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Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack.


Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in that are designed to adhere right to the back of an iPhone 12 model. It's made from a plastic material with some rubber accenting, and it's fairly small and lightweight given that it needs to attach to an iPhone magnetically.

The PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank is MagSafe-compatible, not MagSafe, so it is limited to 5W charging rather than 15W charging like a MagSafe charger. At 5W, it's going to charge at slower speeds, but since it is able to adhere to the back of an iPhone magnetically, it's more convenient than a standalone power bank because it stays in place.

Magnetic strength is decent, but it stays adhered best when used with a MagSafe-compatible iPhone case. Without a case, the magnet is decent, but the hold is better with a magnetic case.

With a 5,000mAh capacity, the PowerCore Magnetic Power Bank can charge an iPhone 12 mini to full, but for other iPhones, you're only going to get a partial charge. Anker says it can charge the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro to 95 percent and the iPhone 12 Pro Max to 75 percent, so it doesn't have as much capacity as other power banks on the market, but it's still a useful charge amount when you're in a pinch because of its portability and ease of use.

The PowerCore Power Bank can be charged over USB-C, and you can check the charge level with the indicator lights that are next to the USB-C port on the device. You can use Anker's power bank with other Qi-enabled accessories, but the magnetic attachment feature is limited to the iPhone 12 models.

The PowerCore Magnetic 5K Power Bank can be purchased from Amazon for $40, but Anker is having supply issues at the current time and it is out of stock.

Article Link: Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack
 
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oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,498
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Europe
I really don't see the point of these. Usually with a portable power bank, I want minimize the time spent using it and thus charge as fast as possible. Thus those with 18W PD are appealing. Plug in, charge up for 15-30 minutes, and put it away. In and out, fast.

For this, I think the PowerCore 10000 PD Redux is the best bang-per-buck right now. It's small but packs 10,000mah and 18W PD. It can take an iPhone from dead to >50% in about 30 minutes.

But at 5W, it would take many hours to get a reasonable charge - to say nothing of the inherent power loss of wireless. What's the point?
 
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macsareveryinteresting

macrumors 6502a
Dec 7, 2020
770
485
Colorado Springs
I really don't see the point of these. Usually with a portable power bank, I want minimize the time spent using it and thus charge as fast as possible. Thus those with 18W PD are appealing. Plug in, charge up for 15-30 minutes, and put it away. In and out, fast.

But at 5W, it would take many hours to get a reasonable charge - to say nothing of the inherent power loss of wireless. What's the point?
Most people like it because it has more Watts than an average Apple Power Adapter at the same exact size. But I could still mind a bigger Power Adapter.
 
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RunsForFun

macrumors demi-god
Nov 6, 2017
809
1,583
I really don't see the point of these. Usually with a portable power bank, I want minimize the time spent using it and thus charge as fast as possible. Thus those with 18W PD are appealing. Plug in, charge up for 15-30 minutes, and put it away. In and out, fast.

For this, I think the PowerCore 10000 PD Redux is the best bang-per-buck right now. It's small but packs 10,000mah and 18W PD. It can take an iPhone from dead to >50% in about 30 minutes.

But at 5W, it would take many hours to get a reasonable charge - to say nothing of the inherent power loss of wireless. What's the point?
I think the big appeal here is that you're not tied down with a cable and a big heavy battery. You can continue using your phone as normal while charging with this device.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,416
28,207
Is Anker a reliable brand? I bought my first Anker power adapter 60w two usb-c ports and the thing gets so hot it almost burns my hand. I‘m afraid to keep using it.
 
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oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,498
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Most people like it because it has more Watts than an average Apple Power Adapter at the same exact size. But I could still mind a bigger Power Adapter.
How do you figure? It charges at 5W, which is equal to Apple's lowest-wattage charger.

I think the big appeal here is that you're not tied down with a cable and a big heavy battery. You can continue using your phone as normal while charging with this device.
But it's not THAT small. Anker makes chargers equally small and just about as light that both pack more power and charge faster. And anyway, I think the best way to use your phone as normal is to charge it as fast as possible and then put the charger away. In other words, charging for 15-30 minutes and then using the phone as normal is better than using the phone as normal with this brick attached for 3 hours.

