I hate carrying power banks and I am sure you do too. In the past few months alone, I have lost at least two or three power banks. Sometimes I forget them in a hotel room and at others, someone takes them and never returns them. But I can’t get rid of them completely, because I fear that if I don’t carry a power bank while on the go, I will be left with a phone with no juice left. I have tried power banks in different shapes and capacities but I wasn’t satisfied.
After months of waiting, I have found a portable power bank made by Belkin but it’s different from the tank-like power banks I have used in the past. It’s a power bank that gets rid of cable clutter as it attaches magnetically to the back of my iPhone 14, thanks to Apple’s MagSafe technology.
Here’s my experience with Belkin’s Boost Charge Magnetic Wireless Power Bank and why it has worked for me so far.
Why do I need a power bank?
It isn’t cool to carry a power bank these days, considering newer phones have longer battery life. I tested several M-series phones from Samsung that come with a 6000mAh battery, so an average user doesn’t really need a power bank anymore. In my case, however, I still want a power bank.
As a journalist, when I am out to cover a press event or a multi-day conference, I am entirely dependent on my phone—from shooting videos and taking product shots to uploading them on Google Drive and sharing the content with my team in real time. I also use my iPhone for taking voice notes. So, a lot is going on when I am on the ground, covering an event and my iPhone becomes the go-to device. As a heavy phone user, my needs are also different. Of course, not all work days are the same but I can’t take the risk of roaming around the massive halls of a convention centre with a phone with a low battery.
Design and build
Every time, I see the Belkin-made MagSafe power bank, it reminds me of a dish wash bar. It’s compact and light, and is slightly thicker than the iPhone 14. Because it’s exactly the same size as my wallet, the power bank fits in my pocket. The device comes with rounded edging and has a matte exterior. As you can see in the hands-on images, the aesthetic is minimalist as could be.
The design is subtle with the understated Belkin logo. On the left side, towards the edge, you will see the power button next to the LED indicator to reveal the charger level. It’s good to see the USB-C port on the bottom of the device for charging. Apple’s products such as the Mac and iPad have already adopted the USB-C and it’s time the iPhone also gets support for USB-C in the near future. I have multiple USB-C cables lying in my house, so it’s always convenient to use a device with USB-C ports. The back panel has a soft-rubbery surface with a distinctive circular MagSafe array and Belkin logo.
Ease of use
The reason for choosing this portable wireless charger over other power banks is convenience and the fact that it supports the MagSafe technology. I don’t know if you remember that Apple first introduced MagSafe charging cables for MacBooks years back, and it recently revived the name by putting the magnetic system onto the iPhone. The iPhone 12 series supports MagSafe and so does the iPhone 14 lineup. The idea is to slap items like wallets or wireless chargers on the back of the iPhone. There are a ton of MagSafe accessories available, from both Apple and third-party accessory makers.
For me, a MagSafe battery pack simply works because it doesn’t require a cable and it attaches magnetically to the back of the iPhone. The good thing about this MagSafe battery pack is that the iPhone automatically starts charging the moment you attach the charger to the device. The connection between the battery pack and the iPhone is strong, even more, when you’ve got a case on. It just shows how strong the magnets are on the battery pack. It also doubles as a traditional Qi charger, meaning I can charge my AirPods and Galaxy Buds when placed on the back while it’s turned on. You can also connect the battery pack via a cable to charge the iPhone.
Capacity and speed
Belkin’s MagSafe battery pack has a total capacity of 2500mAh, which, in theory, means it is ideal for a quick boost. Think about situations when you left the office in a hurry and as you reached the metro station you realised that the phone’s battery is close to the red mark. This isn’t competing with hefty power banks that are designed to charge your iPhone multiple times. I charged my iPhone 14 from a dead battery and a fully charged Belkin MagSafe battery pack.
My tests have shown that the MagSafe battery pack charges a completely drained iPhone 14 from zero to 60 per cent in 90 minutes. It’s going to charge at the standard Qi speed, and yes, it’s a bit slow. As I said in the beginning, MagSafe battery packs aren’t about speed. They charge slower compared to regular power banks but they are pretty useful when you are on the road and need to top up the battery.
Lacks iOS integration
The Belkin MagSafe battery pack isn’t perfect and I am fully aware of that. Unlike Apple’s own MagSafe battery pack, Belkin’s alternative lacks iOS integration. An icon for the battery pack doesn’t appear in the Batteries Widget along with other Apple devices to show exact charging levels. The Apple-made MagSafe battery pack obviously has an advantage with Batteries widget support but then it also costs twice the price of third-party MagSafe battery packs.
Should you buy Belkin’s MagSafe battery pack?
My iPhone 14 already has a good battery but a MagSafe battery pack acts as a saviour the moment the battery level falls below 50 per cent. It’s more to do with a quick, on-the-go battery pack that is simple and reliable and easily attaches to the back of my phone. Sure, it lacks super fast charging and lacks in capacity as well but you cannot argue how convenient and practical a solution they are when you need to charge the iPhone’s battery on the go. At Rs 4,499, Belkin’s MagSafe power bank is expensive but it does bring wireless charging by doing away with cables entirely.
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