Home / iPhone / This $59 Anker MagSafe charger offers something Apple’s doesn’t

This $59 Anker MagSafe charger offers something Apple’s doesn’t

Pros

  • Well-priced, especially when compared to Apple’s charger
  • Foldable kickstand is good for multi-tasking
  • Lightweight and easy to hold while on the go
  • Can charge your device while the charger itself is charging

Cons

  • Not ideal for a “fast charge”
  • The charger itself takes a while to top up
  • Either have to purchase a MagSafe case or take your current case off to use
  • Not compatible with the iPhone 12 or 13 mini

Ever since Apple introduced MagSafe, wireless charging on iPhones has never been the same. With a quick snap on the back, all your battery anxiety vanishes. 

As someone who has always had a curiosity for portable wireless chargers, and has an iPhone that magically drops to 50% by lunchtime, Anker’s new 622 MagSafe battery bank couldn’t have come at a better time. 

Besides being able to top up an iPhone completely, the MagSafe-compatible charger also has a foldable kickstand to prop up your phone. You know, for those times when you’re low on battery but need to FaceTime your family before work or binging the latest season of the Bachelorette? Just me? Okay. 

I’ve been testing the latest charger, running errands in the busy streets of NYC, and putting the $59 accessory to the ultimate endurance test. Here’s an account of my overall experience and why I think it’s a no-brainer if you’re an iPhone user, too. 

Also: Anker’s latest GaNPrime power products: A roundup of safe, fast, and sustainable charging

Specifications 

Dimensions 

4.13 X 2.62 X 0.5 inches 

Weight

5 ounces 

Battery capacity

5,000 mAh

Voltage 

5 volts 

Magnetic Attachment 

9N (900 g) 

Wattage 

7.5W 

Charging Port

USB-C or Lightning 

Compatibility 

iPhone 12 or later (except for the mini), MagSafe-compatible AirPods and cases

Colors  Blue, black, white, purple, and green

Price 

$59


Designed with portability in mind  

One of my favorite aspects of the Anker MagSafe charger is its sleekness; it’s not bulky or flooding with extra cables that I have to keep track of. While it comes with a USB-C cable, I haven’t had the need to use it since the wireless charging is reliable enough. The charger takes up a good portion of the back of my iPhone but is compact enough that it just feels like I have a bulkier case on, and not some electronic brick. Even during my commutes to work, when most of the on-the-go charging is done, I’ve felt comfortable enough having the duo in hand or in my pocket. 

That said, I was also impressed by the strength of the MagSafe magnet. The charger just snaps onto the back of my phone and never gives. That is unless you drop your device from, say, desk height, or forcibly detach the two. 

anker-charger-full-view

Sticky notes for scale. 

Christina Darby/ZDNET

I will say that to test the charger I did have to get a MagSafe case as it was not compatible with my original iPhone 12 Pro case. So, if you’re not already using a MagSafe-certified case, it will be smart to invest in one — for charging and protection’s sake. If you’re a risk-taker, you can also pair a careless iPhone with the Anker charger, as long as it’s an iPhone 12 or older and not a mini model. Note that the MagSafe charger won’t protect your phone from bumps and cracks and is not a substitute for a case. 

Also: Getting a new iPhone? This is the charger you’ll want to buy

Multi-faceted for multi-taskers

Here’s where I think Anker’s product truly separates itself from Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack: the foldable kickstand. On the outside of the charger is a flappy, foldable kickstand that creates a triangular base. In this mode, you can either set the iPhone in portrait orientation or landscape, for scrolling or watching videos. 

I’ve been using the kickstand as a way to charge my phone while watching videos as I get ready for work in the morning. It was also useful when I needed to FaceTime my family while booking holiday flights and my iPhone was low on battery. I’ve even propped my iPhone up next to me while working, in case of an important notification, email, or message. 

kickstand-anker-magsafe

The foldable kickstand is a welcome feature. 

Christina Darby/ ZDNET

What I really appreciated about the kickstand feature was that it was seamlessly integrated and convenient to use. That is, it didn’t feel like an “add-on” Anker integrated last-minute to make its product more distinguished. You can say that the kickstand was designed to meet the practicality and reality of most situations in which your phone battery drains, from Facetiming, video streaming, or just scrolling through endless slides of news and posts.

Another design feature that contributes to the user-friendly and practical nature of the Anker charger is the four lights that indicate the battery level, so you’re never blindsided if the charger gives out on you. Naturally, the fewer lights that blink, the less battery the charger has. 

charger-battery-signal

LEDs on the bottom indicate the battery level of the charger.

Christina Darby/ZDNET

Charging time and battery life

As with most portable charging devices, you still have to charge the battery pack itself. I find it takes a few hours — about six — to fully top up the unit. As for the actual battery life, it all depends on how often and what you’re charging. From my experience with the iPhone 12 Pro, the Anker 622 has been able to last about two and a half days before needing to be recharged. 

anker-wireless-charger-on-phone

Anker’s 622 charger in action. 

Christina Darby/ZDNET

Still, the brick is by no means a “fast charger” or going to increase your phone battery life significantly over a few minutes. For my morning routine, which involved checking maps and messages, and listening to a podcast, the Anker charger was sufficient enough to maintain my existing battery level. So, by the time I get to the office, I usually have about 88-91% battery instead of already creeping down into the 70s or 60s. 

Bottom line

If you’re in the market for a solid portable charger that’s not too bulky, will free you up of any charging cables, and doubles as a kickstand, the Anker 622 is your best bet. Your iPhone won’t charge as fast as it would when plugged into a Lightning cable, but the convenience factor alone may sell you on the MagSafe accessory. 

Also: These $99 Anker earbuds last longer than your AirPods 

anker-charger-comparison-lifestyle

Christina Darby/ZDNET

Alternatives to consider

Besides the Anker 622 MagSafe charger, these are the best alternatives to also consider. 

Though more expensive, Apple’s MagSafe case is slightly lighter and thinner than Anker’s and is compatible with the iPhone 12 and 13 mini. It doesn’t have a kickstand, but it does have a reliable, magnetic snap, giving your iPhone plenty of support and up to 60% more battery. 

This $39 option from Belkin is perfect for MagSafe-compatible iPhones, old and new. While it, too, does not have a kickstand, the charger is compact and reliable enough for users on the go. 

This Mophie charger has a 5,000mAh battery and a sleek design. But for only $49.99, you can double up on your iPhone’s battery for less than Anker’s or Apple’s offerings.


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