What you need to know about Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2021
After much speculation, Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack for the iPhone 12 line is official. Here's what you need to know about it, alongside some worthwhile alternatives.




Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack is a 1640 mAh battery pack that supports up to 15W of wireless charging on the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. It features the same soft-touch silicone exterior as Apple's silicone cases and has a Lightning input for charging.

When the battery pack is connected to your iPhone, you can plug a 20W or higher Lightning cable into the battery pack, and it will charge both devices. You can also connect power to your iPhone, and it will charge the MagSafe Battery, too. This is useful if you're using something like wired CarPlay.

Otherwise, the battery starts charging when connected to your phone and does not need to be turned on or off.






It retails for $99.

Alternatives to Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack

Apple's battery has a few benefits over the alternatives. It is a first-party solution and features a Lightning port, so you only need one cable. It's also actually MagSafe rather than a ring of magnets that line up vanilla Qi and is integrated into the battery widget. The price point of $99.99 can feel a bit steep.

Fortunately, in the months since iPhone 12 has launched, the market has flooded with other options that offer varying degrees of features.

Hyper

HyperJuice magnetic battery
HyperJuice Magnetic Battery


We reviewed the HyperJuice Magnetic Battery Pack and found it to be a solid option. It has a USB-C input and a 5,000 mAh capacity. It has a hard plastic shell with a manual button to turn it on and off.

You can order the HyperJuice Magnetic Battery Pack for $39.99 direct from Hyper.

Mophie Snap Juice Mini

Mophie's magnetic battery
Mophie's magnetic battery


Mophie's offering is another 5K mAh battery pack that can be charged via USB-C. It has a fabric-wrapped exterior for a handsome look and also comes with a Snap adapter in the box to work with other devices besides the iPhone 12 line.

It is available through Amazon for $43.11 or you can buy it direct from Zagg and save 20 percent with promo code INSIDER20.

Anker

Anker magnetic charger
Anker magnetic battery


Anker's magnetic battery pack is also 5,000 mAh and can charge with USB-C.

It can be found for under $45 on Amazon.

Zens

Zens dual charger
Zens dual charger


The Zens battery is unique with a 4,000 mAh or 10,000 mAh capacity and a built-in kickstand. It can prop up your phone while it charges it. It also supports bidirectional wireless charging. You can set it on a charging mat to power, and you're able to place a pair of AirPods on the back to charge them at the same time you are charging your iPhone.

It is available through Zens starting at $69.99

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    pdnoblepdnoble Posts: 27member
    From the Apple support doc:

    When charging on the go, your MagSafe Battery Pack can charge your iPhone with up to 5W of power. If connected to a 20W or higher power source, it can charge with up to 15W of power. 


    So it does work as a full performance substitute to the 15w desktop MagSafe charger, but ‘on the go’ - why else would one pay $99 for a battery pack - it is rather underwhelming in both power and performance. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15
     $100 for a 1460 mAh battery pack?
    lol
    No thank you.


    edited July 2021 williamlondonchemengin1
  • Reply 3 of 15
    It's a shame they didn't make a separate one for each of the 3 iphone styles. It really doesn't make sense with its size is so constrained by the mini, a phone that I've never seen in the wild with an actual person.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 15
    These wireless chargers seem very inefficient. A 15W charge requires a 20W charger?
    just plug it in instead. It’s quicker too.

    williamlondonchemengin1watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    thttht Posts: 4,443member
    hcrefugee said:
     $100 for a 1460 mAh battery pack?
    lol
    No thank you.


    It's 1460 mAH at 7.62V totalling 11.13 Wh. So, the same energy capacity as the iPhone 12 battery, or about 2920 mAH at 3.8V. It's right there in the text. So, it basically doubles the runtime of an iPhone 12, which is basically the design target they had for prior battery cases.

    Whether you want that is up to you, just like it has in the past.
    edited July 2021 foadwilliamlondonStrangeDaysdewmeforegoneconclusionGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Apple_BarApple_Bar Posts: 122member
    These wireless chargers seem very inefficient. A 15W charge requires a 20W charger?
    just plug it in instead. It’s quicker too.

