The general truth about phones is that the battery life decreases as the design becomes thinner. The iPhone 12 family is no different – including the 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max – and on intense days with FaceTimes, a lot of typing and a little gaming, the battery percentage drops. And that’s where the $ 99 MagSafe battery comes in.
We’ve spent the last four hours with the latest Apple accessories for the iPhone 12 family. As the name suggests, this battery pack contains magnets and snap fasteners on the back of your iPhone. While we’re still testing exactly how much power it can deliver, the pack extends the battery life of your iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max. It starts charging immediately as soon as it’s plugged in, and integrates deeply with iOS so that you can easily see the battery level.
The magnet provides a pretty strong bond that we couldn’t break by waving our phone around or slipping into our skinny jeans. Yes, we still wear skinny jeans and yes, an iPhone still fits in our front pocket with the MagSafe Battery Pack attached.
And while earlier battery solutions from Apple for the iPhone cover the device in the form of a case, the MagSafe Battery Pack simply snaps into place on the back. It’s less bulky than third-party battery cases for the iPhone 12, but still provides a hump on the back. Apple has also replaced its signature soft silicone material with a hard plastic. The back of the MagSafe battery isn’t necessarily soft or extremely hard – it’s made of a soft plastic.
Jacob Krol / CNN
In classic Apple fashion, it’s only available in one color – white – and features a gray Apple logo at the top center. In fact, it replaces the obscured Apple logo on the back of your iPhone. It snaps backwards relatively easily, and sometimes with a slight thump.
On the iPhone 12 or 12 Pro, there is some leeway on either side. With the iPhone 12 Mini, it adapts perfectly to the edges of the phone. The MagSafe Battery Pack is about 11 millimeters thick and weighs 113 grams. One thing we should take into account is that with the MagSafe battery pack attached to the iPhone 12 or a MagSafe case on the iPhone, you do not have any additional accessories such as a MagSafe wallet can attach. It’s one or the other.
The bottom of the MagSafe battery has a lightning connector and a single LED indicator to let you know when it’s charging. The delivery does not include a lightning cable, but you will need one to charge the battery. Here is the best lightning cord of 2021.
Jacob Krol / CNN
Attaching the MagSafe battery to the iPhone 12 triggers a UX element on the screen. Similar to attaching a MagSafe wallet or case, a graphic and the pack’s battery level will flash. The battery indicator in the upper right corner of iOS will glow green when it is receiving power. It will start charging the iPhone and keep it as close to 100% as possible.
When the iPhone 12 is plugged in, it charges the MagSafe battery by reverse wireless charging. It’s similar to how the Pixel 5 or a Samsung Galaxy can charge a pair of earbuds or other Qi-enabled device from the back. This charging feature is a pretty nice bonus and doesn’t generate an insane amount of heat.
Attaching the MagSafe battery to the back of the iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max does not generate excessive heat either. It is comparable to the heat that a Smart Battery Case delivers.
We also haven’t seen how much power or battery life the MagSafe Battery Pack can add to an iPhone. The back of the battery reveals the cell inside: 1,460mAh (11.3Wh). Both numbers refer to the total capacity, but the Wh is actually close to that of an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro, so we can imagine that it isn’t a tiny 1,460 mAh cell, but possibly two of them. Apple’s charging rate here is faster than alternatives from Anker ($ 45.99; amazon.com) or Hyper ($ 39.99; hypershop.com), which have larger cells and a cheaper price.
We don’t yet know how long the MagSafe battery will extend the life of your iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max. We will keep testing, but in the meantime we can say that after a full charge of the pack, our iPhone 12 is running 100% with iOS 14.7.
As with previous Smart Battery Cases, this is about convenience – not the size of the battery. For $ 99, you can get much bigger batteries for less, but they don’t snap into the back of your phone right away or integrate with iOS. You can monitor the battery life of the pack directly in a widget and the iPhone can power the MagSafe.
We also only spent about four hours on the MagSafe battery, so it’s safe to say that we will still do a few more tests. However, if you’re looking for a purpose-built battery that doesn’t add a lot of weight and has a ton of features, we’d say the $ 99 MagSafe battery is for you.
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