If you’ve got an iPhone 12, you might have discovered the joy that is MagSafe. This new-ish feature provides super-fast wireless charging, but with a magnet so you know it’s actually attached without spending 10mins making micro adjustments on a Qi Charging base. But with great Apple fanciness comes great expense, and so like a hero on a white horse, Belkin has entered the market with a range of MagSafe alternatives that provide some of the benefit at almost half the price.
That part about having only some of the benefit, though, is key. While both will attach using strong magnets, only official MagSafe products can charge at 15W, “magnetic” products can only go at half the speed – 7.5W.
They also don’t have the NFC functionality, so the phone isn’t entirely sure of what’s attached, which isn’t all that important at the moment (you just miss out on the colourful animation), but could matter more down the track.
With that in mind, let’s check out the range:
Magsafe Alternative: Belkin Boost Charge Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger Pad
Closest Official MagSafe rival: Apple MagSafe Charger $65
In this situation, unless you needed the significantly longer cable (2m vs 1m), you’d be much better off paying the extra $5 to get the official cable. Neither of them have the 20W wall charger included, and the official cable will charge your phone twice as fast. It’s really a no-brainer.
Belkin Magnetic Fitness Mount
Closest Official MagSafe rival: There isn’t one
I love this fitness mount. I’ve been relying on using stands for my phone at the gym to do Fitness+ workouts and it’s not a good system. All it takes is one minute of overly bouncy sprinting on a treadmill and suddenly your phone has fallen under the treadmill, smashed up the case and scratched the screen protector (random example).
While this mount absolutely isn’t something I’d trust on my regular bike for outdoor use, it’s great for the gym. With lockdown restrictions, I haven’t been able to test it on a treadmill, but it’s been great on a stationary exercise bike. It’s so good I plan on buying a second one for my wife.
Belkin Boost Charge Magnet Portable Wireless Charger 10K
Closest Official MagSafe rival: Apple MagSafe Battery Pack $139
Although the official Apple product is adorable and designed to fit on the whole iPhone 12 range, from the Mini to the Max, the Belkin product absolutely wins on paper.
I haven’t yet gotten a review unit of the Apple product, so this is just based on the specs. But the Apple battery doesn’t hold a full charge for the phone, nor does it come with the charging cable.
Comparatively, the 10000mAh Belkin battery holds more than a full charge and comes with a USB-C cable, while also being much cheaper.
Both batteries will function as a wireless charger, and I’m sure the Apple one is smaller, charges faster and grips better. But if you want a lot of power at almost half the price, it’s hard to overlook the Belkin, even if it is very bulky.