All MacBook chargers are the same

Magsafe Myths Debunked: The Truth About iPhone 12's New Charging and Accessory System

Michael Simon

Everything you need to know about load speeds, adhesive force and more about Magsafe accessories.

Magsafe may be an old name for Apple veterans, but this one has taken on a whole new meaning. Apple has put a brand new charging and modular accessory system into the iPhone 12, reviving the charging port that Apple retired when it switched to USB-C charging on the Macbook.

However, since Apple doesn't put a Magsafe connector or even a compatible power adapter in the iPhone 12 box, you probably have some questions about Magsafe. And depending on where you find the answers, they may not be as accurate as ours that we present here. So, forget about everything you've read so far: here's the truth about Magsafe.

Myth: Speeds are too slow with a third-party charger

The truth: as long as it delivers 20 watts or more, it doesn't matter which charger you use.

Charging is tricky. There are several different protocols depending on the phone model you buy - fast charge, warp charge, adaptive fast charge, etc. - but the most common one is the USB power supply which is used by Apple.

However, if you buy a Magsafe charger for $ 44, you'll need to bring your own power adapter as Apple doesn't come with either the iPhone 12 or the Magsafe cable. That's where things get a little tricky. Magsafe charges the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max at a maximum of 15 watts (only 12 watts for the iPhone 12 Mini), but to get those speeds you'll need to use Apple's new 20 watt charger. Otherwise you will get 12 watts to recharge.

That sounds worse than it actually is. I've tested Magsafe with multiple chargers and Magsafe worked fine with all but one, the Choetech 100W charger. While it's true that none of them charged quite as quickly as Apple's 20W charger, they all charged my iPhone about the same speed.

Apple 20W charger

Maximum: 17 W.

Battery life after 10 minutes of charging: 12%.

Aukey 65W charger

Maximum: 12W

Battery life after 10 minutes of charging: 11%.

Apple Macbook charger 60W

Maximum: 12W

Battery life after 10 minutes of charging: 12%.

Anker PowerPort Atom III 60W

Maximum : 12W

Battery life after 10 minutes of charging : 11%.

Samsung fast charger 40W

Maximum : 12W

Battery life after 10 minutes of charging: 12%.

Rav-Power 90W

Maximum : 11W

Battery life after 10 minutes of charging: 12%.

You get it: Apple's charger could go faster and would likely win in a zero-to-100 test with the Magsafe charger, but there won't be a noticeable difference. With every charger I've used, the power dipped below 10W once it was 50 percent charged, when all the chargers have leveled off. So it is at most a matter of minutes that the Apple power supply charges faster.

Myth: The Magsafe enclosures easily snap into place with the help of magnets

The reality: the cases are just as difficult to remove as those of the iPhone 11

I was a little wrong when I ordered the transparent Magsafe case with the eye-catching round magnetic ring on the back. I got the impression that the case served two purposes: to put the Magsafe magnet on the back of the case for stronger contact, and to connect to the phone so the case could be easily removed.

EnlargeApple's new transparent Magsafe case is not very easy to put on.

Only one of these things is true. While the Magsafe adapter attaches very well to the back of the transparent Magsafe case I tested, it is just as difficult to put on as the previous hard silicone case. If you take the case off repeatedly, the same pressure folds remain in the lower corners where the case has to be forcibly pushed away from the phone, and the buttons are just as rigid as on previous clear cases.

As it stands, one of the silicone cases is your best bet even if it will obscure the color you chose for the iPhone 12. If you want a transparent cover, choose a very thin one, such as the cover from Totalee, which is available in a matt transparent cover or completely transparent.

Myth: The magnets are not strong enough

The reality: while attaching it to the wallet is not ideal, the magnets are very strong for docks and mounts.

While the Magsafe accessories Apple sells are somewhat limited, the mechanism lends itself to all sorts of practical uses. In my tests, the magnets are as strong as they need to be. For example, if I attach the Magsafe charger to my fridge, I have to rip it off in order for the magnetic capabilities to exist.

EnlargeThe magnets on the Magsafe charger and case are very strong.

When I use it with my iPhone 12, the charger is strong enough to stay attached to the back with a few nudges, but it still comes off when pulled slightly. The same goes for the wallet accessory, which won't fall if it's not pushed away (although it can accidentally come off if pushed into a pocket).

If an accessory comes out again, I think the magnet strength will increase as justified. For example, a car fan mount will need to be stronger to hold the iPhone in place when driving over bumps and curves, and based on Magsafe's capabilities, they should be.

Myth: Magsafe is expensive and doesn't do anything new

The reality: Magsafe is expensive and makes still nothing new

There's no denying that Magsafe is expensive and it's not worth it. The cases are around 10 euros more expensive than their counterparts for the iPhone 11, and the required charger alone, without the required 20 W USB-C power supply, costs 44 euros. If you add the Magsafe Duo charger for 142 euros as well as the leather case and wallet for 63 euros each, the entry costs are definitely quite high.

EnlargeThe current range of Magsafe accessories only scratches the surface of what it can do.

But as with everything that affects Apple, the premium for "early adopters" will decrease and the benefit will increase. Magsafe solves a persistent wireless charging problem - making sure proper contact is made before putting the devices down - and the third-party car mounts, cables and docks are already on the way. Granted, it's entirely possible that Magsafe will never really take off and quietly go away with the iPhone 15, but I'm willing to bet it will be a success.