Apple MagSafe Battery Pack review. Powerbank Apple magsafe

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack review

Compatible with all models of iPhone 12, 13 and 14, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is an intelligent and convenient power pack that magnetically clamps to the iPhone. While underpowered compared to the competition, it will charge a fading iPhone up to around 60%, which should be enough to get you through the day to when you have access to a power outlet.

Best Today: Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

We all know that the battery life of a phone is not limitless and that iPhones do not have a great reputation for lasting as long on one charge as other smartphones.

Unless you stick close to a power outlet, you’ll need a power bank or battery case to top up on the move.

Apple’s recent iPhones boast a technology called MagSafe that offers a tidier solution than carrying around a cabled power bank.

It allows enabled accessories to magnetically latch on to the back of the iPhone for wireless charging or other functions.

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack offers a power boost when your iPhone’s internal battery is running out on you.


The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is a compact (96-x-64-11cm) white brick that weighs 114g.

Clamped to the back of a white iPhone, it creates a hump reminiscent of Apple’s old Smart Battery Case, see above left.

That full Smart Battery Case (sadly unavailable for iPhone 12, 13 or 14 ranges) was derided for its humpback, but we loved it for its Smart features, battery life and all-round protective duties. We have tested a third-party alternative – the Newdery Battery Case for iPhone 13 and 13 Pro – if you desire the protection and can live without the Apple logo, Smart features and official certification.

The MagSafe Battery Pack is similar in looks when magnetically locked to the phone but lacks the robust protection you get with a battery case.

You can, and should, of course, keep your precious phone in a protective case, and then to use this battery pack you’ll need to buy a MagSafe-friendly case.

While it matches well with a white iPhone, the lack of MagSafe Battery Pack colour options means it will literally stick out on any other colour iPhone. In comparison, Anker’s similar MagGo 622 battery pack comes in five mellow colours. Read our Anker MagGo 622 Battery Pack review.

Apple’s pack charges via Lightning cable rather than USB-C (used by Anker and other magnetic power bank makers), but this makes sense as all iPhone users will have a Lightning cable to hand. USB-C is the future, though, and these days fewer wall chargers come with old-standard USB-A ports that work with regular Lightning-to-USB cables. No cable is included with the Pack.

The magnetic clamp is strong, allaying fears that it might slip off the phone and get damaged or lost.

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Battery capacity

The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack has a 1,460mAh battery capacity. An iPhone 12 mini’s internal battery is rated at 2,227mAh, an iPhone 13 at 3,227mAh, and a 13 Pro Max at 4,352mAh.

(We’ve listed the battery capacities of every iPhone for your delectation.)

The Apple Battery Pack therefore looks a bit puny in power capacity – especially in light of the Anker MagGo 622’s 5,000mAh capacity. But milliamp hours don’t tell the whole story.

The Apple pack has a higher voltage potential (7.62V) than the iPhone (3.81V) or the Anker pack, meaning that it can provide more power to an iPhone than its mAh suggests; in fact, it works out as equivalent to 2,920mAh.

It makes more sense to compare each battery’s Watt Hour specification. The difference between Anker’s 19.13Wh and Apple’s 11.13Wh is still great (172% more power from Anker) but less distant than the unadjusted milliamp rating first suggests.

That’s the good news, but there’s a further blow to the battery power… and not just for the Apple pack. The Apple Battery Pack should be able to nearly fully charge an iPhone 13 Pro, but it doesn’t get close because of the inherent inefficiency of wireless charging.

When charging wirelessly, up to a staggering 50% of a battery pack’s charge to the phone can be lost to bad placement and heat loss, plus other environmental factors – compared to a wired charging connection.

As the magnetic fit is so precise and strongly locked, MagSafe wireless charging is much more efficient than standard Qi wireless charging where the device just sits on top of the charger. Anyone who has fiddled their phone into the correct position for wireless charging to commence will know that placement isn’t always easy. With MagSafe, it locks into the exact position.

MagSafe charging remains inefficient (it’s still wireless after all) but maybe loses only 30% of the attached battery charge because the placement is so precise – and that brings the Apple pack closer still to the Anker pack because the higher-capacity battery loses more of its charge at 30% than the smaller one.

