Another week has come and gone, and with it came a surprise release from Apple. I am, of course, speaking about the MagSafe Battery Pack — seriously, it's about time, Apple!
That's right, Apple has finally announced the MagSafe Battery Pack, and it will start to arrive for customers this week starting on July 19. Needless to say, I ordered one the moment I saw it, so stay tuned for my review this week. But as I write this, I have some thoughts to share.
First off, there are those who wish Apple released a Smart Battery Case instead of a MagSafe Battery Pack, and I'm glad that Apple did not go this route. As much as I liked the Smart Battery Case for my iPhone 11 Pro because of that convenient camera shutter button, those cases aren't without downfalls. The silicone material never holds up well over a long time of daily use, and for people like me who upgrade every year, it would be far too late for a new battery case right now. The MagSafe Battery Pack is already a much better option than a Smart Battery Case because you can use whatever MagSafe-compatible iPhone case you want, instead of being limited to Apple's own. It's also very likely that the iPhone 13 will have MagSafe, making this battery pack compatible with future releases instead of being limited to one device.
While I was originally a little disappointed that the new MagSafe Battery Pack doesn't even come with a cable, I have changed my mind after learning a bit more about the battery pack itself. First off, it has two ways to charge: by Lightning cable, which you more than likely already have, or it can charge up from your iPhone itself while the iPhone is plugged in. Honestly, I have more than enough cables of all kinds laying around everywhere in my house, so I think I can do without another one, especially Apple's terrible cables. I haven't used Apple's cables in several years (I keep them in the original box they came in) — I'd recommend picking up some of the best USB-C-to-Lightning cables and iPhone 12 chargers to maximize your iPhone 12 and MagSafe Battery Pack charging anyways.
So far, I've tested out two magnetic battery packs: the mophie snap+ juice pack mini and Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K. The mophie seems to have a 7.5W wireless output, while the Anker has 5W wireless output, and both of these are 5000mAh in capacity. I was surprised when I discovered that the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack seems to only have about 1460mAh capacity, and it does not have 15W wireless output unless it is plugged in like a regular MagSafe charger. While Apple has not put any information out about the wireless charging output when not plugged in, I'm curious if it will be faster than Anker and mophie or if it will be about the same. I was really hoping that it would be 15W wireless fast charging, but hopefully, it's not too bad — I'll find out this week. Again, you'll need a power adapter with at least 20W to charge up the iPhone 12 and MagSafe battery quickly.
And one of the big surprises with the MagSafe Battery Pack is the fact that it can be charged with the iPhone itself. That's right — reverse wireless charging. You know, that thing that's been rumored since the iPhone 11. While the iPhone 12 doesn't support reverse wireless charging with other devices, it seems that things are going to change, starting with the MagSafe Battery Pack. The MagSafe Battery Pack will require iOS 14.7 to display the battery pack status in the Batteries widget, but it can also be a sign of things to come. Could the iPhone 12 charge up AirPods in the future? Or maybe the iPhone 13 lineup will finally get it. It's a good sign regardless; baby steps!
Ok, I think that's enough on the MagSafe Battery Pack. I'm looking forward to it showing up on my doorstep tomorrow (if all things go well), and I'll have my review later this week for those curious about it. I'm definitely eager to test it against the competition, too.
If you haven't checked out Luke Filipowicz's M1 iMac review this week, then you definitely should give that a look. And that blue is absolutely stunning!
Anyways, that's about it for this week. Until next time!
- Christine Romero-Chan
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.