Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless ‌iPhone‌ in the future. ‌MagSafe‌ chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out.


‌MagSafe‌ isn't a new word for Apple -- it's what the magnetic MacBook chargers used to be called before Apple swapped over to USB-C. ‌MagSafe‌ in its current incarnation is totally different from the original ‌MagSafe‌ chargers, but the common theme is the magnetic connection.

The puck-shaped ‌MagSafe‌ charger looks like a larger Apple Watch charging puck, featuring a circular design with a cord at one end that plugs into a power adapter. The charger is designed to snap on to a ring of magnets built into the ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro, for a perfect alignment without any hassle.

magsafe1
When you order a ‌MagSafe‌ charger from Apple for $39, you get just the charger, which has a cord with a USB-C connector at the end. It needs to be paired with a USB-C power adapter, and Apple recommends its $19 20W USB-C option. The cord attached to the ‌MagSafe‌ charger is non-removable, and the charger itself is made from aluminum, but the front middle section has a grippy, rubber-like feel to it.

magsafe2
Apple's ‌MagSafe‌ chargers line up right with the charging coil inside the ‌iPhone 12‌ models, and can provide up to 15W of power. That's double the charging speed you're able to get with the 7.5W Qi wireless chargers, which makes this a much more appealing wireless charging option.

magsafemain
If you're wondering if the ‌MagSafe‌ charger works with older iPhones, the answer is yes. It is compatible with all iPhones that support wireless charging, which includes the ‌iPhone‌ 8 and later. When used with an ‌iPhone 12‌, the charger snaps onto the back of the device with what appears to be a strong magnetic connection, but the older iPhones don't have that same magnetic ring so it the ‌MagSafe‌ charger can't connect in the same way.

We don't have an ‌iPhone 12‌ model on hand yet to see the actual difference between the magnetic connection of one of the new models and an existing ‌iPhone‌, but just based on the marketing materials Apple has released, that magnetic ring in the ‌iPhone‌ is an important factor when it comes to the strength of the connection.

magsafeotterbox
Even using a MagSafe-compatible ‌iPhone 12‌ case from OtterBox results in a connection that's not super strong, and it appears that OtterBox, at least, has just stuck a couple of magnets in a little insert in the case to add ‌MagSafe‌ functionality. Presumably, the ‌MagSafe‌ ring built into the ‌iPhone 12‌ models makes the connection between ‌MagSafe‌ charger and ‌iPhone‌ much stronger, and Apple's own cases may also be more magnetic.

insidemagsafeotterbox
While the ‌iPhone 12‌ models can charge at 15W using the ‌MagSafe‌ charger, it's not yet quite clear how fast it can charge older iPhones, so there may be some speed limitations involved when using it with non-iPhone 12 models. As mentioned before, there's no strong magnetic adhesion, so the non-iPhone 12 models just rest on the charger like your basic Qi charger.

The ‌MagSafe‌ charger is also able to charge Qi-based Android phones as well as the AirPods, but unsurprisingly, it is not compatible with the Apple Watch.

We'll have an ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro on Friday to test out with the ‌MagSafe‌ charger, so make sure to tune in to MacRumors later in the week to see our ‌iPhone 12‌ hands-on with more detail on using the ‌MagSafe‌ charger with an ‌iPhone‌ that has the built-in magnetic ring.

Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

jimbobb24 Avatar
9 months ago
No wall connector in a $39 wireless charger.

Also - its important to point out the hypocrisy of apple ditching wall chargers ”for the environment” and then pushing the inefficient wireless charging which results in power loss and therefore more power needed to charge the device. Wireless charging is “bad for the environment” by Apples logic.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scottish Avatar
9 months ago
I’ve taken a couple of photos to show how raised the pad is.



Attachment Image

Attachment Image

Attachment Image
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gmanjeff Avatar
9 months ago

How would they possibly own all these existing 20W USB-C blocks?

