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Review: Anker 521 Magnetic Battery

The Anker 521 magnetic battery was one of the first power banks to support the new MagSafe feature of the iPhone. It enables you to magnetically attach the power bank to the back of your MagSafe compatible iPhone and charge it wirelessly on the go without cables.

Fittingly, Anker originally called this power bank a snap and go power bank but changed the naming convention. It’s now called a MagGo power bank.

Though the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a powerful battery, I rarely make it through an entire day on a single charge. Probably, because I do a lot of photo editing on my iPhone.

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So when Apple announced MagSafe, I hoped that either Apple or someone else would release a power bank that I could attach magnetically and without cables to my iPhone. A few months later, Anker was one of the first to release such a magnetic and wireless power bank.

In this Anker 521 magnetic battery review, I’ll share my real-world experience using it.

Models of the Anker Magnetic Battery

Since Anker released the original PowerCore Magnetic 5K in 2021, they released three more models and changed their products’ naming convention.

  • The original model I used for this review was called Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K. It’s now called Anker 521 Magnetic Battery.
  • In Mid 2022, Anker released the successor of the Anker 521 MagGo: The Anker 621 magnetic battery. It’s slightly thinner than the original Anker 521 and offers the same capacity as the Anker 521.
  • Another MagGo model is the Anker 622 Magnetic Battery. It also has a capacity of 5.000 mAh but comes with a stand attached to the power bank.
  • Anker also released a 10.000 mAh version called Anker 633 Magnetic Battery. This version is slightly larger (and thicker) than the 5.000 mAh models.

To help you decide which Anker MagGo Magnetic battery model is suitable for you, here’s a capacity, size and weight comparison of the Anker magnetic batteries 521 vs 621 vs 622 vs 633. Measurements are in inches and pounds.

If you’re looking for a lightweight and small magnetic power bank with a capacity of 5.000 mAh, then go for the Anker (621) magnetic battery (the successor of the Anker 521). If you’re looking for more charges at the price of weight and size, then go for the Anker 633 magnetic power bank.

Please mind that this review is about the Anker 521 magnetic battery that was originally called Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K. I’ve added info about the other models for completeness.

Why I bought the Anker 521 magnetic battery

As mentioned above, I rarely make it through the day with a single charge on my iPhone.

As I’m a Minimalist, I always strive to get rid of things, especially things, that I need to carry and that would prevent me from traveling light.

Eliminating the cables for everyday charging was the reason I originally switched from my Anker 10.000 mAh slim power bank to the Apple Smart Battery Case for an everyday use power bank.

And that was also the reason why I bought the Anker 521 magnetic battery: To be able to charge my iPhone on the go without using cables. like this:

Features of the Anker 521 magnetic battery

Compatibility of the Anker magnetic batteries

As mentioned, I’ve used the Anker 521 magnetic battery with an iPhone 12 Pro Max, an iPhone 13 Pro Max and now use it with my new iPhone 14 Pro. Anker mentions in their specs, that their magnetic batteries works with all MagSafe compatible iPhones except for the iPhone Mini. From a photo I found on the Internet it looks like that the camera of the iPhone Mini is a little too big for the the Anker magnetic battery.

MagSafe compatible

The Anker 521 magnetic power bank is MagSafe compatible and thus allows you to charge your iPhone wirelessly while it’s magnetically attached to the back of your iPhone. I used and use it with various iPhone Models in a MagSafe compatible iPhone case from moment.

I wondered how strong the magnets were and tried to shake the power bank off the iPhone’s back a few times. I failed. The magnets are pretty strong.

But as with all attachable MagSafe accessories, if you try to put the iPhone with the power bank attached into a tight. it may come off.

Capacity of 5000 mAh

The Anker 521, Anker 621 and Anker 622 magnetic power banks have a capacity of 5.000 mAh. Anker claims it would charge an iPhone 12 Pro Max from zero to roughly 75%.

So I did a real-world test for this review and wirelessly charged my iPhone 12 Pro Max for precisely one hour. I didn’t put the iPhone to flight mode or disabled any services I’d use during a typical day.

The iPhone’s 12 Pro Max battery went from 30% to 50% during the hour, and after an additional hour, the battery was at 70%.

After two hours of charging the iPhone’s battery by 40%, the power bank’s LEDs indicated that it still had around 25% of its charge.

So I guess you can charge an iPhone 12 Pro Max by around 60% in a real-world scenario if you charge it wirelessly.

