MagSafe Battery Review: Might Not Be Worth It
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MagSafe Battery Review: Might Not Be Worth It

We all know that a phone’s battery life isn’t unlimited and that when it comes to battery life, iPhones don’t have as good a reputation as some iPhone brands. smartphones Android.

Unless you’re near a power outlet, you’ll need a power bank or portable charger in order to recharge your iPhone’s battery.

The latest Apple iPhones have a technology called MagSafe that offers a somewhat more practical solution than having to carry an external battery with you.

Allows enabled accessories to magnetically attach to the back of iPhone for wireless charging or other features.

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack provides a boost of power when your iPhone’s internal battery is running low.

iPhone Magsafe

Design

The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is something of a compact white brick (96-x-64-11cm) that weighs 114 grams, to be exact.

Attached to the back of a white iPhone, it creates a “hump” reminiscent of Apple’s old Smart Battery Case, seen above left in the photo.

That full smart battery case (sadly not available for the iPhone 12 or 13 ranges) was mocked for its hump, but we loved it for its smart features, battery life, and all-around protection features.

We’ve tested a third-party alternative, the Newdery Battery Case for the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro, if you want the protection and can live without the Apple logo, smart features, and official certification.

The MagSafe Battery Pack looks similar when magnetically attached to the phone, but it lacks the solid protection you get with a battery case.

You can, and of course should, keep your precious phone in a protective case, and then to use this battery pack you’ll need to purchase a MagSafe compatible case.

Although it pairs well with a white iPhone, the MagSafe Battery Pack’s lack of color options means it will literally stand out on any other color iPhone. By comparison, Anker’s similar MagGo 622 battery pack comes in five soft colors. Read our review of the Anker MagGo 622 battery pack.

Apple’s bundle charges via the Lightning cable rather than USB-C (used by Anker and other magnetic power bank manufacturers), but this makes sense as every iPhone user will have a Lightning cable handy. However, USB-C is the future, and today there are fewer and fewer wall chargers with standard USB-A ports that will work with regular Lightning-to-USB cables. The Pack does not include any cables.

The magnetic clamp is strong, allaying fears that it might slip off the phone and get damaged or lost.

battery capacity

The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack has a battery capacity of 1,460mAh. The internal battery of the iPhone 12 mini has a capacity of 2,227mAh, that of the iPhone 13 of 3,227mAh and that of the 13 Pro Max of 4,352mAh.

So the Apple Battery Pack seems a bit puny when it comes to power capacity, especially in light of the Anker MagGo 622’s 5,000mAh capacity. But milliamp hours don’t tell the whole story.

The Apple pack has a higher voltage potential (7.62V) than the iPhone (3.81V) or the Anker pack, meaning it can provide more power to an iPhone than its mAhs suggest; in fact, it is equivalent to 2,920mAh.

It makes more sense to compare the watt-hour specifications of each battery. The difference between Anker’s 19.13Wh and Apple’s 11.13Wh is still big (172% more power from Anker), but less distant than the unadjusted milliamp rating suggests.

That’s the good news, but there’s one more hit to battery power… and not just for the Apple pack. The Apple Battery Pack should be able to nearly fully charge an iPhone 13 Pro, but it doesn’t come close due to the inherent inefficiency of wireless charging.

When charging wirelessly, up to a staggering 50% of your phone’s battery charge can be lost to poor placement and heat loss, as well as other environmental factors, compared to a wired charging connection.

Because the magnetic fit is so precise and tightly locked, MagSafe wireless charging is much more efficient than standard Qi wireless charging, where the device is simply placed on top of the charger.

Anyone who has ever manipulated their phone into the correct position for wireless charging to begin will know that placement isn’t always easy. With MagSafe, it locks into the exact position.

MagSafe charging is still inefficient (it’s still wireless, after all), but maybe only 30% of the connected battery charge is wasted because the placement is so precise, and that brings the Apple pack closer even more to the Anker pack, because the larger capacity battery loses more charge at 30% than the smaller one.

For wired MagSafe charging, read our roundup of the best MagSafe chargers. Remember that although wired, the actual charging is wireless, so it has the same limitations, although, when connected to a 20W or higher wall charger, it can charge an iPhone 12/13 up to 15W compared to the 7 .5W from the MagSafe battery pack.

charging power

When Apple originally released the MagSafe Battery Pack, it could charge an iPhone at just 5W, compared to rival magnetic battery packs that charge at 7.5W.

Fortunately, Apple has corrected this shortcoming with an update to firmware (2.7).

If you already have the Battery Pack, to get 7.5W charging on the go you need to update it to the latest firmware. This can be done in two ways: one extremely slow and one super fast. Guess which one we recommend.

The update of the firmware can start automatically after connecting the Battery Pack to iPhone, but this method may take a week.

If you prefer an update that takes five minutes, connect your Lightning cable to the battery and the other end to your Mac or iPad. The update of the firmware will quickly bring your pack up to date and ready to go at 7.5W.

Apple MagSafe

Battery pack tests

We tested the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack and its rivals with a simple battery recharge session. We let our iPhone 13 Pro test unit (with a 3,095mAh battery capacity) discharge down to 5%, and then put the Battery Pack to work recharging the phone.

Next, we assign a score of the percentage that has managed to charge the iPhone and subtract 5%; we tested each model at least twice. This is not an actual test in everyday use where the phone is likely to be used for a variety of tasks (of varying battery usage). But it gives us a score that we can use to compare different battery models.

The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack scored 60% in our test, showing that it won’t provide a 100% recharge, not even close.

On the plus side, the battery life is slightly better than Apple’s old Smart Battery Case.

MagSafe

The smart advantages of Apple

So far we’ve been disappointed with the battery life of the Apple MagSafe Pack, especially when compared to its cheaper non-Apple rivals.

But, with the advantage of owning the hardware and the softwareApple’s battery pack has smart features up its sleeve that alternatives lack.

For starters, just like with AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack displays its charge in the battery widget in iPhone’s “Today” viewβ€”just swipe right from the home screen to see all your charge information. battery from Apple in one place.

Third-party devices lack this handy iPhone information link.

Apple’s battery pack can charge the phone simultaneously with the Lightning cable, reaching a maximum charge of 15W as long as the wall charger is rated at least 27W.

iPhone can even reverse charge the MagSafe Battery Pack if its internal battery is full and connected to power.

The MagSafe Battery Pack stops providing a charge if the iPhone reaches 90%. This offers protection to your iPhone’s internal battery, as batteries survive longer when not fully charged each time.

Another protective feature is that if iPhone gets too hot, the MagSafe Battery Pack stops charging above 80%.

The MagSafe Battery Pack automatically charges iPhone, so there’s no need to turn it on or off. Most third-party MagSafe battery packs require a button press to start charging.

magsafe

Price

The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is available in one size and one color (white). It costs 109 euros on the official Apple website.

Alternatives from Anker and Belkin are less expensive and have higher battery capacity, but they lack Apple’s smarter features.

The Apple Battery is compatible with iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Some of the larger third-party battery packs are too big for mini iPhones.

Verdict

We would have loved a full protective case for Apple’s smart battery, like we have for the iPhone 11 and earlier, but Apple has put its heart into MagSafe and that’s why the detachable one is the only option, and it has to be blank.

Compatible with all iPhone 12 and 13 models, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is a smart and convenient power pack that attaches magnetically to iPhone.

It’s underpowered compared to cheaper non-Apple alternatives, but it’s smarter and works perfectly with widgets of iOS information.