MagSafe holds a special place in the hearts of many Mac fans, offering a safe and easy way to charge older MacBooks, but it was ditched a few years ago for the convenience of USB-C. While many thought that was the end of MagSafe, Apple revealed MagSafe for iPhone at its iPhone 12 event.
The tech, built into the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, is both a mounting and charging system, and it looks to be a versatile technology too.
The iPhone 12 collection essentially includes a magnetometer and single-coil NFC reader and uses magnets to perfectly align your iPhone on MagSafe-compatible wireless chargers and other magnetic accessories. It removes the issue of having to find the sweet spot when charging, and the magnetic connection means you can pick it up and use it while it’s charging without issue.
It’s also faster than standard wireless charging at 15W, compared to 7.5W on offer from traditional Qi charging.
Beyond simply charging your iPhone, Apple envisions MagSafe accessories of all shapes and sizes that help improve the iPhone experience. The company has created a few to kick things off, but the next year will certainly be an interesting one for MagSafe accessories.
For more, take a look at our What is MagSafe? explainer.
So, you’ve bought your iPhone 12 and want to make the most of MagSafe with new magnetic accessories, right? Here are the best available right now.
Oh, and a word of warning: cases that have proprietary built-in magnet systems have the potential to affect the performance of Apple’s MagSafe system and accessories, so be sure to choose the best iPhone 12 case for your needs.
Best MagSafe accessories for iPhone 2021
Apple iPhone 12 Silicone Case
Let’s start with the official iPhone 12 MagSafe case made by Apple itself. Sporting a silicone exterior, the official cases should protect your iPhone from drop damage – especially when paired with the Ceramic Sheild material built into the iPhone 12. Built-in magnets align to those of the iPhone 12 and snap into place with ease, and built-in magnets in the rear allow full compatibility with other MagSafe accessories.
It’s available in eight colours, including a special Product Red edition, and there’s a clear version available for those that want to show off their colourful new smartphone.
Mous Limitless 4.0
Another standout case offering MagSafe integration is the Mous Limitless 4.0. Offering the same level of compatibility as official Apple cases, Mous' option also boasts incredible damage resistance thanks to the inclusion of the company's patented AiroShock shock-absorbing tech, giving you extra peace of mind without the added bulk.
The Mous Limitless 4.0 case is available for all versions of iPhone 12 with five designs to choose from, and although it is expensive, it's cheaper than totally replacing your shattered iPhone.
Mous also offers the MagSafe-compatible Infinity case, and while it doesn't feature the same patented AiroShock protection, it is transparent, allowing you to fully appreciate the design of your iPhone.
Apple MagSafe Charger
Showcased during the MagSafe reveal at Apple’s iPhone 12 event in October, the MagSafe charger will likely be the first accessory that most iPhone 12 owners will buy.
The charger utilises the magnetic connectivity of the MagSafe system to offer reliable 15W wireless charging – no need to find the sweet spot like with most standard wireless chargers. It resembles the Apple Watch charger, both in look and performance, with a quick snap-on system, securely attaching itself to the iPhone when nearby.
Mous MagSafe Charger Dock
Designed as a cheap add-on to the official MagSafe charger for the iPhone 12, the Mous MagSafe Compatible Charger Dock allows you to securely attach your MagSafe charger to any flat surface, allowing you to dock and undock your phone without the charger moving around or lifting off the table altogether.
But while the dock is secured to the table, it's easy to slide the MagSafe charger out, allowing you to charge and use the phone at the same time when required.
It's worth noting that you'll need to buy the official MagSafe charger separately - it isn't included in the box.
Belkin Car Vent Mount Pro with MagSafe
If you hate the idea of using a fiddly phone holder in your car, Belkin has you covered with the new Car Vent Mount PRO with MagSafe. At £34.95/$39.95 it's pricier than many alternatives, but it provides an unmatched level of ease of use for iPhone 12 users.
Using the MagSafe system, the iPhone simply snaps into place onto the holder, giving the impression of it floating in place. It's stronger than the MagSafe charger too, meaning you shouldn't worry about your iPhone coming loose if you go over bumps too hard.
The mount itself snaps onto most vents, and a cable tidy system near the free-moving ball joint on the rear allows for quick access to a cable for charging/infotainment purposes.
Apple MagSafe Duo Charger
If you have both an iPhone and an Apple Watch, Apple’s official MagSafe Duo charger may be of interest. Sporting two wireless charging pads – one for your watch and one for your phone – the wireless charger is relatively small, and can be folded in half for improved portability. It’s not quite as ambitious as Apple’s now-cancelled AirPower, but we’ll take it.
The only problem? It's pricy, coming in at £129/$129.
Belkin Boost Charge Pro 2-in-1
Belkin also offers a duo charger in the form of the Boost Charge Pro 2-in-1, although Belkin's option focuses on the iPhone and AirPods instead of the Apple Watch.
Still, it's much cheaper than Apple's competing duo charger, and with a floating design that makes your iPhone appear as if it's floating, it'll look good sat on your table. Plus, with the ability to freely rotate the iPhone while charging, it's handy for watching movies hands-free.
At the base of the MagSafe charger, you'll find a small circular cutout for your AirPods or AirPods Pro, along with a small LED to indicate charging status at a glance. It comes with its own power supply too, so you won't need to go fishing for a power brick.
