I wasn't super sold on MagSafe when Apple first announced it. The idea of an Apple Watch-style puck for my iPhone 12 wasn't particularly appealing and Apple's first-party cases and accessories using the tech weren't groundbreaking.
However, some of the third-party devices that have since come out utilizing the tech have worked to change my opinion on MagSafe. I first reviewed the Elago Charging Tray Duo and MagSafe started to make a little more sense to me. With Anker announcing its first MagSafe-compatible power bank, I knew I needed to take one for a spin.
Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K: A Quick Glance
Want to know about Anker's MagSafe charging accessory without having to read everything below? Here are some of the pros and cons we've found during our testing.
- Convenient, don't need to remember cable
- Small and compact
- Magnetic connection is solid
- Can use it as wireless charger
- USB-C port
- Slower than wired charging
- Doesn't unlock faster MagSafe speeds
- Depending on your hand size, may be awkward to hold
Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K: What I like
The thing that sets this power bank apart form the many other Anker models out there is the MagSafe compatibility that gives the product its Magnetic moniker. It couldn't be easier to attach this charger to your phone with the auto-aligning magnets built into it and your iPhone 12 series phone doing all the hard work for you.
Once attached, the connection is rock solid and you can use your phone as normal without worrying about it becoming detached — you actually have to give it a little bit of a tug to pull it straight off the back or tilt/spin it sideways to get better leverage to remove it.
Once attached, the magnetic connection is rock solid.
Those who have owned any accessories from Anker will be familiar with their build quality. Despite being super affordable, Anker's gear is always top-notch in this area and the PowerCore Magnetic 5K is no different. It's super compact, understated, and feels solidly built.
To get a 5,000mAh battery as well as the MagSafe-compatible magnets and Qi charging components into a device this small is no mean feat. That amount of charge is enough to get an iPhone 12 from empty to just about full which is great. It's got a non-slip texture to its surface which adds to the ease of use plus a power button and LED battery life indicators so you know when to recharge.
For this particular product, being compact is a huge boon as you're going to have this attached to the back of your phone or you'll be toting it around in a bag or jacket pocket when not in use. When in use, your phone and the attached battery fit into a pants pocket just fine without the battery becoming detached, though this might depend on exactly how skinny your jeans are.
As well as being cool in principle, the PowerCore Magnetic 5K is super convenient in reality in a couple of ways. Firstly, you don't need to remember to bring a charging cable since it works wirelessly. However, the main perk of this device in my opinion is its ability to charge your phone while being plugged into power vis USB-C as the power bank recharges. Essentially, the device will work as a wireless charger for your phone then power up its built-in battery once your phone is topped off.
For times where you want a faster charge or to power up a non-iPhone 12 series device, you can use the built-in USB-C port for that. You can't, however, charge two devices at once.
Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K: What I don't like
While wireless charging is definitely convenient, and especially so with magnets that let you continue using your phone, it's much slower than plugging in using a wire. Using this power bank, or most others, with a USB-C to Lightning cable will get your phone powered back up much more quickly.
Since the PowerCore Magnetic 5K is not officially certified by Apple as a MagSafe product, it also can't make use of faster charging speeds that the official technology allows. Instead of offering 15W of power, it is standard 5W wireless charging which is pretty slow in comparison. If you need a quick hit of power, you'll want to plug in.
While I used the PowerCore Magnetic 5K with the regular iPhone 12 and found having the battery on the back wasn't super restrictive in terms of day-to-day use, you might find it a bit more awkward to use on the iPhone 12 mini or depending on the size of your hands.
Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K: Should you buy one?
If you're all in on MagSafe and want to minimize the number of items in your daily carry by ditching cables, then the Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K is a solid pickup and won't disappoint. It's also just a pretty cool use of MagSafe tech.
That being said, charging wirelessly is always going to be slower than plugging in directly so don't expect this to work as a fast charger. If you already have a USB-C power bank with Power Delivery, it's probably not worth switching over to the PowerCore Magnetic 5K just for MagSafe.
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