Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack: The Complete Guide. Apple battery pack weight

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.

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.

Model Capacity Length Width Height Weight
Anker 521 5.000 mAh 3.66 2.44 0.63 0.29
Anker 621 5.000 mAh 4.12 2.62 0.44 0.31
Anker 622 5.000 mAh 4.13 2.62 0.521 0.31
Anker 633 10.000 mAh 4.21 2.62 0.71 0.48

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:

Model Charging Power
Anker 521 5.000 mAh 5W
Anker 621 5.000 mAh 7.5W
Anker 622 5.000 mAh 7.5W
Anker 633 10.000 mAh 7.5W

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.

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.

The light of the AirPod case will briefly turn on to indicate that the case is now charging.

apple, magsafe, battery, pack, complete, guide

What’s in the box?

The package content of the Anker 521 magnetic battery corresponds to that of many other power banks. It contains:

The Anker magnetic batteries do not come with a power adapter. Personally, I don’t mind. I have an Anker 4 port desk charger with two USB-C ports that I can use to charge the power bank at home. To charge it on the go, I use a small Anker Nano Charger.

The Apple magsafe power bank vs. the Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5k

I added this chapter because Apple also released a MagSafe compliant power bank for the iPhone. When the Apple power bank details became public, people quickly pointed out that Apple’s battery pack only had 30% of the capacity compared to the Anker magnetic power banks.

Yes, the Apple battery pack has a capacity of 1560 mAh. But that’s just half of the story.

To compare the Anker magnetic power banks with the Apple power bank, you have to consider the current that’s used to store the power. If you multiply the mAh with the current and divide it by 1000, you get the watt-hours (Wh). And this is the only metric you should use to compare power banks.

The Anker wireless power bank uses a current of 3.7V, while Apple uses a current of 7.62V. So, this yields 18.5 Wh of the Anker MagSafe battery pack compared to 11.13 Wh of the Apple power bank. These two numbers are even in the fine print on the two power banks.

So the Apple MagSafe battery pack’s capacity is 60% compared to the Anker battery pack.

I don’t have the Apple battery pack, but if I ever get it, I’ll happily compare it to the Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K.

The Verdict

The Anker 521 magnetic battery is what I wanted. A portable and lightweight power bank for everyday use that allows me to charge my iPhone wirelessly on the go. I’d buy it again.

I won’t upgrade the Anker 521 model to one of the newer models because for traveling, I rely on the 26.800 mAh power bank from Anker, and you’ll find a Anker PowereCore 26.800 review in the blog.

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack: The Complete Guide!

Apple yesterday unveiled its MagSafe Battery Pack in a move that took everyone by surprise. It was quite a sneaky announcement, however rare they might be in Apple’s realm these days. That isn’t to say the new MagSafe Battery Pack wasn’t rumored beforehand.

People had been, with ample justification, speculating the launch of an official MagSafe Battery Pack from the Cupertino giant ever since the company launched its flagship iPhone 12 lineup with MagSafe charging capability.

Since then, a number of third-party manufacturers have already launched their own portable wireless chargers that latch on to the back of an iPhone 12 and charge it. While it’s not too late (not any way for Apple), now that Apple has finally dipped its foot into the pond; here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s first Official MagSafe Battery Pack!

  • Price
  • Design
  • Weight and Dimensions
  • Color options
  • How does the MagSafe Battery Pack work?
  • Battery Capacity
  • Charging speed
  • Reverse charging
  • Charging management
  • Charging status
  • What’s in the box?
  • Compatibility
  • Availability, and where to purchase?
  • Alternatives to MagSafe Battery Pack
  • FAQs
  • Does the MagSafe Battery Pack charge other iPhones wirelessly?
  • Is the MagSafe Battery Pack compatible with Find My?
  • Does Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack work with Apple’s MagSafe Cases?
  • Can I use a regular case with the MagSafe Battery Pack?

Price

The MagSafe Battery Pack from Apple costs 99 apiece. It’s considerably expensive as compared to other MagSafe-like portable wireless charging options available. However, it’s also acceptable as Apple’s pricing for its accessories has always been higher than third-party products.

Similar chargers from brands like Belkin or Anker retail for 50 or less, by comparison.

Design

The MagSafe Battery Pack has a compact, candy bar design that conforms to Apple’s affinity with rounded corners.

You may note that the rounded corners don’t appear to be completely round and are rather slightly squared along the edges. This may be due to the fact that the back of the battery pack is flat and achieving perfectly rounded corners, in that case, is next-to-impossible.

On the front, an Apple logo is placed slightly above the center which interestingly relates to the pre-MagSafe iPhone era design. Presently, the iPhone 12 lineup features the Apple logo right in the middle of the glass back which isn’t replicated in the battery pack’s design.

While there’s a chance you might find its placement a bit pointless, if you look closely, the Apple logo on the battery pack seems to overlap the Apple logo on the iPhone, which is impressive attention to detail.

The back of the battery pack is flat. It has indentations accommodating the array of magnets used to attach it to the back of iPhones that support MagSafe. It’s also gray, in contrast with the white front of the pack.

The flat back also features proprietary information printed in an unobtrusive format so as to not tarnish the simple design of the battery pack. It’s worth noting that in some countries, the proprietary information may vary and could even be removed entirely; as is the case with iPhones.

Below, there’s a Lightning port for charging the battery pack. Besides, the battery pack also includes a dedicated status light for indicating the charging status.

The battery pack is sufficiently sized to fit the length of the iPhone 12 models. For instance, it sits edge-to-edge on the iPhone 12 mini below the back camera. On the other hand, it spares some space around the edges when attached to the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

As for the look and feel of the battery pack, its smooth plastic interior provides the illusion of it being soft to touch. Once the effect of the illusion wears out, it’s a simple hard shell.

Weight and Dimensions

The MagSafe Battery Pack has a thickness of 11mm and weighs around 114 to 115 grams.

This is considerably thicker than some alternatives and might affect the way you carry your iPhone around.