Anker PowerWave Magnetic 2-in-1 Stand
Anker’s PowerWave Magnetic 2-in-1 stand is an even cheaper alternative than the Belkin Boost Charge Pro while still offering the same floating design that makes use of the strong magnets built into the iPhone 12 range. In fact, it takes things a step further by introducing a 30-degree swivel on the MagSafe mount, allowing you to adjust the angle for FaceTime calls or movies while charging wirelessly.
There’s also a rubber Qi charging mat integrated into the base of the MagSafe stand, providing wireless charge to another smartphone, though Anker recommends using it with AirPods and other wireless earbuds for the best experience.
The only downside? Even if using a 20W charger – which isn’t included in the box – the MagSafe charging tops out at 7.5W, half of the 15W capable from Apple and Belkin’s chargers, and the Qi charging pad tops out at just 5W. That won’t matter if you’re charging overnight, but you might notice a difference if you’re looking for a quick top-up.
Belkin Boost Charge Pro 3-in-1 Charger
Okay, but what if you've got the trifecta, also known as the combination of iPhone 12, Apple Watch and AirPods?
Apple doesn’t offer anything officially, but Belkin’s 3-in-1 charger offers the ability to charge all three at once. It’s not as portable as Apple’s official option, but it certainly stands out, especially the floating iPhone effect courtesy of the magnetic connection.
Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank
While Apple has its own official MagSafe-enabled power bank available for the iPhone 12 series, it lacks in the battery capacity department at just 11.13Wh – providing a single charge for the standard iPhone 12. Anker offers a larger 18.5Wh power bank that’ll fully recharge even the iPhone 12 Pro Max via MagSafe and have a bit of juice left over.
The Anker PowerCore Magetic 5K is a little thicker than Apple’s option, but that’s something we’re happy to live with given the larger battery capacity – arguably the most important factor of a power bank. It’s also much cheaper than Apple’s official option, making minor niggles – like not being able to see battery capacity via an iOS widget – easier to accept.
All that aside, using a MagSafe-enabled power bank provides a much simpler on-the-go charging experience than standard power banks, negating the need for annoying cables running from your phone to the power bank – just attach it to the rear of your iPhone 12, even with a case on, and it’ll begin charging. Easy, right?
Popsockets PopGrip for MagSafe
Popsockets, and more specifically the PopGrip, have taken the smartphone world by storm in recent years – especially as smartphones get larger and harder to hold one-handed. The idea is simple; the accessory attaches to the back of your iPhone to provide a secure grip for better one-handed use, and it doubles up as a handy stand when you’re watching videos too.
While you’ve traditionally had to stick the PopGrip onto your iPhone (or a sacrificial case) using adhesive, the PopGrip for MagSafe uses magnets 60% more powerful than those in most MagSafe accessories to provide an adhesive-like attachment while being free to remove it whenever you desire.
The flexibility will no doubt attract existing PopGrip owners, as well as those hesitant until now due to the adhesive commitment, and we’ve had no concerns about relying on magnets rather than adhesive during our time using them.
There are only a handful of colour options and designs available right now, but that’ll likely expand over the coming months.
Apple iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe
We’ve all seen the iPhone cases with built-in wallets, right? Well, this is Apple’s official MagSafe take on it. It’s simple really; it’s a small leather wallet attachment that’s securely fixed to the back of your iPhone via MagSafe, giving you easy access to your go-to credit or debit card.
Oh, and Apple is keen to point out that the wallet has magnetic shielding, keeping your cards safe.
Ekster MagSafe Card Holder
Smart wallet manufacturer Ekster has also taken a stab at a MagSafe-compatible cardholder for the iPhone 12, utilising its expertise in wallet design to offer something more premium than Apple's official option.
For one, Ekster's MagSafe Card Holder is impressively thin, although that will admittedly change once you start adding cards. There are two credit card-shaped slots, but Ekster claims you can carry up to three cards at once, two more than Apple's option - we gave it a go, and while it is a particularly snug fit, it is possible.
There's also a thumb slot on the rear, accessible once you slide the card holder off the back of your iPhone, allowing for quick access to your cards with a push. It's a solid option if you've got more than one card you use on a daily basis, and it's relatively cheap too.
Mous Card Wallet
One not to shy away from exciting new accessory opportunities, Mous has produced its own version of the MagSafe wallet.
Like the other options mentioned here, the built-in magnets allow for a safe, secure connection, but Mous has taken it a step further by also implementing a unique silicone dot design on the rear for extra grip. It's safe to say the Card Wallet shouldn't come away from your iPhone unless you're peeling it off - it certainly didn't during our tests.
It offers a two-card carry capacity, and unlike the other options mentioned here, the cards are slotted in on the right rather than the top like a standard wallet.
Popsockets PopWallet+ for MagSafe
Popsockets’ PopWallet+ combines two fan-favourite case accessories – the PopGrip and wallet – into one single MagSafe compatible wallet. Like the PopGrip, the PopWallet+ attaches to the rear of your iPhone using magnets, and it’s just as secure as other wallet accessories mentioned in our chart – including Apple’s own.
There’s space for three cards, and you’ve got full PopGrip functionality too, allowing you to have a better grip on your iPhone and keep your most-used cards handy too. It’s not quite as high-end as the leather options we’ve mentioned, sporting an all-plastic body, but it’ll tick the box for some.
There are a handful of designs and colour options available right now, something that’ll likely expand over the coming months.
When it comes to Apple’s MagSafe for iPhone technology, it seems that the possibilities are near-endless. Now it’s up to third-party manufacturers to figure out how best to utilise it.