Apple’s MagSafe battery pack is here with a clean design and seamless integration with iPhone 12 and iOS. But is it worth the $ 99 price tag? Stay tuned for a detailed comparison of Apple MagSafe Battery vs Mophie and Anker’s solid half-price alternatives.
The official Apple MagSafe battery pack has arrived nine months after the iPhone 12 series debuted with the practical magnetic functionality. And earlier this year, two of the most compelling MagSafe-compatible battery packs to launch were the Mophies Snap + Juice Pack Mini (reviewed) and Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K (reviewed).
Apple MagSafe Battery vs Anchor and Mophie options
Design and price
|Color||White||Black / gray||Black|
|Price||$ 99||$ 49.95||$ 45.99|
All three MagSafe batteries have their own unique design. Apple̵
Mophie has a pure dark gray fabric and a black framed design, while Anker uses a simple rubberized black plastic. For I / O, these two solid third-party options use USB-C while Apple uses Lightning.
For $ 99 compared to ~ $ 50, read on for all the pros and cons to see if Apple has enough advantages over Mophie and Anker to make it worth the prize.
Ok, so this is a bit messy for some reason. First, Apple does not share any guidance on how much extra iPhone 12 battery you can expect, which is not even an estimate. But let’s start with what we expect to see (actual figures from Mophie and Anker shown in the chart and our estimates for Apple’s MagSafe battery pack). Continue reading below for the fine details.
|Cost per unit||apple||Mophie||Anchor|
|iPhone 12 mini||Probably around 1 fully charged||Up to 1.25 costs||1.2 costs|
|iPhone 12/12 Pro||Probably around 75% charge||Up to 1 fully charged||95% charge|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||Probably around 50% charge||Up to 75% charge||75% cost|
So how did we come up with the Apple estimates above? Apple shared the raw specifications of the MagSafe Battery Pack, but they can be misunderstood in an instant. It may be easier to look at Wh (watt-hours) to more easily compare these batteries and the charge they offer for the iPhone 12 series.
Because Apple uses twice as much voltage as Mophie and Anker, it suggests that two 1460mAh cells are actually used, which puts the true mAh around 2920. One factor to consider is that Apple may have a higher efficiency (possibly around 70% ) when it comes to wireless power transmission.
|Raw battery specifications||apple||Mophie||Anchor|
|mAh (milliamp timer)||1460 (2920 at ~ 3.7 V)||5000||5000|
So even though 11.13Wh compared to 18.5Wh for Mophie and Anker seems significantly lower, the difference in how much a cost you can expect may not be that big due to efficiency differences.
For reference, the iPhone 12 mini has an 8.57Wh battery, the iPhone 12 / Pro has a 10.75Wh battery, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 14.13Wh battery. This means that Mophie and Anker batteries have a wireless transmission efficiency of around 60% based on the costs they offer.
Based on the 11.13Wh rating for Apple’s MagSafe battery pack and the assumption that the efficiency is closer to 70%, that would mean around 1 full charge for iPhone 12 mini, around 75% for iPhone 12 / Pro and around 50% for iPhone 12 Pro Max. .
Mophie and Anker will probably still provide about 25% more power to a given iPhone 12 device.
It was interesting to see top brands like Mophie and Anker skip the official MagSafe designation, but this detail probably explains why – even Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack offers only 5W wireless charging on the go.
As described in Apple’s support document, the only way to get a 15W fast charge with Apple’s battery pack is to use it when connected. This means that there is not much difference in official MagSafe vs. MagSafe compatible here.
|In use wireless||5W||5W||5W|
More features compared
So what else separates Apple’s MagSafe battery pack from Mophie and Anker? The integration with iOS and automatic plug-in are probably two of the most valuable features.
When you connect the Apple MagSafe battery pack, it automatically starts charging the iPhone 12, with a charging status displayed on the lock screen. You can also find charge status icons in the day view and in the widgets on the home screen.
|Physical power button||❌||✅||✅|
|Power / charging status in iOS||✅||❌||❌|
|LED (s) on package||✅ (1)||✅ (4)||✅ (5)|
Interestingly, Apple offers two ways to use throughput charging. You can connect a 20 W power adapter to the MagSafe battery pack, and it charges both the pack and the iPhone 12. Or you connect via the iPhone 12’s lightning port which will charge your smartphone, and the MagSafe battery pack via reverse wireless charging.
However, there are positives for Mophie and Anker that Apple does not have, wired input and output via USB-C, which gives more flexibility for charging other devices.
You can also use the Qi wireless pad on the Mophie and Anker battery packs to charge all Qi-supported devices; you just do not get MagSafe alignment and security. It is not yet clear if Apple supports this functionality, or if the MagSafe battery pack only works when connected to an iPhone 12.
Apple has not shared the dimensions of the MagSafe battery pack at this point, but based on photos, it looks like Apple will sit between Anker’s smaller footprint with thicker design and Mophie’s larger footprint with thinner design.
It seems like Mophie will be the thinnest option here at just under half an inch.
|Thickness||?||0.49 inches||0.63 inches|
|Weight||?||0.298 lbs||0.287 lbs|
When it comes to iPhone 12 mini owners, the Anker or Apple MagSafe battery can fit best since they are both under 4 inches. For iPhone 12 / Pro and Pro Max users, however, some of the three major sizes work.
Apple MagSafe Battery vs Mophie and Anker wrap-up
That’s a good amount to consider when looking at Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Mophie and Anker, but hopefully you now have a good idea of what is best for you.
Benefits for Apple
If strong iOS integration, auto-add and Apple design are important to you, and you’re good with white as your only choice – the $ 99 premium price is probably worth it for the MagSafe battery pack.
Apple MagSafe battery pack is available for order now directly from Apple.
Benefits for Mophie and Anker
And if you want something in black or gray, want more versatility and / or would rather spend less money, Mophie’s Snap + Juice Pack Mini for $ 50 and Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K for $ 46 are hard to beat (it’s probably cheaper options out there, but not from brands as reputable as Mophie or Anker).
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