Apple MagSafe Battery Pack Review: Great, but controversial. Apple power bank case

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack: What You Need to Know? Should You Buy It?

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.

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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.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack Alternative

The PITAKA MagEZ Battery Pack is slightly smaller than Apple MagSafe Battery Pack but with more battery capacity, up to 4,000mAh. Crafted from durable aramid fiber with an ergonomic design, the power bank is unique and comfortable to hold.

If you are that kind of person who often forget to charge your power bank, then you can use the MagEZ Slider 2. The versatile 3-in-1 wireless charger comes with a MagEZ Battery Pack. When you don’t use the power bank, slide it into the specific base to charge and store it. So when you need it, the power bank is fully charged for your adventure.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack for iPhone 12 is mired in controversy over its capacity and price. After using it for a while, it has become one of our go-to accessories.

Unintended as a way to extend your battery for days, Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is the ideal solution when you need those crucial extra few hours or have to get through that long weekend. Assuming you have your expectations in line with Apple‘s design, the MagSafe Battery Pack is the best you can do.

Design and build

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is a compact device. It will just slightly double the thickness of your iPhone which is notably thinner than most third-party options we’ve seen to date.

The outside is a soft-touch plastic shell and thus far has held up well to fingerprints, dirt, and dust. Much better than Apple’s silicone cases do. Apple has, as it tends to do, kept things minimal. There are no buttons or controls whatsoever.

The only penetrations into the plastic are a pinhole LED that lets you know the battery status while plugged in and that Lightning port for charging.

The charging side of the battery has a light grey rubberized pad to prevent slippage, recessed in the distinctive MagSafe shape. We’ve seen deformation of leather cases when connected with MagSafe — and Apple tells users to expect it.

This back panel appears to be a stock Apple component or strictly regulated in the program Apple controls true Magsafe peripherals with. When compared to the only authorized third-party MagSafe mount from Belkin, there are no differences.

Combined, all of this delivers a click when you connect the battery to an iPhone. We assumed the click was either a design feature or issue when we reviewed the Belkin vent mount but now see that the cause must lie with Apple.

The best we can describe it is that as you bring the magnets towards one another, the attraction causes an internal magnet to shift, hitting against the plastic surface and click. It doesn’t rattle, and you only hear it when putting the battery on, but with the folks we’ve spoken to about it, it can be off-putting.

We love Apple’s minimalist nature here. You shouldn’t be required to think about a battery pack and certainly shouldn’t need to turn it on or off.

The magic of MagSafe means if you don’t need it, you can remove it. It charges when it needs to and is one less thing for you to worry about.

Integration with iOS

To diffuse any responsibility on your part in managing your battery, Apple has put in place tight integration with iOS. To fully support the battery, users need to have iOS 14.7 or later. Currently, beta users of iOS 15 don’t have full support, but we’re expecting it soon.

When you connect the battery to your phone, a slick graphic appears on-screen that animates in. The center shows your iPhone’s battery percentage both in numerical fashion as well as graphically. Below that, and much smaller, is an animation displaying the battery pack’s battery.

If your iPhone is in low power mode, the circle will highlight in yellow rather than green.

At any time, you can also glance the battery’s remaining capacity with Apple’s battery widget on your Home Screen. The battery widget can also be Smart Stack so that it intelligently shows when your battery pack is connected.

A battery is not eternal. Given the volume and capacity that it has, an iPhone battery’s overall life is generally measured in years. User behavior can cut this down, and Apple has taken steps to help with this, and minimize the accumulation of minor damages over time.

When the battery is connected to an iPhone, it will charge your iPhone up to 90 percent before stopping, using Apple’s Smart battery charging algorithm. The final stretch from 90% to 100% takes a disproportionate toll on overall battery longevity versus the rest of the charge, so Apple keeps you topped off at 90% rather than letting your battery take the hit.

You can go past this 90% if you’d like by going into Control Center and manually allowing it.

In a further extension of battery maintenance, if the iPhone internal temperature is high, the battery will cut off charting when the phone hits 80%. High temperatures are also harmful to lithium batteries, so battery charging is halted a bit earlier to prevent any further damage.

Capacity and speed

Apple isn’t exactly transparent about what it expects any user to see in real life when using the MagSafe Battery.

