Home / Technology / Apple’s MagSafe battery pack has more capacity than it looks – here’s why

Apple’s MagSafe battery pack has more capacity than it looks – here’s why



The MagSafe battery pack seems to have little capacity when it comes to examining milliamp-hour ratings, but that’s not the whole story. Here are the battery ratings and what they mean for users.

Apple has not provided complete specifications for the MagSafe battery pack. Official photography shows a few figures that give us insight into how much charging capacity it has.

At first glance, the numbers seem mildly disappointing, with a capacity of one third of the iPhone 12 Pro Max battery.

More important than milliamp hours, however, is power and voltage. The number of milliamp hours is often used to define how much a battery can charge a device, but this only works as a comparable calculation if both the battery and the charged device have identical voltage.

Apple MagSafe battery pack specifications

iPhone battery capacity

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max – 3.687mAh
  • iPhone 12 Pro – 2.815mAh
  • iPhone 12 – 2,815mAh
  • iPhone 12 mini – 2227mAh

All iPhone 12 models use 3.81V batteries, so the MagSafe battery pack has a higher voltage potential, and therefore a higher wattage hour than the iPhone it charges. This means that the MagSafe battery pack can provide more power to an iPhone than the milliamp-hour rating suggests.

Conversions

Understanding the effective power that the MagSafe battery pack can provide lies in a simple mathematical equation.

Amplifier * Voltage = Power (in watts)

Using this equation, we can find out the effective milliamps of the MagSafe battery pack for a given voltage. Or, more simply, we can find out Watt-hour ratings for each iPhone and use this as a direct comparison with the MagSafe rating.

When it comes to milliamp hours

If the MagSafe battery pack delivers 1460 mAh at 7.62 V, the effective milliamp-hour rating at 3.81 V will be 2,920 mAh. This number is found by taking the battery current and dividing it by the voltage of the iPhone.

With an efficient 2,920 mAh, assuming 100% efficiency (which you really can’t, but we’ll get to that in a moment), the MagSafe battery pack will be able to fully charge an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12. Pro without much problem. However, users should not expect a perfect transfer of power between the devices due to heat loss and poor efficiency.

Wireless charging is about 50% efficient, which means that half of the power is lost to heat or other losses. That said, it’s hard to figure out MagSafe charging efficiency. Apple’s “special sauce” can lead to better efficiency than “basic” Qi.

There will be some discussions about the efficiency of wireless charging later. But with this introductory look at efficient milliamp hours given the iPhone’s excitement, the MagSafe battery pack does not seem so understated.

MagSafe battery pack is the exact width of the iPhone 12 mini

MagSafe battery pack is the exact width of the iPhone 12 mini

When it comes to watt hours

Mathematically, we can compare these classifications in many ways, but the charge the battery provides will remain the same. While most battery packs use milliamp-hour ratings to represent capacity, Watt-hours would better explain the total capacity without error due to voltage differences.

The watt-hour value is a better indicator of the unit’s total capacity because it takes into account voltage and current.

  • MagSafe battery pack – 11.13Wh
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max – 14.05Wh
  • iPhone 12 Pro – 10.73Wh
  • iPhone 12 – 10.73Wh
  • iPhone 12 mini – 8.48Wh

Using this calculation, we can see the MagSafe battery pack is located directly between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max in terms of total capacity. When we take into account the efficiency of charging, the numbers are not so impressive, but sufficient given the size of the battery pack. At 70% efficiency, the MagSafe battery pack will charge the iPhone 12 mini to approximately 90% capacity from zero.

Charging efficiency

There are a number of factors users should take into account when considering battery capacity. Although the figures look good on paper for the MagSafe battery pack, the efficiency is not 100% when the reviews are properly examined.

Apple acknowledges this by programming some intelligence in the iPhone and MagSafe battery pack. To get the most out of using the MagSafe battery pack, Apple does not allow it to charge the iPhone at the same speed, given the conditions of charging, including heat, and the charged iPhone battery characteristics.

Apple’s intelligent charging features

  • MagSafe battery pack stops charging if iPhone reaches 90%
  • If iPhone gets too hot, MagSafe battery pack stops charging over 80%
  • The MagSafe battery pack ensures that the iPhone reaches full charge first before using the connected power to charge itself
  • The iPhone can charge the MagSafe battery pack through reverse charging if the internal battery is full and connected to power

Apple takes temperature considerations into account during any charging process. Introducing too much heat to a lithium-ion battery will cause it to break down faster, so it is not recommended to use wireless charging in too hot an environment.

Fortunately, users do not have to consider charging efficiency or temperature when using their devices. Built-in intelligence will handle all this for them, so inefficient charging does not take place.

Charging efficiency via standard Qi is 50% as efficient as a wired charger

Charging efficiency via standard Qi is 50% as efficient as a wired charger

Regardless of charging intelligence features, wireless charging is still inefficient. Heat loss and magnetic loss will cause some of the MagSafe battery pack to flow out faster than over a cable.

AppleInsider will test the charging efficiency of the MagSafe battery pack to determine exactly how much power it will provide in a stable environment. As previously mentioned, Qi charging is about 50% efficient, but we expect MagSafe wireless charging to be between 60% and 70% with Apple’s battery intelligence.

The MagSafe platform has shown that it uses proprietary technology and intelligence to solve some of the problems with wireless charging. The MagSafe battery pack can provide 15W of power to the connected iPhone until it reaches one of the requirements mentioned above.

Is the MagSafe battery pack underpowered?

Our first examination of specifications and data here has shown that Apple’s MagSafe battery pack is not as weak an offer as originally feared. The power rating shows that it will have enough capacity to come close to doubling the battery life of an iPhone 12 mini during use.

Efficiency aside, we believe the use of the MagSafe battery pack will be a good experience for those who want a little more power throughout the day. Small battery packs like Apple’s are not meant to replace a dedicated power supply or daily charging routine, but provide a few hours of extra device use when needed.

Apple’s offering appears to be quite small and thin while providing almost 100% of an iPhone’s battery charge at 15W. We expect that it will be sufficient for users who want this type of battery pack.

Many were quick to compare the MagSafe battery pack with one made by Anker, but did not have the whole story. The anchor battery pack has a capacity of 5,000 mAh, but charges only 7.5 W and does not have the same charging intelligence functions as Apple’s battery.

AppleInsider will test the Apple MagSafe battery pack and compare it with its competitors when it becomes available. Customers can purchase the MagSafe battery pack for $ 99 on Apple’s website.


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