Apple MagSafe Battery Pack review


The general truth about phones is that the battery life decreases as the design becomes thinner. The iPhone 12 family is no different – including 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max – and on intense days with FaceTimes, a lot of typing and gaming, the battery percentage can drop quickly.

So what’s the solution? Traditionally, it’s a portable battery that you plug in or a battery bay that snaps onto your phone. The new solution is the $ 99 MagSafe Battery Pack that attaches to the back and wirelessly charges your iPhone. And we’ve spent several days with the MagSafe Battery Pack and used it across the iPhone 12 family. Let the lightning flash and unbox the latest iPhone accessories.

Developed for the iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max

If you want a custom-made battery that doesn’t add a lot of weight and offers a ton of features, we’d say the $ 99 MagSafe battery is for you.

For whom is that: The MagSafe Battery Pack is a purpose-built accessory that takes advantage of the design of the iPhone 12 and aims to extend the battery life a little longer. It’s ideal when you don’t want to be bothered with having a separate portable charger.

What you need to know: These accessories provide iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max users with an easy and fun way to extend battery life. In addition, it integrates with iOS in ways that other batteries or options cannot. However, it isn’t the most durable or fastest charger out there.

How is that in comparison: Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is neither the thinnest nor the fastest portable charging solution. Traditional battery packs may be larger and a completely separate device, but have more mAh and ports that allow you to charge more devices. Third-party solutions – like Anker or Hyper’s magnetic power banks – are still easy to attach to the back, but don’t offer the software integration and sleek design. They are often larger and produce a little more heat when in use. However, no other portable battery offers deep integration with iOS. The MagSafe Battery Pack is a fixed extender that won’t fully charge an iPhone, but it offers convenience and a few neat tricks for $ 99.

We’ve spent the past few days using Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack, and this simple iPhone accessory has a lot going for it. Our tech and electronics editor breaks everything down:

Posted by CNN Underscored on Friday 23rd Jul 2021

The focus of the MagSafe battery pack is performance and design, with the latter taking advantage of the unique advantages of Apple’s MagSafe technology. This battery quickly clicks into place on the back of the iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max. Magnets built into the back of the iPhone match the magnets on the battery pack itself. And it snaps with a satisfactory thump on the back.

Like Apple’s Smart Battery Cases, this accessory creates a hump on the back of your phone. The MagSafe Battery Packs are around 11 millimeters thick and weigh 113 grams, which is smaller than the original iPhone and almost the size of a MagSafe wallet. It’s a hard-shell plastic design that’s only available in white with a gray Apple logo on the top center. Previous Smart Battery Cases have opted for a soft silicone case, but this harder plastic seems to be better against denim and falls. It doesn’t scratch that quickly and after some early tests it doesn’t show the color of jeans.

The bottom of the MagSafe battery has a Lightning connector and a single LED indicator that lets you know when it’s charging. A Lightning cable is not included, but you will need one to charge the battery. Here’s the best Lightning cable of 2021. When you plug the battery into a Lightning cable to charge, the LED indicator will glow orange and green for a while when it’s fully charged. Let’s imagine that Apple chose the Lightning port because you already have it for the iPhone it will be plugged into.

Regardless of your iPhone – 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max – you now get the same MagSafe battery. It’s a one-size-fits-all approach. For an iPhone 12 Mini, it covers the lower back and fits the edges perfectly. With the 12 or 12 Pro you have a little more leeway left, right and below. With the 12 Pro Max, it sits in the middle on the back with plenty of space. The bigger the iPhone, the more back rooms.

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So there is a small hump on the back that is noticeable but not annoying. The iPhone 12 or 12 Pro can still be held well with the MagSafe Battery Pack and the 12 Mini can simply be placed in the holder. We’re also excited to announce that it still fits in our skinny jeans front pocket. The magnet provides a strong bond that we couldn’t break our phone around or sliding in and out of rooms like jeans.

