ESR HaloLock car charger with CryoBoost Review: MagSafe-compatible with active cooling

Posted:
in iPhone
ESR has updated its excellent HaloLock MagSafe-compatible car charger with its CryoBoost technology to combat one charging' s biggest drawbacks -- heat.

ESR's new and improved HaloLock car charger with CryoBoost
ESR's new and improved HaloLock car charger with CryoBoost


AppleInsider reviewed the original ESR HaloLock car charger in late 2020 not long after launch. Now almost two years later, we have the second-generation device in our hands.

Same design, better performance

This new second-generation ESR HaloLock car charger looks nearly identical to the original. It's a slightly rounded square with a circle in the center that houses the magnets that correspond to Apple's MagSafe.

Checking out the ESR HaloLock car charger
Checking out the ESR HaloLock car charger


While ESR offers other mounting types, its new model starts with just the vent mount. The back of the charger has a ball joint that you can tighten with an adjustable collar.

There is a large alligator clip that holds onto your vent's blades. ESR employs a unique additional adjustment arm that helps hold it in place.

The HaloLock clip and stabilizing arm
The HaloLock clip and stabilizing arm


ESR makes a solid clip that does a reliable job staying put. We've never had it come free, and there is plenty of gripping power in the clip.

It is kind of tough to get properly positioned, though.

When we mounted it in our car, we didn't have much space behind the charger to hold the clip open. If we removed the charger from the clip, we had more space, but it was difficult to tighten the collar to prevent it from moving around.

Clip on our vent
Clip on our vent


Once we finally got it in place, everything was good though. The stabilization arm prevented much of the bounce we'd drive over train tracks which then helped prevent our phone from coming free.

The only physical difference from the original HaloLock charger is that when charging your phone, an ice-blue light comes out from behind the charging surface. It's indicative of the cooling effect from the newly-added fan.

Fighting those summer saunas

Astute Apple fans may have noticed that even though MagSafe debuted with the iPhone 12 nearly two years ago, there's yet to be an official MagSafe car charger. The only "official" MagSafe product for the car is Belkin's Car Vent Mount Pro which is only a holder and won't help you power up.

Placing our iPhone on the ESR car charger
Placing our iPhone 13 Pro on the ESR car charger


One likely reason may be heat, which MagSafe, like other charging methods, generates a fair amount of during use. Heat is the enemy of power efficiency as your phone often has to slow down its charging speeds to stay safe.

In your car, you can frequently be using your GPS or leaving your phone in the hot sun, which makes your phone hotter. All the more reason no Apple-approved MagSafe chargers have debuted.

Thanks to CryoBoost, we've had a much better experience. So far, our phone has not overheated once since the AC from the vent is pushed around the charger, keeping it cool and preventing the charger and phone from getting too hot.

We do wonder how it will fair in the winter, though. During the cold months, we'll have heat coming out of those vents, which may have an adverse effect if pushed over the charger.

Charging our iPhone
Charging our iPhone


Regardless, we can always close the vent to stop the warm air from circulating and let the cool air in the car work instead.

Before CryoBoost, our phone has overheated many times in the car. Sometimes it just gets too hot to charge while other times it needs to cool down before it is operational.

The simple act of moving air makes a big difference, similar to Apple and portable Mac line. The MacBook Air has no fan while the 13-inch MacBook Pro does.

By adding a fan, Apple can get better performance out of the MacBook Pro, despite the two having the same chip. If you have two Qi chargers, the built-in fan will always ensure faster-charging speeds.

Should you buy the ESR HaloLock car charger with CryoBoost?

The car charger isn't the only HaloLock charger to get ESR's new CryoBoost tech. It's in its desktop chargers as well. But the car charger is where we see the most benefit.

ESR HaloLock Car Charger with CryoBoost
ESR HaloLock car charger with CryoBoost


Your dash is in the sun where your phone runs power-intensive GPS and it's far too easy to overheat. CryoBoost is magical, ensuring that the phone can safely charge, even when other chargers fail.

It may be only a Qi charger rather than an Apple-certified MagSafe puck but considering the available options, it may be the best way to go. You just have to be ok with a vent-mounted phone.

