What’s MagSafe? The Apple charging expertise defined

MagSafe is considered one of Apple’s headline options these days, showing on each iPhones and MacBooks. However what’s the expertise and is it value investing in?

MagSafe is without doubt one of the hottest Apple options, popping up on a large number of merchandise since its inception. 

With the discharge of the iPhone 15 looming on the horizon, we needed to take a better have a look at MagSafe expertise to grasp what precisely it does, and why it’s turn out to be so commonplace. 

Maintain scrolling to search out out all the things it is advisable to learn about MagSafe, together with what it’s, how briskly it’s and which gadgets it’s suitable with. 

What’s MagSafe?

Apple MagSafe first appeared in 2006 on the MacBook Professional as a magnet-based energy charger, offering a safe connection to the facility port of a laptop computer whereas nonetheless being simple to unplug, stopping the gadget from getting broken if somebody was to by chance journey on the facility lead.

The corporate then phased out the expertise, with the 2017 MacBook Air choosing USB-C charging. It’s because USB-C has extra versatility, providing extra energy supply in addition to a show output and information switch. MagSafe then made its return on the MacBook Professional 2021 sequence.

The iPhone 12 sequence was the primary iPhone to assist the expertise, although it got here in a barely completely different type, with the characteristic magnets being caught onto the rear of the cellphone, permitting it to snap onto Apple’s wi-fi charging puck as a substitute of requiring a magnetic cable.

Wanting on the charger itself, it seems to be much like the Apple Watch 8 charger, solely a little bit bigger. It’s spherical, white and has a silver ring and again, being sufficiently small to slide right into a bag. It sits flush with the desk, making it easy to connect with your iPhone, and whereas it is going to disconnect if you happen to begin frantically transferring your cellphone round, the connection is reliably sturdy.

Because the iPhone now has a magnet system embedded into it, it may be used with different equipment akin to digital camera tripods, automotive docks and wallets, making it greater than only a charging characteristic.

What’s the distinction between MagSafe and Qi2? 

In case you have been maintaining with all of the information surrounding the brand new iPhone 15 launch, then you might have come throughout one other wi-fi charging answer: Qi2. Whereas Apple has had a direct hand in shaping the newest Qi2 wi-fi commonplace, it does differ from MagSafe in a single key space. 

Each MagSafe and Qi2 use magnets to offer a safe, power-efficient option to wirelessly connect the charger to the smartphone and each have a barely sooner charging pace when in comparison with the usual Qi answer.

One of many greatest variations is that Qi2 will have the ability to cost non-Apple gadgets, specifically Android. The hiccup right here is that no upcoming Android gadgets have been slated to incorporate Qi2 – with the Pixel 8 being probably the most notable. This can largely come right down to what’s out there to producers throughout a cellphone’s improvement stage, however we must always see some Qi2-compatible Android handsets showing over the following few months. 

On the Apple aspect, the iPhone 15 has been closely rumoured to characteristic the newest Qi2 charging expertise. We should wait till the iPhone 15 vary is launched to substantiate these claims, however at this level, it appears very probably. 

How does MagSafe for iPhone work?

Apple has given an in depth define of the brand new parts inside its iPhone fashions that allow MagSafe. There’s a copper-graphite defend, a magnet array, a polycarbonate housing, a charging coil, an e-shield and an NFC element too. Within the centre of all that’s an alignment magnet that may make sure the charger sits within the optimum place for max charging effectivity.

An iPhone's inbuilt magnetic charger's structure splitted into layers

How briskly is MagSafe for iPhone?

MagSafe has a most pace of 15W. Evaluating it to the 65W quick charging of the OnePlus 9 Professional, it’s not the quickest charging answer on the market, nevertheless, it’s an enchancment on the 7.5W Qi wi-fi charging.

Throughout our testing, a very depleted iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Professional took an hour to cost as much as 50% utilizing the MagSafe charging, whereas the identical take a look at on a 7.5W Qi pad from Mophie took nicely over an hour. So whereas it’s not probably the most subtle charging answer, it’s undoubtedly one of many quickest options in relation to iPhones.

Nonetheless, if it is advisable to cost your iPhone as shortly as doable you may be finest off utilizing a cable and a quick plug. With a USB-C 20W plug and a cable, the iPhone 12 went from 0% to 50% in lower than half an hour.

Does MagSafe include the iPhone?

Whereas MagSafe is supported on a number of the newer iPhone fashions, the equipment aren’t included within the field.

Customers might want to buy the MagSafe Charger, which prices a further £39/$39, whereas the MagSafe Duo charger is listed for £129/$129.

Which iPhones assist MagSafe?

