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PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Alongside the iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a new $39 MagSafe Charger that's meant to work with the magnets in the iPhone 12 Pro models to charge them up at a maximum of 15W.


The MagSafe Charger is technically able to be used with older iPhones, but it's not a good idea because the charging with non-iPhone 12 devices is so slow.

We did two tests with the iPhone XS Max, draining the battery down to 1 percent, putting it in Airplane Mode, and then charging for a half an hour.

In the first test, the MagSafe charger charged the iPhone XS Max to 13 percent in 30 minutes, and in the second test, it charged the iPhone XS Max to 14 percent in 30 minutes.

We've tested a lot of Qi-based wireless chargers and have never seen 7.5W Qi charging speeds that slow. For reference, a 7.5W charger is able to charge an iPhone to about 25 percent in a half hour.


We specifically tested the iPhone XS Max in the exact same conditions as the MagSafe charger with a standard 7.5W Belkin charger and it charged to 26 percent in the 30 minute window.

For those who don't have an iPhone 12 and were considering getting a MagSafe charger to use with an older iPhone, don't. It's not worth it for the slow charging speeds and you're better off with a standard Qi charger.

The MagSafe charger will work fine with the iPhone 12 and should charge faster than Qi, but it's not as fast as charging with the Lightning to USB-C cable and a 20W power adapter, as Joanna Stern found out in a charging speed test. That's not too surprising because a Lightning to USB-C charger paired with a 20W+ power adapter enables fast charging, where the iPhone 12 models can charge to 50 percent in one half hour.

Article Link: PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger
 

Heat_Fan89

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2016
773
661
I don’t get the fascination with wireless charging. I can either plug in a device so I can lay a phone on top of it to charge or I can simply plug the phone using its charging port. At least with the charging cable connected you can pickup the phone and use it and make calls. Now wireless charging would be a neat idea if I can use the phone and charge it without having to lay the phone over a charger.

Reverse charging is an even a tougher sell to me. Why would I drain my battery to charge another device? I’d rather charge that device with its own cable.
 

hot-gril

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2020
590
450
Northern California, USA
On the bright side, slower charging is known to be gentler on the battery, but I have no idea if it's enough to matter.
[automerge]1603496557[/automerge]
I don’t get the fascination with wireless charging. I can either plug in a device so I can lay a phone on top of it to charge or I can simply plug the phone using its charging port. At least with the charging cable connected you can pickup the phone and use it and make calls. Now wireless charging would be a neat idea if I can use the phone and charge it without having to lay the phone over a charger.

Reverse charging is an even a tougher sell to me. Why would I drain my battery to charge another device? I’d rather charge that device with its own cable.
It shouldn't be useful but kinda is, given how fragile the Lightning cables are.
 

jntdroid

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
337
407
I don’t get the fascination with wireless charging. I can either plug in a device so I can lay a phone on top of it to charge or I can simply plug the phone using its charging port. At least with the charging cable connected you can pickup the phone and use it and make calls. Now wireless charging would be a neat idea if I can use the phone and charge it without having to lay the phone over a charger.

Reverse charging is an even a tougher sell to me. Why would I drain my battery to charge another device? I’d rather charge that device with its own cable.

I used to think this, but once you get used to just grabbing and going, especially if you're constantly walking to and from your desk at work and have to keep your phone with you, it's pretty addicting; especially when my desk has an inclined wireless charger... so I have my phone there and when an alert comes in, thanks to Face ID (which I still generally prefer Touch ID), I can just look at it and check the alerts without having to reach for it.

Total first world "problems", but handy nonetheless.
 

unsynaps

macrumors newbie
Sep 13, 2013
28
69
I don’t get the fascination with wireless charging. I can either plug in a device so I can lay a phone on top of it to charge or I can simply plug the phone using its charging port. At least with the charging cable connected you can pickup the phone and use it and make calls. Now wireless charging would be a neat idea if I can use the phone and charge it without having to lay the phone over a charger.

Reverse charging is an even a tougher sell to me. Why would I drain my battery to charge another device? I’d rather charge that device with its own cable.
I am just dumb. I would never remember to plug my phone in at night but for some reason remember to put it on the wireless charger.

