What Is a MagSafe® Charger?
Are you looking for a phone charger for your car or home? Learn more about the innovative MagSafe chargers and charging accessories.
When Apple® introduced the iPhone® 12 and 12 Pro models, they repurposed the name of their breakaway magnetic charging cables used on the MacBook to MagSafe chargers. They are specially designed for iPhones instead of the MacBooks they were created for.
Apple’s iPhone 12 models, and the latest iPhone 13 models, feature a ring of 18 rectangular magnets surrounding the device’s wireless charging coil. This magnetic ring can be connected to MagSafe accessories like phone cases, wireless chargers, car mounts and car chargers. They snap on the back of an iPhone effortlessly, without fumbling around for a cable or cradle.
But what is a MagSafe charger exactly? Here’s a breakdown that explores this new charging device.
What Is a MagSafe Charger?
MagSafe chargers look like a large puck, typically with an aluminum body covered with a soft material to prevent scratches on the device placed on top. The charger is designed with magnets inside, which snap the iPhone perfectly into place, aligning both the MagSafe and the charging coil.
Apple has also come out with a MagSafe Duo charger, allowing you to charge your iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously. However, the MagSafe Duo charger isn’t capable of charging an iPhone 12 at the full 15W. Instead, the MagSafe Duo charges at an 11W maximum. With the stronger 27W or higher USB-C power adaptor, it can reach up to 14W. Furthermore, the MagSafe Duo lacks a power adaptor or charger. These must be bought separately.
The MagSafe charger can charge most iPhone 12 models at 15W maximum. However, that’s not the case with the iPhone Mini. Instead, it caps out at 12W, much like the MagSafe Duo.
As the MagSafe charges an iPhone, your phone will display a little charging animation and current charge to indicate it’s connected and working.
MagSafe vs. USB-C vs. Qi
MagSafe chargers tend to charge the iPhone 12 a bit slower than the 20W USB-C charger. Tests suggest that a dead phone reaches 50 percent battery in roughly half an hour with the 20W charger, whereas it takes over an hour with the MagSafe. A MagSafe charger is also faster than charging with a Qi charger. A Qi-based charger caps out at 7.5W.
So for the fastest charge, if you have a choice, use a wire Lightning to USB-C cable. Also, keep in mind that a warm iPhone might slow down the charging speed. So if your iPhone feels too warm, try to cool it and the charger down.
Scosche’s MagSafe Charger Accessories
Here are some of the best MagSafe compatible phone mounts and accessories we have to offer:
MagSafe Window and Dashboard Car Mount
Want to replace your old clip-style phone holder? Take a look at our answer for a MagSafe car mount: the MagicMount™ MSC Window/Dash. This MagSafe car mount allows you to easily convert your Apple MagSafe charger to a hands-free wireless charging mount inside your vehicle. Simply attach the suction cup to your window dashboard and tuck the cables neatly in place. Each driver — from dads to teenage daughters — can swivel the mount around for the most optimal viewing angle, too.
MagSafe Cup Holder Mount
If you’d prefer a cleaner, obstacle-free dashboard and window on your vehicle, use this MagicMount™ MSC Cup Holder instead. With an adjustable base that fits into most vehicle cup holders, you can attach your MagSafe charger and rotate it around as needed with a 360-degree head.
MagSafe Phone Stand Mount
Looking for a phone stand for the MagSafe charger? Check out Scosche’s MagicMount™ MSC Phone Stand. Just attach your Apple MagSafe charger to this wireless charging iPhone stand mount and place it on a flat surface where you like — an office desk, nightstand and more. Then, with a slight angle, you can view texts or emails as you charge your iPhone. Watching a presentation or movie? Just snap the phone back into a horizontal position.