicker than many others I've seen and doesn't fit very deeply onto the narrowly spaced vanes in my car vents. They're also slightly curved and that does no favors to the mount. But the kick stand stabilizes the mount very well and there's been no slippage at all over the several months I've had the ESR.

    I'll have to check but I don't think I get that cool graphic when connecting my ESR. Anyway, it was $35+tax at Amazon and money well spent. One last minor criticism is that ESR wasn't offering a 20% discount when I bought my mount. Waaaahhh!

    Looking very recently for a car mount that had a lip to support the phone, I didn't see anything that made me willing to give up the ESR. Still money well spent.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    Just to Everyone is clear. Only Apple or their very limited number of approved vendors can allow 15W charging. So is you want 15W wireless charging us Apple’s magSafe Puck with MagBak Bridge ( turns your puck into a car mountable charger)  https://magbak.com/products/magbak-adapter Comes with a 20Watt car cigarette plug (also needed to get 15W) 
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