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MagSafe Vs Qi2: Which Is Better for Charging Your iPhone?

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The latest Qi2 wireless chargers are just as good and fast as MagSafe wireless chargers are — but more affordable.

nomad chargerNomad

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For the past several years, certified MagSafe chargers have been the best way to wirelessly charging your iPhone. Why? Because they’re was faster and better than traditional Qi (pronounced “chee“) wireless chargers.

A certified MagSafe charger is able to wirelessly charge an iPhone at up to 15 watts, which is twice as fast as the 7.5 watts when using a Qi wireless charger. That’s a big deal.

And unlike traditional Qi wireless chargers, a certified MagSafe charger has a built-in magnetic ring just like the one that’s in any MagSafe-compatible iPhone (iPhone 12 or later). This makes finding the “sweet spot” for wireless charging super easy.

The Problem with MagSafe Wireless Chargers

MagSafe wireless chargers aren’t exactly cheap. This one by Nomad costs over $100.
Photo by Tucker Bowe

To date, there have been two main issues with certified MagSafe wireless chargers: they’ve been pretty scarce and they can be quite expensive.

Apple only makes one certified MagSafe wireless charger, the MagSafe Charger. It had made another, the MagSafe Duo, which it discontinued last fall. Apple does sell a few other third-party MagSafe wireless chargers made by the likes of Belkin, Mophie and Twelve South.

MagSafe wireless chargers have tended to be quite expensive — Apple’s $39 MagSafe Charger is basically the cheapest one out there. Apple licenses its MagSafe technology through its MFi (“made for iPhone) Program to third-party manufacturers, who then have to sell their MagSafe wireless chargers at a premium. Most cost between $50 and $120.

The good news is the benefits of a true MagSafe wireless charger are going to be more widespread and cheaper moving forward, thanks to introduction of the second-generation Qi wireless standard (commonly referred to as “Qi2”).

magsafe-duo
Apple no longer makes the MagSafe Duo, its foldable 2-in-1 wireless charger.
Photo by Tucker Bowe

Qi2 Is Just as Good as MagSafe, But Cheaper

Announced at CES 2023, Qi2 was developed by the Wireless Power Consortium with the help of Apple, and it delivers the two biggest advantages of MagSafe: built-in magnets and fast iPhone charging at up to 15 watts. This means shopping for a “MFi certified” MagSafe charger and Qi2 wireless charger will be pretty much one and the same.

The big benefit of Qi2 to consumers is that it’s generally more affordable. A prime example is the Nomad Stand ($100), the company’s first Qi2 wireless charger. It looks and works exactly like the MFi-certified Nomad Stand One ($110), but it costs $10 less. Basically, third-party makers like Nomad have a cheaper route forward because they no longer have to get MagSafe certification.

That said, there are still very few Qi2 wireless chargers available right now. Belkin, Anker and Nomad are some of the few third-party manufacturers that have announced Qi2 wireless chargers, but you can expect a lot more as 2024 rolls on.

Apple shipped its entire iPhone 15 lineup with support for Qi2 at launch. And, as of last month, Apple has rolled out Qi2 support (with iOS 17.2) to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 lines, as well. The only line that supports MagSafe and does not also support Qi2 is the iPhone 12 line; they can still be charged on a Qi2 wireless charger, but it won’t be at the fastest possible speeds.

The Best Qi2 Wireless Chargers (So Far)

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the Qi2 wireless chargers available now.

nomad chargerNomad

Nomad Stand

The Nomad Stand is a fancy wireless charging stand with a mostly glass and metal design. It’s Nomad’s first wireless charger that supports Qi2.

mobile chargerBelkin

Belkin BoostCharge Pro

The Belkin BoostCharge Pro is a wireless charger that supports Qi2. It’s unique because it can be folded flat or stood up as a charging stand, so you adjust it based on how you want to use it. It’s available in either black or white finishes.

mobile chargerBelkin

Belkin BoostCharge Pro 2-in-1

The Belkin BoostCharge Pro 2-in-1 is designed to wireless charge both your iPhone and AirPods at the same time. It’s available in either black or white finishes.

Hyper

HyperJuice 4-in-1 Qi2 Charging Stand

This is one of the only 4-in-1 charging stands that support Qi2. It has two wireless charging pads, one 10-watt and one 5-watt (for AirPods), an Apple Watch charging puck and a 15-watt magnetic pick that supports Qi2.

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