If you’ve bought a new iPhone 12, you know all about the new design, display, camera, and iOS 14 enhancements, but there’s one new feature you might not have tried yet: MagSafe. Apple’s new charging system doesn’t quite work out of the box—you’ll need to pony up for some extra equipment to get it to work. Here’s where you should spend your money.
Apple MagSafe Charger
Should you buy it: If you want to use MagSafe in any way, you’ll need to get this charger. It only comes in one style: 1 meter (about 3 foot) with a USB-C connector. It’s a bit on the short side and you’ll need a separate USB-C power adapter to go with it, but it works as advertised: Plug it into a 20W Apple charger and you’ll get the maximum MagSafe charging speeds (15W on the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max, and 12W on the iPhone 12 mini), while other chargers might deliver slightly slower speeds. That’s still faster than a standard wireless charging pad and you’ll never wonder if it’s properly attached to the charger.
Apple Clear Case with MagSafe
Should you buy it: If you want to show off your iPhone 12’s natural color and still keep it in an Apple case, this is your only option. It’s a fine case in that it’s sturdy and should protect your phone from bumps and bruises, but it’s still very hard to remove, very easy to smudge, and has a giant MagSafe target on the back surrounding the Apple logo. The buttons are a little stiff, particularly the power button, but overall, it doesn’t add all that much bulk or weight to the iPhone 12. However, even with the MagSafe component, it’s still a very simple case with a pretty high price tag.
Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe
Should you buy it: If you want a thin case that offers a bit of protection and a slew of color options, the Silicone Case with MagSafe is your best bet. It comes in eight varieties and is thin enough to easily slip on and off with nice cutouts for the speakers and Lightning port on the bottom edge. There’s no visible MagSafe markings and the charger and other accessories easily connect to the back. It’s not the cheapest silicone case you can buy, but if you want an Apple case that’s sure to work with MagSafe and keeps your iPhone free from scratches, this is the case to get.
Apple Leather Case with MagSafe
Should you buy it: If you’ve owned an Apple leather iPhone case in the past, you know that they’re very well made and come in a variety of colors. It feels very luxurious to hold and the Baltic Blue model looks great with an embossed Apple logo in the center. The metal buttons are a nice touch and feel great to press, while the bottom has clean cutouts for the speakers and Lightning port. It’s a little pricey, but Apple’s leather MagSafe case is definitely the best of the bunch.
Belkin Car Vent Mount Pro
Should you buy it: The Belkin Car Mount Pro has one job: To hold your iPhone 12 securely while you drive. And it does that incredibly well. After years of using clunky and flimsy vent holders, the Belkin Car Vent Mount Pro is an absolute breath of fresh air. Like its name suggests, the Car Vent Pro attaches to your car’s vent via a rubberized grip that is easy to slide into place and doesn’t budge. The large mounting area is adorned with the MagSafe logo so you know where to put your phone, and the magnet is strong enough to hold it extremely well. It doesn’t supply power, which is a bit of a bummer for a $40 device, but you can neatly organize a cable through the groove on the clip.
MagSafe Duo Charger
Should you buy it: We recommend a lot of Apple devices here at Macworld, but not this one. As you’ll read in our full review, the MagSafe Duo charger is cheaply made, poorly conceived, and very expensive. It’s made for travel but doesn’t seem like it would be able to stand up to much abuse, and the all-white exterior will puck up dirt and scuffs almost immediately. It charges slower than the regular MagSage charger even with a 30W charger (which isn’t included) and just doesn’t have the Apple magic that we’re used to.
There are several other accessories available from Apple as well, including a Leather Wallet for $59, and a Leather Sleeve with a hangtag for $129, as well as other third-party options from OtterBox and Belkin. We’ll be updating this roundup with those reviews as they arrive.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.