Why you should buy Apple's MagSafe battery pack

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 5
With its $99 price tag, Apple's own MagSafe Battery Pack can be a tough sell compared to competitors at half or even a third of the price. But while the functionality may look strikingly similar on the surface, there are many, many reasons why Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack is a better buy than the rest.

Apple's MagSafe battery is here
Apple's MagSafe battery is here


As a quick low-down on Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack, it is a 1460 mAh battery pack that magnetically connects to the back of your iPhone 12 to help get you through the day. It is similar to an army of alternatives from Mophie, Anker, Zens, Hyper, and others.

At times, the others can look more capable than Apple's with 5,000 mAh capacities and far lower prices. But let's examine why it may not be such a good decision.

Real MagSafe

One of the most significant differences is that Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack is actually MagSafe. All other competitors are merely battery packs with a Qi charging coil and some magnets.

By using real MagSafe instead of Qi, Apple's battery gains improved efficiency. It also can transmit up to 15W of power. Qi batteries are most often limited to 5W. Apple is limited to 5W while on the go, but when plugged in, it jumps up to a maximum of 15W.

As a benefit of being MagSafe, when the battery is connected and you plug the battery into power, it will charge your phone and the battery. The reverse is also true, which is even more impressive.

When connected and you plug your phone into power, your phone can charge the battery. This is extremely helpful if you have to plug your phone into something else, such as your car for CarPlay. When connected to your CarPlay system, your car will charge your phone, and your phone will charge your battery.

Speaking of plugging in, this battery uses Lightning which means you can use the same cord to charge your phone as you can use to charge your battery-- only one type of cable is needed.




Tight iOS integration

Apple also is continuing its tight integration between hardware and software. For example, no other battery pack can match Apple's system-level features.

For example, when connected, the battery and iPhone's remaining capacity show on-screen. You can also see the battery capacity in the native Home Screen battery widget.

This integration also helps protect your batteries as well. High temperatures can harm lithium batteries while charging, and third-party batteries will charge away despite this. It can damage the battery pack's battery cells as well as your iPhone's.

The MagSafe Battery Pack will stop charging at 80 percent capacity if the temperature gets above a certain threshold. Otherwise, it will charge up your iPhone to 90 percent because beyond this requires more energy, is slower, and harder on the battery.

Together, all of that ensures your phone is safe, and your battery pack is safe, resulting in the longest possible lifespan for both devices.

Capacity

The biggest hurdle to overcome for most users, though, is capacity. We've seen umpteen comments saying how Apple offers almost a quarter of the battery as some of the competition but more than twice the price.

Many others are 5,000 mAh, while Apple sits at 1460 mAh. But it isn't as it seems. As we've already broken down into very explicit detail, these numbers can't easily be compared.

Here's a small snippet from the larger piece:
More important than milliamp-hours, though, is power and voltage. The milliamp-hour rating is often used to define how much a battery can charge a device, but this only works as a comparable metric if both the battery and the charged device have an identical voltage.

All iPhone 12 models use 3.81V batteries, so the MagSafe battery pack has a higher voltage potential, and therefore, a higher watt-hour rating than the iPhone it is charging. This means that the MagSafe Battery Pack can provide more power to an iPhone than its milliamp-hour rating implies.
We'll know real numbers once we get our hands on the MagSafe Battery Pack, but our estimates say you should get a full charge on the iPhone 12 mini and most of a charge on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

As we discussed, MagSafe is also more efficient. Qi is roughly 50 percent efficient, which means almost half of the power in the battery is wasted in the transmission. MagSafe is pegged at much higher than that.

Between the larger-then-assumed capacity and increased efficiency, Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack is much more in line with what the competition offers in terms of actual charge potential.

Shipping soon

It is real MagSafe, charges faster, integrates directly into iOS, requires no additional cable, is more efficient, and helps protect your phone and battery alike. Thanks to these features, it results in a better experience.

Even though Apple is charging a premium, to us, those are easily worth the extra investment.

Apple begins shipping its MagSafe Battery Pack on Monday, July 19 and it runs $99.

Read on AppleInsider
FatBoy570

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Does it work with iPhones that have a case?
    forgot username
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Typical Apple…again marketing to sell a product that’s needed because the iPhone battery is not sufficient, milking again the user base …
    elijahgchemengin1
  • Reply 3 of 19
    thttht Posts: 4,032member
    jd_in_sb said:
    Does it work with iPhones that have a case?
    Probably, but the thicker the case, the less good it's going to be. Charging efficiency won't be as good. The magnets won't hold on it as well. MagSafe cases will likely keep it stuck on the best, but charging efficiency will degrade.

    Best option might be a bumper case that covers the side, but not the back. Not sure about the 12 mini though.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    DangDaveDangDave Posts: 60member
    Here is a different perspective on buying and using Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack:

    For your every day charger do you want to buy and use the $39 MagSafe Charger or the $99 MagSafe Battery Pack for $60 more, or neither?

