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Best MagSafe battery pack 2021: Charge your iPhone

Apple’s MagSafe made a comeback when Apple unveiled the magnetic technology alongside the iPhone 12 lineup. That’s right, tucked inside every iPhone 12 model is a series of magnets in the shape of a circle. Those magnets are designed to line up Apple’s MagSafe charger that wireless charges the phone, hold a MagSafe wallet in place and now a removable battery pack. 

Apple recently announced the MagSafe battery pack for the iPhone 12 lineup. It boasts all of the smart features we’ve seen in Smart Battery Cases for previous iPhone models, but this time it’s removable. Apple isn’t the only company to make a MagSafe-compatible battery pack that leverages Qi wireless charging to keep your iPhone charged when you’re on the go. Mophie, Anker and Hyper are just a few of its competitors. Below you’ll find several MagSafe battery packs, covering a variety of prices and sizes. 


Native integration comes at a cost

apple-magsafe-battery-pack.jpg


Capacity: 1,460mAh/ 11.13Wh | Charging Port: Lightning | Power button: No


Apple’s MagSafe battery pack is the second smallest battery pack I tested, even though pictures can make it look big. Inside are two battery cells with 11.13 Wh of capacity. That’s slightly more than the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, which has a 10.78Wh battery side. But don’t expect the battery pack to charge your iPhone from 0 to 100. Wireless charging is highly inefficient due to several factors (heat being one of them). You’re more likely to get around a 60% charge, and for most, that’s more than good enough to get through a long day at work or when traveling. 

At $100, the MagSafe battery pack is the most expensive pack of the lot. That its tight integration can arguably justify Apple tax with iOS 14.7 and above; when you place the pack on an iPhone 12, you’ll see an animation on your screen letting you know how much of a charge the pack has. It will automatically begin charging your phone. The first time you attach one to your phone, you’ll also see an alert letting you know it will keep your phone at 90% to protect your battery. The battery widget built into iOS will show the pack’s current charge level, right alongside your iPhone and other accessories. 

Charging the battery pack is done via a Lightning connector on the bottom of the pack. If you use a 20W adapter, you can charge both the pack and the iPhone at the same time by plugging the connector into your iPhone. Your iPhone will then use reverse wireless charging to top off the battery pack — the first time we’ve seen such a feature in use from any iPhone model. 

Pros:

  •    Deep integration with iOS takes full advantage of the battery pack 
  •    Smart charging ensures proper iPhone and battery pack charging
  •    Your iPhone uses reverse wireless charging to charge the pack

Cons:

  •    The most expensive battery pack of the bunch 
  •    It only comes in white


$99 at Apple


Compact and capable

oislemagsafebatterypack.jpg


Capacity: 4,225mAh/16.26Wh | Charging Port: USB-C | Power button: Yes 


The Oisle Ultra Think MagSafe Power Bank lives up to the first part of its name by being the smallest battery pack I tested. Underneath the logo placed on the front of the pack is a light that makes it easy to see if the battery is on, its charge level and if it’s charging your iPhone. It has a total capacity of 4,225mAh (16.26 Wh), which, in theory, should be enough to charge an iPhone 12 from 0 to 100% without any issues. 

On the bottom of the pack is the power button that you need to press in order for the pack to start charging your phone — something I forgot to do multiple times during my testing. You can charge the battery pack at the same time as you’re charging your iPhone, as long as you connect to the USB-C port on the pack with a high-speed charger. There are multiple colors available for you to pick from. 

Pros:

  •    Compact form factor
  •    Multiple Colors

Cons:

  •    The small size comes at a price
  •    Hard to remember always to press the power button to turn it on


$58 at Amazon


Solid, affordable pick

ankermagsafebatterypack.jpg


Capacity: 5,000mAh/18.5Wh | Charging Port: USB-C | Power button: Yes 


Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K boasts a 5,000mAh (18.5 Wh) capacity in a fairly thick footprint. The Hyper battery pack only outmatches its size. You’ll find LED indicator lights to reveal the charge level, a power button, and a USB-C port on the bottom of the pack. 