For wired MagSafe charging, read our roundup of the best MagSafe chargers. Remember that, while wired, the actual charging is wireless so comes with the same limitations, although, when connected to a 20W or higher wall charger, it can charge an iPhone 12/13 at up to 15W compared to the MagSafe Battery Pack’s 7.5W.

Charging power

When Apple originally released the MagSafe Battery Pack it could charge an iPhone at just 5W, comparing poorly to rival magnetic battery packs that charge at 7.5W.

Thankfully, Apple has fixed this inadequacy with a firmware update (2.7).

If you already own the Battery Pack, to get 7.5W charging on the go you need to update it to the latest firmware. This can be done in two ways: one extremely slow, one super-fast. Guess which one we recommend.

The firmware update can begin automatically after you attach your battery pack to your iPhone but this method can take about a week!

If you’d prefer an update that takes five minutes, plug your Lightning cable into the battery pack and the other end into your Mac or iPad. The firmware update will then speedily bring your pack up to date and raring to go at 7.5W.

Battery pack tests

We tested the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack and its rivals with a simple battery recharge shootout. We let our test-unit iPhone 13 Pro (3,095mAh battery capacity) drain to just 5% and then set the Battery Pack to work recharging the phone.

We then assign it a score of whatever percentage it managed to charge the iPhone to and subtract the 5%; we test each model at least twice. It’s not a real-world test of day-to-day use where you’ll likely be using your phone for various tasks (of varying battery usage). But it does give us a score that we can use to compare different battery-pack models.

The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack scored 60% in our test, showing that it won’t supply a 100% recharge, or anywhere near it.

On the plus side, its extra battery life is slightly greater than with Apple’s old Smart Battery Case.

Apple’s Smart advantages

So far we’ve been disappointed by the Apple MagSafe Pack’s battery life, especially in comparison to its cheaper non-Apple rivals.

But, with its advantage of owning the hardware and software, Apple’s battery pack has Smart features up its sleeve that are missing from the alternatives.

For starters, just as with the Airpods, the MagSafe Battery Pack shows its charge in the Battery widget on the iPhone’s Today view – just swipe right from the home screen to see all your Apple battery charge info in one place.

Third-party devices lack this handy iPhone info link.

Apple’s battery pack can charge the phone simultaneously with the Lightning cable, reaching a maximum 15W charge as long as the wall charger is rated at least 27W.

The iPhone can even reverse charge the MagSafe Battery Pack if its internal battery is full and connected to power.

The MagSafe Battery Pack stops providing a charge if the iPhone reaches 90%. This offers your iPhone’s internal battery protection as batteries survive longer when not charged to the maximum each time.

Another protective feature is that if the iPhone becomes too hot, the MagSafe Battery Pack stops charging over 80%.

The MagSafe Battery Pack automatically charges the iPhone, so there’s no need to turn it on or off. Most third-party MagSafe battery packs require you to push a button to initiate charging.


The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is available in one size and one colour (white). It costs US99 / £99 / CA119 / AU139 / €109.

Alternatives from Anker and Belkin are less expensive and with higher battery capacities, but do lack Apple’s smarter features.

The Apple battery pack is compatible with all models of the iPhone 12, 13 and 14 ranges. Some of the larger third-party battery packs are too large for the mini iPhones.


We’d have loved a full protective Smart Battery Case from Apple, as we got for the iPhone 11 and earlier, but Apple has set its heart on MagSafe and so detachable is the only option, and it has to be in white.

Compatible with all models of iPhone 12, 13 and 14, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is an intelligent and convenient power pack that magnetically clamps to the iPhone.

It’s underpowered compared to cheaper non-Apple alternatives, but it’s smarter and works seamlessly with iOS info widgets.

First impressions: Apple’s MagSafe battery pack isn’t perfect, but you’ll probably still want to get one

When Apple first unveiled the iPhone 12 and MagSafe back in October, it immediately hit me that the perfect use case was for battery packs. Finally, nine months later, an official Apple MagSafe battery pack is here. We’ve got our hands on one and have plenty of thoughts to share.