The “30 existing USB blocks” that vast majority of people own won’t work with MagSafe. You fail to remember that USB-A is what Apple has included with devices over the last 10+ years. But now they are literally forcing them to buy a USB-C charger if they want to use this new MagSafe charger.

In fact, MagSafe won’t even work with the 18W USB-C chargers that came with the newer iPad Pros and iPhone 11 Pros! Considering how MagSafe caps at 15W of wireless charging, this makes absolutely no sense, other than prompting customers to spend another $19 on a 20W adapter.
I received my new MagSafe charger today and can confirm that it works with the 18W USB-C block included with the iPhone 11 Pro. In addition, I just got off the phone with a guy from Apple Support and he confirmed that the same 18W block can maximize new MagSafe wireless charging (up to 15W) on iPhone 12s. No need to get new 20W adapter.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ewrapple Avatar
9 months ago
Please also test the 18W charger to see if you are able to achieve 15W wireless charging.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
talisto Avatar
9 months ago
Hopefully 3rd-parties will start making cases for iphone 8 to 11 with magnets in them so that the magsafe chargers will latch onto older phones as well.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Goldfrapp Avatar
9 months ago
That’s why I try to avoid third-party products as much as possible

They will never be Apple quality
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
maxresdefault

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Sideloading Apps Would 'Destroy the Security' of the iPhone

Wednesday June 16, 2021 10:49 am PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook this morning participated in a virtual interview at the VivaTech conference, which is described as Europe's biggest startup and tech event. Cook was interviewed by Guillaume Lacroix, CEO and founder of Brut, a media company that creates short-form video content. Much of the discussion centered on privacy, as it often does in interviews that Cook participates in. He...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...
m1 v intel thumb

Intel Processor Market Share May Fall to New Low Next Year Due to Apple Silicon

Friday June 18, 2021 2:06 am PDT by
Intel may see its market share fall to a new low next year, in large part thanks to Apple's decision to move away from using Intel processors in its Mac computers and instead use Apple silicon. Apple announced last year that it would embark on a two-year-long journey to transition all of its Mac computers, both desktops, and laptops, to use its own in-house processors. Apple is expected to...
apple watch edition series 5 ceramic black prototype

Apple Planned Black Ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5

Wednesday June 16, 2021 5:45 am PDT by
Apple considered offering a black version of the ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5, according to newly-shared images of the prototype casing. The images, shared on Twitter by the prototype collector and leaker known as "Mr. White," show a prototype black ceramic Apple Watch casing, alongside the white ceramic version. The ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5 was never available in a...
maxresdefault

Demo: Check Out AirPlay 2 on a Mac in macOS Monterey

Tuesday June 15, 2021 11:57 am PDT by
With macOS Monterey, Apple has introduced expanded AirPlay 2 support, so you can AirPlay content from an iPhone, iPad, or even another Mac to your main Mac. We thought we'd do a quick demo of this handy new feature in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. With AirPlay to Mac, you can extend or mirror an Apple device's display to a Mac, and since ...
app store blue banner

U.S. Antitrust Legislation Would Require Users to Be Able to Delete All Pre-Installed Apple Apps [Updated]

Wednesday June 16, 2021 11:26 am PDT by
Update: Bloomberg inaccurately interpreted the original comments and has since drastically changed the wording of its article. The original Bloomberg piece said that Apple would be prohibited from pre-installing its own apps on iPhones. The updated Bloomberg article has been rewritten to clarify that the antitrust legislation prohibits Apple from preventing users from removing Apple-created...
3nm apple silicon feature

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 3nm Chip Production for Second Half of 2022

Friday June 18, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMC is preparing to produce 3nm chips in the second half of 2022, and in the coming months, the supplier will begin production of 4nm chips, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple had previously booked the initial capacity of TSMC's 4nm chip production for future Macs and more recently ordered TSMC to begin production of the A15 chip for the upcoming iPhone 13,...