While MagSafe stands out as one of the best smartphone accessories in recent years, Apple hasn't done much with it yet. The basic charger, Duo charger and MagSafe wallet are the only products leveraging the technology.
The relatively high cost and limited scope of Apple's own offerings have opened a considerable market opportunity for third-party MagSafe accessories and, unsurprisingly, many come up short of the real thing. MacRumors recently took a closer look at how some of them stack up.
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One consistent downside across all of the unofficial MagSafe products is charging speed. They are rated to top out at 7.5W, while official MagSafe products can go up to 15W. While that's not earthshattering speeds when compared to the 50W wireless charger that OnePlus revealed alongside the OnePlus 9 Pro, a 7.5W charge is only really useful for overnight charging as it's way too slow to top up with during the day.
Magnet strength on the basic chargers was also perceptibly weaker than the Apple-branded versions, although not massively so, this would be more of a concern if you were looking at a MagSafe car mount or a MagSafe wallet.
Those happen to be the next two items that MacRumors took a look at and while the car mount held up reasonably well, the wallet was a complete disaster. If you've tried Apple's MagSafe wallet or read any reviews you'll know that the official version isn't great at staying on the iPhone 12, so it's not at all surprising that the under $10 knock-off version is even worse. The magnet strength is one of the rumored upgrades for the iPhone 13 this year, so we should see improvements in this regard from both Apple and 3rd-party accessories at that point.
All of this is to say that you probably want to think twice before opting for a 3rd party MagSafe product on Amazon. We would expect many more reputable vendors to be getting MagSafe compatible products into the market this spring as we tick slightly closer to the second series of iPhone models that can make use of them.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.