Try the entire iPhones that assist MagSafe expertise listed beneath:

We haven’t had the prospect to truly take a look at out the newest iPhone 15 sequence as of but, however we will be virtually sure that the lineup will include MagSafe assist. 

It doesn’t appear like MagSafe itself has undergone any upgrades for the reason that launch of the iPhone 14 sequence, however there may be the added characteristic of Qi2 with this new batch of telephones.

Do you want a MagSafe case?

A MagSafe case just isn’t required to cost an iPhone through the MagSafe charger, however a MagSafe-compatible case will guarantee a safer magnetic connection. MagSafe-compatible silicone instances price £49/$49 from the Apple retailer, whereas the leather-based MagSafe instances price £59/$59.

Apple MagSafe case

Can you utilize MagSafe with any case?

Sadly no, not each case does have assist for MagSafe charging.

Some third-party iPhone instances do nonetheless enable the gadget to be charged through MagSafe, although it looks like that is largely impacted by how skinny your case is. If the iPhone case is especially thick, has a kickstand within the rear, or in case you have hooked up one thing to the again of your cellphone, it’s unlikely that MagSafe charging will work.

If you wish to use MagSafe charging, we advocate preserving a watch out for MagSafe branding when shopping for a case on your gadget. In any other case, you should purchase a case straight from the Apple retailer to make sure a robust and dependable connection.

Can you utilize MagSafe on older iPhone fashions?

We don’t advocate utilizing a MagSafe charger on any iPhone that precedes the iPhone 12, which means that any iPhone 11 homeowners are out of luck

Whereas the MagSafe charger will technically work with an iPhone 11, many individuals have reported very low charging speeds, making it a much less worthwhile choice. 9to5Mac claims the iPhone 11 charging speeds have been as gradual as 0.96W when utilizing a MagSafe charger, in comparison with the 15W pace with an iPhone 12.

Does MagSafe work with Apple Watch and AirPods?

Should you’re trying to cost your entire Apple gadgets with MagSafe, there are some caveats.

Because it makes use of a Qi pad, you possibly can cost AirPods, AirPods Professional and the newest AirPods Professional 2 with MagSafe, although it doesn’t supply the identical magnetic advantages. The charging pace is about the identical as you’ll get with a distinct wi-fi charger, and it’s nonetheless slower than utilizing a cable.

The Apple Watch sequence, together with the newest Apple Watch Sequence 8 and Apple Watch Extremely, makes use of a proprietary type of wi-fi charging and doesn’t work with a MagSafe Charger. Apple would both want to modify to Qi on the following Apple Watch or make the following MagSafe Charger additionally suitable with the charging methodology utilized by the Apple Watch.

A slight workaround appears to be the Duo Charger, an Apple accent that has a spot on your cellphone and one other devoted Apple Watch charger.

Apple AirPods 3 charging
Picture Credit score (Trusted Critiques)

Does MagSafe work with Android gadgets?

The MagSafe charger can cost any Android gadget that helps Qi. We discovered that the Pixel 5 charged successfully, with the magnets working too.

Charging an Android gadget through MagSafe is a slower course of although, in the identical vein as utilizing MagSafe on iPhones older than the iPhone 12. Every part from the iPhone 8 onwards does assist Qi, which means that MagSafe will technically work although it offers very low speeds that received’t be useful if you happen to’re in a rush.

Is the MagSafe charger value shopping for?

The idea of a MagSafe ecosystem is fascinating, and it’s a sooner answer in comparison with commonplace Qi charging. Our Editor who specialises in cellphones, Max Parker, is impressed with the expertise and factors out that since it really works through a magnet you possibly can nonetheless use your gadget while it’s charging, which will be a difficulty with wi-fi charging generally.

Nonetheless, the cable size for MagSafe chargers maxes out at 1m, though the truth that the connector attaches in the midst of the cellphone could make it really feel shorter than the usual USB to Lightning Cable. Plus, in case you are an Apple Watch proprietor then you will want to make sure that you have got a devoted charger for that gadget, too.

However as a £39 add-on, the MagSafe charger is a neat answer that works nicely in most environments and would possibly someday be the one methodology out there to cost your gadget.

Does MagSafe work with MacBooks?

As beforehand talked about, the MacBook Professional 2021 does characteristic MagSafe charging, though it differs from the expertise discovered on the iPhone. For the MacBook, MagSafe is definitely constructed into the charging cable to make sure a magnetic connection, in the identical vein because the older MacBook fashions.

We actually appreciated its inclusion with Apple’s premium laptop computer – not solely does it supply a security characteristic (since if you happen to journey over the cable, it merely detaches relatively than remaining taut), however it additionally prices pretty quick. In our expertise, we went from zero to 50% cost in round 35 minutes, which is in step with Apple’s claims.