iPhone 12 mini charges more slowly with MagSafe

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A smaller battery and slower MagSafe charging seem to be the iPhone 12 mini's only weaknesses.
A smaller battery and slower MagSafe charging seem to be the iPhone 12 mini's only weaknesses.
Photo: Apple

If you’re still on the fence about whether to buy an iPhone 12 mini, here’s one reason you might want to avoid it. Apple’s smallest 2020 iPhone charges more slowly than other models in the lineup when you use the new MagSafe charger.

The info comes straight from Apple’s updated support document (emphasis ours):

The system intelligently adapts to conditions in order to optimize charging iPhone 12 at up to 15W of peak power delivery for faster wireless charging. The actual power delivered to the iPhone will vary depending on the wattage of the power adapter and system conditions. For iPhone 12 mini, the MagSafe Charger delivers up to 12W of peak power delivery.

Bear in mind, that’s still faster than the 7.5W wireless charging rate for current iPhones. And 7.5W is what all iPhone 12 models will get on a standard Qi charger.

Apple’s new $39 MagSafe Charger — which attaches to all iPhone 12 models magnetically — is the only accessory that currently delivers that double-fast 15W max charging rate. However, you will need to use the right power adapter to achieve that 2X charging speed. And the charger does not come with a USB-C adapter.

According to AppleInsider, “If you don’t want to buy Apple’s USB-C AC adapter, any USB-PD 3.0 one with equivalent specs will do to get that faster charging speed, and a lesser one, won’t.”

The iPhone 12 MagSafe charger looks like a pretty slick accessory.
The MagSafe charger looks like a pretty slick accessory.
Image: Apple

iPhone 12 mini’s battery is smaller, too

The other knock against the iPhone 12 mini is its smaller battery. Apple’s tech specs say the mini will deliver up to 15 hours of video playback, versus the regular iPhone 12’s 17 hours. (Oddly, those same tech specs say both iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini offer “MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W.”)

The pocket-size phone, with its 5.4-inch diagonal screen, otherwise packs all the features of the larger iPhone 12. It’s works with next-gen 5G cellular networks. Plus, it also packs an OLED Super Retina XDR display with the ultra-rugged Ceramic Shield. It comes with the speedy new A14 Bionic chip inside, which also powers all other iPhone 12 models. And it should take great pictures since it utilizes the same dual-camera system as the iPhone 12. (The more-expensive iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max add a third camera and a LiDAR Scanner.)

The iPhone 12 mini starts at $699. Preorders for the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max — this year’s most exciting new iPhone models — start this Friday, November 6.