MagSafe on iPhone: be careful when choosing a power adapter

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To match the new iPhone 12, Apple (re) introduced MagSafe, a new charger for its smartphones. However, if you want to achieve the promised 15 watts, you have to meet the exact requirements. In a new video, various power adapters are currently being tested with the MagSafe dongle.

The new MagSafe for iPhone 12 is Apple’s improved version of the Qi standard. It relies on a series of magnets to perfectly orient the charging adapter on the back of the smartphone. This should help to achieve optimal alignment of the MagSafe dongle and smartphone coils.

When using MagSafe, the iPhone 12 should be able to charge up to 15 watts. A conventional Qi charger still only manages to charge up to 7.5 watts. But in addition to the MagSafe adapter, a suitable power supply is also required, which provides the necessary power. Apple offers its own “20W USB-C Power Adapter” for this, which is also new – and not included with the MagSafe dongle. But what about other USB-C power supplies that have been around for a long time?

READ ALSO: The new iPhone 12 Mini has it all

iPhone 12 with MagSafe: Pitfall power adapter

YouTuber Aaron Zollo has now posted a video where he tries out several power supplies from Apple and other manufacturers with the MagSafe adapter and the iPhone 12. A small power meter is used to measure the power going to the phone. As a bonus, he also tested Apple’s MagSafe with some Android smartphones.

The result is surprising at first glance. Of the power supplies tested, only Apple’s new 20 watt power supply managed to charge the iPhone 12 with the promised 15 watts. Even other Apple power supplies, be it the older 18-watt variant or the 96-watt adapter in the 16 “MacBook Pro, cannot achieve this 15 watts.

Here are the results at a glance:

  • Apple 20W power supply: 15 watts
  • Apple power supply 18 W: 13 W
  • Apple 96 W power supply (16 “MacBook Pro): 10 W
  • Anchor PowerPort Atom PD 1 (30 watts): 7.5 to 10 watts
  • Aukey 65 W power supply: 8 to 9 Watt
  • Google Pixel 4/5 power supply: 7.5 to 9 watts
  • Samsung Note 20 Ultra power supply: 6 to 7 Watt

If you have a new iPhone 12 and want to get the 15 watts from MagSafe, you should order Apple’s 20 watt power supply as well. Third-party manufacturers seem to need to update their power supply profiles included in their power supplies in order to allow optimal charging.

Aaron Zollo’s tests also showed that Apple is very aggressive in slowing down the charging process when the iPhone gets too hot. In this case, the meter often only showed a maximum of 10 watts. The best results were shown when charging without a case, which apparently allowed the heat to dissipate more quickly.

MagSafe with older iPhones and Android smartphones

Zollo has also tested older iPhones with the MagSafe adapter. An iPhone 11 Pro Max and 8 Plus achieves around 5 watts. Owners of older Apple smartphones can therefore do without MagSafe with confidence. The same goes for the tested Android smartphones, charged with a maximum of just 1.5 watts.

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