The key here is power loss due to wireless. Even though this things packs 5,000mah, Qi has a power loss of almost 50%. So only approximately 2,500-3,000mah are actually reaching your phone, and the rest is wasted to heat. You might as well get a 3,000mah power bank the size of a chapstick and use a cable - it will be lighter, smaller, and equally effective. Or, alternatively, get a 5,000mah power bank of equal size and weight, and be able to actually deliver most of that 5,000mah to your phone.
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Jan 28, 2009
3,241
248
UK
I really don't see the point of these. Usually with a portable power bank, I want minimize the time spent using it and thus charge as fast as possible. Thus those with 18W PD are appealing. Plug in, charge up for 15-30 minutes, and put it away. In and out, fast.

For this, I think the PowerCore 10000 PD Redux is the best bang-per-buck right now. It's small but packs 10,000mah and 18W PD. It can take an iPhone from dead to >50% in about 30 minutes.

But at 5W, it would take many hours to get a reasonable charge - to say nothing of the inherent power loss of wireless. What's the point?
Attach to MagSafe for convenience, get a short cable and attach wire. Then get USB-C charging quickly if needed
 
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Rorosbutt

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2013
389
231
I love mine! I actually bought two. One for home and one I mounted in my car. The magnet is really strong and has yet to drop my phone. I recommend 10/10
 
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MichaelMaier

macrumors newbie
Aug 14, 2020
5
10
I miss two major things from this review that takes most of the facts from Anker without any analysis.

1. How many percentages does it actually charge an iPhone from close to 0% to max and how long does it take? Wireless charging has a lot of power loss. So, what’s the real world numbers that aren’t from the supplied Anker marketing department.

2. The battery pack was shown attached in the video. Looks good, but how about real world phone usages with it on in portrait and horizontal mode. Is it uncomfortable or good? And does the battery pack tend to slip out when holding it in real life positions? I never hold my phone like it was shown on the video.
 
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apparatchik

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2008
373
1,095
can someone tell if it also charges devices wirely via the usb c port, as in, does the usb c do input/output charging (not just input to the battery) as some power banks do?

Update: it does! So it works like a standard power bank for non wireless enabled devices, definitely an attractive package!

1618507556773.png
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Jan 28, 2009
3,241
248
UK
can someone tell if it also charges devices wirely via the usb c port, as in, does the usb c do input/output charging (not just input to the battery) as some power banks do?
Yes the USB-C is an input/output. You can also charge 2 devices (it’s only 5000mAh though) one wireless, one wired at same time

I emailed Anker as wondered if you could attach it magnetically for convenience, but use it wired to charge faster and got this reply...

You can physically attach the battery using the magnet but charge with the cable attached. In this situation, only the cable charging (via USC-C to lightning cable )works, the wireless charging will stop (the wireless charging and cable charging do not work at the same time for the same phone )
 
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Neil Harrison

macrumors member
Oct 5, 2020
58
13
This is a brilliant idea, when I go to football I dont need to take a cable and a chunky power pack
 
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jdiamond

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2008
655
510
I really don't see the point of these. Usually with a portable power bank, I want minimize the time spent using it and thus charge as fast as possible. Thus those with 18W PD are appealing. Plug in, charge up for 15-30 minutes, and put it away. In and out, fast.

For this, I think the PowerCore 10000 PD Redux is the best bang-per-buck right now. It's small but packs 10,000mah and 18W PD. It can take an iPhone from dead to >50% in about 30 minutes.

But at 5W, it would take many hours to get a reasonable charge - to say nothing of the inherent power loss of wireless. What's the point?
You have to think of this as for emergencies. With my new iPhone 12 Pro, I can get a few hours of non-tethered use, but then I could easily find myself somewhere with < 20% charge and dropping fast. Previously, the best I could do is take a small battery back with a cable, and charge it for the duration, sometimes having an embarrassing cable coming out of my pocket, sometimes using the phone constantly with the battery pack folded behind the phone. This is a much more elegant version of that. I'd probably stash these in my car, so when I go somewhere away from a power cord, if I find myself low, I can run off this for awhile.

For emergency use, you really want the smallest battery that can keep your phone alive for maybe 2-4 hours until you can get it back to a plug.
 
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noblesoul117

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2020
12
28
I really don't see the point of these. Usually with a portable power bank, I want minimize the time spent using it and thus charge as fast as possible. Thus those with 18W PD are appealing. Plug in, charge up for 15-30 minutes, and put it away. In and out, fast.

For this, I think the PowerCore 10000 PD Redux is the best bang-per-buck right now. It's small but packs 10,000mah and 18W PD. It can take an iPhone from dead to >50% in about 30 minutes.

But at 5W, it would take many hours to get a reasonable charge - to say nothing of the inherent power loss of wireless. What's the point?
I’d say there are different use cases, and 5W is slow for many of them.

