Since the debut of the iPhone 12 and MagSafe in 2020, we've been waiting for Apple to launch a MagSafe compatible Smart Battery Case.
In a surprise announcement last week, Apple instead introduced a MagSafe Battery Pack for the iPhone 12 lineup, sparking discussions on many of its features, including capacity and size.
Let's look in detail at the new Apple accessory and if it's worth it.
What's the Battery Capacity?
Most people care about the capacity of a power bank or how much charge it can offer a mobile phone. Power banks tend to be measured in milliampere hour (mAh).
The MagSafe Battery Pack's capacity is 1460mAh, which may be disappointing to quite a few people, since the battery size of the iPhone 12 mini is already a compact 2227mAh. Does this mean that the battery pack can't even offer one full charge of the smallest iPhone 12 model?
At a glance, it may seem that way; however, to find the battery's actual capacity, you also need to look at its voltage.
Standard power bank batteries work at a voltage of between 3.6-3.8V. The MagSafe Battery Pack has almost double the voltage at 7.62V, indicating that there are probably two parallel battery cells connected inside the MagSafe Battery Pack.
So its total battery capacity is actually 2920mAh.
Again, this doesn't tell us much about what the MagSafe power bank can do for your iPhone 12. For this we need to find the Watt-hour (Wh) using the calculation Ah x V = Wh. You can find Ah (ampere hour) by dividing mAh by 1000 (mAh / 1000 = Ah).
Watt-hour is a much better way to calculate battery storage and tells us how long a battery will last.
MagSafe Battery Pack has a Watt-hour capacity of 11.13Wh.
The iPhone 12 mini's battery capacity is 8.57Wh, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro 10.75Wh, and 14.13Wh for iPhone 12 Pro Max.
On paper, it should charge the three of the smaller iPhone 12 batteries, but this doesn't take energy loss into consideration. The MagSafe Battery Pack will probably charge mini to approximately 90% and between 50-60% for the larger models.
How Fast Will It Charge?
Using the MagSafe Battery Pack on the go charges your iPhone 12 at speeds of 5W. However, when you have the power bank plugged into a 20W or higher power adapter, the portable charger offers up to 15W (12W for iPhone 12 mini).
How About Pass-through and Reverse Charging?
To charge the MagSafe Battery Pack, you simply plug it into a power adapter using the Lightning port. If the MagSafe Battery Pack is attached to your iPhone, it will charge the mobile phone first, then the power bank.
If you plug the power source into your iPhone 12, then both devices charge together.
Will There Be Overheating Issues?
While some have expressed concerns about iPhone overheating during charging, several built-in safety features are protecting your device.
First, your iPhone knows when the temperature is too high and will limit your phone battery to 80% for hours. Once the temperature drops, it will start to charge again.
Second, the MagSafe Battery Pack will only charge your iPhone at 5W when you're on the go. The slower charging speed reduces heat build-up, although if you charge your iPhone with the MagSafe Charger, the rate jumps to 15W.
All in all, it's not much different from a wireless charger except that it's magnetic. MagSafe uses auto-alignment, so it's also less likely to generate unnecessary heat from improper alignment.
Does the MagSafe Battery Pack Work With iPhones That Have A Case?
The device was designed to attach directly to your iPhone or with a MagSafe case.
Other cases without MagSafe should not interrupt charging or magnetic attachment as long as they're thin enough. The thicker the case, the less efficient charging will be, and the weaker the magnetic force.
Measuring Charging Status
There aren't any LEDs or a screen showing the battery's power level. However, if you're running iOS 14.7 or later, you'll be able to see how much juice your power bank has left on your iPhone screen.
If your widget shows it's only charging to 90%, adjust your settings in the Control Center by turning off Low Power Mode.
Judging from the photos on the Apple website and data from those who’ve received the device, the MagSafe Battery Pack is about the same width as the iPhone 12 mini, 64.2mm, with a length of 95.8mm and thickness of 11.28mm. It weighs about 113.8g.
In addition, the back of the power bank has a soft grey cloth cover that can absorb the force of the iPhone’s glass back when you snap the MagSafe Battery Pack onto it.
Is It Worth It?
The MagSafe Battery Pack doesn't have the edge over many other competitors regarding battery capacity and price. You can easily find alternatives with double the power for half of what Apple is charging.
That said, it has its benefits. First, it's genuine MagSafe, so the iPhone integration is top-notch. Only the MagSafe Battery Pack can provide 15W charging for the iPhone 12 lineup, as well as offering pass-through and reverse wireless charging to charge your iPhone 12 and your AirPods. Its portability means it's perfect for a day out where there won't be anywhere to charge your phone.
If you are faithful to the Apple ecosystem and have the budget, the MagSafe Battery Pack is not a bad choice. However, if you are looking for a power bank to charge your phone whenever you want it, the MagSafe Battery Pack might not suit you.
Battery Packs, Reimagined!
The MagEZ Slider offers a different kind of power bank.
Unlike typical power banks, its unique wireless charging stand simultaneously charges your iPhone 12 and the power bank, so they're always ready when you need them.
When it's time to go, slide out your phone, and the power bank goes with it! It's slim and compact, like the MagSafe Battery Pack but with even more power. It's MagSafe compatible and attaches to all iPhone 12 devices for wireless charging on the go. With a built-in kickstand, you can turn your phone into an entertainment hub. The charging dock also charges AirPods and an Apple Watch using a plugin dongle.
We're launching the MagEZ Slider on Kickstarter in August. Sign up now to get the super early bird discount!
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