Review: Quarter is an External Battery for the iPhone That Charges With a MagSafe Cable

by

Beaver Electronics Co. has debuted a unique fast-charging external battery for the iPhone, which it's dubbed "Quarter," because it takes less than a quarter of the time to charge compared to a normal external battery. The secret lies in the charging method -- Quarter has a built-in MagSafe port that allows it to be connected to MacBook's MagSafe Power Adapter.

Apple does not allow third-party companies to use its MagSafe technology, so Quarter has been created without Apple's permission and with components Apple likely would not approve of, but its super fast charging capabilities are undeniably enticing.

quarterwithmagsafe
Design wise, Quarter is similar in size to an iPhone 6 Plus. It's just as wide and a bit shorter, but quite thick and heavy. It's 12.5mm thick and it weighs 180 grams. It's made from aluminum and has an an extra lip at the top with a hole that could be attached to a bag or backpack, but given its size, I'm not sure anyone would want to use it that way so that extra bit of material is extraneous and an unusual design choice.

quarterexternaldesign
There are four indicator lights on the Quarter that are lit by a built-in LED. These lights let you know how much power is left, activated by shaking or tapping the Quarter. A shake or a tap is also how the Quarter is turned on to begin charging a device it's plugged in to.

quarterleds
On one end of the Quarter, there's a MagSafe port, a USB port, and a micro-USB port. The USB port can be used to charge an iPhone or other iOS device, while the micro-USB port and the MagSafe port are both used to charge the Quarter itself. Charging with MagSafe is fast, but if the only available option is a micro-USB cable, it's also able to charge that way. As seen in the photo below, the ports on the Quarter don't quite line up, which is an unfortunate design decision.

quarterports
The Quarter claims to charge much faster with MagSafe than an external battery that's charged over micro-USB, and in my testing, that was an accurate claim. It has a 5,000mAh battery and after draining it completely, it took about 35 minutes to charge to full capacity. I plugged it in at 3:35 p.m. and it was full just before 4:10 pm using a Retina MacBook Pro MagSafe Power Adapter. You'll need to supply all of your own cables, of course.

quarteriphonesizecomparison
With a full charge, Quarter was able to charge my iPhone 6s Plus from a totally dead battery to 100 percent in two hours and 15 minutes. Charging my iPhone 6s Plus to fill used up approximately 3/4ths of the battery (with one bar left on the indicator), leaving enough to also charge my iPad from 78 percent to 87 percent. At that point, the battery pack was exhausted.

While the Quarter only has enough capacity to provide one charge for the iPhone 6s Plus, it will be able to provide more power to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s, both of which have smaller batteries than Apple's larger devices. It will charge an iPad Air 2 or another iPad, but likely not to full.

According to the Quarter's advertising, it can garner enough power to charge an iPhone 5s after just 15 minutes of charging. This was also accurate. After draining the battery, I charged the Quarter for 15 minutes and then plugged it into a completely dead iPhone 5s. It was able to charge the iPhone 5s to full on that single 15 minute charge.

quarterwithmagsafeenhance
Charging the Quarter via MagSafe caused it to become uncomfortably hot, which was concerning. I wasn't able to measure the temperature, but it was hot enough that I wouldn't want to touch it or hold it in my hand when it's charging. When charging via micro-USB or when used to charge an iPhone, it stays cool to the touch.

To achieve fast charging via MagSafe, Beaver Electronics designed Quarter with a battery core voltage of 7.4V and redesigned the internal circuit. "We managed to reduce the internal resistance by optimizing the Li-Ion polymer battery," reads the site.

Beaver Electronics is also selling an optional MagSafe car charger that can be used to speedily charge the Quarter in the car. Though it has a MagSafe connector on the end, it's not suitable for charging a MacBook in the car.

quartercarcharger

Bottom Line

Quarter does exactly what it claims to do. It works with MagSafe and it charges in a fraction of the time that it takes standard external batteries to charge. Being able to charge an external battery enough to charge an iPhone 5s in 15 minutes or an iPhone 6s Plus in 30 minutes is undeniably useful.