There’s only one use case where a constant-attached magnetic battery pack definitely makes sense for me: travelling, especially international travel, because I’m so active for the whole day or a long flight and need to remain on the go. In the past I was hiking around with my phone in my pocket, plugged into a battery in my satchel, or even stuffing a battery core in my pocket with the long wire coiled. (Truly the worst case scenario of needing a battery pack to charge on the go.) These back-battery-packs will resolve travel issues for me.

In many other cases, I‘d want the faster charge though…
 
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mjschabow

macrumors 68040
Dec 25, 2013
3,670
3,723
I really don't see the point of these. Usually with a portable power bank, I want minimize the time spent using it and thus charge as fast as possible. Thus those with 18W PD are appealing. Plug in, charge up for 15-30 minutes, and put it away. In and out, fast.

For this, I think the PowerCore 10000 PD Redux is the best bang-per-buck right now. It's small but packs 10,000mah and 18W PD. It can take an iPhone from dead to >50% in about 30 minutes.

But at 5W, it would take many hours to get a reasonable charge - to say nothing of the inherent power loss of wireless. What's the point?
I think it's the convenience and smaller size. Like if I were on a long hike, or at a concert or something like that, it would be peace of mind without carrying a huge brick with you.
 
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oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,498
12,742
Europe
You have to think of this as for emergencies. With my new iPhone 12 Pro, I can get a few hours of non-tethered use, but then I could easily find myself somewhere with < 20% charge and dropping fast. Previously, the best I could do is take a small battery back with a cable, and charge it for the duration, sometimes having an embarrassing cable coming out of my pocket, sometimes using the phone constantly with the battery pack folded behind the phone. This is a much more elegant version of that. I'd probably stash these in my car, so when I go somewhere away from a power cord, if I find myself low, I can run off this for awhile.

For emergency use, you really want the smallest battery that can keep your phone alive for maybe 2-4 hours until you can get it back to a plug.
Wait, let me get this straight. The emergency is you don't want to be seen with an embarrassing cable? I mean, sure. Anker also offers 24k gold cables for such situations.
 
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1rottenapple

macrumors 68040
Apr 21, 2004
3,698
1,809
The efficiently charging loss is a big bummer. What someone quoted as 50% charge loss might be accurate. I wish the battery pack was 2500 mah size but charging efficiency was 90%. Perhaps that is where Apple can innovate.
 
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farewelwilliams

Suspended
Jun 18, 2014
4,534
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I really don't see the point of these. Usually with a portable power bank, I want minimize the time spent using it and thus charge as fast as possible. Thus those with 18W PD are appealing. Plug in, charge up for 15-30 minutes, and put it away. In and out, fast.

For this, I think the PowerCore 10000 PD Redux is the best bang-per-buck right now. It's small but packs 10,000mah and 18W PD. It can take an iPhone from dead to >50% in about 30 minutes.

But at 5W, it would take many hours to get a reasonable charge - to say nothing of the inherent power loss of wireless. What's the point?

When you’re on a trip taking a bunch of videos and reach 10% by 2pm, you need something to slap on the back to keep going. You don’t have time to plug-in and use two hands to carry battery, wire, and phone.


This will make even more sense when iPhone ditches the plug too. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple made a thinner version that doesn’t suck when you put it in your pocket while it’s charging
 
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iGeneo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2010
821
1,515
I really don't see the point of these. Usually with a portable power bank, I want minimize the time spent using it and thus charge as fast as possible. Thus those with 18W PD are appealing. Plug in, charge up for 15-30 minutes, and put it away. In and out, fast.

For this, I think the PowerCore 10000 PD Redux is the best bang-per-buck right now. It's small but packs 10,000mah and 18W PD. It can take an iPhone from dead to >50% in about 30 minutes.

But at 5W, it would take many hours to get a reasonable charge - to say nothing of the inherent power loss of wireless. What's the point?
I actually prefer the Zendure...


* I do own the Anker "magSafe" but for a fast 18W Charge... the Zendure is hard to beat.

I travel a fair bit, MagSafe is not the driving factor. The Zendure paired with my just received "In-Charge" cable will be my go to setup until something better arrives>

 
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bb9

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2017
171
98
The Anker version looks too thick - to me.
I would like Apple to come out with their version that focus on:
- a form factor like the MagSafe wallet - SLIM and fits the hand naturally
- max power efficiency and management like pass apple battery cases
- pass through MagSafe charging of phone and battery 🤞

I will buy 2 and my phone will not see the charger again.
 
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