Color options

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is only available in a white finish. It’s unclear if Apple plans to release alternate color options in the future as it would make up for a certainly more lucrative product.

apple, magsafe, battery, pack, complete, guide

How does the MagSafe Battery Pack work?

The MagSafe Battery Pack sticks to the back of a MagSafe-compatible iPhone. Currently, the only iPhones that feature MagSafe are the ones in the iPhone 12 lineup.

When you attach the battery pack to the back of your iPhone 12, it snaps onto place aligning with the circular array of magnets in your iPhone to charge it wirelessly.

There are no buttons to press. The battery pack automatically starts charging your iPhone as soon as you attach it to the back of your iPhone, thereby resonating with the simplicity of the MagSafe brand.

You can charge the MagSafe Battery Pack using a USB-C to Lightning connector or using your iPhone via reverse charging. When the pack is charging, dedicated lights indicate the charging status. An amber light means the battery is charging and a brief, green light indicates that the battery is fully charged.

Battery Capacity

The MagSafe Battery Pack has a battery capacity of 1460 mAh. Furthermore, it’s a 7.62V, 11.13Wh battery.

There is no definite number as to how many times Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack can charge different iPhone 12 models ranging from the iPhone 12 mini to the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This is due to multiple factors affecting the charging process including temperature, the battery capacity of the iPhone, how efficient the charging process is, and more.

Given the voltage and wattage, there are two cells arranged in series in the battery pack which essentially doubles the battery capacity that is mentioned on the label, bringing it to 2,920 mAh.

This means that you may be able to charge the iPhone 12 mini once completely since it has a 2,227 mAh battery while also factoring in the loss of efficiency of the battery pack due to Qi wireless charging constraints.

On the other hand, the battery pack may only be able to partially charge the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max since these devices have larger batteries.

Charging speed

The charging speed of the MagSafe Battery Pack while using it portably is only 5W. This means that your iPhone will require some time before it either completes charging or drains the battery out of the pack. It’s definitely not as fast as charging using the lightning port on your iPhone.

over, charging speed is also throttled by the iPhone to alleviate temperature issues and to conserve its battery’s health.

If you want a faster charging speed, Apple says you can use a 20W adapter with a USB-C to Lightning cable to charge the battery pack while it’s connected to the iPhone; which will simultaneously charge the iPhone at 15W.

However, when it comes to portability, the charging speed is considerably reduced to a mere 5W.

Reverse charging

We have already established that you can connect your battery pack—stuck on the back of your iPhone—to a 20W power adapter using a USB-C to Lightning cable to simultaneously charge your iPhone.

However, surprisingly, you can also use your iPhone to charge your battery pack. According to Apple:

“You can also charge if you attach your MagSafe Battery Pack to your iPhone, then plug your iPhone into a power source. You might want to charge this way if you need to connect your iPhone to another device while charging, like if you’re using wired CarPlay or transferring photos to a Mac.”

However, it’s worth noting that, while simultaneously charging both devices, the battery pack will only begin charging when the iPhone has reached a battery level above 80%.

Back when Apple launched the iPhone 12, it was discovered that the device featured a reverse charging capability. However, it was never put to practical use, that is, until now. The MagSafe Battery Pack is the first accessory from Apple built to take advantage of the phone’s previously untapped reverse charging capability.

That said, this also opens up discussion for a future possibility of being able to charge your pair of Airpods by simply placing its case onto the back of your iPhone alongside other such applications.

Charging management

Apple says that prior to using the MagSafe Battery Pack for the first time, you will need to fully charge it once using a 20W or a higher power adapter.

Apart from that, Apple has devised other charging management features that aim to prolong the battery life of both the battery pack as well as your iPhone.

For one, the battery pack might stop charging the iPhone once it has reached 90% capacity and it will send a notification on your iPhone in that case. However, you can head over to the Control Center and press and hold the Low Power Mode toggle and when a prompt appears, tap “Continue.”

over, as discussed before, when your iPhone’s battery gets warm while charging through the MagSafe Battery Pack, it will stop charging as soon as it reaches 80%. It will resume charging as soon as the temperature of the battery decreases to a suitable level. Meanwhile, you can also try to move your iPhone to a cooler location to accelerate the process.

Furthermore, according to Apple, the MagSafe Battery Pack also features a Smart charge management feature that safeguards its battery life at times when you leave the pack on charge for “prolonged periods of time.”

Lastly, one of the most important aspects of the MagSafe Battery Pack charging experience is its collaboration with the iPhone’s Optimized Battery Charging feature. When it is enabled, you’ll receive a notification suggesting when the battery will be fully charged. You can then interact with the notification to boost the charging process.

Charging status

There are a number of ways you can determine the remaining charge or the status of the battery inside your MagSafe Battery Pack.

First off, it’s worth noting that similar to other MagSafe products, the MagSafe Battery Pack also invokes a charging indicator on the lock screen when connected to an iPhone.

You can add the batteries widget to either the home screen or the Today View on your iPhone. We’ve got a guide showing how to add a widget on your iPhone’s home screen, so make sure to check that out.

Aside from that, the battery pack itself has its own visual indicators in the form of status lights. Amber-colored status light indicates that the battery pack is charging, and a brief, green status light indicates that the pack is fully charged.

There are no buttons to invoke the lights on the battery pack. So, the best indication is the batteries widget on your iPhone.

What’s in the box?

The MagSafe Battery Pack is the only item in its box. Apple says that you’ll need to buy the USB-C to Lightning cable as well as the 20W adapter separately.

Compatibility

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is compatible with these devices:

Furthermore, your iPhone must at least be updated to iOS 14.7 for the battery pack to work.

It’s unclear if the battery pack would work with other iPhones or Android phones as a regular portable wireless charger, however, it doesn’t seem likely.

Availability, and where to purchase?

The MagSafe Battery Pack is already available to purchase from Apple for 99. At the time of writing, however, Apple Store pickup seems to be currently unavailable in the US.

