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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

This Anker MagGo Charger Defeated My Battery Anxiety

After using the iPhone 12 Pro Max for two solid years, I gingerly made a couple of steps down the range when picking up a newer model—shifting to the vanilla iPhone 13. I was tired of the unwieldy phone and, of course, wanted to save a bit of cash. The battery anxiety was real, though. I’d found the IRL power of the 12 Pro Max good, but not great—so I was understandably nervous taking the downgrade. I was right to be.

It soon became clear the iPhone 13 needed a top-up a few hours before the end of my typical day. I considered an upgrade less than a year after the switch, but this would wipe out any savings I’d made. What came to the rescue was the Anker MagGo range. More specifically, it was a powerhouse that sits in our Best Portable Chargers guide, the Anker 633 Magnetic Wireless Charger ($120).

The Battery Problem, Solved

The MagGo lineup capitalizes on the iPhone’s MagSafe capabilities and stays true to Anker’s long-standing appeal: convenience and value. A splash of color doesn't hurt either, with soft pastel hues available across MagGo. There are pearly white, soft black, light purple, and baby blue options. The range includes battery packs, charging stands, a magnetic grip, and a car charger. But it’s the 633 that’s saved me a whole lot of hassle.

Anker MagGo 633$120 at Amazon$120 at Walmart

The 633 includes an alternative to Apple’s own MagSafe Battery Pack ($97) as part of the package. The MagGo magnetic wireless battery packs come in a few different varieties: with a small rigid stand, with a folding stand, and without any stand at all. My choice is the latter variety, and it packs 5,000 mAh, which usually gets me just over one full charge. The charging speed is 7.5 W. That’s less than official Apple MagSafe charging devices (15 W), but this could change on future products. After all, Anker just announced its first fully-fledged MagSafe product complete with 15-watt charging for the iPhone in the form of a 3-in-1 charging cube. Anker rather dryly told me, “We hope to incorporate it in future products down the road, we do not have anything to share right now.”

Those are the basics, but what made this an ultra-convenient, anxiety-saving, power-giver for me was its team-up with a charging stand. The stand sits on my desk at WIRED’s London HQ and charges the battery pack simply by sliding it into the holder. This, for me, is key. Battery packs are a useful tool, but remembering to charge them often slips my mind. Now the recall is taken out of the equation: I take the pack home with me to use, put it in the stand to charge when I return to work (removing it when required) and repeat. You can also use the USB-C port to charge the pack at 25 watts. Also, when the pack is in the stand, it becomes a magnetic charging station and offers a spot for a second device on the base.

Out and about, the pack's 11.9-mm thickness makes it easy to place in a bag, pocket, or purse and not be overly intrusive. The same goes for when the charger is nestled on the back of your phone. And despite not being officially MagSafe, the connection to my phone is reassuringly secure. 

In the past, I would’ve recoiled at the idea of carrying a charging pack around each day, but the Anker 633 has eased the burden—and it only costs around $20 more than Apple’s solo MagSafe Battery Pack.

Getting a Grip

The Anker 633 Wireless Charger may be the only MagGo product that has truly changed my daily habits, but I can vouch for (almost) the whole range. The big sell is taking advantage of the iPhone’s MagSafe capabilities at more reasonable prices than what Apple offers. 

Buying a MagGo charging bank ($50) on its own still offers plenty of convenience and battery confidence, as well as the appeal of the convenient stand ($80) on some models, if that’s your thing. Something else that might be your thing: MagGo has a smart take on the PopSocket with the Anker 610 Magnetic Phone Grip ($16). It snaps onto the back of your MagSafe-compatible iPhone and has a ring for you to place a finger in for extra security—and it can also act as a stand.

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Anker hasn’t forgotten about car journeys, either. There’s the 613 Magnetic Wireless Charger ($70), and like most car mounts, it can stick to your windshield or dash. On top, there’s the added benefit of magnetic charging, with a two-port USB car charger included, and a 1.5-meter USB-C cable for connecting it up.

Last, but not least, is another magnetic wireless charging stand: the Anker 623 ($80). There’s no battery pack involved; it’s just a compact cylinder that offers a magnetic charging point and another cozy wireless spot underneath.

The 623 wraps up all the MagGo products I’ve personally tested, but that falls just one product short of the full range, and this is frustratingly down to the chunkier plugs we use here in the UK. Anker says a UK version of its 637 Magnetic Charging Station ($90) would need to be 20 percent bigger, so they shelved plans to make one. 

But for those in the US, the 637 is a charger with docking station vibes but isn’t used alongside a laptop or PC. Instead, it offers a magnetic charging point, three AC outlets, two USB-A ports, and two USB-C ports. Like the rest of the range, the charging orb is a smart and stylish addition to your phone accessories collection—in this case, useful for boosting your desk points.

To my mind, the MagGo range is comfortably the best value use of Apple’s MagSafe, and the clever designs will make your device-entangled life far easier to deal with on a day-to-day basis. So be like me, banish your battery anxiety—give MagGo a go. Yes, a power pack isn't exactly sexy, but who said life-changing gear couldn't be mundane?

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