On the rear of the battery pack, we can see the posted capacity is 1640 mAh, with third-party models boasting 5,000 mAh. But as we discussed in depth, this isn’t a fair comparison — and this battery has much more capacity than it appears just based on a milliamp-hour rating, which doesn’t tell the whole story.

We charged up our iPhone 12 Pro Max from a dead battery and a fully charged MagSafe Battery Pack. It took almost two hours on the dot for the battery pack to drain and charged our iPhone up to 53 percent.

Apple’s MagSafe Battery pack isn’t designed for multiple iPhone charges on one fully-powered battery pack. Like its predecessor, it’s designed for scenarios like those rare 18-hour workdays, when everything around you is on fire, and you need to eke out a few more hours from your iPhone when away from a wall socket.

Those third-party batteries that loudly tout those larger 5,000mAh capacities don’t get you nearly as far as you’d expect either. With a Qi efficiency rating of only about 50% versus MagSafe’s close to 80%, those will get you almost the same amount of usable power as Apple’s battery pack.

The battery can sit on the back of our phone as much as it needs to. We aren’t looking for speed. We prefer the battery to stay healthy combined with getting much actual runtime per day as possible.

Apple says the battery will provide 5W of power while on your phone, and that can boost up to 15W of power while connected via Lightning. Apple hasn’t said how fast the battery pack itself can charge, but this can be tested.

Charging the MagSafe Battery by itself averaged 17W and it averaged 20W when the iPhone was also connected

Using a power gauge, we measured an average of 17W of input power using a USB-C Lightning cable. When we connected our iPhone to the battery, which is then in turn connected to power by Lightning, we saw this jump up to over 20W of power.

Connecting with Lightning allows the MagSafe Battery to charge at roughly 5W. At the same time, your iPhone will charge with 15W of power simultaneously.

It is also important to note one of the best features of Apple’s battery. It is the first — and only — device to support reverse wireless charging from an iPhone 12. When you have your iPhone connected via Lightning, it can charge an attached battery pack.

This is immensely helpful if you need to connect your iPhone to another device, the best example being CarPlay. You can hop in your car, connect your iPhone to your car’s interface, and charge both your phone and battery at the same time. No other battery pack can do this.

As MagSafe is fully backward compatible with Qi, this is technically able to charge any other Qi-enabled device.

Bafflingly, though, you can’t take a MagSafe charger and use it to charge the battery pack.

As an example, we could place our Airpods Pro on the circle, and they instantly began to charge. You could charge any older iPhones or Android devices too.

Controversy can’t be avoided

Apple product releases always have some level of controversy, but it seems unusually loud this time around. Some of the issues we agree with, and some we don’t.

Opinion-laden commenters have had issues with the unit’s dimensions, the weight, the input method, the lack of buttons, the 5W charging speeds, the capacity, and the lack of color options.

No one product is perfect for every consumer. While we’re sure folks complaining about the dimensions have their own reasons, applying a very personal conclusion like whether or not the phone and battery will fit in your pants and using the widest of brushes to spread that opinion across the board doesn’t suit anybody.

Apple only offers the battery in white, and it is a different shade of white compared to Apple’s white silicone case. This seems like an odd choice, but it may come down to the chemistry of the different materials.

Of all the criticisms, we agree with the input method most. Lightning is fine, but with the launch of the iPhone 12, we’ve moved many charging solutions to MagSafe.

The times you’d need this battery most, such as while traveling, are the exact times we’re trying to pack minimally and stick with just MagSafe. Now a second cable — albeit a small one — will always be needed to be brought if the battery pack is to remain charged.

In an ideal world, the MagSafe Battery Pack would itself be charged via Magsafe. MagSafe in, MagSafe out.

A relatively minor issue is that you can only mount one MagSafe device at a time on an iPhone. If you’ve got the MagSafe wallet, for instance, you’ll be swapping it in and out for that long night on the town. Fortunately, the wallet and battery are slim enough to fit into most s.

Should you buy Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack?

This battery pack is certainly not for everyone and is a niche product. Some people can get a couple of days out of their iPhone’s battery, so the need for an external one is moot.

There are also many more affordable options on the market, though as we already expressed, we don’t think that trade-off is worth it.