Alternatives to MagSafe Battery Pack

We talked at the beginning of this guide about how Apple’s new MagSafe Battery Pack isn’t the first one in the game. While it’s the best option you can get, thanks to native compatibility with the iPhone 12 lineup, you might want to look for other options.

This rings especially true if you don’t intend to spend 99 and would rather prefer a cheaper, third-party alternative. That said, here are three magnetic chargers available for you to check out. These are suitable alternatives to Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack and these even have better battery capacities.

You can check out more options over at our dedicated Apple MagSafe Battery Pack Alternatives post.

FAQs

Does the MagSafe Battery Pack charge other iPhones wirelessly?

At the time of this writing, it is unclear whether iPhones other than the ones in the iPhone 12 lineup are compatible with the battery pack. We expect to gain more clarity about it as soon as we get our hands over it.

Is the MagSafe Battery Pack compatible with Find My?

Unfortunately, no. Just like other MagSafe products from Apple, the battery pack isn’t compatible with Find My either.

Does Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack work with Apple’s MagSafe Cases?

Yes. The MagSafe Battery Pack works with Apple’s official MagSafe cases. However, Apple says that leather cases might show compression with usage. In that case, the company recommends not using a leather case at all.

Can I use a regular case with the MagSafe Battery Pack?

No. It won’t work with all cases. The cases with MagSafe compatibility are the best options. Aside from that, you can expect a handful of cases without the MagSafe ring to work with the battery pack. The rule of thumb is that the case should be thin enough to facilitate a magnetic connection between the device and the battery pack.

Let us know of any suggestions you have regarding this guide. Feel free to ask questions that pop into your mind about the MagSafe Battery Pack from Apple in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below. We’ll be glad to answer.

Note: This story contains affiliate links that may earn The 8-Bit commissions on successful purchases to help keep the site running.

iPhone J.D.

iPhone J.D. is the oldest and largest website for lawyers using iPhones and iPads. iPhone J.D. is published by Jeff Richardson, an attorney in New Orleans, Louisiana. This site does not provide legal advice, and any opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Jeff’s law firm, Adams and Reese LLP. iPhone J.D. is not associated with Apple, Inc.

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July 11, 2022

Review: MagSafe Battery Pack from Apple.- small, lightweight solution for additional iPhone power when you are on-the-go

Almost exactly one year ago, Apple released a new product: the MagSafe Battery Pack. The initial retail price was 99.99, but you can now often find it for less on Amazon. As I type this, it is on sale for 79.99. I was intrigued by this product when it was released last year, but because I wasn’t doing much travel in 2021, I didn’t purchase one. About six weeks ago, I took advantage of one of the sales on Amazon to purchase this product in anticipation of a vacation to Italy that my wife and I were planning. We just returned, and we had a fantastic time in Italy—even though COVID did its best to interfere. My wife and I originally planned this trip for the Summer of 2020, but obviously that trip had to be canceled due to COVID. And when we finally took what was supposed to be a two-week trip while my kids were in summer camp, we had to cut our vacation short and come home early because my son got COVID, followed a few days later by my daughter getting it. So as I sit here in my home, typing this review while wearing a mask, I cannot help but think that I should be in Venice right now. Darn COVID!

My vacation didn’t turn out as planned, but what did perform like a champ was Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack. I really cannot say enough good things about this product. If you are looking for a great way to extend the battery life of any iPhone that supports MagSafe, and if you use an iPhone that supports MagSafe, this is the product to get.

Get through a long day

During a normal day, the battery in my iPhone 13 Pro has no trouble lasting all day. But on a normal day, I’m not using the phone non-stop. And even when I am using the iPhone, I typically have easy access to a Lightning cord connected to a computer or a wall outlet so I can easily top off the battery during the day.

When traveling for work or pleasure, however, you often find yourself away from a power source for most of the day. And you may also find yourself using your iPhone far more than normal. That was definitely true while I was in Italy. I frequently used the TripIt app and PDF Expert to keep track of my itinerary. I made extensive use of Apple’s Maps app to guide me around cities in Italy (Milan, Verona, Bologna, and Parma). When walking around cities that are over 2,000 years old, the street pattern can often seem chaotic for a tourist, so it is easy to get lost without GPS and a map on an iPhone. I also used ApplePay on my iPhone to pay at restaurants and other establishments, used translation apps to read signs and menus and communicate with others, used train apps to get from town to town, used apps like Messages and WhatsApp and sometimes even the phone itself to make reservations or request information. And of course, I used my iPhone to take hundreds of photos and many 4K videos. Suffice it to say that I was using my iPhone all day long every day. And because my wife and I would often start early in the day and not get back to our Airbnb or hotel until late at night, I had no easy access to traditional charging methods.

Fortunately, my MagSafe Battery Pack was with me at all times, so I had no trouble using my iPhone all day long. The amount of extra battery power that you get depends upon the iPhone model that you are using. Apple says that you get:

  • Up to 70% additional charge with iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 13 mini and MagSafe Battery Pack
  • Up to 60% additional charge with iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 and MagSafe Battery Pack
  • Up to 60% additional charge with iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro and MagSafe Battery Pack
  • Up to 40% additional charge with iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 13 Pro Max and MagSafe Battery Pack

I use an iPhone 13 Pro, and about 60% additional charge seems about right. Without this battery pack, my iPhone would have died most days in the afternoon, but instead, I was able to make it through the end of the day. I never once ran out of power during my vacation thanks to the MagSafe Battery Pack.

By the way, the MagSafe Battery Pack is designed to stop charging your iPhone when it hits 90%. This reduces the stress on your internal battery. If you want to push pack 90% anyway, there is a way to do that. First, make sure that the Lower Power Mode icon is visible in your Control Center—which you access on a Face ID iPhone by swiping down from the top right. (If it is not there, go to the Settings app and add it.) Second, hold down on that icon, which looks like a battery, for about two seconds. You will now see an option to continue charging past 90%.

