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? Follow along for a detailed comparison of the Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Mophie and Anker’s solid alternatives at half the price.
The official Apple MagSafe Battery Pack has arrived nine months after the iPhone 12 lineup debuted with the handy magnetic functionality. And earlier in the year, two of the most compelling MagSafe compatible battery packs to launch have been Mophie’s Snap+ Juice Pack Mini (reviewed) and Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K (reviewed).
Apple MagSafe Battery vs Anker and Mophie alternatives
Design and price
All three of these MagSafe battery options have their own unique design. A departure from its previous Smart Battery Cases, Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is only available in white but, of course, comes with the company’s signature seamless silicone design.
Mophie goes with a clean dark gray fabric and black-framed design, while Anker uses a simple rubberized black plastic. For I/O, these two solid third-party choices use USB-C while Apple uses Lightning.
At $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 premium.
Ok, so this is a bit messy for a few reasons. First, Apple doesn’t share any guidance for how much extra iPhone 12 battery to expect, like not even an estimate. But we’ll start with what we expect to see (actual numbers from Mophie and Anker shown in the chart and our estimates for Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack). Keep reading below for the fine details.
|Charge per device||Apple||Mophie||Anker|
|iPhone 12 mini||Likely around 1 full charge||Up to 1.25 charges||1.2 charges|
|iPhone 12/12 Pro||Likely around 75% charge||Up to 1 full charge||95% charge|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||Likely around 50% charge||Up to 75% charge||75% charge|
So how did we come up with the Apple estimates above? Apple did share the raw specs of the MagSafe Battery Pack, but those can be misunderstood at a glance. It can be easier to look at the Wh (watt-hours) rating to more easily compare these batteries and the charge they’ll offer for the iPhone 12 lineup.
Because Apple is using double the voltage of Mophie and Anker, it suggests there are actually two 1460mAh cells used, putting the true mAh around 2920. One more factor to consider is that Apple may have a higher efficiency (possibly around 70%) when it comes to wireless power transfer.
|Raw battery specs||Apple||Mophie||Anker|
|mAh (milliamp hours)||1460 (2920 at ~3.7V)||5000||5000|
So even though the 11.13Wh compared to 18.5Wh for Mophie and Anker seems notably lower, the disparity in how much of a charge to expect may not be as 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. That means Mophie and Anker batteries have wireless transfer efficiency of around 60% based on the charges they offer.
Based on the 11.13Wh rating of Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack and the assumption that its efficiency is closer to 70%, that would mean around 1 full charge for iPhone 12 mini, about 75% for iPhone 12/Pro, and around 50% for iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Mophie and Anker will still probably provide about 25% more power for any 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 just 5W wireless charging on the go.
As described in Apple’s support document, the only way to get 15W fast charging with Apple’s Battery Pack is to use it when plugged in. That means there’s not much difference in official MagSafe vs. MagSafe compatible here.
|In use wirelessly||5W||5W||5W|
|When plugged in||15W||5W||5W|
More features compared
So what else sets Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack apart from Mophie and Anker? The integration with iOS and auto power on are likely two of the most valuable features.
When you attach the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack, it automatically starts charging your iPhone 12, with a charge status showing up on the lock screen. You can also find charge status icons in the Today View and in home screen widgets.
|Auto power on||✅||❌||❌|
|Physical power button||❌||✅||✅|
|Power/charge status in iOS||✅||❌||❌|
|LED(s) on pack||✅ (1)||✅ (4)||✅ (5)|
|Reverse passthrough charging||✅||❌||❌|
Interestingly, Apple offers two ways to use passthrough charging. You can plug a 20W power adapter into the MagSafe Battery Pack, and it will charge both the pack and your iPhone 12. Or you plug in via your iPhone 12’s Lightning port which will charge your smartphone, and the MagSafe Battery Pack via reverse wireless charging.
However, a positive for Mophie and Anker that Apple doesn’t have is wired input and output via USB-C, giving more flexibility for charging other devices.
Also, you can use the wireless Qi pad on the Mophie and Anker battery packs to charge any Qi-supported device; you just don’t get the MagSafe alignment and security. It’s not clear yet if Apple will support that functionality or if the MagSafe Battery Pack will only work when attached to an iPhone 12.
Apple hasn’t shared the dimensions of its MagSafe Battery Pack at this point, but based on images, it looks like Apple’s will sit in 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.
|Weight||?||0.298 pounds||0.287 pounds|
When it comes to iPhone 12 mini owners, the Anker or Apple MagSafe Battery may fit best since they’re both under 4 inches. However, for iPhone 12/Pro and Pro Max users, any of the three work great size-wise.
Apple MagSafe Battery vs Mophie and Anker wrap-up
There’s a good amount to consider when looking at the Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Mophie and Anker, but hopefully, now you have a good idea of what’s the best fit for you.
Pros for Apple
If strong iOS integration, auto power on, and the Apple design are important to you, and you’re good with white as the only choice – the $99 premium price is probably worth it for the MagSafe Battery Pack.
The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is available to order now direct from Apple.
Pros for Mophie and Anker
And if you want something in black or gray, want greater versatility, and/or would rather spend less money, Mophie’s Snap+ Juice Pack Mini at $50 and Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K at $46 are hard to beat (sure, there are cheaper options out there, but not from brands as reputable as Mophie or Anker).
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