Are MagSafe Power Banks Worth the Money?

Are MagSafe Power Banks Worth the Money?

If you just look at their capacity and charging speed, MagSafe power banks are not very cost-effective. They cost several times more than similarly-spec’d wired power banks. Still, a MagSafe battery pack is worth buying if you truly care about convenience.

Wireless charging reached new heights when Apple debuted its MagSafe standard. Not only does a magnetic connection provide faster and more reliable wireless charging, but it opens the door to convenient smartphone accessories, including MagSafe power banks. But these magnetic battery packs are expensive—are they worth the money?

Table of Contents

What Is a MagSafe Battery Pack?
MagSafe Battery Packs Aren’t Very Cost-Effective
A Wired Power Bank Is Usually Your Best Option
Should You Buy a MagSafe Battery Pack?

What Is a MagSafe Battery Pack?

By now, you’re probably familiar with wired power banks. They’re just rechargeable batteries that have a bunch of USB ports. When you’re away from home, or too lazy to find an outlet, you can use a wired power bank to juice up your phone, laptop, and other USB-powered devices.

A MagSafe battery pack isn’t all that different from a wired power bank—it’s a battery that you use to charge other stuff. But, unlike your typical power bank, a MagSafe battery pack contains a wireless charger and a magnetic connector. It can secure itself to the back of any MagSafe-compatible iPhone and provide enough wireless power to get you through the day.

Of course, MagSafe battery packs aren’t just for iPhones. You can also use a MagSafe power bank as a portable wireless charger, assuming that your earbuds or other devices support Qi wireless charging. (You can even use a MagSafe battery with an Android phone!)

But the best thing about MagSafe battery packs, at least in my opinion, is that they double as wired MagSafe chargers. This is a huge convenience—you can plug your MagSafe battery into the wall at night, set your iPhone on top of it, and they’ll both be fully charged in the morning. A luxury, for sure, but a very cool feature for those who spend their days away from home.

MagSafe Battery Packs Aren’t Very Cost-Effective

Convenience always comes at a price. MagSafe battery packs are expensive, with most models hovering between $70 and $100. And because they’re so small, MagSafe power banks often have a very limited capacity. They aren’t very cost-effective.

Just look at Apple’s official MagSafe Battery Pack. It costs a whopping $100 and has a meager 1,460mAh capacity. For reference, the iPhone 14 contains a 3,200mAh battery—this MagSafe power bank can barely take your phone from 0% to 50%.

Not to mention, MagSafe charging isn’t incredibly fast. Apple’s official MagSafe Battery Pack can only charge your iPhone at just 7.5 watts. That’s way less than the iPhone 14’s maximum 30-watt wired charging speed.

But here’s the kicker; a wired power bank with a 10,000mAh capacity (seven times that of the MagSafe Battery Pack) costs just $25. And wired charging will always be faster than wireless charging. If you want the most bang for your buck, you gotta go wired.

I should note that Apple isn’t the only brand in this market. MagSafe power banks from Beasus and Anker offer a 10,000mAh capacity for less than $100. But these 10,000mAh MagSafe power banks are a bit bulky and heavy, so if you’re looking for portability, you may actually prefer a less impressive capacity.

A Wired Power Bank Is Usually Your Best Option

Charging three devices at once on a picnic table using the Mophie Powerstation

I’m of the firm belief that everyone should own a portable power bank. They’re a godsend during emergencies, road trips, or long days away from home. And, importantly, portable power banks aren’t that expensive. You can buy a 10,000mAh model for about $25.

Of the cheap 10,000mAh power banks currently available, Anker’s Portable Charger 313 is probably the best option. It’s about the same size as a smartphone, it can charge devices at 12 watts through a standard USB port, and the battery itself can charge over USB-C or Micro USB. Nothing flashy, but perfect for most circumstances.

If you need a bit more from a wired power bank, you’ll need to spend a little bit of extra money. A power bank with multiple outputs will cost at least $40 or $50, for example. And if you want super-fast charging for laptops or game consoles, you’ll need to spend at least $60 on a power bank with speeds of 65 watts or greater.

Yeah, these fancy power banks cost a bit of money. But they’re still cheaper (and clearly more cost-effective) than MagSafe battery packs. So, why would you even buy a MagSafe power bank—they’re overpriced, right?

Should You Buy a MagSafe Battery Pack?

The MagSafe battery pack of the PITAKA MagEZ Slider 2 removed and charging an iPhone

From a cost perspective, most people should skip MagSafe and just buy a wired power bank. You’ll get a higher-capacity battery and faster charging for a lower price—it just makes sense. But maybe we shouldn’t think too much about the price. After all, there are some clear benefits to using a MagSafe battery pack.

If you buy a MagSafe power bank, you don’t need to worry about cables. You can use the power bank as a MagSafe charger when you’re at home, throw it in your bag when you go out, and stick it to the back of your phone if you need some extra juice.

Some people value this kind of convenience—they’re willing to pay a premium for MagSafe! And as Android phones begin to adopt the Qi2 wireless charging standard (which is basically MagSafe), we should see a lot more competition in the MagSafe battery pack market. Prices should go down within the next two years.

So, here’s my advice. If you’re in love with the idea of a MagSafe battery pack (which is understandable), go ahead and buy one. Or, wait a year and see if prices go down. I don’t think that you’ll regret your purchase, although it is an expensive purchase. At the very least, a MagSafe battery pack will make a great gift for any of the iPhone owners in your life.

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