PSA: iPhone 13 mini can't charge as quickly as other models when using MagSafe

Magsafe Charger Iphone
Magsafe Charger Iphone (Image credit: Jaclyn Kilani / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's iPhone 13 mini can charge at 15W when connected to a MagSafe charger.
  • All other iPhone 13 models max out at 15W.
  • It was the same story in 2020, too.

Apple's new iPhone 13 series of devices is now on sale and the smaller iPhone 13 mini has a lot going for it, not least by including a larger battery than iPhone 12 mini. Unfortunately, it'll charge that larger battery at the same rate as iPhone 12 mini when using MagSafe — and that's slower than other iPhone 13 models.

As was the case with last year's miniature iPhone, iPhone 13 mini can only charge at 12W when connected to a 15W MagSafe charger. All other iPhone 13 models max out at the 15W rating of the charger itself, as confirmed in a new support document (opens in new tab).

The actual power delivered to the iPhone will vary depending on the wattage of the power adapter and system conditions. For iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 12 mini, the MagSafe Charger delivers up to 12W of peak power delivery.

Thankfully, iPhone 13 mini can last around 90 minutes longer than last year's model before it needs to go near a charger, making it the best iPhone yet for people who like devices that don't fill their pockets.

Ultimately, MagSafe loses so much power to heat and whatnot that the missing 3W might not make all that much difference. The mini iPhones also have smaller batteries, requiring less juice to fill them to the brim.

Did you pick up a new iPHone 13 mini today? Shout out in the comments and let me know which color you went with!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • "MagSafe loses so much power to heat and whatnot" What kind of a statement is that? I get heat, but haven't heard of that power sapping whatnot. In actuality, my MagSafe (or any Qi) charging has never generated any more heat than a wired charger. That's something I can actually feel. Any other claim of inefficiency needs to be accompanied by some data. Simple stuff, have a phone that's empty, charge it with a cable plugged into a 20W charger, and charge it with a MagSafe disc plugged into a 20W charger. Time it. That will give you some quantitative data to compare. Do it more than once BTW. Inductive charging is absolutely less efficient than a straight copper wire. Of course it is. Straight copper wire also has the potential to force more current into a battery because of that which also generates heat in the battery. More of it since the current is higher. Either method pushes current into the battery. If it were my guess, the 13 mini throttles current when charging with a cable too. It's smaller, so dissipating heat is harder. Does it matter? Probably not. The battery is smaller too, so it doesn't take as long to fill it up, as noted. That's whether you charge via induction, or like a caveman.
  • The only inductive charging that has made my phone heat up is the one in my Mercedes and I have found it to be a Mercedes thing. I have used inductive charging in a couple other cars (Different manufactures) and not the same result. The inductive charger I have next to the bed doesn't heat up the phone at all and my MagSafe charger that I use for mobility doesn't either.