If you use another iPhone model, you may get more than the estimated 50%-60% because the batteries of these models have a different capacities than the battery of the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Out of curiosity, I also tried to charge an iPad Pro 11 2018. The Anker 521 magnetic power bank could charge it from 30% to 67% before it was empty.

Please note that the three different models I mentioned before supply different wireless charging power:

You may be able to squeeze a bit more out of the power bank if you attach a USBC to lightning cable to the power bank and charge your iPhone with a cable.

But that’s not what I was looking for, so I didn’t test it.

Two Way USB-C Charging

If you need to charge a non-MagSafe compatible device, you can attach it to the USB-C port of the Anker magnetic batteries that you use to charge the power bank itself. This way, the power bank will charge other devices as well.

According to my tests, using the magnetic charger and the cable on the Anke 521 magnetic battery, you can’t charge two devices at once. As soon as you attach a cable, the device on the cable takes precedence

Speaking of charging the power bank: To charge the Anker 521 and Anker 622 power banks, Anker recommends using a 12W power adapter, while for the Anker 633, you should use an 18W power adapter.

Anker 521 LED Indicators and their functions

All the Anker magnetic batteries have four LED status lights that indicate how much charge the power bank has left. One status light approximately equals a charge of 25%.

As I’ve outlined in the chapter about the power bank’s capacity, one of the status lights was still lit after charging my iPhone 12 Pro Max wirelessly by 40%.

Further, the power bank has a blue power light. It’ll start blinking if you charge the power bank itself. Once you turn on the power bank and charge your iPhone, it’s continuously lit.

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On/Off Switch

One feature I liked is the on/off switch. To start charging the iPhone wirelessly, you need to press the button once to turn it on until the blue LED light turns on. That will prevent accidentally charging your iPhone.

Charge your Airpods wirelessly

Though this Anker wireless battery pack won’t magnetically stick to your AirPod case (or the other way round), you can charge your Apple Airpods wirelessly. Just place the power bank on a flat surface and put the AirPod case in the middle of the charging area.

Apple quietly releases official MagSafe battery pack for 99

Apple has quietly released its official MagSafe battery pack for 99. The MagSafe Battery Pack is now available from Apple’s website. The Battery Pack only comes in white with a matte finish and features a lightning port to recharge it.

The new item’s support page explains that the MagSafe Battery Pack can be recharged with up to 20W of power. The Battery Pack can recharge the iPhone 12 at up to 15W but only when the Battery Pack is connected to a 20W or higher adapter. The Battery Pack can also recharge if the iPhone is connected to power. The MagSafe Battery will recharge the iPhone at 5W while off the grid.

Official Apple images of MagSafe Battery Pack

The Battery Pack does not include a charger or cable, nor does Apple list how much you can expect this product to extend the battery life of an iPhone. According to 9to5Mac, the Pack has a capacity of 11.2 watt hours or 1460 mAh which may be enough to fully charge the iPhone 12 mini.

Back in February, Bloomberg sources reported that Apple was reportedly working on a MagSafe battery pack accessory for the iPhone 12 lineup. It was reported that prototypes of the accessory was overheating due to software issues.

Apple introduced MagSafe on the iPhone 12 lineup and the feature uses magnets that lineup and click into place for the purpose of wireless charging. MagSafe has been implemented into both first-party and third-party cases, wallets, and other charging accessories.

Reader Комментарии и мнения владельцев

I’m tired of your overpriced products, Apple. You hold a special place in my heart, but it’s time to move on.

Yes ur right BUT, laws of physics have nothing to do with my topic as I mentioned in my previous comment. Not charging but rather my topic.

You say laws of physics have nothing to do with charging and then you (in the same breath) wonder why charging was slow at 5W. And to confuse you further, it’s not just physics, it’s actually chemistry too because li-ion batteries hold ener.

Anker 633 MagGo battery pack – For a touch of versatility

Anker is known for producing some of the best accessories that can be used with your iPhone. If you’re looking for a battery pack that delivers an excellent price-to-performance ratio, check out the Anker 633 MagGo battery pack. This pack comes with a two-in-one design. Firstly, it attaches to the back of your iPhone for charging it. Secondly, it has a kickstand feature that can prop your smartphone up for easier use.

Apart from this, it comes with a 10,000mAh battery capacity which is excellent for this price segment. According to the manufacturer, you’ll be able to charge an iPhone 13 Pro almost two times with a single full charge cycle of the battery pack.