    “Plugged in” is quicker??? You are on to something right there.

    /s 
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,120member
    pdnoble said:
    From the Apple support doc:

    When charging on the go, your MagSafe Battery Pack can charge your iPhone with up to 5W of power. If connected to a 20W or higher power source, it can charge with up to 15W of power. 


    So it does work as a full performance substitute to the 15w desktop MagSafe charger, but ‘on the go’ - why else would one pay $99 for a battery pack - it is rather underwhelming in both power and performance. 
    Apple's is certainly better looking than any of the above. It appears smarter with no need for on/off buttons. It reverse charges. And I see no indicators that the others charge any faster. 

    Can you clarify the value proposition that is appealing to you?
    williamlondonbuddmiester
  • Reply 8 of 15
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,120member
    These wireless chargers seem very inefficient. A 15W charge requires a 20W charger?
    just plug it in instead. It’s quicker too.
    You're confusing the use cases, which are different. Setting something down one handed, vs taking the time to plug it in. In the car induction charging seems like a no-brainer. Bedside, when one likely doesn't care about speed of charging, is another. 
    williamlondonGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    pdnoblepdnoble Posts: 27member
    pdnoble said:
    From the Apple support doc:

    When charging on the go, your MagSafe Battery Pack can charge your iPhone with up to 5W of power. If connected to a 20W or higher power source, it can charge with up to 15W of power. 


    So it does work as a full performance substitute to the 15w desktop MagSafe charger, but ‘on the go’ - why else would one pay $99 for a battery pack - it is rather underwhelming in both power and performance. 
    Apple's is certainly better looking than any of the above. It appears smarter with no need for on/off buttons. It reverse charges. And I see no indicators that the others charge any faster. 

    Can you clarify the value proposition that is appealing to you?
    I had read widely, though maybe speculatively, that other MagSafe compatible battery packs were limited to 5w charging due to Apple imposed licensing or other constraints. There seemed an expectation that Apple would eventually introduce a battery pack that offered greater or full 15w charging. 

    It does seem ‘smarter’ and it is on the other hand 2x-3x more expensive. I will anyhow buy one myself. 

    I am personally disappointed, actually surprised that it is only available in white - and would have much preferred a grey or black option at the least, but assumed it would be leather covered, available in matching or contrasting colors to the cases, like the wallet. Especially at the $99 price point. 

    And I agree with others that thinner and wider would have been better since 5w suggests an ‘attached while used’ use case. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    fred1fred1 Posts: 964member
    These wireless chargers seem very inefficient. A 15W charge requires a 20W charger?
    just plug it in instead. It’s quicker too.
    You're confusing the use cases, which are different. Setting something down one handed, vs taking the time to plug it in. In the car induction charging seems like a no-brainer. Bedside, when one likely doesn't care about speed of charging, is another. 
    Not only that, but battery packs are made for situations where you can’t plug in the device. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,508member
    Lol

    But its price point of $99.99 can feel a bit steep.

    That was delivered with just the right amount of dryness. Makes one suspect you have British ancestry.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    It's a shame they didn't make a separate one for each of the 3 iphone styles. It really doesn't make sense with its size is so constrained by the mini, a phone that I've never seen in the wild with an actual person.
    Actually, the mini is a great phone! Unless you buy a Pro Max for the cameras and LiDAR, there’s little reason to buy anything but the mini, unless you’re visually impaired.

    Got a mini as travel phone (local SIM), and a Pro Max as daily driver.
    fred1watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    So can a MagSafe wallet be slapped on the back of the battery, or are they mutually exclusive?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 15
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,999member
    These wireless chargers seem very inefficient. A 15W charge requires a 20W charger?
    just plug it in instead. It’s quicker too.


    It's easier than lugging around my 3-mile long extension cord.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 15
    DangDaveDangDave Posts: 87member
    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? 

    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)
    However, 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. 
    watto_cobra
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