Should I buy the Apple MagSafe Charger?

Is the official wireless iPhone charger the right away to go?

Apple MagSafe Charger
(Image credit: Apple)

When it comes to picking out the best wireless chargers for iPhone, you're likely to have the official Apple MagSafe Charger somewhere on your shortlist: it is after all the officially sanctioned choice, so you know it's going to work seamlessly with your Apple phone.

Here we'll help you decide whether or not the Apple MagSafe Charger is the best iPhone wireless charger for your needs. We'll cover key specs like the charging speed, and tell you everything else you need to know about it too – including the all-important retail price.

Like all of the other buying guides that we've put together here at T3 – covering everything from the best wireless chargers to the best smartphones, you can rely on us for honesty and accuracy. Read on to see if the Apple MagSafe Charger is a device you should get.

Should I buy the Apple MagSafe Charger?

Apple MagSafe Charger

(Image credit: Apple)

As the name suggests, this is a MagSafe charger – that means it utilises the MagSafe magnetic charging technology that Apple debuted in 2020, and which comes embedded in all of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models. This will charge any iPhone that supports wireless charging, but only the iPhone 12 or later will get the top speeds (there are still plenty of other wireless chargers out there to pick from).

With that out of the way, there's no doubt that this is one of the better wireless chargers out there for the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 13 (and it's likely that the iPhone 14 is going to stick with the same MagSafe technology too, so it's reasonably future-proof). For most people, we're happy to recommend it, even if you're going to find charging devices on the market offering more features and perhaps more value.

If the Apple MagSafe Charger meets your needs and your budget, there's really no reason not to buy it. Something to bear in mind is that MagSafe charging technology can work through cases, but they need to be cases that have been specifically designed to be MagSafe compatible – so it's worth double-checking that, if you do have a case on your iPhone, before buying this.

What are the specs of the Apple MagSafe Charger?

Apple MagSafe Charger

(Image credit: Apple)

Wireless charging mats don't have many specs, which makes choosing between them a little easier. The key spec as far as the Apple MagSafe Charger is concerned is that it can charge up your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 at 15W – pretty speedy as far as wireless charging goes, but not as speedy as plugging in a Lightning cable and connecting your iPhone to mains power directly (this will give you charging speeds of 20-23W).

It's MagSafe compatible of course, as we've already mentioned, but it can charge older iPhones from the iPhone 8 onwards, just at slower speeds. If you're wondering if this is going to fit easily on your desk or wherever you're putting it, you should know that the circular pad measures ‎82 mm x 82 mm x 18 mm (that's 3.24 inches x 3.24 inches x 0.72 inches if you prefer).

As for the weight, if you need to know it, it's 45 grams or 1.6 ounces – it's a very compact and lightweight device that's not going to take up much room on your desk or in a bag. Thanks to that small size and lightness, it's suitable for taking on the road with you if you need a wireless charger that's going to serve you well on your travels (all you need is a USB port or mains adapter to power the pad from).

What are the best features of the Apple MagSafe Charger?

Apple MagSafe Charger

(Image credit: Apple)

It's worth recapping just exactly what MagSafe is and how it works, because it is such a key feature of this particular wireless charger. It combines wireless charging with magnets, and the key benefits over standard wireless charging are the faster speeds (relative to other Apple products) and the easy alignment and attachment enabled by the magnetic fixtures inside both phone and charger.

That's why you'll see MagSafe chargers that can have your iPhone looking like it's floating in mid-air: it's the magnets that are holding it in place. It's more than a fancy trick though, because it means the wireless charging connection can be properly established and running at the maximum speed to get your iPhone battery juiced up as fast as possible.

And this is a product made by Apple, of course: from iPads to Macs, the Apple brand comes with a certain amount of heft with it. You're guaranteed something that's been well put together and that's going to last you, and that counts for something when you're weighing it up against other wireless chargers (which may be slightly cheaper).

What else do I need to know about the Apple MagSafe Charger?

Apple MagSafe Charger

(Image credit: Apple)

As we've just mentioned, you are going to be able to find wireless iPhone chargers that are cheaper than the Apple MagSafe Charger, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be better suited to you. Check the widgets embedded on this page for the latest prices and deals online, but at the time of writing the Apple MagSafe Charger is available for £39 / $39 direct from the Apple website.

It's worth noting that you don't get a mains adapter plug included with that, and if you want to buy one from Apple then that'll set you back another £19 / $19. You do get a USB-C cable included with the MagSafe charger, so you can use an existing mains adapter if you've already got one, or you can connect the pad up to a spare USB-C port on a laptop or desktop computer to power it.

The included cable is a metre long (that's about 40 inches) so you get plenty of flexibility when it comes to positioning this. Once it's set up, you simply place your iPhone down on the Apple MagSafe Charger face up, and charging begins. By the way, this will also charge up your AirPods as well, if they're in a wireless charging case – you just pop them down on the charging pad as you would do with your iPhone.

What are the alternatives to the Apple MagSafe Charger?

Belkin BoostCharge Pro

(Image credit: Belkin)

If you haven't already, take a peek at our best wireless iPhone chargers guide, which will give you an idea of the strong competition that the Apple MagSafe Charger faces when it comes to devices for juicing up your iPhone. Whether you want the MagSafe compatibility or not, there are quite a few alternatives worth checking out.

For now we'd like to highlight the Belkin BoostCharge Pro: it too comes with MagSafe support, and in this case you'll need a MagSafe-compatible iPhone to use with it, otherwise your handset won't be able to attach to the charger. As an added bonus you can charge up your Apple Watch and your AirPods at the same time.

Another product we'd recommend at least considering is the MagSafe Duo Charger, which again is made by Apple – you can buy it direct for £129 / $129 if it appeals. That's significantly more in terms of price, but you do get two charging pads instead of one: it gives you the option of charging your iPhone and your Apple Watch alongside each other, and it folds up neatly if you need to pack it away (you still don't get a mains adapter included in the box though).

David Nield
David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.