Small size and lightweight

The MagSafe Battery Pack is about 11mm thick and weighs about 114 grams. When I slipped it into a in my pants or shorts and walked around, I never even noticed that it was in my. except for the times when it might bounce against something else in my And frankly, that is the only test that matters. Because you can easily slip it into a. it is always with you without being annoying to you when you are not using it.

When you are ready to use the MagSafe Battery Pack, just put it behind your iPhone. There are no on/off switches to flip. There are no cords to get in the way. It just works.

Of course, there are tons of ways to have portable power with an iPhone. For example, I’m a big fan of the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux (49.95 on Amazon), which I can slip into my along with a USB-C to Lightning cord to recharge my iPhone. And the 10,000 mAh of the PowerCore provides far more power than 1,460 mAh of the MagSafe Battery, not only because of the difference in power capacity but also because transferring power over a cord is far more efficient than wireless charging, which can waste up to 30% of the power due to heat.

It is also worth noting that Apple‘s MagSafe wireless charging is better than other wireless charging solutions, such as Qi chargers, because Apple has a higher voltage potential, and also because the magnets put the charger in the best position to maximize efficiency—which is why you lose only about 30% of power during MagSafe charging but you lose about 50% using traditional Qi charging. (This article by Simon Jary of Macworld provides more information on all of this.) But even if you can get more power with a product like the PowerCore, I still think that the MagSafe Battery Pack is better because it is so small and lightweight.

When you add the MagSafe Battery Pack to the back of an iPhone, it does make the iPhone a little heavier, and enough to notice the difference. Because of the curves on the sides, I didn’t find the iPhone to be much more uncomfortable to hold, but the additional weight does mean that you notice the iPhone in a even more.

On the other hand, the experience is far better than using an external battery such as the PowerCore along with a cord to connect the external battery to the iPhone. I have had times when the PowerCore was in my pants. my iPhone was in my shirt. and a cord extended from my pants to my shirt That works, but I look silly, and I need to be incredibly careful that the cord doesn’t catch on something, especially if I’m walking around. If I’m sitting at a desk, it works fine. But if I’m walking around, an external batterycord is a pretty miserable solution; in comparison, the MagSafe Battery Pack is a dream.

You can use the MagSafe Battery Pack when your iPhone is in a case that supports MagSafe. For example, I sometimes use Apple’s leather case on my iPhone, and I used it pretty much all of the time that I was on vacation because it added some friction to side of my iPhone, reducing the chance that it would slip out of my hands. This battery pack worked fine with that case.

Note that for the leather case, if the battery pack is attached for an extended period of time, it makes a small mark in the leather that, in my tests, went away a few hours after I removed the battery pack. These are just imprints from the compression of the leather as a result of the magnets.

Useful information on charging

If the MagSafe Battery Pack was nothing more than a small and lightweight charging solution that avoids a cord, that would be enough to make me happy. But what puts this product over the top is how versatile it is. For example, I love the information that you can see on charging status.

If your iPhone screen is off, when you put the MagSafe Battery Pack behind the iPhone it quickly connects using the magnets. Next, you see an indication on the screen of how much power your iPhone has and how much power the MagSafe Battery Pack itself has.

No third-party battery has the capability, and it is a great feature, making it very easy to see how much total power you have.

If I continue to make extensive use of my iPhone with the battery pack attached, I find that the iPhone’s battery percentage doesn’t change very much, neither adding nor decreasing the battery percentage. In other words, adding the battery pack stops the drain of my battery percentage. When my iPhone is turned off and in my with the battery pack attached, then the percentage of power on my iPhone will increase at a pretty decent pace as power is transferred from the matter pack to the iPhone.

To see the battery indicator again, I can quickly pull off the battery pack (to disconnect) and then place it on again (to connect) to once again see the current battery percentages. Or, you can swipe to the right on your Home Screen to see a widget showing battery percentages, assuming that you have that widget enabled.

Multiple choices for charging

The MagSafe Battery Pack has a Lightning charging port at the bottom, just like the iPhone. Thus, if I plug the battery pack into a Lightning connector, I can recharge it.

Additionally, when the MagSafe Battery Pack is connected to the iPhone, you can plug a Lightning Cord into either the iPhone or the battery pack to charge both. If you connect the Lightning cord to the battery pack and use a 20W or higher power adapter, then the MagSafe Battery Pack can provide up to 15W of charging to the iPhone, first charging your iPhone and then recharging the battery pack. Or, you can connect the charging cord to the iPhone, which will charge the iPhone and then charge the battery pack connected to the iPhone. (When you use the battery pack on-the-go, without being attached to a power cord, it provides 7.5W or charging to the iPhone.)

There is a rumor that the 2022 or 2023 model of the iPhone will use USB-C instead of Lightning. When that happens, perhaps Apple will release a new version of the battery pack that supports USB-C instead of Lightning. I mention this because if you buy this product today and buy a new iPhone with USB-C in the Fall, it will be somewhat less convenient to use two different charging options for a future iPhone and this battery pack. On the other hand, because you can use a cord that charges the iPhone and have the iPhone charge the battery pack, or you can use a cord that charges the battery pack and have the battery pack charge the iPhone, I don’t think that any transition to USB-C will have a big impact on the usability of this Lightning version of this product.

Airpods Charging Case

Apple advertises the battery pack as a way to recharge an iPhone. Having said that, in my tests, if you put an Airpods Charging Case that supports wireless charging on top of the MagSafe battery pack, you can use the battery pack to recharge the Airpods Charging Case. And Apple’s website does seem to acknowledge that this works on a page that address MagSafe charging in general, although not the MagSafe Battery Pack in particular.

The best part of the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is how easy it is to use. It is easy to carry around in a It is easy to attach—just put it behind your iPhone and let the magnets do the rest. And it makes it easy to get through a long day with your iPhone even if the built-in battery wouldn’t provide another power to do so.