If you find yourself on occasion needing to squeeze a few more hours out of your iPhone before you get home, and Low Power Mode isn’t quite doing it, Apple’s MagSafe battery is going to be as good as it gets. It is compact, solid, effortless to use, integrates well into iOS, and has features built-in for both the MagSafe battery and your phone’s battery long-term health.

The price isn’t inconsequential. The MagSafe Battery is priced like most of Apple’s products. Whether or not that price is worth it depends very much on how you value deep Apple integrations.

  • Compact form factor
  • Wonderful iOS integration
  • Thoughtful battery health features
  • Fast power input
  • Up to 15W of power while plugged in
  • Magnetic force is strong
  • Uses same Lightning cable as iPhone
  • Provides good amount of charge to latest iPhones
  • Supports reverse wireless charging
  • No color options
  • No MagSafe or Qi input
  • Typical Apple price tag
  • Sometimes off-putting click when connecting

MagSafe Battery Pack deals

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack retails for 99, but AppleInsider readers can exclusively get a free 10 Adorama gift card with promo code APINSIDER. For activation instructions, check out the MagSafe deal here.

This Price has a coupon applied

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Based in Columbus, Ohio, Andrew O’Hara has spent the last eight years embedded in all aspects of the digital space from leading digital marketing teams to front-end web development and design. He started producing vid.


As usual. with charging devices and cabling, Anker offers a superior product and much better value than Apple.


People not wanting something isn’t a controversy.


As usual. with charging devices and cabling, Anker offers a superior product and much better value than Apple.

Define value, please. From what I’ve read Anker is like the others. less efficient and unable to charge rapidly when plugged in. Two things this battery is better at. Also, reserve charging via one cable plugged into the iPhone. These all offer value.


There’s no denying the fact that this thing is chubby (fat, husky, big boned, obese, or whatever word you prefer). It may very well be less chubby than other brand equivalent products, but it is still a little heifer. The fact is that Apple obviously goes to great lengths not to present any pictures of this thing mounted on an iPhone in full profile on their web site, where its considerable girth compared to the host iPhone would be very apparent (as in. it’s thicker than the damn phone), is very telling. All of the semi profile pictures are showing it unmounted.

Yes, prospective customers can dig around on the web to obtain the stats or see more pictures, but I still believe that sellers of this category of add-on products are being deceptive if they don’t show the thing mounted on the phone in full profile, where the add-on device’s thickness relative to the phone is most glaring and obvious. Apple itself is trying to disguise its chubbiness. Why?

None of this disqualifies the product in any way as long as it does the job that it is intended to do. But in fairness to prospective customers, and to promote full disclosure prior to sale, Apple should show at least ONE full profile picture of the portly little beast mounted on an iPhone so buyers purchasing the product sight-unseen will be less shocked when they unpack it at home.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack Review: Our Top Pick, Despite the Price

Yes, it’s a touch expensive. But it’s also the by far the best MagSafe portable battery for your new iPhone.

If you own a late-model iPhone and burn through your battery on a daily basis, well, you’re lucky to be living in 2022. These days, there are quite a few portable batteries that work with MagSafe, many of which are made by renown third-party accessories makers like Mophie, Belkin, Anker and OtterBox.

However, in my experience, they all fall short in comparison to the MagSafe external battery that Apple makes.

So if you an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 and you’re looking for a portable power bank, get the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack. It’s the best way to charge your iPhone on-the-go, while still being able to use your iPhone. Here’s why.

It’s smarter than any other MagSafe portable charger.

The biggest advantage of the MagSafe Battery Pack is its tight integration with iOS — which means it works in ways with your iPhone that other portable batteries simply cannot. It’s the only portable battery that spurs the reveal of a big MagSafe icon on your iPhone’s display when connected. It’s only the portable battery that you can check its exact power level from the Control Center, just like you can from a connected Apple Watch or Airpods. And it’s Smart enough to stop charging your iPhone when it reaches 90 percent to preserve its battery life. (However, you can choose to let it top off your iPhone by adjusting the settings.)

You can check how much battery the MagSafe Battery Pack has any time it’s attached to your iPhone. Just open the Control Center.

It’s easy to use this MagSafe battery pack.

