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6 Best MagSafe Power Banks for iPhones (2024): High Capacity, Slim, Kickstands

6 Best MagSafe Power Banks for iPhones (2024): High Capacity, Slim, Kickstands

Here’s the low-down on the MagSafe standard and MagSafe power banks.

What is MagSafe?

MagSafe is the name of Apple’s accessory system that’s integrated into the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 15 range. A ring of magnets on the back of the phone (and in MagSafe-enabled cases) lets you attach various magnetic accessories, like a battery pack that recharges the iPhone wirelessly, so you don’t need to hold it or carry a cable.

Does MagSafe reduce battery life?

There isn’t much evidence that MagSafe charging negatively impacts battery health, but it is less efficient than wired charging and can sometimes generate heat, which may degrade your battery faster. But other factors are more important if you want to preserve battery health (such as never fully draining your battery).

What rate can MagSafe power banks charge at?

Most MagSafe power banks we have tested wirelessly charge at a rate of up to 7.5 watts, but Anker’s Qi2 power bank can charge at up to 15 watts.

Is USB-C better than MagSafe?

Wired charging is faster and more efficient than wireless charging, so if you plug your phone in via cable to any of the power banks above, you can expect to get more power more quickly than you will using MagSafe or Qi2. MagSafe is simply more convenient.

What are the downsides of MagSafe?

Only some of Apple’s iPhones (12, 13, 14, and 15 series) support MagSafe, and it’s not officially compatible with Android phones. MagSafe is also less efficient than wired charging. Lost energy during wireless charging generates heat, which can have a negative impact on battery health.

Why do MagSafe power banks get hot?

MagSafe is not as efficient as wired charging, and power lost during wireless charging generates heat. MagSafe’s magnets reduce this problem, compared to Qi wireless charging, by ensuring the charging coils are aligned.

Qi2 Wireless Charging: Everything You Need to Know

Qi2 Wireless Charging: Everything You Need to Know

It’s ironic, but we here at WIRED have long been fans of wireless charging. Not having to fumble with cables is nice! Most wireless charging devices these days follow the Qi (pronounced chee) standard, which has taken its time reaching ubiquity (the user experience has not always been great). The Wireless Power Consortium, which manages the charging protocol, announced the next-generation version called Qi2 in early 2023, and we’re finally starting to see devices supporting it. It promises perfect alignment, with the potential for accessories to bridge the Android and iPhone divide.

What Is Qi2?

Qi2 is the new open wireless charging standard from the Wireless Power Consortium, and it brings important upgrades over the original Qi standard. The headline is the Magnetic Power Profile (MPP), which is based on Apple’s MagSafe technology. (Apple was involved in developing the Qi2 standard.) This allows Qi2-branded devices to add a ring of magnets to ensure perfect alignment with chargers and allow for faster charging speeds.

The existing, non-magnetic wireless charging Extended Power Profile (EPP) has also been updated to comply with Qi2. This means that devices without magnets will be branded Qi and will still work with Qi2 chargers. Qi2 is also fully backward compatible, so you can charge an older Qi Android phone or MagSafe iPhone on a Qi2 charger. You can also use any Qi chargers to charge Qi2 devices, though they will charge at slower speeds.

Benefits of Qi2

Wireless charging with Qi2 brings several improvements over the original Qi standard.

Greater efficiency: Wireless charging relies on electromagnetic coils. One or more induction coils in the charging base create a magnetic field and transmit energy. A smaller coil in your phone or other device harvests it. The coils must be aligned for energy to flow between them and the magnets in the new Magnetic Power Profile ensure perfect alignment so less power is lost. When coils are misaligned, energy is often lost as heat, which is also not good for battery health.

Faster charging: The Qi standard was originally limited to 5-watt charging speeds, but Qi2 allows certified phones to charge at 15 watts (just like MagSafe). We expect this charging rate to increase as the Wireless Power Consortium works to improve the Qi2 standard, but probably not until 2025. Some manufacturers already offer speedier wireless charging, such as OnePlus and Xiaomi, but you have to use a specific wireless charger to see those gains.

Wider compatibility for accessories: Any Qi2 charger can charge any Qi2 device, so you can buy a single charger capable of juicing up an iPhone or Android phone. For Qi-supporting phones that lack magnets, you will likely soon be able to buy a case with a magnetic ring that works with Qi2 (as you can currently with MagSafe).

Other improvements Qi2 brings over Qi include wider device compatibility (from tablets to wearables), adaptive charging so chargers can talk to devices to supply the power they need instead of having a fixed power output, and enhanced safety with better heat management and foreign object detection.

Expect a Wave of Qi2 Devices

Before a device can bear the Qi2 logo, the Wireless Power Consortium must certify it in its independent labs. The Qi2 specification includes charging rate, magnet strength, and device compatibility. The Qi2 logo promises that the device meets the WPC’s exacting standards. It is likely that, as with the original Qi standard, there will soon be devices available that have not passed through the official Qi2 certification process.