There are countless other ways to use a portable battery to charge an iPhone, including options that try to mimic some of the features of Apple’s battery pack, and most of those options are cheaper than the 80 you will pay to get this device on sale the 100 normal price. But what you save in up-front costs is, in my opinion, made up for in convenience. If you have an iPhone that supports MagSafe (iPhone 12 or 13 line), there is simply no easier way to charge an iPhone when you are on-the go.

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Review: MagSafe Battery Pack from Apple.- small, lightweight solution for additional iPhone power when you are on-the-go

Almost exactly one year ago, Apple released a new product: the MagSafe Battery Pack. The initial retail price was 99.99, but you can now often find it for less on Amazon. As I type this, it is on sale for 79.99. I was intrigued by this product when it was released last year, but because I wasn’t doing much travel in 2021, I didn’t purchase one. About six weeks ago, I took advantage of one of the sales on Amazon to purchase this product in anticipation of a vacation to Italy that my wife and I were planning. We just returned, and we had a fantastic time in Italy—even though COVID did its best to interfere. My wife and I originally planned this trip for the Summer of 2020, but obviously that trip had to be canceled due to COVID. And when we finally took what was supposed to be a two-week trip while my kids were in summer camp, we had to cut our vacation short and come home early because my son got COVID, followed a few days later by my daughter getting it. So as I sit here in my home, typing this review while wearing a mask, I cannot help but think that I should be in Venice right now. Darn COVID!

My vacation didn’t turn out as planned, but what did perform like a champ was Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack. I really cannot say enough good things about this product. If you are looking for a great way to extend the battery life of any iPhone that supports MagSafe, and if you use an iPhone that supports MagSafe, this is the product to get.

Get through a long day

During a normal day, the battery in my iPhone 13 Pro has no trouble lasting all day. But on a normal day, I’m not using the phone non-stop. And even when I am using the iPhone, I typically have easy access to a Lightning cord connected to a computer or a wall outlet so I can easily top off the battery during the day.

When traveling for work or pleasure, however, you often find yourself away from a power source for most of the day. And you may also find yourself using your iPhone far more than normal. That was definitely true while I was in Italy. I frequently used the TripIt app and PDF Expert to keep track of my itinerary. I made extensive use of Apple’s Maps app to guide me around cities in Italy (Milan, Verona, Bologna, and Parma). When walking around cities that are over 2,000 years old, the street pattern can often seem chaotic for a tourist, so it is easy to get lost without GPS and a map on an iPhone. I also used ApplePay on my iPhone to pay at restaurants and other establishments, used translation apps to read signs and menus and communicate with others, used train apps to get from town to town, used apps like Messages and WhatsApp and sometimes even the phone itself to make reservations or request information. And of course, I used my iPhone to take hundreds of photos and many 4K videos. Suffice it to say that I was using my iPhone all day long every day. And because my wife and I would often start early in the day and not get back to our Airbnb or hotel until late at night, I had no easy access to traditional charging methods.

Fortunately, my MagSafe Battery Pack was with me at all times, so I had no trouble using my iPhone all day long. The amount of extra battery power that you get depends upon the iPhone model that you are using. Apple says that you get:

  • Up to 70% additional charge with iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 13 mini and MagSafe Battery Pack
  • Up to 60% additional charge with iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 and MagSafe Battery Pack
  • Up to 60% additional charge with iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro and MagSafe Battery Pack
  • Up to 40% additional charge with iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 13 Pro Max and MagSafe Battery Pack

I use an iPhone 13 Pro, and about 60% additional charge seems about right. Without this battery pack, my iPhone would have died most days in the afternoon, but instead, I was able to make it through the end of the day. I never once ran out of power during my vacation thanks to the MagSafe Battery Pack.

By the way, the MagSafe Battery Pack is designed to stop charging your iPhone when it hits 90%. This reduces the stress on your internal battery. If you want to push pack 90% anyway, there is a way to do that. First, make sure that the Lower Power Mode icon is visible in your Control Center—which you access on a Face ID iPhone by swiping down from the top right. (If it is not there, go to the Settings app and add it.) Second, hold down on that icon, which looks like a battery, for about two seconds. You will now see an option to continue charging past 90%.

Small size and lightweight

The MagSafe Battery Pack is about 11mm thick and weighs about 114 grams. When I slipped it into a in my pants or shorts and walked around, I never even noticed that it was in my. except for the times when it might bounce against something else in my And frankly, that is the only test that matters. Because you can easily slip it into a. it is always with you without being annoying to you when you are not using it.

When you are ready to use the MagSafe Battery Pack, just put it behind your iPhone. There are no on/off switches to flip. There are no cords to get in the way. It just works.

Of course, there are tons of ways to have portable power with an iPhone. For example, I’m a big fan of the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux (49.95 on Amazon), which I can slip into my along with a USB-C to Lightning cord to recharge my iPhone. And the 10,000 mAh of the PowerCore provides far more power than 1,460 mAh of the MagSafe Battery, not only because of the difference in power capacity but also because transferring power over a cord is far more efficient than wireless charging, which can waste up to 30% of the power due to heat.

It is also worth noting that Apple’s MagSafe wireless charging is better than other wireless charging solutions, such as Qi chargers, because Apple has a higher voltage potential, and also because the magnets put the charger in the best position to maximize efficiency—which is why you lose only about 30% of power during MagSafe charging but you lose about 50% using traditional Qi charging. (This article by Simon Jary of Macworld provides more information on all of this.) But even if you can get more power with a product like the PowerCore, I still think that the MagSafe Battery Pack is better because it is so small and lightweight.

When you add the MagSafe Battery Pack to the back of an iPhone, it does make the iPhone a little heavier, and enough to notice the difference. Because of the curves on the sides, I didn’t find the iPhone to be much more uncomfortable to hold, but the additional weight does mean that you notice the iPhone in a even more.

