Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack: A Review
It may seem a bit odd that Apple released a new battery pack for the iPhones a full 10 months after introducing the devices, but that is what they have done. In fact the MagSafe Battery Pack was quietly released just over a week ago. The world is opening up a bit more and people are beginning to travel, so it may actually be the right time to release it.
The MagSafe Battery pack is reminiscent of the older Battery Cases that Apple created for the iPhone XS in that it will provide some extra power for your iPhone. The biggest difference with the battery pack, as compared to the battery case, is that it is magnetic and does not need to be attached to your phone all of the time.
The MagSafe Battery Pack is designed to be able to change any MagSafe iPhone. This includes the entire iPhone 12 line from the iPhone 12 mini, to the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The MagSafe Battery Pack
The editor of my books, Barry J. Sullivan, provided a review and it is short and to the point. His review is: "The battery magnets are strong and the phone and battery aren’t going to separate easily. The battery and phone combined is heavy."
In reality, that is probably the best summation of the MagSafe Battery Pack. The magnets are indeed strong, and the battery pack and iPhone it is on will not separate during normal use, and the combination is indeed quite chunky.
The MagSafe Battery Pack has only one port, a lightning adapter, to plug in the lightning cable to charge. The MagSafe Battery Pack also has a light indicating whether the MagSafe Battery Pack is charged, or charging. If it is charged it will be green, otherwise it should have an orange light.
The MagSafe battery pack has a matte finish to it, which does provide a bit of grip. And when it is connected to the iPhone 12 mini, it will go edge to edge. However, with the iPhone 12, or iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro ax, the battery pack will be within the edges of the device.
Even though it does not go edge to edge, it can actually be an advantage. This is because it can provide a bit of a lip so you can rest your finger underneath the battery pack while holding it.
Using the Battery Pack
If you are charging your iPhone from the MagSafe Battery Pack you will only get 5-watts of power. The reason for this is likely to minimize the heat and provide the maximum change of your device. This is because any excessive heat will cause the battery to drain faster, resulting in less of a charge overall.
It should be noted that the MagSafe Battery Pack is not a pass-through charger, meaning that you cannot charge the phone, charge the battery pack, and then charge something else. There is no MagSafe charger on the back of the battery pack that would be needed to make this possible.
However, if you are charging the battery pack itself, that is a different story.
Charging the Battery Pack
The MagSafe Battery Pack has a lightning port on it. This is designed to allow you to charge an iPhone. However, the MagSafe Battery Pack itself needs to be charged. There are two different ways of changing the MagSafe Battery Pack. One is to charge it by plugging a lightning cable into it directly. The second is to plug in an iPhone with the MagSafe Battery Pack attached.
Either method will charge the both the iPhone and the MagSafe Battery Pack, provided that you use a 20-watt power adapter.
When you charge the MagSafe Battery Pack through an iPhone, it is possible that your iPhone will charge to 80% before the MagSafe Battery Pack begins to charge. This is to make sure that your iPhone has enough charge before the MagSafe Battery Pack.
When you are charging your iPhone with the MagSafe Battery Pack, it will charge at a maximum of 15 watts when plugged into a powerful enough power brick, meaning that the small 5-watt charger just is not going to cut it.
Checking the Charge
While the MagSafe Battery Pack does have a light to indicate whether or not it is charged, there is no way to see the percentage of charge on the battery pack itself. Instead, you will need to use your iPhone. This is done by checking the charge by using the Battery Widget on the iPhone.
The Battery Widget will show you the charge of the MagSafe Battery Pack and whether or not it is currently charging.
The MagSafe Battery Pack is designed to attach to the back so there is none of the battery pack showing. However, given that it is magnetic, and the magnets are strong, you can technically attach the MagSafe Battery Pack at a 90-degree angle so it sticks out one of the sides. When in this configuration, you can technically use your iPhone with one hand.
It should be noted, that this is not the designed behavior and is likely not recommended by Apple.
A second thing to note is that the MagSafe Battery Pack is indeed a MagSafe charger, meaning that you can charge other Qi-enabled devices, like AirPods. While the MagSafe Battery Pack is quite useful, it does have a couple of downsides.
The MagSafe Battery Pack is not perfect, and it does have some flaws. The chief amongst these is that it cannot provide a full charge an iPhone 12 Pro Max. You would think that a battery pack that is designed for the entire iPhone 12 line would be Abel to provide one full charge to the entire line, but that is not the case.
The second downside is the limited color choices. You can have any color you want, provided it is white. Do not get me wrong, if Apple is going to provide only a single color, it will absolutely be white, but it does seem like a lost opportunity to at least match the iPhone colors that are in the iPhone 12 line.
There is one last thing that is not directly related to the MagSafe Battery Pack, but also applies to many of Apple's other devices. On the battery pack there are the required registration markings. The problem is not that these are there, in reality, it makes sense that they are where they are, because they are hidden most of the time. The problem, as I see it, is that there is absolutely no contrast between the gray used for the battery pack and the gray used for the text is effectively non-existent. While in most cases this is not a problem, it can become one should you ever need service and you cannot read the text on the battery pack.
The MagSafe Battery Pack is great idea in concept and has been executed pretty well. The fact that it only charges at 5 watts can be problematic if you just needed a quick charge. If that is the case, then you might just want to plug your iPhone in using a cable.
The MagSafe Battery Pack is primarily used to charge an iPhone, but since it is a MagSafe charger it can be used to charge other Qi-compatible devices. When charging an iPhone it will not full charge an iPhone, but it can provide enough charge to get you through the day, if you need it.
The MagSafe Battery Pack is $99, or the equivalent in your local currency, and is available now. It is only available in one color, white.