The common truth with phones is that as the design gets thinner, the battery life shrinks. The iPhone 12 family is no different — 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max included — and on intense days with FaceTimes, lots of typing and gaming, the battery percentage can drop quickly.
So what’s the fix? Traditionally, it’s a portable battery pack that you plug in or a battery case that snaps onto your phone. The new solution is the $99 MagSafe Battery Pack, which attaches to the back and wirelessly charges your iPhone. And we’ve spent several days with the MagSafe Battery Pack, using it on the entire iPhone 12 family. Let’s let lightning spark and unpack the latest iPhone accessory.
Designed for the iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max
If you want a purpose-built battery that doesn’t add much weight and brings a ton of function, we’d say the $99 MagSafe Battery Pack fits the bill.
Who this is for: The MagSafe Battery Pack is a purpose-built accessory that takes advantage of the iPhone 12 design and aims to stretch the battery life a bit more. It’s ideal if you don’t want to be bothered by carrying a separate portable charger.
What you need to know: This accessory gives iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max users a simple and engaging way to extend battery life. Moreover, it integrates with iOS in a way that other batteries or options can’t. However, it’s not the longest-lasting or fastest charger out there.
How this compares: Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is neither the thinnest nor the fastest portable charging solution. Traditional battery packs might be larger and a whole separate device, but they offer more mAhs and ports, which let you charge more devices. Third-party solutions — like Anker’s or Hyper’s magnetic power banks — still easily attach to the back but don’t offer the software integration and slim designs. Often, they’re larger and produce a bit more heat when in use. No other portable battery offers deep integration with iOS, though. The MagSafe Battery Pack is firmly an extender that won’t fully recharge an iPhone but offers convenience and a few neat tricks for $99.
The MagSafe Battery Pack is centered around power and design, the latter of which takes unique advantage of Apple’s MagSafe technology. This Battery Pack quickly snaps to the back of the iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max. Magnets built into the back of the iPhone match up with magnets on the battery pack itself. And it snaps with a satisfying thud on the back.
Like Apple’s Smart Battery Cases, this accessory will create a hump on the back of your phone. The MagSafe Battery Packs measures in at about 11 millimeters thick and weighs in at 113 grams. That’s smaller than the original iPhone and close to the size of a MagSafe Wallet. It’s a hard shell plastic design that comes only in white with a gray Apple logo centered at the top. Previous Smart Battery Cases have opted for a soft silicone shell, but this harder plastic seems better against denim and drops. Namely, it doesn’t scuff as quickly and doesn’t show dye from jeans after some early tests.
The bottom of the MagSafe Battery Pack features a Lightning port and a single LED indicator that lets you know when it’s charging. You won’t find a Lightning cable included in the box, though you’ll need one to charge the battery pack. Here’s the best Lightning cable of 2021. When you plug the Battery Pack into a Lightning cable for charge, the LED indicator will glow orange for a bit, and green when it’s fully charged. We imagine Apple opted for the Lightning port as you already have that for the iPhone it will be attached to.
Now, regardless of your iPhone — 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max — you’ll get the same MagSafe Battery Pack. It’s a one-size-fits-all approach. On an iPhone 12 Mini, it covers the bottom back, matching perfectly with the edges. On the 12 or 12 Pro, you have some more wiggle room on the left, right and bottom. With the 12 Pro Max, it sits centered on the back with plenty of space. The bigger the iPhone, the more back room.
So it’s a small hump on the back that, while noticeable, isn’t obnoxious. The iPhone 12 or 12 Pro is still easy to hold with the MagSafe Battery Pack on and it makes the 12 Mini easy to cradle. We’re also happy to report that it still fits in our skinny jeans front pocket. The magnet provides a strong connection that we haven’t been able to knock off by waving our phone around or sliding in and out of spaces like jeans.
There’s nothing truly fancy here, though we can’t help but wonder why Apple didn’t offer this new accessory in other colors. A MagSafe Battery Pack color-
Apple’s new $99 MagSafe pack extends the battery of your iPhone
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