If you use any other portable battery pack with your iPhone, whether it supports MagSafe or not, you’ll realize that each requires you to press a button on the charger to start charging your iPhone; simply connecting to your phone isn’t enough. It’s annoying, because it’s another extra step that you can forget.

With the MagSafe Battery Pack, however, there’s no button to initiate charging. Once connected, it starts charging your iPhone automatically. It’s beautiful.

Right when you attach the MagSafe Battery Pack to your iPhone 12 or 13, it shows this graphic that tells you how much charge is both the iPhone and the battery have left.

Apple’s MagSafe pack supports fast-charging. but there’s a catch.

The big advantage to MagSafe charging in general is that it can wirelessly charge a compatible iPhone at 15 watts, rather than the 7.5-watt max of other Qi wireless chargers. And the MagSafe Battery Pack can also do this. but only when used as a wired MagSafe charger with a 20-watt wall adapter. Effectively, it can be turned into a regular MagSafe charger — which is cool.

Also, the MagSafe Battery Pack is capable of wireless charging your iPhone faster when not connected to power. In April 2022, Apple silently rolled out a firmware update that allows the MagSafe Battery Pack to fast charge your iPhone at 7.5-watts, which is up from the standard 5-watts that all other options are capable of. This means it can top off your iPhone pretty quick.

(Note: To get these faster wireless charging speeds, your MagSafe Battery Pack needs to be running the latest 2.7.b.0 firmware. To check this, connect the MagSafe Battery Pack to your iPhone open the Settings app select General select About and then select MagSafe Battery Pack. If it’s not running the latest firmware update, it will update on its own.)

This portable battery supports pass-through charging.

You’d think that most portable batteries that support MagSafe would also support pass-through charging — meaning you could charge both devices while connected to each other — but that isn’t the case. The MagSafe Battery Pack is one of the few options that, when connected to any iPhone and a Lightning cable, it’ll charge your iPhone first, then refill the MagSafe Battery Pack. No need to disconnect the two devices.

There are other MagSafe-compatible portable chargers, like this one from OtterBox, which are higher-capacity and more affordable, but they lack the same Smart features as the MagSafe Battery Pack.

Apple’s MagSafe battery pack is the best. but it’s not perfect.

I’ve had the opportunity to test a lot of different portable batteries that support MagSafe, and Apple’s own is definitely my favorite. However, it’s far from ideal — just ask the YouTube videos condemning it. At 1,460mAh, it’s one of the lowest capacity chargers out there. It costs 99 (or 88 on Amazon), making it one of the most expensive options. And it’s only available in white, so you’re going to have to buy a skin if you want it to match your iPhone case.

Maybe the biggest annoyance for me is that it can’t wireless charge itself when not connected to an iPhone; if you put it on another MagSafe wireless charger, like the MagSafe Duo, it won’t charge. It’s stupid and frustrating, especially from the company that pioneered the philosophy of it just works; that said, many other options also can’t wireless charge themselves, so it’s nowhere near a deal breaker.

The bottom line is that MagSafe Battery Pack is very similar to Apple’s Airpods — it works with your iPhone in ways other options simply cannot. And ultimately, that’s why you should pick it. Even it’s a touch more expensive.

Apple Smart Battery Case review: An extra day of juice and a handy camera button

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers. If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Apple’s Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 11 Pro adds an extra day of battery life and comes equipped with a handy camera button that we didn’t know we needed.

  • Adds an extra day of battery life
  • Supports wireless charging
  • Comes with a camera button
  • Heavy and bulky for small hands
  • Still no on/off switch to control charging
  • Silicone material is a dust magnet

Mashable Choice is a badge of honor, reserved for the absolute best stuff you can see, use, or do. If it’s Choice, it’s worth your time.

Even with my brand spankin’ new iPhone 11 Pro, which has the longest battery life of any iPhone (aside from the 11 Pro Max), I keep a charger with me at all times to help ease my low-battery anxiety. So, you can say I was very excited to slap on Apple’s new Smart Battery Case.

The new cases for the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max don’t look any different than their predecessors. The “hump” doesn’t make it the most attractive case and, at 129, it’s not cheap either. But it does come with a dedicated button that allows you to launch the camera app with a quick press.

While there’s a case available for each iPhone in the latest lineup, I only reviewed the one for my iPhone 11 Pro. As a heavy iPhone user, it doubled the battery life on my phone, giving me an extra day before I had to plug it back in.