Pros
  • CryoBoost fan helps increase charging speeds and prevents overheating
  • Stabilizing arm helps prevent bounce when mounted on the vent
  • USB-C connectivity
  • Adjustable angle fits many cars
  • Strong magnetic hold
Cons
  • Clip can be hard to connect
  • Not Apple-certified
  • Only vent clip options available

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy

Grab the ESR HaloLock car charger with CryoBoost on Amazon for $41.39.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    vztrv1vztrv1 Posts: 20member
    I just got one - the official apple mag was indeed creating over heat issues.  I like it so far although it looks like it’s only reaching 7.5w charging as it’s not official Apple.  Still not having the “iphone needs to cool down” messages is great.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    gregoriusmgregoriusm Posts: 514member
    How loud is the fan?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    vztrv1vztrv1 Posts: 20member
    How loud is the fan?
    Moderate - you can hear it if parked with no radio.  Once you drive with road noise or turn on the car audio it’s completely faded into the background.
    gregoriusmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    vztrv1 said:
    I just got one - the official apple mag was indeed creating over heat issues.  I like it so far although it looks like it’s only reaching 7.5w charging as it’s not official Apple.  Still not having the “iphone needs to cool down” messages is great.
    Which begs the question - which is faster, a thermally-throttled 15W Apple Magsafe charger or a can't-use-more-than-7.5W-max non-Apple charger?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    vztrv1vztrv1 Posts: 20member
    MrBunside said:
    vztrv1 said:
    I just got one - the official apple mag was indeed creating over heat issues.  I like it so far although it looks like it’s only reaching 7.5w charging as it’s not official Apple.  Still not having the “iphone needs to cool down” messages is great.
    Which begs the question - which is faster, a thermally-throttled 15W Apple Magsafe charger or a can't-use-more-than-7.5W-max non-Apple charger?
    Good q - I’m not in a good place to accurately test it but so far I’d say it’s about even.  I’ll favor avoiding the over heat - having a locked up “needs to cool” phone when you get out of the car (oddly CarPlay kept going) is no fun not to mention the potential harm to the battery with repeat events.
    gregoriusmwatto_cobramuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 12
    I have been using the original charger on a Garmin ball mount on top of a Garmin weighted pillow. In our Silverado, the vent fins run up and down and have very little room for a full-size 12 Max Pro iPhone. It works great on its side on the pillow for Maps, but the sun through the windshield has shut it down a few times. Will the fan on the new version work to cool the phone adequately when not pulling A/C air directly out of a vent such as sitting on the dash? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,965member

    One likely reason may be heat, which MagSafe, like other charging methods, generates a fair amount of during use. Heat is the enemy of power efficiency as your phone often has to slow down its charging speeds to stay safe.

    Read on AppleInsider
    Heat isn’t the enemy of power efficiency, it’s the result of power inefficiency. It’s also one of the flaws of wireless charging. Even in the best case, wireless charging wastes 30% of the power, creating ..,, heat. That’s in addition to the internal inefficiency of the battery itself. 

    I find it rather ironic that people are so concerned with heat generation during charging that they resort to actively cooled devices instead of simply using a method that generates zero heat - a cord. 
    watto_cobramuthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 8 of 12
    AF_HittAF_Hitt Posts: 143member
    vztrv1 said:
    MrBunside said:
    vztrv1 said:
    I just got one - the official apple mag was indeed creating over heat issues.  I like it so far although it looks like it’s only reaching 7.5w charging as it’s not official Apple.  Still not having the “iphone needs to cool down” messages is great.
    Which begs the question - which is faster, a thermally-throttled 15W Apple Magsafe charger or a can't-use-more-than-7.5W-max non-Apple charger?
    Good q - I’m not in a good place to accurately test it but so far I’d say it’s about even.  I’ll favor avoiding the over heat - having a locked up “needs to cool” phone when you get out of the car (oddly CarPlay kept going) is no fun not to mention the potential harm to the battery with repeat events.
    Honest question, but how far do you drive/where do you live where this is an issue? I have my phone on a wireless charger for my 45 minute commute, and here in the Dallas area, it's been over 100 for pretty much a month and a half straight and haven't ever gotten this error without first having left my phone in the car while it was parked accidentally. Genuinely curious where this is an issue
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    I bought this on Walmart for under $30.

    Compared to the original charger, it charges much slower. Magnet is stronger. Does generate less heat, but I’m not sure if it’s the fan or slower charging.

    One amazon review comparing this one and the previous model says there’s no difference in heat or charging speed. I would say this is nothing more than a gimmick. (If your car is hot enough to overheat the phone, circulating hot air around probably won’t do much)
  • Reply 10 of 12
    MplsP said:

    One likely reason may be heat, which MagSafe, like other charging methods, generates a fair amount of during use. Heat is the enemy of power efficiency as your phone often has to slow down its charging speeds to stay safe.

