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Apple recently unveiled the MagSafe Battery Pack, an elegant, add-on battery designed to work with the full iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineup. With its rather hefty price tag, the MagSafe Battery Pack certainly isn’t the only – or the fastest! – option to top off your iPhone 12 or 13.
Depending on your needs, you may want to consider some of the other MagSafe-compatible portable batteries on the market, all of which can magnetically attach to any one of the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 phones.
Before we reveal some of our top third party MagSafe-compatible battery packs, let’s review the main features of the new Apple MagSafe Battery Pack.
Apple MagSafe Battery Pack ($89.95 on Amazon)
MagSafe is Apple’s new magnetic technology built into the internal engineering of iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models. The MagSafe Battery Pack features perfectly aligned magnets that keep the external battery attached to any iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro phones (and it fits the iPhone 12 Mini like a glove!).
The MagSafe Battery Pack provides a safe and reliable wireless charge that is automatic (no on or off buttons!) once it’s attached to your iPhone. And no need to worry about interference with your credit cards or key fobs.
If you are sitting at your desk and want to top off your iPhone 12 or 13, all you need to do is plug in a Lightning cable into the MagSafe Battery Pack for up to 15W of wireless charging. If you’re looking for a faster charge, you can connect it to a 20W or higher power adapter. The MagSafe Battery Pack also supports reverse wireless charging so you can charge the MagSafe Battery Pack and your iPhone simultaneously!
That being said, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack has a rather subpar 1,460mAh capacity which yields a rather mediocre charging performance. Starting from 0% battery, a dead iPhone, and charging all the way up until the MagSafe Battery Pack was exhausted, 9to5Mac observed that with 2 hours of charging time, the iPhone 12 Mini can go up to an 83% charge, the iPhone 12 a 63% charge, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max would only go up to 53%.
Apple’s own website claims the MagSafe Battery Pack can provide a 40-70% additional charge depending on the iPhone 12 or 13 model being used.
(To learn more about the importance of mAh – or milliamp hours – check out our blog post What Is mAh?)
Being an official Apple product, the MagSafe Battery Pack comes with the classic, sleek white Apple aesthetic with rounded corners and features iOS integration so you can add widgets to your home screen which can display the status of your charge. There’s also an LED indicator which turns green when the battery is full.
While the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is certainly a thing of beauty and provides the best, most stable connection to your iPhone, it isn’t the only magnetic wireless charging option in town. As with every other iPhone accessory, there’s a host of third party brands who have released compatible battery packs that charge better or faster than the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack!
Here are a few of the best – and faster charging – MagSafe Battery Pack alternatives:
Anker 521 Magnetic Battery PowerCore 5K ($54.99 on Amazon)
The Anker 521 is a 5,000mAh portable power bank, which is more than 3x the battery capacity of the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack. The Anker 521 PowerCore 5K is compatible with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineup and can output 5W of power and charge via USB-C (not wireless!). It also comes in an array of nice colors beyond the standard black and white, including purple, green and blue.
When it comes to battery performance, 9toMac observed that the Anker 521 power bank charged an iPhone 12 to full capacity (100%), compared to the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack which could only charge an iPhone 12 to 63%.
9to5Mac also claims the Anker battery pack can also charge faster than the MagSafe, reaching a 63% charge in an iPhone 12 in just 99 minutes as opposed to 124 minutes.
Mophie Snap+ Juice Pack Mini ($49.99 on Amazon)
Like the Anker 521, the Mophie Snap+ Juice Pack Mini is a USB-C magnetic power bank with a 5,000mAh capacity that can stick to the back of any iPhone 12 and some iPhone 13 phones. The Mophie, however, has a higher output than the Anker (7.5W of power versus 5W) and is compatible with a wider variety of phones, including the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel.
And, unlike the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack and the Anker 521 which feature a plastic shell, the Mophie Snap+ Juice Pack Mini has a more fabric-feel exterior which some may prefer to slippery smooth plastic.
In terms of performance, the Mophie Snap+ Juice Pack Mini performed about as well as the Anker 521, according to 9to5Mac’s internal testing. The Mophie could charge an iPhone 12 to 98% capacity, and it took the Mophie 103 minutes to reach the 63% mark, which is 20% faster than the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack.
Apple MagSafe Battery Pack vs. Anker 521 vs Mophie Snap+: Which to Choose?
All in all, the Anker 521 and Mophie Snap+ battery packs performed significantly better than the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack:
However, in the end, the best MagSafe-compatible portable charger is going to be the one that best suits your needs and budget.
If you’re looking for the best attachment/fit and iOS integration then there’s really only one choice: the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack.
If you want a colorful battery pack, go for the Anker 521 model because it’s one of the best performing MagSafe-compatible chargers that comes in a wide variety of colors.
If you’re looking for a high-performing magnetic charger that is compatible with other phones besides an iPhone, then you should probably lean towards the Mophie Snap+.
In addition to the Anker 521 and the Mophie Snap+, there are many other alternatives – cheaper, higher battery capacity, etc – available on Amazon and elsewhere. Do your research and pick a power bank that meets your expectations. Happy charging!