Bottom line: RAVPower's Magnetic Wireless Power Bank is a convenient way to give your compatible iPhone some extra juice. Though its design isn't premium, neither is its price tag.
7.5W wireless charging
Attaches securely with MagSafe
Supports pass-through charging
Cheap plastic construction
Does not fit all MagSafe-enabled iPhone models
Can't use USB-C output and Qi charger simultaneously
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When MagSafe first came to the iPhone with the iPhone 12 lineup last year, I wasn't super sold on it. Using an Apple Watch-style puck to charge my phone seemed dumb when regular wireless chargers did the job just fine.
It wasn't until third-party MagSafe accessories started to hit the market that the idea really clicked for me. Since then, I've tried out a bunch of compatible accessories and been pleasantly surprised by just how useful an addition MagSafe is.
One area where MagSafe has taken hold is in the power bank market with a bunch of brands now offering magnetically attaching portable batteries. Apple even has its own MagSafe Battery Pack, though it is, of course, at the top of the price range. RAVPower's Magnetic Wireless Power Bank is designed to undercut Apple's offering on price, but that doesn't mean it's short on features.
RAVPower Magnetic Wireless Power Bank: Price and availability
RAVPower's Magnetic Wireless Power Bank retails for $36 and comes in any color you want as long as it's black. You can pick one up directly at RAVPower's website where shipping is free.
If you're wondering why it's not available at Amazon, that's because the RAVPower brand was removed from the store. In a WSJ report, RAVPower was found to be incentivizing buyers with Amazon credit to leave reviews for its products, something that is against Amazon's terms. It wasn't the only brand caught up in the investigation, but it's worth bearing in mind when considering whether to buy from the company.
RAVPower Magnetic Wireless Power Bank: What's good
The thing that sets this power bank apart from the many other portable batteries out there, and the reason you are likely reading this review, is the MagSafe compatibility. Built into the RAVPower Magnetic Wireless Power Bank is an array of magnets that allows it to auto-align with the MagSafe setup inside your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13.
Once attached, the connection is remarkably solid, meaning you can use your phone as normal without worrying about it falling off unexpectedly. To remove it, you actually need to give it a decent tug or spin it around to get better leverage off the side of your phone.
It obviously adds some bulk to your phone, but being thinner and wider makes it feel more lightweight with better weight distribution. I also found it easier to hold than other MagSafe batteries I have tried as it essentially goes all the way to the edge of my iPhone 12 rather than being a bump in the middle of the back of the phone.
Inside is a 5,000mAh battery. That's the same as many competing products, and more than Apple's own-brand offering, and is enough juice to recharge an iPhone 12 once over. There are conveniently placed LED indicators that let you see how much charge is left at a glance and charging up via the USB-C port doesn't take long at all.
That USB-C port also works as an output for times when you need to plug something in to charge. Even better, you can essentially use the RAVPower Magnetic Wireless Power Bank as a pseudo-wireless charging pad with pass-through charging. Connect the power bank to the wall to charge via USB-C and lay your iPhone on top and you can charge both items up at once.
Unlike many alternatives, RAVPower's magnetic battery pack offers 7.5W wireless charging. With many other Qi chargers providing only 5W, including Apple's first-party solution, that's a 50% gain in charging speed and it's noticeable in real life even if it's not groundbreaking. Though the overall look and feel are worse than the likes of Apple or Anker's versions, that increase in speed makes RAVPower's Magnetic Wireless Power Bank worthy of consideration.
RAVPower Magnetic Wireless Power Bank: What's not good
As mentioned before, the RAVPower Magnetic Wireless Power Bank does not feel like a premium product and, thankfully, it's not priced like one. The casing is entirely plastic, which is good for keeping the weight down, but the plastic used feels weak and creaky.
Though the weight distribution is good, owing to its thinner, yet taller and wider design, that does mean that it doesn't work with every MagSafe-enabled iPhone. At 2.7 inches, it's too wide to work comfortably with the iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 13 mini, both of which are just over 2.5 inches wide. Worse still, the iPhone 13 Pro won't support a snap-on battery of this height due to the much larger camera bump taking up more room on the back of the phone. It should, however, work fine with the iPhone 13 Pro Max which has a little more distance between the MagSafe magnets and the camera bump, though I haven't been able to verify this.
My last qualm with the RAVPower Magnetic Wireless Power Bank is that you can't use both the Qi charger and the USB-C output simultaneously to power up two devices. This is not a huge loss, and would perhaps cause the battery to drain very quickly or get too hot, but it would be handy in a pinch in some circumstances.
RAVPower Magnetic Wireless Power Bank: Competition
RAVPower has a few competitors in the MagSafe power bank space. One of the first products to arrive came from popular accessory maker Anker. Its MagSafe PowerCore Magnetic 5K has a more premium look and feel, plus the solid reputation of Anker, but is pricier at $50 and only goes up to 5W wireless charging. It's not as wide, though, so it works for iPhone mini users.
The mophie snap+ juice pack mini is potentially a closer comparison with the same 7.5W Qi fast charging support and 5,000mAh capacity, though it is also more expensive at $50. It has the same problem with not being compatible with iPhone 13 Pro, too, due to its taller design.
Of course, Apple makes its own MagSafe Battery Pack which has some special integration with iOS and works as a 15W MagSafe charge when plugged in for pass-through charging. That being said, RAVPower's offering bests it when it comes to wireless charging speed and its price tag is certainly easier to swallow.
RAVPower Magnetic Wireless Power Bank: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a lightweight portable battery for your compatible iPhone
- You want a portable battery with 7.5W wireless charging
- You don't want to spend more on a similar offering from Apple or another brand
You shouldn't buy this if...
- Your phone is not compatible
- You need a high-capacity battery pack
- You prefer premium build quality in your accessories
If you're looking for a cheap entry point to MagSafe wireless charging on the go, it's hard to argue with RAVPower's offering for the price. With 7.5W charging speeds, a decent capacity, and a USB-C port, it ticks a lot of boxes.
That being said, though it is cheaper it also looks and feels cheaper than competing products and there are some questions about the practices of the RAVPower brand in the past when it comes to user reviews which may put off some buyers.
Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.