    PRO 
    • If your power goes out you have the backup battery fully charged
    • If you want to take it with you just disconnect it and take it with you as with any other backup charger
    • It has reverse charging capabilities and CarPlay connectivity (Complicated but could be useful)
    CON - Although you normally don’t want to keep a device with a lithium battery plugged in all the time which might reduce the life of the MagSafe Battery, it does in fact have Apple’s charge management features. 

    The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is not the best battery pack out there, and when used in the wild (not connected to power) it will only charge at 5W like many other portable chargers. 
    forgot username
  • Reply 5 of 19
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 783member
    Finally a good reason for MagSafe!
    forgot usernamewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,741member
    Nope, not for me.
    fred1
  • Reply 7 of 19
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 627member
    A fairly standard day and I’m at 73% charge on my 12 Max pro after 100% at 3 A. M.  Per the battery report in settings. (I rarely charge full and expect that’s why here I am with 99% battery health with a phone I got the week it was available. 

    So a convenient backup like this sounds good. No cables and such like with my Anker packs. And a very reasonable extra capacity. 
    pulseimagesforgot usernamewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 841member
    jd_in_sb said:
    Does it work with iPhones that have a case?
    According to Apple, it does work with MagSafe cases. For third party options, it might be trial and error. 
    pulseimagesforgot usernamejd_in_sb
  • Reply 9 of 19
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 841member
    JFC_PA said:
    A fairly standard day and I’m at 73% charge on my 12 Max pro after 100% at 3 A. M.  Per the battery report in settings. (I rarely charge full and expect that’s why here I am with 99% battery health with a phone I got the week it was available. 

    So a convenient backup like this sounds good. No cables and such like with my Anker packs. And a very reasonable extra capacity. 
    Same here. 12 Pro Max, Day 1 purchase, still 100% health. I sometimes go 2 or 3 days in between charges, and I use my iPhone A LOT. I don’t know what that Dontmentionthewar is even talking about a few posts above in his complaint about insufficient battery life. Maybe a few years ago, or maybe if you game a lot, but I haven’t found that to be the case with my 12, at all. 
    edited July 15 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 466member, editor
    jd_in_sb said:
    Does it work with iPhones that have a case?
    Yes!
    jd_in_sb
  • Reply 11 of 19
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 466member, editor

    Typical Apple…again marketing to sell a product that’s needed because the iPhone battery is not sufficient, milking again the user base …
    I pretty strongly disagree with this statement. I easily get through more than a day on a charge on my iPhone but there are times where I’m hitting my battery extra hard (like at a tech conference) or I’m gone all weekend and something that gets me through that is welcomed. It isnt meant to be for daily use because an iPhone can’t make it a day
    Anilu_777dewmestompyStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,461member
    Typical Apple…again marketing to sell a product that’s needed because the iPhone battery is not sufficient, milking again the user base …
    Can we assume you are not an Apple user based on your comment? I mean who would choose to be a customer of a company the ‘typically” milks its customers? 
    edited July 15 Fidonet127pulseimagesdj2k3000forgot usernamesconosciutoStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,078member
    iPhone battery is more than sufficient for me, by the time I go to bed I still have 30%+
    But if I do need a battery, I’d get the MagSafe, I like the fact that it’s well integrated with the iOS platform and charges when the phone is plugged in 
    Anilu_777forgot usernameStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 19
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 841member
    I just watched Max Tech’s take, and they had the complete opposite opinion. They definitely recommend NOT buying the MagSafe battery. 
  • Reply 15 of 19
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 267member
    I have the 12 Pro Max and find that it’s a rare occasion when it doesn’t last the day. Those occasions when it doesn’t are the ones I’d need the battery pack - I’m out taking photos for example. I’m getting one. 
    edited July 16 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,155member
    Japhey said:
    jd_in_sb said:
    Does it work with iPhones that have a case?
    According to Apple, it does work with MagSafe cases. For third party options, it might be trial and error. 
    It works just fine with Nomad cases.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 841member
    bluefire1 said:
    Japhey said:
    jd_in_sb said:
    Does it work with iPhones that have a case?
    According to Apple, it does work with MagSafe cases. For third party options, it might be trial and error. 
    It works just fine with Nomad cases.
    The Nomad MagSafe cases, yes. The non-MagSafe versions we don’t know yet because the battery pack hasn’t even been released yet. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 19
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,574member
    Typical Apple…again marketing to sell a product that’s needed because the iPhone battery is not sufficient, milking again the user base …
    Nuts. The iPhone gets solid battery life -- I have zero issues with all-day use. This is what is known as an "accessory", and is completely optional. I have zero plans to buy one, and prefer the thin, light phone in my pocket. YMMV
    thtwatto_cobrauraharabaconstang
  • Reply 19 of 19
    uraharaurahara Posts: 585member
    Typical Apple…again marketing to sell a product that’s needed because the iPhone battery is not sufficient, milking again the user base …
    Yeah, And also those cases and screen protectors.
    Better than iPhones from Apple are cell phones that we love to use.( See picture below).
    Look at that battery! So much better than iPhone. I have no idea why they don’t produce them anymore.

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