On the other hand, the experience is far better than using an external battery such as the PowerCore along with a cord to connect the external battery to the iPhone. I have had times when the PowerCore was in my pants. my iPhone was in my shirt. and a cord extended from my pants to my shirt That works, but I look silly, and I need to be incredibly careful that the cord doesn’t catch on something, especially if I’m walking around. If I’m sitting at a desk, it works fine. But if I’m walking around, an external batterycord is a pretty miserable solution; in comparison, the MagSafe Battery Pack is a dream.

You can use the MagSafe Battery Pack when your iPhone is in a case that supports MagSafe. For example, I sometimes use Apple’s leather case on my iPhone, and I used it pretty much all of the time that I was on vacation because it added some friction to side of my iPhone, reducing the chance that it would slip out of my hands. This battery pack worked fine with that case.

Note that for the leather case, if the battery pack is attached for an extended period of time, it makes a small mark in the leather that, in my tests, went away a few hours after I removed the battery pack. These are just imprints from the compression of the leather as a result of the magnets.

Useful information on charging

If the MagSafe Battery Pack was nothing more than a small and lightweight charging solution that avoids a cord, that would be enough to make me happy. But what puts this product over the top is how versatile it is. For example, I love the information that you can see on charging status.

If your iPhone screen is off, when you put the MagSafe Battery Pack behind the iPhone it quickly connects using the magnets. Next, you see an indication on the screen of how much power your iPhone has and how much power the MagSafe Battery Pack itself has.

No third-party battery has the capability, and it is a great feature, making it very easy to see how much total power you have.

If I continue to make extensive use of my iPhone with the battery pack attached, I find that the iPhone’s battery percentage doesn’t change very much, neither adding nor decreasing the battery percentage. In other words, adding the battery pack stops the drain of my battery percentage. When my iPhone is turned off and in my with the battery pack attached, then the percentage of power on my iPhone will increase at a pretty decent pace as power is transferred from the matter pack to the iPhone.

To see the battery indicator again, I can quickly pull off the battery pack (to disconnect) and then place it on again (to connect) to once again see the current battery percentages. Or, you can swipe to the right on your Home Screen to see a widget showing battery percentages, assuming that you have that widget enabled.

Multiple choices for charging

The MagSafe Battery Pack has a Lightning charging port at the bottom, just like the iPhone. Thus, if I plug the battery pack into a Lightning connector, I can recharge it.

Additionally, when the MagSafe Battery Pack is connected to the iPhone, you can plug a Lightning Cord into either the iPhone or the battery pack to charge both. If you connect the Lightning cord to the battery pack and use a 20W or higher power adapter, then the MagSafe Battery Pack can provide up to 15W of charging to the iPhone, first charging your iPhone and then recharging the battery pack. Or, you can connect the charging cord to the iPhone, which will charge the iPhone and then charge the battery pack connected to the iPhone. (When you use the battery pack on-the-go, without being attached to a power cord, it provides 7.5W or charging to the iPhone.)

There is a rumor that the 2022 or 2023 model of the iPhone will use USB-C instead of Lightning. When that happens, perhaps Apple will release a new version of the battery pack that supports USB-C instead of Lightning. I mention this because if you buy this product today and buy a new iPhone with USB-C in the Fall, it will be somewhat less convenient to use two different charging options for a future iPhone and this battery pack. On the other hand, because you can use a cord that charges the iPhone and have the iPhone charge the battery pack, or you can use a cord that charges the battery pack and have the battery pack charge the iPhone, I don’t think that any transition to USB-C will have a big impact on the usability of this Lightning version of this product.

Airpods Charging Case

Apple advertises the battery pack as a way to recharge an iPhone. Having said that, in my tests, if you put an Airpods Charging Case that supports wireless charging on top of the MagSafe battery pack, you can use the battery pack to recharge the Airpods Charging Case. And Apple’s website does seem to acknowledge that this works on a page that address MagSafe charging in general, although not the MagSafe Battery Pack in particular.

The best part of the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is how easy it is to use. It is easy to carry around in a It is easy to attach—just put it behind your iPhone and let the magnets do the rest. And it makes it easy to get through a long day with your iPhone even if the built-in battery wouldn’t provide another power to do so.

There are countless other ways to use a portable battery to charge an iPhone, including options that try to mimic some of the features of Apple’s battery pack, and most of those options are cheaper than the 80 you will pay to get this device on sale the 100 normal price. But what you save in up-front costs is, in my opinion, made up for in convenience. If you have an iPhone that supports MagSafe (iPhone 12 or 13 line), there is simply no easier way to charge an iPhone when you are on-the go.

Is the MagSafe Battery Pack Worth It?

I’ve found a use for mine, but I have a distinct suspicion that Apple has forgotten about them.

The AirTag is such a strange little product for Apple. They feel like the most ‘me too’ device the company has launched in recent memory. I don’t think we’ll ever see an AirTag 2; in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they quietly slip from the shelves altogether at some point in the future.

There’s nothing wrong with AirTags. But, then, there’s nothing really wrong with the MagSafe Battery Pack, either. It does the job intended and looks pretty nice, to boot.

However, like its coin-sized tracking device cousin, Apple’s latest MagSafe accessory for the iPhone 12 is simply an incredibly odd product.

It’s not a charger

I’ve bought a few power banks in my time.

I’m not the sort of person who needs regular access to a portable phone charger. I rarely leave the house for more than a few hours, and if I am going somewhere overnight, I’m never far from a wall plug.

I get the need for this stuff, though. Some people regularly run their phone battery down to just a few single digital percentage points and need a top-up. For them, the ability to boost their battery while out on the road can be a lifesaver.

The MagSafe Battery Pack doesn’t really do this. It charges biblically slowly (at a rate of around five watts). I have no idea how long it would take to fully charge a low battery on an iPhone 12 – or if it’s even possible – but that clearly isn’t what the MagSafe Battery Pack is designed for.

It’s a battery preserver. Which, at £99 is a little hard to swallow, given the much cheaper, cable-based competition – most of which do actually charge your phone when connected.

