Charging cable takes advantage of magnetic connection on iPhone.
When Apple announced the release of the iPhone 12 family in October, I was excited about using MagSafe® Accessories with my new iPhone 12 Pro. Apple decided to include these accessories to provide a more efficient wireless charging experience for users. MagSafe features an “array of magnets around the wireless charging coil, optimized for alignment and efficiency, that perfectly connects to iPhone every time” according to Apple’s website. Chargers reportedly deliver up to 15W of power and while Apple has its own line of MagSafe accessories, I decided to look to one of my favorite third-party accessory designers — Satechi — to try out their USB-C Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable, which is their answer to the MagSafe Charging Cable from Apple.
The USB-C Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable features a built-in wireless charging module that connects directly to the iPhone 12 Pro and provides up to 7.5W of power (with an 18W power adapter – sold separately). It has a convenient magnetic connection that attaches to the wireless charging area on the iPhone. There is a magnetic sticker that Satechi produces that is designed for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 so that users without an iPhone 12 Pro can take advantage of the magnetic charging cable, too. The cable is compatible with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, 12 Pro, 12 Mini & 12. There is a satisfying ‘click’ when the magnetic disk attaches itself to the back of the phone — that’s how you know it’s connected for charging. The cable is longer than 1.5 meters, which makes it convenient for charging from anywhere.
The cable comes in a simple, Satechi-branded box. There is a picture of the product on the front with the name of the product clearly printed below it. The back of the box highlights some of the main features of the charger and a short user manual is included inside the box. The cable is wrapped up with a Satechi Velcro cable tie. The USB-C end has a very large grip on the connector. There is a power indicator LED built into the grip that glows white so that you know when you have successfully connected power. The charging cable is lightweight and wraps up nicely so that you don’t have to worry about it taking up much space in a bag.
One of the features that intrigue me about the MagSafe accessories that Apple has released is that it allows users to charge their phones accurately from a wireless charging stand or pad. The point with that is to charge the phone wirelessly. With that in mind, I feel as though the MagSafe cable and this Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable are somewhat of a conundrum since they are a cable. That said, I do love how well made the Satechi cable is. The cable itself is nice and thick, but still flexible. The magnetic charging puck does lay flat on a table or desk, which is interesting since it’s rounded.
I connected the charger to my iPhone 12 Pro while it was in a case and when it wasn’t. I did find that the case I was using still allowed a wireless charging signal through its wall, but the magnetic connection wasn’t as strong as it was on the bare phone. In addition to this cable, I had the chance to try out Satechi’s magnetic sticker, too, which provides a semi-permanent magnetic surface to attach the iPhone 12 or 11 so that it can be used with a magnetic charger. The sticker is simple and it comes with application templates so that you align it perfectly with the wireless charging coil in the phone. You can also attach the adhesive to the exterior wall of a case if you like. The case I am currently using has a textured finish to it so the magnetic sticker is not compatible with it.
When it came to testing the efficiency of the charging cable, I attached the cable to the back of the phone without a case and plugged the USB-C end into a power adapter. The power adapter I had was a 12W adapter. The specs of the magnetic cable state that it will provide 7.5W of wireless charging as long as the power adapter is an 18W adapter. I don’t know what kind of charge I was getting with a 12W power adapter, but I ended up getting a 0.83% per minute charging rate. That is definitely more efficient than other wireless charging pads that are using that same adapter.
While I really like the idea of magnetic accessories and Satechi has done a good job of creating an efficient charger, I’m not sure the magnetic charging cable is the accessory for me. If I’m charging wirelessly, I want it to be wireless. That said, I can recommend this as an alternative for anyone looking for the magnetic charging cable without purchasing the version from Apple. The price of the Satechi cable is $10 less than the Apple cable. I don’t know how they perform against each other since I don’t have the MagSafe version. The USB-C Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable is a well-built cable that gets the charging job done.