June 9, 2023
Apple's MagSafe battery has fallen to a new low of $71 |  Engadget

Apple’s MagSafe battery has fallen to a new low of $71 | Engadget

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Apple’s MagSafe battery is exactly what it says on the box: a portable battery that attaches to the back of an iPhone via Apple’s MagSafe magnetic charging technology and charges the handset wirelessly. The battery is a harder sell at full price, but today it’s available for $71, which is the lowest price we’ve seen yet. For reference, Apple typically sells the device for $99, although its average price online has edged closer to $90 in recent months.


The MagSafe Battery works with any iPhone 12, 13, or 14 model, and using it is as simple as sticking it to the back of one of these devices and letting it do its job. You don’t need to press any additional buttons to start charging, unlike many third-party competitors. Design-wise, it’s a thin, matte plastic rectangle designed to match the dimensions of an iPhone 12 or 13 mini, so it will fit entirely on the back of a larger device like the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Because it’s an Apple-made product, it’s also able to integrate with an iPhone in a way that competing MagSafe batteries can’t. You can see the pack’s charge level through the Control Center and Batteries widget in iOS, for example, and you can charge the battery itself from your iPhone when it’s plugged in. By default, the pack will only charge your phone to around 90% to better preserve its efficiency, although you can turn it off if you wish.

If you have a 20W or more charger and a USB-C to Lightning cable, you can also plug in the MagSafe battery and use it as a 15W wireless charging puck, giving the device a bit of utility. when you are not out of the house. Unfortunately, and perhaps as expected, Apple doesn’t include a cable or power supply in the box, but that’s less of an issue if you already have both for your iPhone. (If you don’t, our guide to the best fast chargers may interest you.)

When it comes to charging your iPhone, the MagSafe battery is a bit more compromised. Part of that is simply due to the nature of wireless charging; the technology has improved over the years, but if you want the fastest possible charge, a cable with a traditional battery can still be much faster to top it all off. But the capacity of the MagSafe battery itself is quite small at 1,460mAh (or 11.13Wh), so it can only charge a standard iPhone 14 to around 60-65% from scratch.

We’ve recommended Anker’s 622 Magnetic Battery as a good alternative to the MagSafe battery in the past; this one has a larger capacity of 5,000mAh (19.25Wh) which can approach 80-85% charging on the same phone. It also costs less than Apple’s bundle, even with the latter on sale, has a built-in kickstand, and comes in a wider variety of colors. (The MagSafe battery only comes in white.) It’s not designed as well for iPhones and doesn’t have the extras listed above, but it’s a better value if you just want more power. juice from a compact MagSafe pack. Anker’s 633 Magnetic Battery, on the other hand, has an even bigger capacity, albeit in a thicker frame.

However, since their charging capabilities are all somewhat limited, MagSafe packs like these are best considered a battery expanders, things can use to keep your phone running at a glance, more than full power banks. The MagSafe battery is a good fit for that, especially since Apple released a firmware update earlier this year that increased the device’s wireless charging rate from 5W to 7.5W, which which is still slower than an optimal wired connection but matches the Anker models above. If you can live with less capacity and know you’ll appreciate some of its more iPhone-friendly features, it should be easier to justify at that price.

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