Apple’s iPhone 15 range supports Qi2, and accessory makers like Anker, Belkin, Nomad, and Mophie have all announced Qi2 chargers. You can expect a much wider range of Qi2 accessories to land soon, and we expect most Android manufacturers to jump on board in 2024. The WPC hopes that Qi2 will unify wireless charging and finally provide the universal global standard we have been waiting for.

16 Best Camera Accessories for Phones (2023): Apps, Tripods, Mics, and Lights

16 Best Camera Accessories for Phones (2023): Apps, Tripods, Mics, and Lights

We’re living in a golden age of mobile photography. The gear in this guide will up your game for making content at home or out and about, using just your smartphone. Our favorite Android phones and iPhones have outstanding cameras, but tripods, mics, and video lights can elevate the quality of your work. Here’s everything you need to turn your phone into a pro-grade powerhouse.

Check out our other buying guides, like Gear and Tips to Make Studio-Grade Videos at Home, Best Compact Cameras, Best iPhone 15 Cases, Best Pixel Phones, and Best Instant Cameras.

Updated October 2023: We’ve added the Lume Cube Creator Kit 2.0, Lume Cube Ring Light Mini, Moment T-Series Lenses, Moment Filmmaker Cage, Insta360 Flow, Boling P1, DJI Mic, Rode Wireless Go II, Nimble Champ, Canvas Lamp, Joby Wavo Plus, and Peak Design Creator Kit.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get WIRED for just $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com, full Gear coverage, and subscriber-only newsletters. Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

20 Best MagSafe Accessories for Your iPhone (2023): Webcam Mount, Car Docks, Wireless Chargers

20 Best MagSafe Accessories for Your iPhone (2023): Webcam Mount, Car Docks, Wireless Chargers

A Magnet is one of those things that always remain wondrous. As a kid, I used to chase a broken magnet with its repelling end and pretend it was a cop car chasing a robber. Now, it’s similarly satisfying to slap magnetic accessories to the back of an iPhone. It just clicks into place! No wires, screws, or clamps to deal with. It’s wonderful.

MagSafe is the name of Apple’s accessory system that’s integrated into the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 15 range. A ring of magnets on the back of the phone (and in MagSafe-enabled cases) lets you attach various magnetic accessories, like a battery pack that recharges the iPhone wirelessly so you don’t need to hold it or carry a cable. We’ve covered protection for your iPhone in our Best iPhone 14 Cases, Best iPhone 13 Cases, and Best iPhone 12 Cases guides, but these are our favorite MagSafe accessories to increase their utility.

Updated September 2023: We’ve added accessories from ESR, Belkin, iOttie, Nomad, Moft, Casetify, Ohsnap!, Oakywood, and Peak Design.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get WIRED for just $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com, full Gear coverage, and subscriber-only newsletters. Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

Google Freshens Up Its Android Brand and Drops New Features

Google Freshens Up Its Android Brand and Drops New Features

With the release of Android 14 creeping closer, Google just announced a makeover for the Android brand, which was last updated in 2019. The logo has been modernized, and the Android mascot, called Bugdroid, has a fresh 3D look. The company also unveiled a handful of new features for Google apps and Android devices, including a Google Assistant-powered widget and the option to store digital versions of library and gym cards in your Google Wallet.

Video: Google

The new look is designed to “reflect Android’s core ethos of being open, iterative, and inclusive.” From now on, it’s Android with a capital “A,” and the Android logo has grown curvier, bringing it closer to the style of the Google logo. The tiny green robot that has long served as Android’s mascot has been rendered in 3D and has a new visual identity, with fresh colors (including a natty rainbow finish), accessories (like a headband and hat), and some playful animations.

Hot on the heels of the Android rebrand comes Google’s quarterly Android feature drop.  First up is the Assistant At a Glance widget for your home screen, a revamp of the existing At a Glance widget. It employs machine learning algorithms to offer snippets of relevant information, such as local weather, travel updates for your flights, and handy event reminders.

Video: Google

A new feature called Image Q&A on Google’s Lookout app uses artificial intelligence to generate detailed descriptions of images, so instead of relying on rudimentary alt tags, people who are blind or have low vision can get proper descriptions of an image and even ask follow-up questions to learn more about it. Google has also added another 11 languages to the Lookout app, including Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.

Google Wallet is getting the much-needed ability to import and digitize passes with barcodes or QR codes. That means you can upload a photo of your gym pass or library card and store a secure, digital version of it in Google Wallet, which will come in handy when you forget your actual wallet again.

Android Auto is getting support for Webex and Zoom audio conference calls. Yes, that means you can join meetings on either platform and browse your schedules on your car display. You can mute your mic and end the call through Android Auto. Handy for when you’re running late but really need to join a call. Implementing it into your car’s system hopefully means you won’t use your phone while driving. 

The final new feature is tied to Google Assistant—you can add sleep-tracking data from Fitbit or Google Fit into a Google Assistant Routine. Say, “Hey Google, good morning” after you set it up to get a recap of your sleep stats alongside your morning news, including when you fell asleep and how many hours of shuteye you managed to get.

These features are rolling out starting today and do not require an over-the-air system update. Instead, keep an eye out for app updates in the Google Play Store.