You can charge the battery pack and your iPhone at the same time using pass-through charging, as I’ve personally tested and verified. One bonus feature Anker’s offering has over the competition is that it acts as an external battery pack in that you can use the USB-C port to connect the pack to another device, like your iPad, and charge it if needed. 

Pros:

  •    Supports pass-through charging 
  •    It can be used to charge another device via USB-C

Cons:

  • Thicker than most other battery packs   

   


$50 at Amazon


A versatile option

mophiesnap-juicepack.jpg


Capacity: 5,000mAh/18.5Wh | Charging Port: USB-C | Power button: Yes 


Mophie’s Snap Plus Juice Pack Mini is the only battery pack that has a fabric material on the front housing, breaking up the standard plastic look that the rest of the battery packs have. It’s nearly as thin as Apple’s MagSafe battery pack, but that’s only because it’s rather long. In fact, if you have an iPhone 12 Mini, this battery pack will stick out from the bottom of your phone by 4.8mm. 

With a 5,000mAh (18.5Wh) capacity, you’re going to be able to top your phone off without any issues. What makes this pack so versatile isn’t that you can charge it and your phone at the same time via the USB-C port, but that it includes a magnetic ring in the box that you can attach to other smartphones — iPhone or Android — to add Mophie’s version of MagSafe to any phone. 

Pros:

  • Supports pass-through charging 
  • It can be used to charge another device via USB-C
  • Stencil and adapter included adding MagSafe capabilities to other phones

Cons:

  • Thin design that makes it very long


$43 at Amazon


It’s thick

hypermagsafebatterypack.jpg


Capacity: 5,000mAh/18.5Wh | Charging Port: USB-C | Power button: Yes 


Hyper’s Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack is just $40, but it packs a punch. With a total capacity of 5,000mAh (18Wh), it’s also the biggest past out of the group, despite most of the packs I reviewed having a similar capacity. On the front of the pack are a power button and indicator lights. I prefer the button placement on the Hyper simply because it’s easier to find and press than on the edge of the pack. 

You use a USB-C cable to charge the pack, which supports pass-through charging and can double as an external battery pack to charge via a wired connection. If the size isn’t a factor, the Hyper pack is an affordable option that’s sure to get the job done. 

Pros:

  • Supports pass-through charging 
  • It can be used to charge another device via USB-C

Cons:

  • It’s by far the biggest battery pack out of the group


$39 at B&H

How much will a MagSafe battery pack charge an iPhone 12?

My tests have shown the MagSafe battery pack charges a completely drained iPhone 12 from 0 to 60%. The rest of the battery packs I’ve tested go past that, but not by a lot. 

Why should you get a MagSafe battery pack?

A removable battery pack makes it easy to charge when you need it and ditch the battery when you don’t. If you find yourself constantly looking for an outlet while carrying a wall adapter and cable, then a battery pack would be a good fit. 

Which is the right MagSafe battery pack for you?

There are a few factors worth considering when you look at this group of MagSafe compatible batteries. The first, and arguably most important, is how much you want to spend. If you don’t want to go over $50, then that narrows down your options. From there, you only need to take into account the various brands and the physical size of the battery pack. 

My recommendations are if you want to stick with Apple products and use something that the iPhone can take full advantage of, then get Apple’s MagSafe battery pack. However, if you only care about charging your iPhone’s battery while on the go, either the Mophie or the Anker packs are worth looking into. 

How did we choose these MagSafe battery packs?

I started by searching for magnetic or MagSafe battery packs built for the iPhone 12 after Apple announced its own battery pack. I received several samples from companies and have spent the last two weeks testing all those listed here.  I’ve spent time with each pack connected to an iPhone 12 and an iPhone 12 Pro. I’ve monitored charge levels and tested all advertised features with the exception of charge rate. If a pack advertised pass-through charging, for example, I tested that feature. I also evaluated how big or small the packs are and how much of an impact the size had on the overall usability of the iPhone. 


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