(Pocket-lint) – You might know the name MagSafe from the MacBook charging cable, but the technology – available on both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 – is quite a different proposition on smartphones from Apple.
MagSafe for iPhone harnesses the magnets on the back of the device and, using a compatible charger, ensures perfectly aligned wireless charging every time.
As you’d expect, a whole host of accessories have become available since the introduction of MagSafe on the iPhone in 2020 – both from Apple itself and from third parties. You’ll need a MagSafe charger to get started, which we’ll detail below, and those looking to protect their device with an iPhone 12 case or iPhone 13 case will also need to make sure it’s compatible with the iPhone 12 case as well. technology.
You’re in luck if you’re looking further afield too, with plenty of other accessories cleverly taking advantage of the strong magnetic grip, such as car phone holders, kickstands, 2-in-1 chargers and wireless power banks. wire.
In this guide, we’ll highlight the best ones we’ve tried on our devices, as well as some things to know about MagSafe before you buy.
Best MagSafe Accessories for iPhone
Apple MagSafe Charger
If you’re just getting started with MagSafe accessories, picking up Apple’s official charger is probably your first port of call. As it comes straight from Apple, you get all the benefits that comes with it, such as improved reliability and cutting-edge performance.
Unlike options that aren’t specifically designed using Apple’s MagSafe technology, this one is capable of reaching the technology’s maximum 15W output.
Anker 521 Magnetic Power Bank
One of Anker’s best options is this battery, which uses magnets to attach to your iPhone so you can use it without any wires.
It’s brilliant and, often, can be found half the price of Apple’s equivalent, so we highly recommend it – especially for those who regularly need to find power on the go and don’t want to lug around a cable to connect their phone to a power bank.
Belkin MagSafe Magnetic Car Phone Holder
There are many types of car phone holders available these days, but the benefit of a dedicated MagSafe option is that you benefit from the technology’s very strong magnetic grip. This means you can avoid manually cradling your phone in a locked position, and also bypass weak magnets that jerky car movements can often dislodge.
Of course, you’ll need a car that has free air vents to attach this Belkin mount – and we appreciate that a lot of cars only fit dash or windshield mounts – but that’s is still a great choice for those who take frequent car trips.
ESR HaloLock Kickstand Wireless Charger
If, like us, you do a lot of train and plane travel, you’ll probably try to pass the time by resting your iPhone on a bottle of water and watching something you’ve downloaded from Netflix – until he inevitably slides on his back, of course.
With this MagSafe charger, that tedious routine is changed forever. There is a built-in kickstand on the charging puck, allowing you to easily set it down on a flat surface with no problem. It’s still prone to the occasional drop on very bumpy rides, but it’s still ideal for frequent travelers.
Belkin MagSafe 2-in-1 Wireless Charger
If you already have an iPhone, chances are you also have a pair of AirPods. And, provided they also have a case capable of charging wirelessly, this 2-in-1 stand lets you effectively ensure the pair is always maxed out.
Unlike many dual chargers, we also find this one very good looking. It doesn’t take up too much space on a bedside table, and the strong magnetic grip ensures that the iPhone is always locked in a fairly solid position.
Snakehive Metro MagSafe Card Holder
Snakehive is packed with neat accessories for your iPhone, and now that’s expanding to include MagSafe technology. We particularly like this snap wallet, which holds up to three cards and easily snaps in and out of your phone.
Plus, since it doesn’t need to fit around the phone itself, it’s compatible with any iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 model. You can even get an engraving, as we have done, with the wallet itself available in nine different color combinations.
Anker wireless charger
If you’re not too keen on hitting MagSafe’s 15W maximum output, Anker has a great alternative that still delivers that satisfying magnetic snap when in use.
For that drop in charging speed performance, there’s also a price drop over the official option. We love it as a second charger that we keep on our desk throughout the work day.
Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe
With MagSafe now a well-established technology, there’s no shortage of compatible cases, and Apple itself offers leather and silicone options. These are also available in tons of different colors – including transparent.
If we’re being honest, we’ve enjoyed using all of Apple’s cases for different reasons, but the added grip of the silicone options is why this list made it. As a bonus, your iPhone will also recognize the case and display a corresponding animation, which we were easily impressed with.
Just keep in mind that you will need to know your specific phone model before deciding which option to choose, as iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 cases differ slightly.
How to choose a MagSafe accessory
Since MagSafe for iPhone devices is a relatively new technology, it’s normal to have some questions about what it is and how it works. This is what we will answer in this section.
What is MagSafe for iPhone?
The latest version of MagSafe is a mounting and charging system for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models. Apple has essentially taken the wireless charging coil from the iPhone and added new components to create a new type of wireless charging enhanced with continued Qi support. In addition, it allows the mounting of different accessories – some of which we have detailed above.
MagSafe for iPhone adds a single-coil NFC magnetometer and reader. It basically uses magnets to help properly align your iPhone to a wireless charger. Previously, with a standard Qi wireless charger, if your phone wasn’t lined up perfectly, it would charge much slower than normal. However, with a MagSafe charger, placement is a snap and you’ll get up to 15W of power.
If you’re using Qi charging, Apple says you’ll be limited to the same 7.5W as with older-generation iPhone models such as the iPhone 11. More on that below.
What about MagSafe for Mac?
Apple introduced its proprietary MagSafe technology in 2006 on a MacBook Pro. This original version is basically a magnetic power connector for the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The idea is that if your MacBook is pulled by someone tripping over the power cord, the MagSafe connector will pull out of the socket without damaging either the power outlet or your laptop.
Interestingly, Apple started replacing MagSafe in 2016 with USB-C connectors, although it has now returned to the technology with the latest MacBook Pro models, released in 2021.
Should You Consider Third-Party MagSafe Chargers?
Particularly for those interested in charging speeds, there’s an important distinction to pay attention to when trawling through the many MagSafe attachments.
Apple-approved accessories incorporate official MagSafe technology. You can easily spot these devices, as they will be marked with a “Made for MagSafe” badge on the retail packaging, and they will deliver the full 15W output power.
That’s not to say that accessories that don’t feature it aren’t worth it, though. In fact, some accessory manufacturers offer MagSafe accessories with the “Made For MagSafe” badge, and some don’t. All of this really means that those that are just MagSafe compatible don’t have the official tech inside. They’ll still meet industry standards for wireless charging and offer the same precision and magnetic ring – but they’ll just be capped at 7.5W.
Written by Conor Allison.