Since the iPhone 12’s debut in late 2020, Apple fans have waited for an official MagSafe portable charger. Well, be careful what you wish for. Apple just launched the MagSafe Battery Pack, and for $100, you get an outrageously low 1,460mAh capacity and slow 5-watt wireless charging. But the software features are neat!
Before you get upset with me, here’s a few points. You can buy a 10,000mAh portable battery (sans wireless charging) for just $25. If you want MagSafe charging, that’s cool, Anker sells a 5,000mAh MagSafe battery pack for $45. Asking $100 for a low-capacity 1,460mAh battery is genuine stupidity, even if it bears an Apple logo.
To add insult to injury, Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack isn’t big enough to fully charge an iPhone 12, which has a 2,815mAh capacity. While you shouldn’t take raw battery specs at face value, people who are a lot smarter than me have already done the math and echoed my claim. Funny enough, Apple does not mention this battery’s mAh rating in product or support pages, and the 1,460mAh number only appears in tiny print on a single image.
And then there’s the 5-watt wireless charging, which is very slow (especially if you’re actively using your phone). Considering that MagSafe can support 15-watt charging, this is a very weird decision from Apple—maybe heat is a concern here. Apple says that you can get 15-watt charging from this Battery Pack, but only when it’s plugged into a wall … which kind of defeats the purpose, unless you need to charge both devices and only have one Lightning cable.
But hey, maybe the MagSafe Battery Pack is right for somebody. It’s small, it can extend your phone’s battery life, and it works wirelessly. Like some other Apple products, the Battery Pack’s remaining life is represented in your iPhone’s “Batteries” widget, which is a nifty touch.
Our suggestion? Well, if you have $100 to blow on a battery and don’t care about its slow speeds or low capacity, knock yourself out. Just know that Anker sells a 5,000mAh MagSafe battery for less than half the price of this one, and there are plenty of cheap, ultra-portable wired batteries that can charge your iPhone at speeds faster than 5 watts.
Apple MagSafe Battery Pack
Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack has a 1,460 mAh capacity rating and can charge your iPhone 12 at 5-watt speeds. It costs $100.
Anker 521 Magnetic Battery (PowerCore Magnetic 5K), 5000 mAh Magnetic Wireless Portable Charger with USB-C Cable, for iPhone 13 / 13 Pro / 13 Pro Max / 13 Mini / 12 / 12 Pro / 12 Pro Max / 12 Mini
Like Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack, the Anker PowerCore 5K connects to your iPhone 12 magnetically and provides 5-watt wireless charging. But it also has a 5,000mAh capacity and costs less than half the price of Apple's offering.
Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger, 10000mAh Power Bank, Ultra-Compact Battery Pack, High-Speed Charging Technology Phone Charger for iPhone, Samsung and More.
If you're just looking for a ultra-portable, affordable battery pack, grab the Anker PowerCore 10000. It has a 10,000mAh capacity and isn't that much bigger than Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack.