Mini Review: Apple’s MagSafe Is Good But Very Expensive

Mini Review: Apple’s MagSafe Is Good But Very Expensive

After nearly a week with the new iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, I’ve come to mostly fall back in love with MagSafe. As a long-time MacBook Pro user, I have many fond memories of nearly ripping my laptop off the table because I tripped over the cord, and having it be saved last minute by the MagSafe just coming away. It was a beautiful, better time, and I miss it dearly.

But now, with the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, MagSafe is back and weirdly massive. Here are the three MagSafe accessories I’ve been using this week:

Silicone Case with MagSafe – $79

I love this case. The satiny feel of the silicone provides a nice grip in the hand, and it’s not too rigid when you want to change it out. I got the Plum colour, which is a lovely deep maroon with just the lightest tinge of purple. The colour looks fantastic with the bright blue of the 12.

While it doesn’t feel overly protective, it gives just enough of a sense of security that you don’t feel nervous taking the phone out of your pocket over a tiled floor.

One thing that’s really cool is that when you put on the case, the NFC tells the phone what colour the case is, and that colour momentarily flashes on the screen. That (and the magnets), presumably, is why these silicone cases are $14 more expensive, clocking in at $79, compared to last year’s $65.

Either way, having MagSafe in the cases will give you more confidence that other accessories will stick to it. So that’s good.

Clear Case with MagSafe – $79

I really wanted to like this clear case, because it shows off the beautiful Midnight Blue of the 12 Pro so nicely, but it’s just unpleasant to use. It’s far too rigid and slippery, and feels like it offers no protection beyond scratch resistance. Taking it on and off is a nightmare that will kill all your nails and made me genuinely afraid I was going to snap either the phone or the case.

The big white circle on the back is ugly, and detracts from why you’d want a clear case in the first place — unless it’s to really show off that you have the 12/12Pro, I guess.

It’s a nice idea, but poorly executed.

MagSafe Charger – $65

65 is a lot of dollars for a charging cable that can only charge one kind of thing, at least so far.

However, if money is no object, it’s pretty neat. It plugs into a USB-C wall plug, seamlessly connects to the back of the phone, and then charges at 15W.

My favourite part about it is how easy it is to connect it when it’s dark and you’re half asleep. You can’t plug it in wrong, so you’re not trying to find a tiny plug hole at the bottom of the phone while scratching up the bottom and making that unpleasant metal on metal sound that wakes you up in the middle of the night and sets your teeth on edge.

Just be careful not to plug it into a laptop charger, though. Most of the time it’s fine to plug a charging cable into a laptop charger, but in this case, even though it was the only USB-C charger I had within reach, it just made the MagSafe end very hot, and then the phone very hot, and then the charge of the phone started to go down.

Unfortunately, despite being very expensive, this charging cable doesn’t come with a wall plug (and neither does the iPhone), so make sure you have a 15W USB-C wall plug at home before investing.

While I haven’t seen the iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe in the flesh yet, given how strong the magnets are in the other accessories, I feel pretty confident that it won’t come off easily.

I’m actually really looking forward to getting one, because I’m too lazy to carry a separate wallet, and I don’t feel comfortable storing my Medicare, private health insurance, or Driver’s Licence cards digitally yet.

All up, bringing MagSafe back is an excellent idea. But for affordable accessories, it might be best to wait until the 3rd party brands get their products in the market in November.