A few weeks ago, I wrote an article where I called MagSafe the defining feature of the iPhone 12 line. Little did I know that Apple was about to release its own official MagSafe battery pack. So, of course, I bought it immediately because I wanted to see how it compared in day-to-day use with the Anker Magnetic Battery Pack. Let’s dive into my comparison of the Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Anker Magnetic Battery Pack.

As I’ve mentioned in my iPhone 12 mini diary, the battery in my iPhone doesn’t last nearly as long as it did when I was on the “Max” lineup, but that’s the trade-off you make to have an iPhone you can fit in your pocket.

While I haven’t traveled as much as I usually would since the iPhone 12 mini was released, I’ve done enough to feel how it functions when not at my desk. The truth is that if you travel with the iPhone 12 mini, you’ll need external batteries to make it through the day with normal to heavy usage. So it’s not a matter of if you’ll need an external battery, but which one.

One of the benefits of MagSafe is that you won’t need to use a cable to charge your iPhone. If you want the absolute biggest external battery you can find, you’ll want to go with an actual external battery that you’ll plug your iPhone into. I own a handful of models similar to these, and for extended trips, I always keep one in my bag.

For shorter trips, I am going to rely on MagSafe batteries from now on. Now that I have three options, which one will be my go-to model for trips and days when I’ll be away from home most of the day?

Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Anker Magnetic Battery Pack

Before we look at the key features, one thing to keep in mind is that only Apple’s battery is MagSafe certified. The other options are MagSafe compatible, though. In practice, I’ve never had an issue with charging from the non-Apple ones.

Price

One of the biggest considerations when choosing a MagSafe battery pack is the price. Both the Anker and the Charge Fast models are less than $50. Apple’s MagSafe battery is $99, so right away, that’s a reason to look elsewhere.

iOS integration

The second thing to consider is integration with the iPhone. On the Apple MagSafe battery, there is a widget showing the current charge of the battery. For obvious reasons, none of the third-party options can deliver that. Is that feature worth spending an extra $50 on? It’s hard to justify, in my opinion.

Capacity

Capacity is where the problems crop up for Apple’s MagSafe battery. Apple’s MagSafe battery is 11.13Wh, where the Anker model is 18.5Wh. So for double the price, you’re getting a much lower capacity battery.

Size

Both battery packs are compatible with each other in physical size. Both will fit the iPhone 12 mini as well as the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The underside of Apple’s battery case is slight softer than Anker’s, but if you’re using a case, you won’t likely notice a difference.

Wrap up on Apple MagSafe Battery vs. Anker Magnetic Battery Pack

After spending some time with Apple’s MagSafe battery pack, I can firmly say that it’s not the best value. It might be the best one if you want the whole Apple experience, but it’s double the price of the Anker Magnetic Battery Pack.

While this might seem like a trivial thing, I am over devices that charge by lightning. Because of MagSafe, I want to go to USB-C for everything wired charging. My MacBook Air charges over USB-C, my iPad Air charges over USB-C, my Logitech MX3 charges over USB-C, and my AirPods Pro charges over wireless charging. I almost never use lightning now. The Anker Magnetic Battery Pack charges over USB-C, and that’s a significant benefit of using it.

Pros of Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

  • iOS integration with a battery widget
  • Apple logo on the back, with quality and reputation that go with it

Pros of Anker Magnetic Battery Pack

  • Higher capacity than Apple’s model
  • Half the cost
  • Charges with USB-C

So what’s the final verdict on the Apple MagSafe Battery vs Anker Magnetic Battery Pack? Unless you want to charge with a lightning cable and like the iPhone battery widget integration, I can’t recommend it over the Anker model. So if you have a budget of $100 to spend, grab two of them. If this product had come out simultaneously with the iPhone 12 without competitors, it might be a different story, but charging power is charging power. Sadly, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is the first Apple product I’ve ever returned. There’s nothing major wrong with it other than it gives about half the charge of third-party brands at double the cost.

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