    Read on AppleInsider
    Heat isn’t the enemy of power efficiency, it’s the result of power inefficiency. It’s also one of the flaws of wireless charging. Even in the best case, wireless charging wastes 30% of the power, creating ..,, heat. That’s in addition to the internal inefficiency of the battery itself. 

    I find it rather ironic that people are so concerned with heat generation during charging that they resort to actively cooled devices instead of simply using a method that generates zero heat - a cord. 
    Exactly this.  Sure, "wireless" charging (which isn't actually wireless in this case, nor in the majority of cases on the market today) is incredibly convenient for some use cases, but it uses more power to charge the phone's battery than a simple plug.

    So yeah, Apple's "green" claims continue to ring hollow to me.  Sure, Apple itself might be trending more "green", but they're pushing their customers in the other direction.

    edited August 2022
  • Reply 11 of 12
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,936member
    MplsP said:

    One likely reason may be heat, which MagSafe, like other charging methods, generates a fair amount of during use. Heat is the enemy of power efficiency as your phone often has to slow down its charging speeds to stay safe.

    Read on AppleInsider
    Heat isn’t the enemy of power efficiency, it’s the result of power inefficiency. It’s also one of the flaws of wireless charging. Even in the best case, wireless charging wastes 30% of the power, creating ..,, heat. That’s in addition to the internal inefficiency of the battery itself. 

    I find it rather ironic that people are so concerned with heat generation during charging that they resort to actively cooled devices instead of simply using a method that generates zero heat - a cord. 
    Exactly this.  Sure, "wireless" charging (which isn't actually wireless in this case, nor in the majority of cases on the market today) is incredibly convenient for some use cases, but it uses more power to charge the phone's battery than a simple plug.

    So yeah, Apple's "green" claims continue to ring hollow to me.  Sure, Apple itself might be trending more "green", but they're pushing their customers in the other direction.
    Gosh I wasn’t aware Apple was forcing inductive charging on people! I thought they merely added it as an additional option for customers to use as they wish for the use cases that make sense. Silly me!

    Also, “wireless” remains a correct label. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_charging

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_power_transfer

    electromagnetic power transfer is the transmission of electrical energy without wires as a physical link”

    …the “wireless” part doesn’t imply there aren’t wires somewhere at all, only that the physical power output to the device is not a wire. Just like how “wireless routers” do, in fact, have also wires for power input.
    edited August 2022
  • Reply 12 of 12
    MplsP said:

    One likely reason may be heat, which MagSafe, like other charging methods, generates a fair amount of during use. Heat is the enemy of power efficiency as your phone often has to slow down its charging speeds to stay safe.

    Read on AppleInsider
    Heat isn’t the enemy of power efficiency, it’s the result of power inefficiency. It’s also one of the flaws of wireless charging. Even in the best case, wireless charging wastes 30% of the power, creating ..,, heat. That’s in addition to the internal inefficiency of the battery itself. 

    I find it rather ironic that people are so concerned with heat generation during charging that they resort to actively cooled devices instead of simply using a method that generates zero heat - a cord. 
    Exactly this.  Sure, "wireless" charging (which isn't actually wireless in this case, nor in the majority of cases on the market today) is incredibly convenient for some use cases, but it uses more power to charge the phone's battery than a simple plug.

    So yeah, Apple's "green" claims continue to ring hollow to me.  Sure, Apple itself might be trending more "green", but they're pushing their customers in the other direction.
    Gosh I wasn’t aware Apple was forcing inductive charging on people! I thought they merely added it as an additional option for customers to use as they wish for the use cases that make sense. Silly me!

    Well, I certainly hope the rumors of eliminating the lightning port (and not replacing it with something else, like USB-C) are false.  Because if those rumors are true, then yeah, new iPhone purchasers will have a choice between charging their iPhone "wirelessly" or using a different phone.


    Also, “wireless” remains a correct label. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_charging

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_power_transfer

    electromagnetic power transfer is the transmission of electrical energy without wires as a physical link”

    …the “wireless” part doesn’t imply there aren’t wires somewhere at all, only that the physical power output to the device is not a wire. Just like how “wireless routers” do, in fact, have also wires for power input.
    It's a marketing name, not an engineering one.  There are exactly as many wires from the wall to the phone for "wireless" as there are for plugged charging.

    And inductive charging still uses more power than plugged.
Sign In or Register to comment.