magnetic phone charger

MagSafe vs. Wireless Charging: What Is the Difference?

When Apple introduced MagSafe technology into some of its iPhones, it prompted a lot of confusion around the differences between MagSafe and classic wireless chargers. In this guide, we’re explaining what MagSafe is, the difference between MagSafe vs. wireless charging and why you might want to choose a phone with MagSafe capabilities.

Here’s what you need to know about MagSafe vs. wireless charging:

What Is MagSafe?

MagSafe is a magnet attachment system that is proprietary to Apple. It was originally introduced in MacBook Pro computers way back in 2006. The MagSafe attachment meant that the power cord would safely detach from the computer if someone tripped over it, instead of sending the laptop crashing to the ground, damaging both the computer and the cord.
MagSafe technology didn’t make the leap to phones until the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro debuted in 2020. MagSafe chargers were preceded by the Qi wireless charging capability, which is still standard in the industry today. Technically, MagSafe phones still use Qi-based wireless charging coils — the chargers are surrounded by a ring of special magnets that ensure the phone attaches securely to the wireless charger for better contact and a faster charge.

Learn more about what MagSafe is in our more thorough guide to this technology.

MagSafe vs. Wireless Charging

In a nutshell, MagSafe is a particular kind of wireless charging that is available on certain recent iPhone models. To make matters even more confusing, MagSafe isn’t even available on all iPhones. While many people expected the newly released iPhone SE 2022 to add MagSafe capabilities, it still has good old-fashioned Qi wireless charging. If you want MagSafe, you will need to buy an iPhone 12 or later (either the base model, the Pro, the Pro Max or the Mini).

You should know that there are many different phones, from both Apple and other manufacturers such as Samsung, that offer wireless charging. In addition to this, iPhones that have MagSafe capabilities will also still work with non-MagSafe wireless charging accessories. They just won’t charge as fast. Discover more about how wireless charging works across all smartphones.

Benefits of MagSafe

Prior to MagSafe, Qi wireless chargers topped at 7.5W of charging power, meaning that it took longer to charge the phone wirelessly. In many cases, the smartphone needed to be perfectly aligned in order to get that full 7.5W charging power, and you often had to fuss with it in order to get it positioned exactly. There was also no attachment to keep the phone in place, so it could vibrate out of position, potentially stopping the charging process without your knowledge. 

With MagSafe charging, your phone not only stays securely on the charging pad, it can also receive up to 15W of power, which significantly speeds up the charging time. One test from Apple Insider found that the MagSafe wireless charger was 30 minutes faster than a basic Qi wireless charger. However, you should note that plugging your iPhone in via a USB-C Lightning cable is still the fastest way to charge it if you’re really in a hurry.

The secure magnetic attachment also has many applications for other accessories, including tripods, car mounts, phone grips, bike mounts, phone wallets, battery packs and more. If you’ve even wanted to attach accessories to the back of your iPhone some of the time, but didn’t want to commit to permanent adhesive, then MagSafe is an excellent compromise and you should definitely consider upgrading to a MagSafe iPhone.

MagSafe represents yet another evolution in wireless charging for late generation iPhones. Choosing MagSafe compatible accessories will help you make the most of your iPhone’s capabilities and enable faster wireless charging. You should also choose a MagSafe case in order to protect your iPhone while ensuring that it can still connect with MagSafe compatible accessories. In many cases, your phone case will dictate what accessories you can and can’t use.

At Case-Mate, we offer a wide variety of MagSafe cases and MagSafe compatible accessories for your iPhone, including wireless chargers, charging docks, battery packs and more. Take advantage and stock up on MagSafe accessories for your iPhone!