Even though it’s pricey, there aren’t many trustworthy alternatives out there other than the 79.95 Mophie Juice Pack Access (opens in a new tab). We haven’t had the chance to review it yet, but given the company’s positive reputation, it might be a better option if you’re looking for something cheaper.

Otherwise, Apple’s Smart Battery Case is a purchase you won’t regret.

A tried and true design with one clever tweak

I imagine every year, the team at Apple literally sits down to redesign its Smart Battery Case but comes to the same conclusion: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

As with the Smart Battery Cases that came before it, the new ones have a silicone back that feels super smooth and a soft microfiber lining (with a status indicator light toward the bottom) on the inside to keep from scratching the phone. It’s easy to slip your phone in and out, although, it might be frustrating at first. Simply bend the top half back and slide your phone into the Lightning connector. It gets easier the more you break the case in.

It’s also compatible with Qi-certified chargers. So, you can throw it onto a wireless charging pad to power it up. But I used the 18-watt charger that comes with the iPhone 11 Pro, which charges the phone first and then the case.

You can also see the status of the battery case in the battery widget on your display, which I like better than the standard LED light indicators on other battery cases. It gives the Smart Battery Case a cleaner, more seamless look.

Apple sells the case in black, white, and Pink Sand. I was relieved to get a black review unit for my iPhone 11 Pro, because I thought it would hide dirt and fingerprints but. I was wrong. The silicone is a dust magnet regardless of the color. I’d find myself wiping it with a damp cloth almost everyday in order to get rid of the thin layer of prints, debris, and, sometimes, even my makeup.

The left side has buttons dedicated to the volume rocker and an opening carved out for the ring switch. Credit: ZLATA IVELEVA/MASHABLE

On the bottom of the case is the Lightning port and speaker grilles. On the left is the side button and the top right is home to the volume rocker and an opening for the ring/silent switch.

But the best part of the case comes in the form of a tiny little camera button located on the bottom right. Rather than swiping to the display or unlocking your phone to access the camera, all you have to do is hold the button to launch it and snap photos. A long press on the button allows you to record video.

Even with tiny hands like mine, it’s super comfortable to take photos one-handed in landscape and portrait mode.

At first, juggling the weight of the iPhone 11 Pro with the bulky case, I honestly didn’t think I’d get used to it. But when taking group selfies in landscape mode with friends, my index finger naturally sat on top of the button anyway. So, all I had to do was press down to get a good shot.

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Before, I had the habit of holding the phone with two hands when taking photos in portrait mode. Using the case, I did have to slide the phone up a little in my hand for my thumb to reach the button and to get a comfortable grip. But after a while, it felt natural.

An extra day

Apple says the iPhone 11 Pro lasts four hours longer than the iPhone XR, with up to 24 hours of talk time. But I’d say the battery lasts me a solid 10 hours before I have to plug it into a charger.

Yes, I know. That’s some heavy phone usage. Just keep reading.

Apple says the Smart Battery case is supposed to add up to 50 percent more battery life across all three iPhones.

My phone lasted me about 28 hours the first day I tried it with the case. But that’s with low-power mode turned on.

The second day I used it, I charged both the phone and the case at about 3 p.m. and still had over 20 percent battery left by about 5 p.m. the next day. That’s about three hours less than the first time around, but still over double the amount of time the phone lasts me without the case on.

Like I said before, it’s very important to note that I use my phone, a lot—in addition to the standard texts, calls, emails, and social media. I use it to play podcasts in the morning, to stream music at the office during the day, and to catch up on TV shows on my commute home. I also use it play white noise through the night in order to help me fall asleep and stay asleep.

Yes, I use my phone a lot. But this baby gave me an extra day of power. Credit: ZLATA IVELEVA/MASHABLE

Even with all that activity, the Smart Battery Case managed to more than double the battery life on my phone. Those who use their iPhone 11 Pro less than I do will probably be able to go even longer.

As mentioned in last year’s review of the Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, there’s no on/off switch to control the charging, which is a feature I’m used to with Mophie’s charging cases. It bothers me that even when my phone is fully charged, the Smart Battery Case is pumping out power that could be saved for when my phone is actually dying.