There’s nothing really fancy here, though we can’t help but wonder why Apple didn’t offer these new accessories in other colors. A MagSafe Battery Pack color-coordinated with a purple iPhone 12 or blue 12 Pro would have been nice.

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The new @apple #MagSafeBatteryPack is a game changer! Link in bio! #apple #magsafe #portablecharger #appleproduct #commissionearned @jakekrol

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The MagSafe battery pack does not compete with traditional portable batteries or quick chargers. It is best thought of as a battery extension. When you’ve got a long day where the iPhone 12 has to go the extra mile, attach the MagSafe battery and you’re ready to charge.

Apple doesn’t typically share many specs, and the company didn’t initially specify a battery size for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The back of the battery reveals the cell inside: 1,460mAh (11.3Wh). Both numbers refer to the total capacity, but the Wh is close to that of an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro, so we can imagine that it isn’t a tiny 1,460 mAh cell, but possibly two of them. Apple’s charging rate here is faster than alternatives from Anker ($ 45.99; or Hyper ($ 39.99;, which have larger cells and a cheaper price.

And after nearly a week of testing, you can expect the MagSafe battery to deliver around 60% of the power for the iPhone 12 or 12 Pro. This percentage is higher on the iPhone 12 Mini and slightly lower on the 12 Pro Max. It’s a solid extender here, however, and the performance you get depends on what you’re doing on the iPhone while it’s charging. When the MagSafe battery is only connected to the iPhone, it charges wirelessly at a relatively slow 5 watts. This is for both battery health and warmth. And when it’s plugged in, it doesn’t generate a lot of heat either. It is comparable to the heat that a Smart Battery Case delivers.

For example, using FaceTime or playing a game puts more strain on the battery and charger, so you won’t see a wild jump in real time, especially at 5 watts. We connected a fully charged MagSafe battery pack to a dead iPhone 12 and after an hour of charging it reached 46% with about 25% battery in the pack. That’s pretty awesome. During a long day at work, we attached the MagSafe Battery Pack before commuting home to make sure we had enough battery life. On a normal night we ended up at around 15-20% and we left at 30-40% while using the device to stream and communicate while commuting home. So, yes, the charge will vary, but it’s an extender if it just attaches to the back.

If you’ve wired the MagSafe battery while it’s attached to the back of your iPhone 12, it will charge up to 15 watts. This is a much faster standard that the MagSafe Wireless Charging Puck can produce. It’s also pretty handy as the MagSafe battery has a dual purpose; You can use it to keep iPhone running on the go or have it wirelessly charge on your desk.

Jacob Krol / CNN

What’s really cool is that the phone charges the pack even after you’ve plugged in your iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max with the MagSafe battery attached. It does this by reverse wireless charging, and it’s the first time this feature has been unlocked on the iPhone. It’s similar to how the Pixel 5 or a Samsung Galaxy can charge a pair of earbuds or other Qi-enabled device from the back. This charging feature is a pretty nice bonus.

In addition to a simple design and extra battery life, the $ 99 price tag also offers quite a bit of convenience. The MagSafe battery is integrated into iOS like no other battery. Similar to connecting a MagSafe wallet or case, the MagSafe Battery Pack will display a graphic and the battery level of the pack as soon as you connect it. The battery indicator in the upper right corner of iOS will glow green when it is receiving power. Once connected, it will power the iPhone. You need iOS 14.7 to take full advantage of the MagSafe battery pack.

As with previous Smart Battery Cases, this is about convenience – not the size of the battery. You can get much larger batteries for less than the $ 99 price of the MagSafe battery, but they don’t snap into the back of your phone right away or integrate with iOS. You can monitor the battery life of the pack directly in a widget and the iPhone can power the MagSafe.

If you’re looking for a purpose-built battery that doesn’t add a lot of weight and offers a ton of features, we’d say the $ 99 MagSafe battery will help you cross the finish line at the end of a busy day. However, it is not an endurance charger. If you are looking for a purely larger performance, you should take a look at the magnet packs from Hyper or Anker.

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