Comparing MagSafe Battery Packs: Not A Simple Choice

Originally published at: Comparing MagSafe Battery Packs: Not A Simple Choice - TidBITS

Which MagSafe-compatible portable battery pack should you buy? Julio Ojeda-Zapata put Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack and three of its competitors through their paces and found pluses and minuses across the board. Though Apple’s product is the only MagSafe-certified option, you shouldn’t dismiss the other products given their lower cost and worthwhile features.

What I’m most interested in is a charger with a built-in battery. At home you plug it in and it charges its battery, while at the same time charging any attached device over USB-C as any other charger would. Then on the go, the charger can still be used to charge your devices because of its internal battery.

Back in the day, I had something like that with two USB-A ports. Fine for an iPhone, but not enough for an iPhone and a MacBook. If anybody knows of a more modern version of that with two USB-C ports and maybe a 10 Ah battery, I’d love to hear more.

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I’d be curious to see some comparisons on amount of charge from the same battery pack between charging an iPhone using MagSafe and charging wired via the USB-C port. Do you get more mileage out of the battery pack that way? (My guess is yes, but is it a little or a lot?)

I have an old iPhone and use corded battery packs. I find that the hassles and tangles are greatly reduced when I use really short cables—I have a mix of 6” and 10” cables just for this purpose.


Amazon suggested this:
Baseus Mag-Safe Power Bank, 10,000mAh Magnetic Wireless Portable Charger, PD 20W USB-C Battery Pack, Designed for iPhone 12/12 Pro/12 Pro Max/12 Mini
by Baseus US Tech
Learn more:

Then This:
Solar Charger 30000mAh, Portable Solar Power Bank External USB Battery Pack with LED Flashlight, Waterproof Solar Phone Charger Built-in Type-C Input, Compatible with Cell Phones and Tablets (Green)
Learn more:

I have not used either

The biggest problem is that wireless charging is highly inefficient. Details vary, but here’s one example that suggests potentially 47% less efficient:

In an age when most electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, a practice we need to end asap if we want to survive to keep using cool new tech. that’s unconscionable. If you don’t care about climate change, then you can just be selfish: a magsafe charger will deliver only half the juice to your phone that you’d get from a wired charger. Is cool tech really worth this cost?

I’ve never understood the attraction of wireless charging. If you have to schlep something the size of a typical power brick, you might as well just bring the cable and power brick. Wireless charging isn’t yet, and probably will never be, as ubiquitous as an electrical plug socket.

I generally never use wireless charging, mostly for the reasons that you give, so I agree with you, but I’m glad it exists, because it gives you a charging method in a pinch if you don’t have access to a charger or cable, the lightning port goes bad, the cable goes bad, etc.

Another take.