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Apple has launched a magnetic battery pack for your iPhone, but here’s why it’s a bad idea

Apple has launched a new MagSafe Battery Pack that attaches magnetically to the back of your iPhone. Is it a must-have, or a must-avoid?

At first glance, Apple’s new MagSafe battery pack seems to be a handy accessory for recharging your iPhone on the go, and its rounded and smooth design is just as aesthetically pleasing as you’d expect. Nonetheless there are a few issues that put its usefulness under question, especially given the price tag. Here are the four biggest reasons why you’d be best advised to avoid it.

First and foremost, the charging speed is simply not up to snuff. Wires and ports certainly don’t win beauty contests, but they are always more efficient than their wireless alternatives. Some products have still managed to achieve blistering speeds even with Qi wireless charging, but this isn’t one of them; Apple has capped the power at just 5W, which is frankly piddling. It’s going to take your phone a long time to charge up again at that rate.

Secondly, the battery capacity is very poor. The product has a pitiful provision of just 1,460mAh, which is dwarfed even by the iPhone 12 Mini’s onboard battery (2,227mAh). All that’s good for is a small top-up in case of an emergency, because it certainly won’t suffice if you want to go off-grid for even a couple of days.

Thirdly, the battery performance of recent iPhones has greatly improved to the extent that this accessory is largely unnecessary in the first place. Back in the dark days of the iPhone 6, when you could hardly walk to the corner shop at the end of the road without begging someone to use their charger along the way, an accessory like this would have been almost a required purchase. But for several years running now, thanks to the devices’ increased efficiency, alarming battery drain has not been a compromising problem for recent iPhones. This new accessory only works with the iPhone 12 and later, so it solves a problem that isn’t all that pertinent.

Finally, and this will hardly come as a surprise to anyone who follows Apple, the price is just too much. Given the aforementioned issues, most especially the miserly battery capacity, it is laughable to charge $99 (and probably £99 in the UK) for this accessory, when you can easily buy battery packs with larger capacities and faster charging rates for just a fraction of the price.

So what do you think? Should Apple’s new battery pack go and pack its bags, or does it actually pack a powerful punch? Let us know your opinion in the poll below.

 

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