Apple MagSafe Battery Pack vs. Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K: Which should you buy?

Anker Powercore Magnetic 5k Iphone 12 Pro Hero
Anker Powercore Magnetic 5k Iphone 12 Pro Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Apple debuted its new incarnation of MagSafe with the iPhone 12 line of phones. Initially, Apple released cases, wired chargers, and wallets that could magnetically attach to the back of an iPhone 12. Nine months after the release of the iPhone 12, Apple has now released a MagSafe battery pack, which simply snaps to the back of your iPhone to provide a charge when you need it, all without wires. However, Anker beat Apple to the market when it previously released its PowerCore Magnetic battery pack. Let's check out what's the same and what's different so you can make an informed buying decision.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack vs. Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K: Let's compare

Though both battery packs attach magnetically to the back of an iPhone, they are different in many ways.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Apple MagSafe Battery PackAnker PowerCore Magnetic 5K
FinishPlasticRubberized plastic
Watts when used wirelessly55
Watts when used plugged in1510 through USB-C

The question is, do you want to buy a battery made by Apple that is integrated into iOS, and intelligently charge your iPhone? Or do you want to save money, have more flexibility with a USB-C connection, and a stronger spec battery with the Anker option? Let's take a look at the similarities and differences of both battery packs.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack vs. Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K: Color and finish

For the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack, Apple has made the color choice for you, so you better like a white back for your iPhone. The only color here is white. Of course, for the Anker your only choice is black. So if you are buying solely based on color, then choose your favorite.

The Apple battery pack has a matte plastic finish, while the Anker has a rubberized plastic finish. Both should be fairly grippy and prevent accidental slips.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack vs. Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K: Features and functionality

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack (Image credit: Apple)

Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack is a typical seamless Apple design, with no power button and no LED lights — nothing but a Lightning port for charging. You pop on the battery pack to your iPhone 12 magnetically and it begins charging. Nothing to think about, and nothing to do; it's typical Apple simplicity. You can see the amount of battery life in the battery widget on your iPhone. You can also use the battery pack as a desktop charger by plugging in the battery pack and placing the iPhone on top. In addition, you can use reverse pass-through charging to charge both the iPhone and battery pack at the same time by attaching the battery pack and plugging in the lightning cable to the iPhone.

The Anker PowerCore has a power button that must be turned on to begin charging. You can see the amount of charge left by the LED lights. You can also charge both your phone and the battery pack at the same time by plugging in the battery pack and attaching it to your phone. It will charge your phone first and then recharge itself. It doesn't support Lightning charging, but it does support USB-C — unlike the MagSafe battery pack — which you can use to charge non-MagSafe devices.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack vs. Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K: Charging speed

Even though the Apple MagSafe battery pack is, of course, an official MagSafe product, when it's attached magnetically to your iPhone 12 it is only capable of 5W of charging power. If you plug in the battery pack you will see the 15W of MagSafe charging speed.

The Anker will only charge your iPhone with 5W of power when attached magnetically or 10W if it's plugged in with USB-C. If you wanted to charge both your phone and battery pack, both would be fully charged in around 4.5 hours, according to Anker.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack vs. Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K: Which should you buy?

If you are married to the Apple ecosystem, if battery specs are just not important to you, and if you want a battery pack that you know will just work seamlessly with your iPhone 12 series phone and integrated into iOS, then the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack may be worth the $99 price tag. Out of the two, it's the only one that supports Lightning charging, so if you only have Lightning cables around the house you might be out of luck with the Anker option (although buying a USB-C cable is a straightforward endeavor).

If you want to save some money, if you don't care about reverse pass-through charging, have other devices that need to be charged, and if you don't mind the power button and LED lights on your battery pack, then the Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K can be a great choice.

No matter which battery pack you choose, you will get dependable backup power for your iPhone wirelessly and magnetically. Check out some of the best MagSafe cases that will work with either battery pack.

Mark Goldschmitt

**Mark Goldschmitt** is the father of three boys and loves anything Apple. Born and raised in Queens, NY, and currently residing on Long Island, Mark is a lifelong New York Mets fan. {.end}