On the downside, this is not an Apple-sanctioned product. Apple does not let third-party companies use its MagSafe technology, and there's certainly a chance that Apple could get sales of the product shut down.

quarterdesignfinal
Quarter is limited to 5,000mAh and it is rather large comparative to some of the other solutions that are on the market, but its relatively inexpensive pre-order price tag and its fast charging capabilities make it worth the cost.

Pros:

  • Charges fast
  • Enough capacity for a full iPhone 6s Plus charge
  • Optional car charger
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Not Apple approved
  • Gets hot when charging
  • Somewhat bulky

How to Buy

Quarter is available for pre-order from crowd-funding site Pozible for $39. The company plans to begin shipping orders out in the middle of November.

Top Rated Comments

Dan-- Avatar
68 months ago
I think it's biggest issue is the heat generated. That doesn't speak well to product longevity, nor safety.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ignatius345 Avatar
68 months ago

Let's be clear here, it's not MagSafe, it's MagSafe 2. Which means even though I have four MacBook Pros and five MagSafe power adapters in my house right now, this wouldn't be compatible with any of them without a MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter. Because as of yet I've had no good reason to buy any new MacBooks when mine are holding up just fine even after being 5-7 years old.

Oh no. They lost the "I never upgrade my electronics" market segment.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aston441 Avatar
68 months ago
The MagSafe patent is BS, there's fifty years of prior art, but no little battery company can go up against Apple's hired guns.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RedBear Avatar
68 months ago
Let's be clear here, it's not MagSafe, it's MagSafe 2. Which means even though I have four MacBook Pros and five MagSafe power adapters in my house right now, this wouldn't be compatible with any of them without a MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter. Because as of yet I've had no good reason to buy any new MacBooks when mine are holding up just fine even after being 5-7 years old. If this doesn't come with an adapter that will be an extra expense for tens of millions of potential buyers who own the older Mac portables with the original MagSafe connector. ($19.95 on Amazon, down from its original price of $29.99).

Not sure what legal rights Apple really has to stop them using the MagSafe style connectors, but it seems like it would have been much smarter to design something like this to have a USB Type-C connector since USB Type-C is supposed to handle up to 100W and is poised to become a universal standard connector. The MacBook Pro MagSafe power adapter is at best rated for 85W and regular MacBook/MacBook Air adapters are something like 65W or 45W. Plus it's proprietary.

That being said, the idea of a power bank that charges much faster and has higher internal voltage so that it can also charge the end devices faster is all very appealing. And I'm actually quite shocked at the $39 price. With its supposedly advanced Lithium-Polymer battery design, nice body construction and fast-charging capabilities I would have guessed at least $79 even for an early bird supporter price. Not sure how they can do this for just $39. If it's legit it seems like a pretty good deal for what you get.

One thing I don't like is that the linked page doesn't specify anywhere that I can see what the total mAh capacity is, although by the slickness of the rest of presentation this might just be a marketing decision, an attempt to keep things simple. All other relevant specs are listed though. If it takes about 7 hours to charge at 5V/1A, how does that translate into total mAh?

EDIT: Doh. Didn't read the MacRumors article carefully enough. I says 5,000mAh. Seems a bit small, there are a lot of 10,000mAh power banks available, though they don't have this quick-charge capability generally so I guess it depends on your use case which would be better in the end.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Benjamin Frost Avatar
68 months ago
This sounds impressive.

However, won't it quickly kill batteries from charging them so fast?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appledefenceforce Avatar
68 months ago

I've bought a few unauthorized accessories in China and they all work well and are a fraction of the price and better. I have a 15" lightening cable. Paid like $2 for it and went out on a date with the sales girl lol

Apple likes to make out like the Chinese Apple accessories are ridiculously inferior. Some may be, but I've never run across any issues. Apple accessory prices are ridiculous.

People die from electrocution when using cheap Chinese charger. I guess when you "see" the problem we won't see you on here to report it. Just saying.

Looks very cool. I hope they will be successful!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
pat gelsinger intel

Incoming Intel CEO Derides Company's Inability to 'Deliver Better Products' Than Apple's M1 Chip

Friday January 15, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must "deliver better products" than Apple, which he described as a "lifestyle company," and says that Intel's best days are "in front of it" (via The Oregonian). Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a "lifestyle company," so Intel must be able to surpass its technology: ...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...