Design and finish

First and foremost, the battery pack isn’t silicone like Apple’s previous Smart battery cases. It’s a soft-touch plastic that feels unlike any other existing Apple product. In fact, it feels almost like the inside of the original 2006 white MacBook. The white soft-touch plastic is also an entirely different shade of white than Apple’s white silicone case. It’s much lighter and much more explicitly white. So if you were planning on using the MagSafe battery pack with a white MagSafe case, just know that they don’t quite match. It won’t look as seamless as the old white Smart battery cases.

The battery pack itself is thicker than the iPhone 12 inside of a MagSafe silicone case. It’s pretty chunky. It’s also fairly heavy and certainly adds a bunch of weight to your light iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini. It certainly will make the stainless steel pro models feel even heavier than they already do. But keep in mind that this battery pack is easily removable — that’s the main benefit of MagSafe. Unlike the old battery cases, you can keep a case on and remove the battery when you don’t want the extra weight.

On the other side of the battery pack, there’s a smooth silicone gray pad that prevents the back of your iPhone from getting scratched up. On the bottom of the battery pack, there’s a lightning connector that lets you charge the battery on its own or charge both your iPhone and the battery pack together. There’s also a small LED next to the connector like the one on the Airpods charging case that indicates the power status.

The MagSafe battery pack fits nicely on the back of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max sizes, but it can feel a bit awkward because of how thick it is. On the iPhone 12 mini, though, it feels more natural. This is because the MagSafe battery pack is just as wide as the iPhone 12 mini, so it feels flush with the case. One concern I have is that you can see the thin white edges sticking out from the front of the iPhone 12 mini. This is because the magnets let the pack shift around a bit.


The MagSafe battery pack snaps right onto the back of your iPhone 12 like the MagSafe wallet, although the magnets are significantly stronger. While charging both the battery pack and the iPhone together, you can feel the battery get warm. This shouldn’t be surprising given that the battery is using Qi charging coils.

When the battery is connected to an iPhone, you can connect a lightning charger directly to the battery, or you can plug it into the iPhone. As we’ve written about, when you plug your lightning connector into your iPhone, you can use it to wirelessly charge the battery pack in reverse.

Since the MagSafe battery pack is basically just a Qi charger with magnets, it can charge any other Qi-compatible device. For example, you can plop your Airpods or Airpods Pro on the MagSafe battery pack if you remove it from your iPhone. Technically you could also charge Android phones, older Qi-compatible iPhones, and other wireless earbuds with Qi charging cases. This is a really great bonus that comes with the battery being easily removable.


The MagSafe battery pack integrates with iOS 14.7, so you’ll see its charge in the battery widget and on the Lock Screen. Unfortunately, iOS 15 beta 3 doesn’t include the necessary components to correctly show the battery pack’s status. Although you can see the charge with a different icon. Hopefully, we’ll get beta 4 soon. In the meantime, you can see what the MagSafe battery pack looks like in the battery widget below from an image on Apple’s website.

When charging your Airpods on the MagSafe battery pack, you’ll see their charge status in the battery widget as well. This is expected behavior, of course, since they already do that when on another Qi charger.

The MagSafe battery pack is far from perfect. It’s thick, and it’s heavy, but it provides necessary utility. This is an Apple product that absolutely tackles function first and form second. There are surely plenty of reasons behind Apple’s decisions with this accessory, particularly due to limitations and safety concerns that come with Qi technology. The battery itself weighs about a quarter of a pound, so it’s not particularly light. It’s 2.5″ x 3.75″ and just under half an inch thick.

Lots of folks were wondering if the MagSafe battery pack would work when you have a case on your iPhone. The answer is yes! At the moment, we’ve only been able to test the MagSafe battery pack with Apple’s first-party cases or approved third-party MagSafe cases. It likely won’t work well with cases that aren’t Apple-approved.

If you charge your iPhone using an iPad Air or iPad Pro, keep in mind that you cannot charge it when the MagSafe battery pack is connected. You can charge them separately, but not together.

