Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack has more capacity than it seems - here's why

Technology

AppleInsider 14 July, 2021 - 01:07pm 6 views

What is magsafe battery pack?

Using a 20W or higher power adapter, the MagSafe Battery Pack can charge your iPhone with up to 15W of charging power. You can also charge both if you attach your MagSafe Battery Pack to your iPhone, then plug your iPhone into a power source. The VergeApple’s new MagSafe battery premieres reverse charging on the iPhone 12

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is here with a clean design and seamless integration with iPhone 12 and iOS. But is it worth the $99 price tag? Follow along for a detailed comparison of the Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Mophie and Anker’s solid alternatives at half the price.

The official Apple MagSafe Battery Pack has arrived nine months after the iPhone 12 lineup debuted with the handy magnetic functionality. And earlier in the year, two of the most compelling MagSafe compatible battery packs to launch have been Mophie’s Snap+ Juice Pack Mini (reviewed) and Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K (reviewed).

All three of these MagSafe battery options have their own unique design. A departure from its previous Smart Battery Cases, Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is only available in white but, of course, comes with the company’s signature seamless silicone design.

Mophie goes with a clean dark gray fabric and black-framed design, while Anker uses a simple rubberized black plastic. For I/O, these two solid third-party choices use USB-C while Apple uses Lightning.

At $99 compared to ~$50, read on for all the pros and cons to see if Apple has enough advantages over Mophie and Anker to make it worth the premium.

Ok, so this is a bit messy for a few reasons. First, Apple doesn’t share any guidance for how much extra iPhone 12 battery to expect, like not even an estimate. But we’ll start with what we expect to see (actual numbers from Mophie and Anker shown in the chart and our estimates for Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack). Keep reading below for the fine details.

So how did we come up with the Apple estimates above? Apple did share the raw specs of the MagSafe Battery Pack, but those can be misunderstood at a glance. It can be easier to look at the Wh (watt-hours) rating to more easily compare these batteries and the charge they’ll offer for the iPhone 12 lineup.

Because Apple is using double the voltage of Mophie and Anker, it suggests there are actually two 1460mAh cells used, putting the true mAh around 2920. One more factor to consider is that Apple may have a higher efficiency (possibly around 70%) when it comes to wireless power transfer.

So even though the 11.13Wh compared to 18.5Wh for Mophie and Anker seems notably lower, the disparity in how much of a charge to expect may not be as big due to efficiency differences.

For reference, the iPhone 12 mini has an 8.57Wh battery, the iPhone 12/Pro has a 10.75Wh battery, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 14.13Wh battery. That means Mophie and Anker batteries have wireless transfer efficiency of around 60% based on the charges they offer.

Based on the 11.13Wh rating of Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack and the assumption that its efficiency is closer to 70%, that would mean around 1 full charge for iPhone 12 mini, about 75% for iPhone 12/Pro, and around 50% for iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Mophie and Anker will still probably provide about 25% more power for any given iPhone 12 device.

It was interesting to see top brands like Mophie and Anker skip the official MagSafe designation, but this detail probably explains why – even Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack offers just 5W wireless charging on the go.

As described in Apple’s support document, the only way to get 15W fast charging with Apple’s Battery Pack is to use it when plugged in. That means there’s not much difference in official MagSafe vs. MagSafe compatible here.

So what else sets Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack apart from Mophie and Anker? The integration with iOS and auto power on are likely two of the most valuable features.

When you attach the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack, it automatically starts charging your iPhone 12, with a charge status showing up on the lock screen. You can also find charge status icons in the Today View and in home screen widgets.

Interestingly, Apple offers two ways to use passthrough charging. You can plug a 20W power adapter into the MagSafe Battery Pack, and it will charge both the pack and your iPhone 12. Or you plug in via your iPhone 12’s Lightning port which will charge your smartphone, and the MagSafe Battery Pack via reverse wireless charging.

However, a positive for Mophie and Anker that Apple doesn’t have is wired input and output via USB-C, giving more flexibility for charging other devices.

Also, you can use the wireless Qi pad on the Mophie and Anker battery packs to charge any Qi-supported device; you just don’t get the MagSafe alignment and security. It’s not clear yet if Apple will support that functionality or if the MagSafe Battery Pack will only work when attached to an iPhone 12.

Apple hasn’t shared the dimensions of its MagSafe Battery Pack at this point, but based on images, it looks like Apple’s will sit in between Anker’s smaller footprint with thicker design and Mophie’s larger footprint with thinner design.

It seems like Mophie will be the thinnest option here at just under half an inch.

When it comes to iPhone 12 mini owners, the Anker or Apple MagSafe Battery may fit best since they’re both under 4 inches. However, for iPhone 12/Pro and Pro Max users, any of the three work great size-wise.

There’s a good amount to consider when looking at the Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Mophie and Anker, but hopefully, now you have a good idea of what’s the best fit for you.

If strong iOS integration, auto power on, and the Apple design are important to you, and you’re good with white as the only choice – the $99 premium price is probably worth it for the MagSafe Battery Pack.

The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is available to order now direct from Apple.

And if you want something in black or gray, want greater versatility, and/or would rather spend less money, Mophie’s Snap+ Juice Pack Mini at $50 and Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K at $46 are hard to beat (sure, there are cheaper options out there, but not from brands as reputable as Mophie or Anker).

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The iPhone 12 includes 5G speed, an A14 Bionic chip, an edge-to-edge OLED display, and it comes in multiple color options starting at $699.

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Android phone vendors introduced reverse wireless charging a few years ago. It was Huawei that first unveiled a phone that could recharge other gadgets wirelessly. The handset acted like a regular charging mat, so there wasn’t anything spectacular about that. It’s still the same wireless charging you get from traditional wireless chargers.

