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This $20 MagSafe charger is better and cheaper than Apple's own accessory

The new Qi2 fast charging pad from Anker offers a great deal of flexibility and power, so much so that I now require two of them.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Anker MagGo Qi2 magnetic wireless charger pad

Anker MagGo Qi2 magnetic wireless charger pad

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

Recently, I've seen more and more power banks integrating wireless charging capabilities, such as the Anker MagGo Qi2. These devices are appealing for their ability to attach directly to the back of an iPhone (or any device with a magnetic adapter), offering the convenience of wireless charging on the go and the capability to charge at the full 15W MagSafe speeds.

However, these innovative power banks come with their own set of drawbacks. Firstly, there's the necessity of pre-charging them before leaving the house. I don't know about you, but I often forget things, and this combo of power bank and wireless charger limits my ability to switch between multiple power banks as I did with traditional wired options. Additionally, the Anker MagGo Qi2, with its 10,000mAh capacity, adds a significant weight of 8.82 oz (250 g) to the iPhone, making its presence quite noticeable.

Also: Is this 6-in-1 keychain charging cable a gimmick or pure genius? I tested it and found out

The cost is another factor to consider, with a single MagGo Qi2 retailing for $90.

In search of an alternative that addresses these concerns, I found an excellent solution: the Anker MagGo Qi2 magnetic wireless charger pad. For just $20, it stands out as one of the best investments I've made recently, offering a blend of convenience, efficiency, and affordability. 

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Anker MagGo Qi2 magnetic wireless charger pad tech specs

  • Compatibility: iPhone 15 to iPhone 12, 3rd-gen AirPods, 1st and 2nd gen AirPods Pro
  • Power input: 9V⎓2.5A
  • Power output: 15W
  • Cable length: 5 foot
  • Interface: USB-C
  • Weight: 3.3 oz/94 g 

I never imagined a wireless charging pad could capture my heart, but here we are! With the price of one of these pads, I can afford to pick up three compact power banks -- like the Anker PowerCore 5,000mAh -- and still have some spare change for a Coke.

This setup grants me the flexibility of multiple power banks at my disposal, without being tethered to a single one attached to the wireless charger pad. Plus, it offers the option to use a larger power bank or to plug into a convenient USB outlet -- such as an AC charger or my MacBook Pro -- when needed. I'm also quite relieved to avoid having a bulky hunchback of a power bank dangling from my iPhone.

The Anker MagGo Qi2 magnetic wireless charger pad is only 0.47 in/12 mm thin

The Anker MagGo Qi2 magnetic wireless charger pad is only 0.47 in/12 mm thin.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

But what about managing the cable? Is it a pain?

Not at all. 

With a five-foot cable length, I can comfortably connect the pad to my iPhone while keeping the power bank in a pocket or bag. Plus, the magnetic attachment is far less susceptible to damage from accidental disconnections than a traditional cable plugged into the iPhone.

Also: Why I limit my iPhone 15's charge capacity to 80% (and you should you too) 

I like the safety and convenience of this setup so much that I've bought a separate charging pad for use with whatever power station I take off-grid with me.

The cable is highly flexible too, so it can be wrapped up and kept out of the way. Need an AC charger for your charging pad? Anker will sell you a kit including a 25W USB-C charger for an additional $9, which is a steal. 

ZDNET's buying advice

Once again, Anker hits it out of the park with this Qi2 wireless charger, with a product that's well made, durable, and good value. For $20 you get a modern, high-speed Qi2-certified charger that is as good as anything made by Apple. I've seen a lot of poorer-quality chargers on sale for $20 (and more!), so it's refreshing to have a quality option at a budget price.

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