If you were a fan of Apple’s most recent Smart battery cases and frequently used the built-in shutter button, you’ll be sad to know there isn’t one on the MagSafe battery pack. Instead, you’ll just have to use the volume buttons.

In terms of battery capacity, we expect that the MagSafe pack can recharge an iPhone 12 mini entirely while it can likely recharge the other three models enough to save you in a pinch. We’ll be back in a few days to let you know how the battery performs, but it’s too early to tell.


The MagSafe battery pack is available for pick up at Apple retail stores starting today for 99. You can also order one online and have it shipped to your home. The battery pack is available in one color, white. So you can’t pick one up to match your red or black MagSafe cases.

Are you picking up a MagSafe battery pack for your iPhone 12? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below!

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How To Update Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

From time to time, Apple has a tendency to actually surprise its users. Whether it’s with an unexpected software update or a product release. The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack falls under both categories, as the portable charger was released midway through the iPhone 12’s release cycle. But now, Apple has released a new firmware update for its MagSafe Battery Pack.

Related Reading

At launch, the MagSafe Battery Pack was limited to reaching up to 5W charging speeds. Admittedly, this is more of a trickle-charge when it comes to the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. But with a new firmware version rolling out, Apple has increased the charging speeds up to 7.5W. It may not seem like much, but it will definitely be noticeable when you need to quickly juice up your iPhone.

How To Update Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

Surprisingly, Apple makes it easier to update Apple MagSafe Battery Pack compared to Airpods. There are actually two different methods that you can take in order to get your MagSafe Battery Pack running the latest firmware.

The first method is a bit annoying, as Apple claims it “can take about one week”. With this method, you’ll simply need to attach the Battery Pack to the back of your iPhone. From there, the update will automatically begin, but again, it will take quite a while before you’ll be able to enjoy the faster 7.5W charging speeds.

Luckily, there’s another and much faster update method for those who don’t want to wait for a week. Instead of just attaching your Magsafe Battery Pack to the back of your compatible iPhone, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Plug one end of a Lightning to USB cable into your MagSafe Battery Pack.
  • Plug the other end of the cable into your iPad or Mac.
  • Wait up to 10 minutes before removing the cable from the MagSafe Battery Pack.

From there, you should find that your iPhone is now charging a bit faster than what was previously available. If you want to make sure that the update was actually applied, follow these steps:

  • Attach the MagSafe Battery Pack to the back of your compatible iPhone.
  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Tap General.
  • Select About.
  • Tap MagSafe Battery Pack.

When the update has been properly applied, Apple states that it will feature Firmware Version 2.7. If not, you can try the steps above again in order to try and get the firmware update to properly install. Make sure that your Battery Pack has at least some charge, as it may not be able to install the update if the battery is completely depleted.

MagSafe Battery Alternatives

Anker 622 MagGo

The MagGo 622 features a 5,000mAh battery, which is more than Apple’s own charger. This isn’t enough juice to get the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max all the way up to 100%, but it will take up to around 75% before needing to recharge the battery bank.

Keeping track of the remaining battery is a breeze thanks to the five LEDs on the bottom of the 622. Anker also integrated a “power” button, that makes it easy to see how much juice is left in the power bank.

ESR HaloLock Wireless Power Bank

When it comes to ESR, the company’s HaloLock is the perfect place to start if you want an entire lineup of MagSafe-compatible acccessories. As expected, the HaloLock Wireless Power Bank provides a massive 10,000mAh capacity that magnetically attaches to the back of your iPhone. But even if you don’t want to use MagSafe, you can just use it as a regular portable charger with a USB-C to Lightning cable.

MyCharge Mag-Lock

The MyCharge Mag-Lock comes in five different colors, while also being available in three different capacities. The colors available match the same color options that Apple released across the iPhone 13 lineup, allowing you to mix and match, or just match, based on your preferences.

Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.

He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including i, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.

Why Would Anyone Buy Apple’s Expensive MagSafe Battery Pack?

Charlie Sorrel has been writing about technology, and its effects on society and the planet, for 13 years.

Rich Scherr is a seasoned technology and financial journalist who spent nearly two decades as the editor of Potomac and Bay Area Tech Wire.

