Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,442
11,828


Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum.


Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple does sell a new 20W power adapter alongside the MagSafe Charger, and as it turns out, that seems to be one of the the only charging options able to provide a full 15W of power to the new MagSafe charger at this time.

YouTuber Aaron Zollo of Zollotech tested several first and third-party power adapter options with the iPhone 12 Pro and a MagSafe charger using a meter to measure actual power output. Paired with the 20W power adapter that Apple offers, the MagSafe Charger successfully hit 15W, but no other chargers that he tested provided the same speeds.

The older 18W power adapter from Apple that was replaced by the 20W version was able to charge the iPhone 12 Pro using the MagSafe Charger at up to 13W, but the 96W Power Adapter and third-party power adapters that provide more than 20W were not able to exceed 10W when used with the MagSafe Charger. Below are the results from Zollo's tests:
  • Apple's 20W Power Adapter - 15W
  • Apple's 18W Power Adapter - 13W
  • Apple's 96W MacBook Pro Power Adapter - 10W
  • Anker 30W PowerPort Atom PD 1 = 7.5W to 10W
  • Aukey 65W Power Adapter - 8W to 9W
  • Pixel 4/5 Charger - 7.5W to 9W
  • Note 20 Ultra Charger - 6W to 7W
For maximum charging speeds with the MagSafe Charger and an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro, Apple's 20W power adapter is required, and older power adapter options won't work as well. Third-party companies will need to come out with new chargers that use the particular power profile that Apple is using to provide the optimum amount of power before a third-party charger will be able to provide the full 15W with the MagSafe Charger.

Zollo's testing also revealed that Apple is using aggressive temperature control, so when the iPhone gets warm, the charging power tends to stay below 10W. The best speeds come from charging using the 20W power adapter without a case on the iPhone to better let heat dissipate.

Older iPhones, such as the 11 Pro Max and 8 Plus, charged at around 5W with the MagSafe Charger and Apple's 20W power adapter, which is in line with the testing results we saw last week. It's not worth buying a MagSafe Charger to use with a non iPhone 12.

The same goes for Android phones. The MagSafe Charger technically supports Qi-based charging and can work with Android devices, but when paired with an Android smartphone, the MagSafe charger was outputting at 1.5W, which is slow enough that it's nearly useless.

Update: With further testing, Zollo now says that some third-party chargers may work, but those chargers need to be PD 3.0 compatible with specific voltage and amperage output. MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has also shared some examples of power adapters that should theoretically charge the iPhone at the full 15W when used with the MagSafe Charger.





Article Link: MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]
 
Last edited:

entropys

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2007
708
1,098
Brisbane, Australia
  • Apple removed the charger from the box
  • Apple claims this was all for environmental reasons
  • Apple did not drop the price to match the cost savings to Apple
  • Apple introduces MagSafe wireless charging
  • Apple ensures MagSafe only works full speed if you run out and buy its new, specific charger
  • Apple is a lying liar.
 
Comment

BorgCube

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2012
6,401
7,973
the Delta Quadrant
Anyone feels like this is a rip off?
Rip off? I don't know. Apple has always been a bit unreasonable in the pricing department.

A little surprised to beat my old Anker wireless chargers I need to drop $20 + $39. I shouldn't be surprised... I've been buying Apple Products for awhile now.

My guess is ... a lot of people aren't going to shell out $59 for this. And if they do, they're probably going to buy just the wireless charger thinking it will work fine with any charging brick... and then wonder why it doesn't perform to specs. Just a guess.
 
Comment

BruiserB

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2008
1,608
493
Disappointed in this. Probably just gonna return my MagSafe puck now. Might as well keep using the Qi charger I already had and use the lightning wired port when I actually need a fast charge. I even bought an Aukey 36W USB C dual port charger and will keep using that for my iPad and phone with wired connections. MagSafe is turning out to be a big disappointment.
 
Comment

citysnaps

macrumors 604
Oct 10, 2011
6,665
11,328
San Francisco
Why wouldn’t the higher watt like MacBook 96w one charger slower I would think that would be more than enough to charge at 15w can someone explain why the 20w chargers faster than a 96w charger

The 96 watt unit predates the MagSafe puck. And because of that I suspect the required signaling is not compatible. Ditto with others. Not surprised.
 
Comment

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
23,745
12,943
UK
Disappointed in this. Probably just gonna return my MagSafe puck now. Might as well keep using the Qi charger I already had and use the lightning wired port when I actually need a fast charge. I even bought an Aukey 36W USB C dual port charger and will keep using that for my iPad and phone with wired connections. MagSafe is turning out to be a big disappointment.
While i agree with your frustrating if you want 15w fast charging going forward then you will need this so if they do remove the port i do worry that unless one has MagSafe with 20w power brick people are going to charging their phones too slowly certainly for when somebody needs a fast charge.
 
Comment

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
17,389
4,614
I don't really care.

The idea of plugging a charger into the wall, then plugging a very short cable into that charger, then connecting the end to the iPhone, and calling the whole thing "wireless", ignoring the two wires connecting the phone to the wall, seems just absurd to me. If you then consider that this so-called "wireless" contraption will charge with at most 15 Watt, but quite possible with less than 10 Watt, while inserting a good old Lightning cable gives you 20 Watt, then this must be the worst possible purchase that you could make.

The 96 watt unit predates the MagSafe puck. And because of that I suspect the required signaling is not comparable. Ditto with others. Not surprised.
It's part of the USB-C standards that any two USB devices should be capable of negotiating precisely how much power should be surplied. If their "signalling is not comparable", then someone has messed up. If both are Apple products, then Apple has messed up.

I won’t be using MagSafe to charge my iPhone 12 Pro Max when I get it anyway.I rarely need fast charging as I always charge overnight whilst I sleep.So I shall carry on charging my normal way with a standard Qi wireless charger at 7.5w.
Excuse me, but you are saying you are going to buy MagSafe and then not use it? What's the logic behind that?
 
Last edited:
Comment

BorgCube

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2012
6,401
7,973
the Delta Quadrant
While i agree with your frustrating if you want 15w fast charging going forward then you will need this so if they do remove the port i do worry that unless one has MagSafe with 20w power brick people are going to charging their phones too slowly certainly for when somebody needs a fast charge.

Agreed...
--- Wired is still 2x faster.

I also am curious how hot this gets.
 
Comment

Cookie18

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2014
486
495
France
My Aukey 36W USB-C brick charges my iPhone 12 via MagSafe at 15W.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_C07D2B749186-1.jpeg
    IMG_C07D2B749186-1.jpeg
    153.9 KB · Views: 106
Last edited:
Comment

Kylo83

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2020
770
2,150
The 96 watt unit predates the MagSafe puck. And because of that I suspect the required signaling is not compatible. Ditto with others. Not surprised.
I charge my iPad Pro with my 96w charger for my MacBook would it charge faster with the 20w one?
 
  • Wow
Reactions: twanj
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.