The best option out there, so far

As mentioned before, your options are limited. While I have yet to review the Mophie Juice Pack Access, it is slimmer than Apple’s Smart Battery Case, and 50 cheaper. It also comes with that on/off switch I very much love.

Of course, there’s also the option to search the internet for a less popular brand. But seeing as how we’re talking about an iPhone here, you might be best sticking to an Apple branded product.

Hands-on: How Apple’s new iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack compares to Anker’s for on-the-go charging

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article where I called MagSafe the defining feature of the iPhone 12 line. Little did I know that Apple was about to release its own official MagSafe battery pack. So, of course, I bought it immediately because I wanted to see how it compared in day-to-day use with the Anker Magnetic Battery Pack. Let’s dive into my comparison of the Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Anker Magnetic Battery Pack.

Table of contents

As I’ve mentioned in my iPhone 12 mini diary, the battery in my iPhone doesn’t last nearly as long as it did when I was on the “Max” lineup, but that’s the trade-off you make to have an iPhone you can fit in your

While I haven’t traveled as much as I usually would since the iPhone 12 mini was released, I’ve done enough to feel how it functions when not at my desk. The truth is that if you travel with the iPhone 12 mini, you’ll need external batteries to make it through the day with normal to heavy usage. So it’s not a matter of if you’ll need an external battery, but which one.

One of the benefits of MagSafe is that you won’t need to use a cable to charge your iPhone. If you want the absolute biggest external battery you can find, you’ll want to go with an actual external battery that you’ll plug your iPhone into. I own a handful of models similar to these, and for extended trips, I always keep one in my bag.

For shorter trips, I am going to rely on MagSafe batteries from now on. Now that I have three options, which one will be my go-to model for trips and days when I’ll be away from home most of the day?

Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Anker Magnetic Battery Pack

Before we look at the key features, one thing to keep in mind is that only Apple’s battery is MagSafe certified. The other options are MagSafe compatible, though. In practice, I’ve never had an issue with charging from the non-Apple ones.


One of the biggest considerations when choosing a MagSafe battery pack is the price. Both the Anker and the Charge Fast models are less than 50. Apple’s MagSafe battery is 99, so right away, that’s a reason to look elsewhere.

iOS integration

The second thing to consider is integration with the iPhone. On the Apple MagSafe battery, there is a widget showing the current charge of the battery. For obvious reasons, none of the third-party options can deliver that. Is that feature worth spending an extra 50 on? It’s hard to justify, in my opinion.


Capacity is where the problems crop up for Apple’s MagSafe battery. Apple’s MagSafe battery is 11.13Wh, where the Anker model is 18.5Wh. So for double the price, you’re getting a much lower capacity battery.


Both battery packs are compatible with each other in physical size. Both will fit the iPhone 12 mini as well as the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The underside of Apple’s battery case is slight softer than Anker’s, but if you’re using a case, you won’t likely notice a difference.

Wrap up on Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Anker Magnetic Battery Pack

After spending some time with Apple’s MagSafe battery pack, I can firmly say that it’s not the best value. It might be the best one if you want the whole Apple experience, but it’s double the price of the Anker Magnetic Battery Pack.

While this might seem like a trivial thing, I am over devices that charge by lightning. Because of MagSafe, I want to go to USB-C for everything wired charging. My MacBook Air charges over USB-C, my iPad Air charges over USB-C, my Logitech MX3 charges over USB-C, and my Airpods Pro charges over wireless charging. I almost never use lightning now. The Anker Magnetic Battery Pack charges over USB-C, and that’s a significant benefit of using it.

Pros of Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

  • iOS integration with a battery widget
  • Apple logo on the back, with quality and reputation that go with it

Pros of Anker Magnetic Battery Pack

So what’s the final verdict on the Apple MagSafe Battery vs Anker Magnetic Battery Pack? Unless you want to charge with a lightning cable and like the iPhone battery widget integration, I can’t recommend it over the Anker model. So if you have a budget of 100 to spend, grab two of them. If this product had come out simultaneously with the iPhone 12 without competitors, it might be a different story, but charging power is charging power. Sadly, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is the first Apple product I’ve ever returned. There’s nothing major wrong with it other than it gives about half the charge of third-party brands at double the cost.

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