Despite this, I understand why it’s so slow. Apple is concerned about heat, and preserving your battery until you reach a wall plug is still pretty useful.

Revealing MagSafe’s inherent flaw

I love the MagSafe hockey puck charger; it has completely replaced the ancient way of charging my iPhone via lightning.

Unfortunately, it has thus far been the neatest use of MagSafe I’ve experienced. And this is for one very simple reason; the magnet arrangement on the iPhone 12 works perfectly if the thing you’re attaching is circular. If it’s any other shape, nine times out of ten you’ll need to manually align it once attached.

I love the use of magnets in tech – it’s such a Smart, tidy solution for combining stuff and ensuring lids remain closed. But the therapeutic joy of attaching two magnets is eroded when you realise that your MagSafe Battery Pack is skew-whiff.

This happens all the time. The MagSafe Battery Pack never appears to sit squarely on the back of my iPhone 12 unless I adjust it manually. It’s completely un-Apple, and affects accessories like the MagSafe Wallet, too.

It appears to be the lower half of rectangular MagSafe accessories which causes the issue. The circular magnet is where the majority of the grip is, leaving the rest of the accessory to simply swing out of line, pendulum-fashion.

This doesn’t impact the Battery Pack’s performance at all. It’s just messy and irritating.

It’s not exactly inconspicuous

I’ve read a few reviews of the MagSafe Battery Pack which have suggested that it isn’t quite as big as it looks in the product shots.

This is a bulky little thing on the iPhone 12 Pro. It adds significant weight, too. Once attached, your phone feels like an entirely different, more cumbersome device – particularly when tapping on the screen. Texting with the Battery Pack attached, for instance, feels like you’ve accidentally picked up a prototype Blackberry from 1998.

The weight will be an issue for some people. When I first attached the Battery Pack to my iPhone and took it out on the road, it weighed heavily in my shorts and resulted in a bulge that could have taken out a passing bus if I swivelled too quickly.

It’s big. And, to be frank, reveals why the old-fashioned cable-based power banks make much more sense. The MagSafe Battery Pack is designed in a way that suggests you should be able to carry it around while attached, but in reality, it’s simply too bulky. Power banks have always been designed for use when you’re sat in the pub at 2%, or while huddled around a campfire. They’re not really portable in the truest sense of the word.

There’s no suggestion from Apple that the MagSafe Battery Pack is waterproof, either, therefore when it’s attached, your iPhone is transported back to an era when IPX ratings were the stuff of dreams.

When you pop this thing on the back of your iPhone, you need to be ready for a rather more treacherous and ham-fisted smartphone experience.

There isn’t really any Apple magic

If you’re expecting Airpods-like magic from the MagSafe Battery Pack in exchange for the Apple Tax that has been mercilessly slapped on top of the price, you’re in for a surprise.

This thing attaches via magnets to the back of your phone and will appear in the battery widget on iOS (although, unfathomably, the icon they’ve picked is that of a lightning cable). That’s it. I was expecting some kind of fancy animation to appear on the screen when attached – you know, to perhaps reveal how much battery is remaining in the pack itself.

But that doesn’t happen, either. You just get the usual ‘I’m now charging’ sound effect and the resulting lighting bolt on the battery icon.

A bit more effort was required here I’m afraid, Tim.

So, is it worth it?

The MagSafe Battery Pack has one thing going for it: convenience. But it is trounced by the competition in nearly every other respect. Plus, the convenience on offer isn’t solving a problem that exists; for most people, power banks don’t need to be attachable-portable.

However, if you do want Apple-like convenience, I’d suggest looking to Belkin, which has its own MagSafe power bank. It charges slightly faster at 7.5 watts, provides a visual indication of the remaining battery life on the device itself and charges via USB-C. And it’s less than a third of the price of Apple’s.

The charging method is one of the biggest deal-breakers for me with the MagSafe Battery Pack. Unsurprisingly, Apple has opted for lightning as the charging method. This makes sense when you consider the fact they’re still using it for the iPhone.

But for me – and I suspect many others – I no longer use lighting for my iPhone. I use that MagSafe charging puck, which means I have to go hunting for a lightning charger if I want to top up my Battery Pack. It’s as irritating a task as it is for the Airpods Max, and will inevitably result in me charging the Battery Pack too infrequently for it to be useful.

The MagSafe Battery Pack is a tough sell. At £99/99 it’s vastly more expensive than the competition, and its weight and bulk do reveal the inherent flaws with this first version of the iPhone’s MagSafe system.

I’d skip it. Stick with your external, cable-based power bank. Ironically, it remains the most elegant, effective solution for charging your iPhone on the go.

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Review: Mophie’s Juice Pack Access battery case supports wired wireless charging, leaves the Lightning port exposed

Coming in a variety of color options, this versatile battery case from Mophie protects your iPhone while giving you extra battery power when you need it with a simple push of a button. over, it leaves the Lightning port exposed so you can use your wired headphones or Lightning-based accessories while Juice Pack Access is wirelessly charging the handset.

Introduced in January of this year, Juice Pack Access is an enhanced version of Mophie’s Juice Pack battery case that leaves the Lightning port exposed. Unfettered access to the Lightning port is the only thing that sets the new Access edition from the previous Juice Pack models.

Overall, this is a case for people who find themselves unable to get through their day on a single charge. It gives iPhone XS Max six hours of additional run time, which may be just what you need to get through the day comfortably without hunting for a wall socket.

Plus, it comes with the convenience of both wired and wireless input and output charging.

A versatile battery pack/case

The previous Juice Pack battery cases from Mophie used to charge your iPhone via the Lightning port. As a result, you couldn’t listen to music through wired headphones or use Lightning peripherals, nor could you use wired CarPlay while the case was on.

No such compromises with Juice Pack Access, which leaves an opening at the bottom so you can listen to music or take calls and charge the phone wirelessly at the same time.