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Key Takeaways

  • Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack sticks to the back of the iPhone 12 and charges it.
  • The iPhone can reverse-charge the battery pack.
  • Deep integration makes this pack more convenient, and more battery-friendly, than the competition.

Apple’s new MagSafe battery pack offers a fraction of the capacity of alternatives, while costing at least twice as much. So, why would anyone pay 99 for it?

The new battery pack may be light on capacity, but it’s long on features third-party makers can’t add, thanks to Apple’s exclusive access to the depths of the iPhone’s brain and guts. Add to that the fact that this is a supremely convenient charger, and that MagSafe makes it more future-proof than Apple’s previous efforts, and you may have a winner.

I guess the big advantage this battery pack has is that it’s a genuine MagSafe charger, traveling businessman and Filter King-founder Rick Hoskins told Lifewire via email. From what I can tell, the other battery packs on the market use Qi charging coils. They’re significantly less efficient. The MagSafe battery pack can charge a phone roughly twice as fast. That means less time with your phone attached to a heavy battery pack.

MagSafe and Reverse Charging

MagSafe is the name Apple has given to the stick-on magnetic induction chargers and accessories it makes for the iPhone. It’s a kind of souped-up version of the Qi chargers that work with most phones. Some makers sell Qi-enabled battery packs, as Hoskins mentions. Others, like top-tier third-party accessory house Anker, make MagSafe-compatible chargers, but as they’re not certified by Apple, they cannot charge at the full rate. Which brings us to the first advantage of Apple’s new pack.

apple, magsafe, battery, pack, review

When used as a battery pack, it charges at the same 5-watt speed as the competition. This keeps things cool. But you can also plug the unit into a power outlet, where it can then charge the phone at a speedy 15 watts. For this, you need to hook it up to a USB-C power brick that is capable of supplying 20 watts or more.

I guess the big advantage this battery pack has is that it’s a genuine MagSafe charger.

Its line of MagSafe wireless chargers are the only ones that can fast-charge an iPhone 12 at 15 watts, while all other wireless chargers charge an iPhone 12 at a max of 7.5 watts. And it has given some similar powers to its first-party MagSafe Battery Pack, Nigel William, CEO of Cream Charger Warehouse, told Lifewire via email.

The iPhone also can reverse-charge the battery pack. Usually, you’d plug the battery pack into power, and it would charge itself and the iPhone. But if you instead plug the iPhone into power, the same thing happens. The iPhone charges itself, and charges the pack via MagSafe.

This reverse charging is more useful than it sounds.

I drive a lot, says Hoskins. If a battery pack goes dead while I’m on the road, it’s basically useless. But with the Apple battery pack, I can charge my phone using CarPlay, and my phone will charge the battery pack. For someone who’s always on the road, this functionality is invaluable.

It’s possible that this reverse-charge feature could come to other gadgets in the future. Imagine charging your Airpods by laying the case on the back of the iPhone. Or charging your iPhone from an iPad.

Reverse-charge is supposedly very fast and efficient when charging an iPhone, and [it] emits less energy, so there’s less chance of damaging the phone’s battery, Christen Costa, CEO of Gadget Review, told Lifewire via email. As someone who’s lost many batteries to overheating during a charge, I’d say that’s worth it.

Secret Apple Sauce

The battery pack beats the competition in some other ways, too. One is that the iPhone shows the battery level of the pack on its lock screen and in the battery widget. This lets you keep an eye on levels without any effort—the info is in the same places you already look.

Another advantage is the iPhone can optimize its charging patterns to better preserve its own battery. Any rechargeable battery has a finite number of charge/discharge cycles—as you use the battery, its capacity shrinks. Because it controls the whole chain, Apple uses a few tricks to protect your iPhone at the expense of the battery pack. For instance, when in an Apple battery case, the iPhone will deplete the external battery first, instead of discharging and recharging its own battery.

These packs also can use Apple’s optimized-charging feature, which pauses charging before the iPhone’s battery is full, again to prolong its life.

Many folks won’t know about these excellent features, but they’ll enjoy their benefits nonetheless. And for those in the know, this deep integration, and the convenience it brings, are definitely worth paying extra for.

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