Others followed, with Samsung and Google phones getting reverse wireless charging support. Rumors dating back to the iPhone 11 said that Apple was interested in the functionality, too. FCC documentation last year revealed the iPhone 12 and its MagSafe wireless charging components could offer reverse charging. But Apple never addressed the feature, and there’s no way to enable it yourself.

Apple unveiled the MagSafe Battery Pack on Tuesday. The accessory works with all iPhone 12 devices, as they’re the only iPhones to feature MagSafe magnets. The battery pack attaches directly to the back of the phone. The MagSafe connection offers 15W wireless charging speeds, which is the fastest wireless charging speed for the iPhone.

The company posted a support document to reveal that the iPhone 12 can also recharge the MagSafe Battery Pack wirelessly. It uses the reverse wireless charging support that is built into the handset.

Apple disclosed the iPhone 12’s reverse wireless charging capability in the support document. The company casually drops an example where you’d want to recharge both devices, with a focus on the iPhone. That’s the only kind of scenario where reverse wireless charging kicks in:

If both your iPhone and MagSafe Battery Pack need to be charged, you can charge them at the same time. Attach your MagSafe Battery Pack to your iPhone and then plug the MagSafe Battery Pack into a power adapter. Using a 20W or higher power adapter, the MagSafe Battery Pack can charge your iPhone with up to 15W of charging power.

You can also charge both if you attach your MagSafe Battery Pack to your iPhone, then plug your iPhone into a power source. You might want to charge this way if you need to connect your iPhone to another device while charging, like if you’re using wired CarPlay or transferring photos to a Mac.

There’s also one thing to remember: the iPhone will have to reach 80% or higher before the MagSafe Battery Pack begins charging. Reverse wireless charging isn’t available for use with any other devices, like the AirPods or AirPods Pro.

You’ll also need a software update on your iPhone 12 version to enable reverse wireless charging. Apple explains everything at this link.

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The best must-have Apple gadgets and accessories—July edition

Gadget Flow 15 July, 2021 - 08:30am

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In today’s article, we considered how and when you use your Apple devices to present a diverse range. So whether you’re looking for a wireless charger for the office, a stand for remote work, or a magnetic charger, we have everything you need below. Continue reading to explore our top picks.

Use the Twelve South Forté to charge your iPhone 12 and display it vertically or horizontally for hands-free use. In fact, it can tilt up to 70 degrees for maximum visibility. Moreover, this iPhone 12 accessory includes a charging pedestal for your Apple AirPods.

Order this iPhone 12 charging stand for $39.99.

If you’re at your desk and need to charge your smartphone, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is a must-have. Designed with perfectly aligned magnets that attach to your iPhone 12 or 12 Pro, it provides safe and efficient wireless charging. It’s also great to know that this gadget won’t interfere with your credit card or key fobs.

Purchase this Apple gadget for $99.

The KEKO Stand is available in two models: one for your phone and the other for your tablet. So you can keep your devices clearly displayed. Moreover, this gadget rotates 180º to offer 2 ergonomic angles and 4 positions. This variety is great for reading or writing from your device’s screen.

Order this from Amazon for $19.99 with a 5% discount.

Feel confident when you wear your smartwatch with the Nomad Steel Band. Available in 2 finishes, it’s stylish and durable. Best of all, it exudes elegance with its adjustable links and integrated lugs. Overall, this accessory is compatible with the Apple Watch Series 6, SE, and all previous versions of the Apple Watch.

Purchase this Apple Watch accessory for $149.95.

Charge your Apple smartphone and more with the Lexon PowerSound. This useful gadget provides 360° of sound with its built-in speaker while combining a portable charger. Moreover, it fully charges in 6 hours and has a 10-meter Bluetooth range. It’s also available in a range of colors to suit your style.

Order this wireless charger and speaker for $79.90.

Power your Apple gadget on the go with the Zens Magnetic Dual Powerbank. This gadget charges two devices simultaneously. It includes a generous 4,000 mAh battery capacity to recharge your device 1.5 times. So you’ll never be caught with a low battery again.

Purchase this Apple gadget for $82.49.

Keep your headphones protected on the go or at home with the CapraLeather Tan AirPods Max Case. This AirPods Max accessory features a suede-lined interior for superb protection, while the full-grain leather gets better with age.

Order this Apple case for $140.84.

The Nomad Card for AirTag is simple to use. Just pop in your AirTag and slide the Card for AirTag into your wallet. This everyday accessory fits most credit card clots, thanks to its slim profile. So you needn’t worry that it’ll take up too much space.

Preorder this gadget for $19.95.

Replace cluttered charging cables with the Moshi Sette Q. It allows you to charge your phone and earbuds at the same time. Simply place your device(s) on top, and it’ll automatically begin charging. You can even charge an additional wired device, making this a versatile gadget.

Purchase this wireless charger for $99.95.

Have designated spots for all of your Apple devices with the Kensington StudioCaddy. In fact, it can accommodate a MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch. Best of all, it works with cases up to three mm thick for convenience.

Order this Apple storage system for $179.99.

Overall, these Apple gadgets maximize how you use your devices, keep your desk clutter-free, and can improve your devices’ battery life. What are your go-to Apple accessories right now? Let us know in the comments.

Want more tech news, reviews, and guides from Gadget Flow? Follow us on Apple NewsGoogle NewsFeedly, and Flipboard. If you use Flipboard, you should definitely check out our Curated Stories. We publish three new stories every day, so make sure to follow us to stay updated!

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