Furthermore, the battery pack supports high-speed charging. Basically, you can use the provided 20W USB-C Power Delivery port to charge your iPhone up to three times faster. Finally, you won’t have to worry about quality, thanks to the two-year warranty that comes with the product!

Unfortunately, the battery pack’s design isn’t essential for long-term use, as it is pretty heavy.

  • Versatile design philosophy
  • Excellent build quality
  • Up to 20W USB-C power delivery for faster charging speeds
  • Two years’ worth of warranty

Baseus magnetic power bank – Superb power delivery

While all the products that are listed here provide some form of value for money, this MagSafe iPhone battery pack from Baseus is in a league of its own. Of course, the battery pack uses MagSafe technology for wireless and hands-free charging. over, it comes with a kickstand so you can prop it up for better viewing angles and ease of use.

The battery pack uses strong magnets to directly attach to the back of your iPhone, and you don’t even have to press a power button to start the charging process. Coming to the battery capacity, the battery pack has a 10,000mAh battery capacity, which is excellent for any iPhone.

However, the Baseus magnetic power bank takes the cake when it comes to power delivery options. When you’re charging just your iPhone wirelessly, you can get up to 7.5W of power. You’ll also be able to charge two devices simultaneously through 5W power delivery for each. over, it supports both 10W and 20W USB-C wired charging. In other words, you’re spoilt for options with this one!

Nonetheless, the size of this battery pack can be off-putting for quite a few probable consumers, as it is quite large.

  • Plenty of power delivery options
  • Comes with a kickstand for hands-free use
  • Can charge two devices simultaneously

ESR MagSafe battery pack – Safe and secure

ESR is another company that manufactures iPhone accessories of excellent quality. So, you shouldn’t be surprised that I’ve included this ESR MagSafe iPhone battery pack on this list. The battery pack is quite compact, has a kickstand, and has a decent overall capacity.

With the 10,000mAh battery, you shouldn’t face any issues when charging your iPhone 14 or older models. In fact, it also supports 7.5W of wireless charging and up to 20W of fast charging, albeit in the wired form. Nonetheless, the capacity is completely adequate regardless of the iPhone you’re using.

When it comes to the battery pack’s best feature, however, things are a tad different. The main attraction of this battery pack is the strong magnetic locking feature. It comes with powerful magnets that lock into your iPhone with over 1000g of holding force. This ensures that your battery pack will never fall off. Finally, it’s also Climate Pledge Friendly and has a year’s worth of warranty.

However, it does have a tendency to warm up when being used with the Lightning Cable or a 20W power adapter.

  • Extremely strong magnetic lock for security
  • Provides up to 20W of fast charging
  • One year warranty
  • Climate Pledge Friendly

Charging Performance

These products are like other compact battery packs in that they offer limited capacity. Neither Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack nor the third-party equivalents were able to fully charge my iPhone 12 Pro with their magnetic wireless connections.

In my testing with a drained iPhone 12 Pro, Mophie’s Snap Juice Pack Mini got the closest, bringing it up to 98% before it was empty. The HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack hit 82%. Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack lagged at 65%.

My testing of the MagSafe Battery Pack roughly confirms Apple’s claims of 70% of additional charging with the iPhone 12 mini, 60% with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, and 40% with the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

While charging my iPhone, the MagSafe Battery Pack depleted its battery in just over 2 hours. The HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack took 3 hours and 30 minutes, and the Snap Juice Pack Mini took just under 6 hours.

But note that, in some cases, the speediest charging occurs at the top of the session. The MagSafe Battery Pack brought the iPhone to 50% in about 75 minutes. The HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack did even better, hitting 50% in a bit over an hour and 75% in a little over 2 hours. Mophie’s Snap Juice Pack Mini was the (slight) laggard at 50% in 90 minutes and 75% an hour after that.

The Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Wireless Power Bank 2.5K is at a disadvantage in this competition because it has about half the capacity of its Hyper and Mophie rivals, measured in milliamp hours. It weighs in at 2500 mAh, while the HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack and the Snap Juice Pack Mini have double that. Belkin’s battery pack charged my iPhone 12 Pro up to only about 50% in just over 90 minutes and then died. Yet it costs as much as the HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack.

However, you should be aware of Belkin’s Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger 10K, which offers 10,000 mAh for 59.99. I didn’t receive one to try out, but it looks like a much better deal, albeit in a much larger package.

