This $59 Anker MagSafe charger offers something Apple doesn’t

advantages

  • Inexpensive, especially compared to Apple’s charger
  • The foldable stand is good for multitasking
  • Lightweight and easy to hold while you’re on the go
  • Can charge your device while the charger itself is charging

Disadvantages

  • Not ideal for a “quick charge”
  • The charger itself takes a while to charge
  • You must either purchase a MagSafe case or remove your current case to use it
  • Not compatible with the iPhone 12 or 13 mini

Ever since Apple introduced MagSafe, wireless charging on iPhones has never been the same. With a quick squeeze of the back, all your battery angst vanishes.

As someone who’s always been curious about portable wireless chargers and has an iPhone that magically drops to 50% by midday, Anker is new 622 MagSafe battery bank couldn’t have come at a better time.

In addition to being able to fully charge an iPhone, the MagSafe compatible charger also has a foldable stand to prop your phone up. You know, for those times when your battery is low but you need to FaceTime your family before work or catch the latest season of The Bachelorette? Just me? OK.

I tested the latest charger, ran errands on the busy streets of NYC, and put the $59 accessory through the ultimate endurance test. Here’s a review of my overall experience and why I think it’s a no-brainer if you’re also an iPhone user.

Likewise: Anker’s latest GaNPrime power products: A summary of safe, fast and sustainable charging

specifications

Dimensions

4.13 x 2.62 x 0.5 inches

weight

5 ounces

battery capacity

5,000mAh

voltage

5 volts

Magnetic attachment

9N (900g)

perfomance

7.5W

charging station

USB-C or Lightning

compatibility

iPhone 12 or newer (except Mini), MagSafe-compatible AirPods and cases

Colours Blue, black, white, purple and green

Price

$59


Engineered with portability in mind

One of my favorite aspects of the Anker MagSafe charger is its slimness. It’s not bulky or swamped with extra cables that I have to keep track of. Although it comes with a USB-C cable, I didn’t need to use it as the wireless charging is reliable enough. The charger takes up a good chunk of the back of my iPhone, but is compact enough that it feels like I have a bulkier case rather than an electronic building block. Even during my trips to work, when most of the charging is done en route, I’ve felt comfortable enough to have the Duo in my hand or in my pocket.

However, I was also impressed by the strength of the MagSafe magnet. The charger just snaps onto the back of my phone and never budges. Unless you drop your device from desk height, for example, or force the two apart.

Anker charger full view

Sticky notes for the scale.

Christina Darby/ZDNET

I will say that to test the charger I had to get a MagSafe case as it was not compatible with my original iPhone 12 Pro case. So if you’re not already using a MagSafe-Certified case, it’s wise to invest in one—for both charging and protection. If you’re taking a chance, you can also pair a careless iPhone with the Anker charger, as long as it’s an iPhone 12 or older and not a mini model. Note that the MagSafe charger does not protect your phone from bumps and cracks and it is Not a substitute for a case.

Likewise: Get a new iPhone? This is the charger you want to buy

Multifaceted for multitaskers

This is where Anker’s product really differs, in my opinion Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack: the foldable stand. On the outside of the charger is a kickstand that forms a triangular base. In this mode, you can set the iPhone in either portrait or landscape orientation for scrolling or watching videos.

I use the kickstand to charge my phone while watching videos in the morning as I get ready for work. It was also useful when I needed to FaceTime my family while I was booking vacation flights and my iPhone was low on battery. I even have my iPhone next to me while I work in case an important notification, email or message arrives.

Stand Anchor Magsafe

The foldable stand is a welcome feature.

Christina Darby / ZDNET

What I really appreciated about the kickstand feature was that it was seamlessly integrated and convenient to use. That said, it didn’t feel like an “add-on” that Anker incorporated at the last minute to make its product stand out. It’s fair to say that the Kickstand was designed to accommodate the practicality and reality of most situations where your phone’s battery is draining, whether that’s through facetiming, video streaming, or just endless slides of messages and posts.

Another design feature that adds to the Anker charger’s ease of use and practical nature is the four lights that indicate the battery level, so you’re never surprised if the charger fails you. The fewer lights flashing, the less battery the charger has.

Charger battery signal

LEDs on the bottom indicate the battery level of the charger.

Christina Darby/ZDNET

charging time and battery life

As with most portable chargers, you still have to charge the battery yourself. I find it takes a couple of hours – about six – to fully charge the device. As for actual battery life, it all depends on how often and what you charge. From my experience with the iPhone 12 Pro, the Anker 622 was able to last around two and a half days before needing a charge.

anker-wireless-charger-on-phone

Anker’s 622 charger in action.

Christina Darby/ZDNET

Still, the brick is by no means a “fast charger” or will significantly increase your phone’s battery life in a matter of minutes. For my morning routine of checking maps and news and listening to a podcast, the Anker charger was enough to maintain my existing battery level. So when I get to the office I usually have around 88-91% battery rather than already sneaking into my 70s or 60s.

bottom line

If you’re looking for a solid portable charger that isn’t too bulky, frees you from charging cables and doubles as a stand, the Anker 622 is your best bet. Your iPhone won’t charge as quickly as it would when connected to a Lightning cable, but the convenience factor alone may win you over to the MagSafe accessory.

Likewise: These $99 Anker earbuds last longer than your AirPods

anker-charger-comparison-lifestyle

Christina Darby/ZDNET

to examine alternatives

Besides the Anker 622 MagSafe charger, these are the best alternatives to consider as well.

Although more expensive, Apple’s MagSafe case is slightly lighter and thinner than Anker’s and is Compatible with the iPhone 12 and 13 mini. It doesn’t have a kickstand but has a reliable magnetic closure that gives your iPhone plenty of support and up to 60% more battery life.

This $39 option from Belkin is perfect for old and new MagSafe-compatible iPhones. While the charger doesn’t have a stand either, it’s compact and reliable enough for users on the go.

This Mophie charger has a 5,000 mAh battery and an elegant design. But for just $49.99, you can double your iPhone’s battery for less than what Anker or Apple offers.

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