To install the slip-in case, separate the top section and side your phone all the way into the bottom section (the snaps holding the hard case together appear to be reinforced, removing one of the frequent complaints regarding the previous version).

Finally, slide the top section of the case over the exposed top of your iPhone so that the phone snaps into the bottom section of the case.

That’s it, you’re good to go.

Wired and wireless charging

A built-in coil wirelessly charges your device on the go. Just press and hold a button on the back of the case for three seconds to start charging the handset wirelessly (you’ll hear a chime when your iPhone starts charging). To stop charging the phone and save some battery for later, just press the status button again for 3 seconds.

But it gets even better because the product supports both wireless input and output, meaning you can put the case on a Qi mat to charge it and the phone simultaneously. However, wireless charging is capped at 5 watts of power even though iPhones support Qi charging at 7.5W. Again — while it receives power wirelessly a bit faster at 7.5W, Juice Pack Access charges your phone wirelessly at 5W despite iPhones supporting Qi charging at 7.5W.

At 5W, it takes about 15-20 minutes to give an iPhone XS Max a ten percent charge. This isn’t an issue for this author because I only use Qi charging to top up my devices. Before nap time, or anytime charging speed is a priority for me, I’d turn to the case’s integrated USB-C port to juice up the internal battery significantly faster(under two hours) vs. the wireless method.

That’s right, you get two ways to recharge the case: Qi (wireless) and USB-C (wired).

And thanks to priority charging, Juice Pack Access will send power to your phone first before recharging its own battery, regardless if you’re charging the case with a wire or wirelessly. The case feels warm to the touch when charging, which is normal. The LED status blink a few times at the start of charging, then turn off automatically to allow for a good night’s rest.

On the go power

A short push of the button fires up the four LED indicator lights on the back for a quick at-a-glance overview of the current charge. Four LEDs means that the case is fully charged, while one LED means that it’s almost empty. Juice Pack Access packs in a 2,200mAh battery rated at 8.36Wh that gives you hours of extra juice, deepening on your phone model. By comparison, Apple’s Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS Max offers roughly 20 percent more power via its 1,369mAh battery rated higher than Mophie’s at 10.1Wh.

My iPhone XS Max is powered by a 3,174mAh internal battery and yet I couldn’t get it from dead to 100% with this case. Actually, this is normal behavior! Mophie tells me that their primary goal with this case was giving customers a convenient way to quickly juice up on the go when the phone’s battery is low until they can reach a wireless charging pad or wall outlet (if you want something to keep your phone charged for days at a time, look no further than Mophie’s excellent Powerstation XL, which we’ll review in the coming days).

Mophie kindly sent me a review sample which provides up to 31 hours of total talk time, 18 hours of video watching and 16 hours of internet use on the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR models. The iPhone X/XS version provides up to 25 hours of total talk time.

Solid protection

Juice Pack Access weighs in at 106 grams (3.74oz) and measures 81.02 mm wide, 160.80 mm tall and 17.99mm deep (3.19 x 6.33 x 0.71 inches), meaning it’s more than double the thickness of my iPhone XS Max. In terms of protection, it’s anything but lightweight. The polycarbonate exterior and rubberized support pads provide solid impact protection in an unfortunate case when your phone may accidentally slip out of your hand and fall on its back.

The raised edges keep your phone off of whatever surface it’s placed face down, which helps keep the display safe against scratches, to a certain degree.

Mophie vs. Apple

I’ve found this case to fit more comfortably in my hand than Apple’s Smart Battery Case. In fact, I’d say that it looks a lot sleeker than the Smart case from Apple. One thing’s certain: it definitely has a noticeably thinner battery hump. Topping it off, it’s 30 cheaper than the first-party solution and there isn’t nearly as much added weight as with Apple’s product.

I haven’t noticed any interference with cellular reception nor have I had the case affect call, sound or image quality. Overall, the accessory feels great in your hand without looking cheap. Most importantly, it strikes a delicate balance between needing as much additional on-the-go power as possible and the ability to use your phone with this case on like your normally would (i.e. wireless charging, Lightning port access and so forth).

Apple’s case also has a controversial design with that bulging battery on the back.

Both cases offer wireless charging for input and output and leave the Lightning port open for use. Apple’s case offers a bit faster wireless charging and uses Lightning for wired charging. On the other hand, the Mophie product uses USB-C for wired charging so you won’t be able to charge it with your iPhone cable.

Instead, use either the included cable or the USB-C cable that came with your 2018 iPad Pro or Mac notebook. In fact, if you’re traveling with a MacBook or iPad Pro, leave your iPhone charger at home and simply use the included notebook charger and cables to power up the case.

Mophie has been developing battery cases and power adapters for years now. With Juice Pack Access, you’re getting a reliable product backed by their two-year warranty, with perks like built-in short-circuit, over-charge and temperature protection.

Pros and cons

Here’s what we liked and disliked about Juice Pack Access.

Pros

  • Full access to the Lightning port
  • Great build quality, nice tactile buttons with good feedback
  • Wireless input and output charging
  • USB-C for fast wired charging

Cons

  • Qi charging doesn’t support the faster 7.5W standard
  • Internal battery won’t fully charge your phone from 0% to 100%
  • Matte finish is a fingerprint magnet

To learn more about Mophie’s family of smartphone battery cases, visit their website.

Pricing and availability

Juice Pack Access is made for iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.

It’s available in a variety of color finishes: Black, Stone, Gold and Dark Red for iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max; Black, Blue and Red for iPhone XR. By comparison, Apple’s case is only available in three color options: Black, White and Pink Sand.

Mophie charges 100 for the iPhone XS Max edition of Juice Pack Access versus 129 for Apple’s Smart Battery Case. You can also find Juice Pack Access on Amazon.

Your thoughts

What do you think about Mophie’s case?

Is it any better than Apple’s offering, do you think? If so, in what ways precisely? And while we’re at it, do you own a battery case for your iPhone, and which one?

Share your thoughts with the readers in the commenting section down below.

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