There is also having a wireless charger in your car which is the best thing ever. Set up your mount. You can then route the cable completely out of the way. No jerking around with plugging in and unplugging when you get in and out of your car. Thing I am curious about is 7.5w enough to counteract what is spent if the phone is connected to wireless CarPlay? 15w should be enough though.
 
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farewelwilliams

macrumors 68040
Jun 18, 2014
3,684
14,773
I don’t get the fascination with wireless charging. I can either plug in a device so I can lay a phone on top of it to charge or I can simply plug the phone using its charging port. At least with the charging cable connected you can pickup the phone and use it and make calls. Now wireless charging would be a neat idea if I can use the phone and charge it without having to lay the phone over a charger.

Reverse charging is an even a tougher sell to me. Why would I drain my battery to charge another device? I’d rather charge that device with its own cable.

I used think wireless charging was kinda useless. Once I started using it, I realized the benefits. I typically have my phone set on a table in one spot whenever I work. So in that spot, I just put a wireless charger there. Every time I set my phone down, it's topping off power. The amount of times I pick up and put down the phone is really high and I normally wouldn't plug in because I would be constantly tugging on the wire which means there's a chance I would run low by the end of the day. So wireless charging solves this problem.

Reverse charging is idiotic though. Who wants to use a more important device that needs to be charged everyday to top off a less important device that rarely needs to be charged like AirPods (not to mention the loss of energy due to the inefficient charging method)?
 

Vanilla35

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2013
3,342
1,412
Washington D.C.
i wonder what the heat output of these things. Whenever i charge my 8+ wirelessly, it heats up quite a lot. That heat couldnt be good for the battery health as they absolutely hate heat

Battery longevity is much worse when using wireless charging, due to the increased heat that you mentioned. It's incredibly less efficient (lots of excess heat) compared to wire. This is true with Qi chargers though and not just Magsafe. My apple watch also gets super hot when charging with the included puck.
 

Kyle4

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2010
627
891
Canada
Apples site says these work with the XR/XS/11 so I’d expect at least 7.5 watts. 1-3 is awful and must be some kind of bug or something (hopefully).

Battery longevity is much worse when using wireless charging, due to the increased heat that you mentioned. It's incredibly less efficient (lots of excess heat) compared to wire.

Noticed my XRs battery health going down way quicker after switching to QI charger on the nightstand. Its been nearly 8 months since I went back to a wire and it hasn’t gone down another %. I know this is anecdotal but the excess heat/wasted energy wasn’t a good trade off for me.
 

DotCom2

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2009
4,745
3,254
Apples site says these work with the XR/XS/11 so I’d expect at least 7.5 watts. 1-3 is awful and must be some kind of bug or something (hopefully).



Noticed my XRs battery health going down way quicker after switching to QI charger on the nightstand. Its been nearly 8 months since I went back to a wire and it hasn’t gone down another %. I know this is anecdotal but the excess heat/wasted energy wasn’t a good trade off for me.
Maybe there is a bad batch that went out or something. They need to address this very soon.
 

naturalstar

macrumors demi-goddess
Mar 9, 2012
1,914
2,507
Interesting. I’ve only used wireless charging overnight so I didn’t have a personal benchmark. Good to know. I still use my lightning port to charge most of the time. Hopefully this is better soon.
 
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Vanilla35

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2013
3,342
1,412
Washington D.C.
Apples site says these work with the XR/XS/11 so I’d expect at least 7.5 watts. 1-3 is awful and must be some kind of bug or something (hopefully).



Noticed my XRs battery health going down way quicker after switching to QI charger on the nightstand. Its been nearly 8 months since I went back to a wire and it hasn’t gone down another %. I know this is anecdotal but the excess heat/wasted energy wasn’t a good trade off for me.

Yeah it definitely speeds up battery degradation; apple is bound to profit big time from it. While it's good that the cost of a new battery isn't too high, the amount of people who decide they might as well do a full upgrade while they're at it, is going to add up.
 
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