Stop fat-shaming Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack

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Oh no. The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack fails to defy the laws of physics.
Oh no. Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack fails to defy the laws of physics.
Image: Cult of Mac

Apple’s just-released MagSafe Battery Pack faced plenty of mockery for not being about as slim as a credit card, as some people apparently expected. This criticism clearly comes from people ignoring an inescapable fact: Batteries are always bulky.

Until there’s a revolutionary breakthrough in power storage tech, there’s no way to make an ultra-slim battery store a useful amount of power. Stop expecting it. And stop criticizing companies for not miraculously producing an impossible product.

Water is wet, the sky is blue, and batteries are bulky

The Verge called the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack “a chonk.” Perhaps the writer hasn’t looked inside an iPhone. Check any iPhone 12 teardown and you’ll see that the battery takes up a significant percentage of the device’s interior. It needs to be that big to give the handset a reasonable battery life.

And consider that the iPhone 12 battery is 10.78Wh. Apple’s clip-on power bank holds 11.13Wh, so the accessory’s battery has to be bigger.

Add in the necessary wireless charging coils, and there’s no way the MagSafe Battery Pack could have been as svelte as many people apparently hoped.

Live in the real world

It would be brilliant if we could double the battery life of an iPhone 12 with a power bank the size of a credit card. But we must stay here in realityland instead.

External batteries have to be bulky. So you’re not going to want to keep one attached to your iPhone all the time. Here in the real world, you use your handset until the power gets low, then clip on the power bank to recharge. You can still use the iPhone that way, even if the accessory is thicker than you’d like. When your device is back to a reasonable charge, take the battery off.

At least Apple’s new battery pack uses MagSafe. That makes attaching it to your iPhone 12 easy, because magnets hold the two together. And early reviews say there’s a strong connection between the battery and the handsets

Plus, don’t forget you can choose from alternative power banks with similar designs. And these cost a lot less than Apple’s, which comes in at $99. There’s the Sanho HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack ($39.99). Or the Mophie Snap+ Juice Pack Mini ($49.95).

And before you ask, neither of these were produced by wizards. So you should expect them to have some bulk.