I conducted my testing with my iPhone 12 idle and in Do Not Disturb mode, with brightness at the dimmest setting. Using your iPhone while charging it will make it charge slower. As tech writer Raymond Wong discovered, MagSafe Battery Pack charging can be brought to a virtual standstill under some conditions.

Regardless, charging via a magnetic wireless connection (or regular Qi link) is inherently and incredibly inefficient. I fully grasped this after charging my iPhone 12 Pro using the Mophie and Hyper USB-C ports. The Snap Juice Pack Mini charged my iPhone to 80% (at which point it declared itself “sufficiently charged”) with approximately two-thirds of the pack’s battery capacity to spare, and it did so in less than 60 minutes. The HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack performed similarly. Stick to the wires if you want to transfer the most juice in the least amount of time.

A Reason To Avoid Magnetic Charging?

MagSafe isn’t a must-have if you are looking for a portable battery pack for one of the iPhone 12 models. After carrying the MagSafe Battery Pack and the alternatives for a couple of weeks, I’ve become less bullish on mobile magnetic charging.

The problem is that the battery is too easily dislodged. That was the case, for instance, when I ran errands on my touring bicycle and tucked the iPhone-and-battery pack combo in my pannier bag. Sometimes, as the gear jostled about, the battery shifted, preventing the iPhone from charging. Even in the back of my jersey, the iPhone and battery sometimes disengaged as I pedaled.

So you should think about how you would use this technology and whether any such scenarios are too rough and tumble for a magnetic connection.

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I wonder why Apple didn’t make a MagSafe battery pack built into an iPhone case, similar to the battery cases it sold for other iPhone models. I still have one on my iPhone 7.

With my iPhone 12 Pro, I have returned to charging cables (with great care to avoid another potentially perilous cord tangle). I am again using an old favorite, Belkin’s Valet Charger Power Pack 6700 mAh for Apple Watch iPhone. It lacks modern features like Qi, USB-C, and MagSafe, but it has enough capacity to keep my iPhone juiced via a micro-USB cord on long rides—and it can also top up my Apple Watch multiple times. It is small and light enough not to burden me, though it is a bit bigger and heavier than the magnetic battery packs.

Not An Easy Decision

I thought my comparison testing would help me zero in on the obvious purchase—but it’s not that simple. Here’s my take based on various criteria:

  • Price: Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack, at 99, is a tough sell if you are on a tight budget. The HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack, at 39.99, is at the other end of the price scale, and it’s a bargain since there are no major compromises at that low cost.
  • iOS integration: The MagSafe Battery Pack is the clear winner with Batteries widget support and more.
  • Style: This is obviously a matter of taste. The MagSafe Battery Pack looks the most Apple-like, for those who care about that sort of thing. But I am fond of Mophie’s fabric-like styling that makes the other hard-touch battery packs look bland.
  • Durability: None of the battery packs seem fragile, though I didn’t do drop tests. But scuffs and scratches are a concern, and the white MagSafe Battery Pack will likely look the worse for wear over time. (Ditto for Belkin’s Boost Charge Magnetic Wireless Power Bank 2.5K if you get it in white.) The Snap Juice Pack Mini should hold up the best since its textured surfaces will invisibly absorb punishment (as I have seen with other Mophie products).
  • Charging performance: If you want the battery pack that will get closest to 100% when charging an iPhone 12 Pro, go for the Snap Juice Pack Mini. But the HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack provides the best fast-charge performance at 50% in about 1 hour and 75% in about 2 hours.
  • Charging versatility. It’s nice to have more than one way to charge. Both the Snap Juice Pack Mini and the HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack charge devices via their USB-C ports as well as via magnetic connections and do so far more quickly when using a cable. You can even charge two devices at the same time, one with a cord and one magnetically.

In the end, there’s no one obvious choice for all users. It’s easiest to cross Belkin’s Boost Charge Magnetic Wireless Power Bank 2.5K off the list since it has the least amount of juice and lacks USB-C versatility. As for the remaining products:

  • Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack will appeal to those who want iOS integration and an Apple design aesthetic, and don’t mind paying at least twice as much. Also, its charging speed isn’t too shabby.
  • The HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack provides the best bang for your buck, but looks the most conspicuous and awkward on an iPhone.
  • Mophie’s Snap Juice Pack Mini is a bit pricier but avails itself respectably in terms of power and versatility. It has that cool, durable fabric-like exterior, and I like how thin it feels. It’s my favorite of the three.
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