If you own a late-model iPhone and burn through your battery on a daily basis, well, you’re lucky to be living in 2022. These days, there are quite a few portable batteries that work with MagSafe, many of which are made by renown third-party accessories makers like Mophie, Belkin, Anker and OtterBox.
However, in my experience, they all fall short in comparison to the MagSafe external battery that Apple makes.
So if you an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 and you’re looking for a portable power bank, get the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack. It’s the best way to charge your iPhone on-the-go, while still being able to use your iPhone. Here’s why.
It’s smarter than any other MagSafe portable charger.
The biggest advantage of the MagSafe Battery Pack is its tight integration with iOS — which means it works in ways with your iPhone that other portable batteries simply cannot. It’s the only portable battery that spurs the reveal of a big “MagSafe” icon on your iPhone’s display when connected. It’s only the portable battery that you can check its exact power level from the Control Center, just like you can from a connected Apple Watch or AirPods. And it’s smart enough to stop charging your iPhone when it reaches 90 percent to preserve its battery life. (However, you can choose to let it top off your iPhone by adjusting the settings.)
It’s easy to use this MagSafe battery pack.
If you use any other portable battery pack with your iPhone, whether it supports MagSafe or not, you’ll realize that each requires you to press a button on the charger to start charging your iPhone; simply connecting to your phone isn’t enough. It’s annoying, because it’s another extra step that you can forget.
With the MagSafe Battery Pack, however, there’s no button to initiate charging. Once connected, it starts charging your iPhone automatically. It’s beautiful.
Apple’s MagSafe pack supports fast-charging…but there’s a catch.
The big advantage to MagSafe charging in general is that it can wirelessly charge a compatible iPhone at 15 watts, rather than the 7.5-watt max of other Qi wireless chargers. And the MagSafe Battery Pack can also do this…but only when used as a wired MagSafe charger with a 20-watt wall adapter. Effectively, it can be turned into a regular MagSafe charger — which is cool.
Also, the MagSafe Battery Pack is capable of wireless charging your iPhone faster when not connected to power. In April 2022, Apple silently rolled out a firmware update that allows the MagSafe Battery Pack to fast charge your iPhone at 7.5-watts, which is up from the standard 5-watts that all other options are capable of. This means it can top off your iPhone pretty quick.
(Note: To get these faster wireless charging speeds, your MagSafe Battery Pack needs to be running the latest 2.7.b.0 firmware. To check this, connect the MagSafe Battery Pack to your iPhone > open the Settings app > select General > select About > and then select MagSafe Battery Pack. If it’s not running the latest firmware update, it will update on its own.)
This portable battery supports pass-through charging.
You’d think that most portable batteries that support MagSafe would also support pass-through charging — meaning you could charge both devices while connected to each other — but that isn’t the case. The MagSafe Battery Pack is one of the few options that, when connected to any iPhone and a Lightning cable, it’ll charge your iPhone first, then refill the MagSafe Battery Pack. No need to disconnect the two devices.
Apple’s MagSafe battery pack is the best…but it’s not perfect.
I’ve had the opportunity to test a lot of different portable batteries that support MagSafe, and Apple’s own is definitely my favorite. However, it’s far from ideal — just ask the YouTube videos condemning it. At 1,460mAh, it’s one of the lowest capacity chargers out there. It costs $99 (or $88 on Amazon), making it one of the most expensive options. And it’s only available in white, so you’re going to have to buy a skin if you want it to match your iPhone case.
Maybe the biggest annoyance for me is that it can’t wireless charge itself when not connected to an iPhone; if you put it on another MagSafe wireless charger, like the MagSafe Duo, it won’t charge. It’s stupid and frustrating, especially from the company that pioneered the philosophy of it just works; that said, many other options also can’t wireless charge themselves, so it’s nowhere near a deal breaker.
The bottom line is that MagSafe Battery Pack is very similar to Apple’s AirPods — it works with your iPhone in ways other options simply cannot. And ultimately, that’s why you should pick it. Even it’s a touch more expensive.
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