What is MagSafe?
MagSafe is the brand name for Apple’s latest magnetic-based wireless iPhone charger and its associated accessories.
MagSafe began life back in 2006 as a range of magnetic charging cables for Macbook. They were gradually phased out from 2016 when the 4th generation MacBook Pro was released (which used USB-C for charging); the final MacBook to use MagSafe chargers was discontinued in 2019.
MagSafe has since been repurposed for iPhone and was reintroduced in October 2020 as a new family of quick-attach accessories for iPhone 12 to coincide with the launch of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Accessories currently include iPhone cases, wallets and chargers, but we can expect that list to expand over the coming months.
Compatible phone models
MagSafe products are compatible with iPhone 12, iPhone Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
All iPhone 12 models have a ring of inbuilt magnets centred around the wireless charging coil in the back that adhere to MagSafe chargers and cases.
Correspondingly, all MagSafe accessories also have magnets inside: Apple’s MagSafe charger snaps snugly onto the back of the iPhone 12, just like a magnet on a fridge.
Apple has released two MagSafe compatible chargers: MagSafe, a single charging pad for iPhone and MagSafe Duo: a double-charging mat for both iPhone and Apple Watch. It’s fast – the magnets ensure the iPhone is properly aligned to the charger, guaranteeing the fullest powering speeds. The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max charges at up to 15 watts – that’s twice as fast as a normal wireless charger. The iPhone 12 Mini charges up to 12 watts. (Note: MagSafe Duo is slower than the single charger.)
MagSafe’s charger has been designed to work specifically with MagSafe cases – these are clip-on cases that stick to the phone and that stay on while the phone charges. If you’re not a purist there are some high-quality and often cheaper alternatives to Apple on the market, from manufacturers such as OtterBox, Nomad and Mous. It’s very likely that there will be more add-ons forthcoming from Apple’s MagSafe ecosystem over the next few months so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled for third-party offerings, too.
Here are our favourites from the current crop of MagSafe cases:
Apple Silicone case
Slim, sleek and compatible with the full range of MagSafe peripherals, these are some of your Apple options if you want to stay on-brand.
Otterbox Figura Series
Otterbox offer a decent range of MagSafe phone cases, including the stylish, ultraslim Figura series.Visit Apple
Made with Horween leather this tough case combines great design with durability.Visit Amazon
Spigen Mag Amor
Slim yet sturdy, this one-piece case is Spigen’s first for MagSafe.Visit Amazon
Mous Limitless 4.0
Mous’ selection of MagSafe cases includes the attractive Limitless range which comes in a pleasing variety of fabrics and materials.Visit Amazon
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