There are plenty of reasons to upgrade to the iPhone 12 mini. Maybe you want to take advantage of the improved camera system, or you're intrigued by the return to a smaller form factor. But one of its coolest features might be MagSafe, a completely different way to charge and accessorize your iPhone.
Built into the back of the iPhone 12 mini — as well as the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max — are an "array of magnets" that can match with MagSafe compatible accessories. These accessories snap into place in true Apple fashion, or they feature magnets of their own, so you can mix and match cases, chargers, and accessories in a variety of ways.
Right now, MagSafe is still a new market, but we expect to see more compatible products from Apple and third-party manufacturers as time goes on. It makes sense — the technology lends itself to all sorts of products, such as MagSafe-compatible camera lenses, bike mount systems, portable wireless power banks, and handheld stabilizers.
Best of all, your new iPhone 12 mini might even work with existing magnetic accessories. For instance, you might still be able to use your magnetic car mount or DJI OM 4 three-axis gimbal, since your iPhone has magnets built right in.
If you've ever used a wireless charger, you know that it only works properly if you line it up with your iPhone just right. With Apple's MagSafe Charger, you don't need to worry about that. The new charging pad snaps right into place thanks to MagSafe, so if you see it connect, you know it's good to go.
Not only that, but the MagSafe Charger can charge your iPhone much quicker than other wireless chargers. While other Qi-based pads will charge your iPhone at 7.5 watts max, Apple's MagSafe Charger can go up to 12 watts. That's unique to the 12 mini though, as the 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max are capable of 15-watt charging with the MagSafe Charger.
In any case, you'll need a power adapter, since the MagSafe Charger doesn't come with one. You can purchase Apple's recommended 20-watt USB-C power adapter, or, if you bought an 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max last year, your 18-watt adapter will do.
The MagSafe Charger isn't MagSafe exclusive, either — it's still a wireless charger, so you can use it on all non-MagSafe phones that support wireless charging. You'll just experience the 7.5-watt maximum you'll find on other wireless chargers, rather than the 12-watt max of the iPhone 12 mini.
Apple's Clear Case with MagSafe is exactly what it sounds like — the case is MagSafe-approved, compatible with your MagSafe Charger or MagSafe accessories, but is clear, so you can see your iPhone's brand new color shine through.
Apple knows a thing or two about making a protective case, so don't worry about placing your expensive 12 mini here. The material should protect all corners and buttons, while retaining grip and usability. In fact, it's coated to avoid scratching or yellowing. You'll notice the MagSafe magnet outline on the back, which perfectly aligns with the MagSafe magnets built inside your iPhone.
- Amazon: Apple Clear Case with MagSafe ($49)
Maybe a clear case isn't for you. Instead, why not try an Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe? The outside features one of eight great colors, with a comfortable yet protective silicone base. On the inside, however, you'll find a microfiber lining to offer your iPhone some extra protection. This isn't a case that'll scratch up your device. While it doesn't feature the outline of the clear case, this case still features MagSafe, so your MagSafe accessories will work just fine.
- Amazon: Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe - Kumquat ($49)
- Amazon: Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe - Cypress Green ($49)
- Amazon: Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe - Deep Navy ($49)
- Amazon: Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe - Pink Citrus ($49)
- Amazon: Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe - Plum ($49)
- Amazon: Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe - White ($49)
- Amazon: Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe - Black ($49)
- Amazon: Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe - Red ($49)
While cases are the norm when it comes to smartphones, many of us still like to go caseless. If you like a clean iPhone experience, but still want the convenient a wallet case offers, look no further than Apple's Leather Wallet with MagSafe accessory. The wallet comes with built-in magnets that snap and stay onto your iPhone, with slots for your most important debit, credit, and ID cards. And MagSafe magnets won't mess with your cards, since the wallet is shielded.
The wallet can be placed on either the back of your iPhone, or the back of a MagSafe-compatible case, so the choice is up to you. The only thing you can't do is use the MagSafe Charger with the wallet, as the wallet's tanned, finished European leather doesn't support pass-through charging. It comes in four colors.
- Amazon: Apple Leather Wallet with MagSafe - Baltic Blue ($59.99)
- Amazon: Apple Leather Wallet with MagSafe - Black ($59.99)
- Amazon: Apple Leather Wallet with MagSafe - California Poppy ($59.99)
- Amazon: Apple Leather Wallet with MagSafe - Saddle Brown ($59.99)
You might know Moment for its camera lenses and iPhones cases. Always one to push the envelop, the company created a Wall Mount with MagSafe. The Wall Mount has a sticky side you place on any wall you want. Then, the MagSafe magnets hold your iPhone in place, simple as that.
You can use it to control your smart home, watch videos, check the weather, anything you want to do hands-free that also happens to look good on the wall.
- Moment: Wall Mount with MagSafe ($19.99)
If you're a mobile photographer or videographer, you might want to attach an external lighting source or an external microphone to your iPhone. Moment's Cold Shoe Mount with MagSafe makes it super simple on iPhone 12 mini — slide your cold shoe on your iPhone, then tighten it up. Just make sure your light or mic will work with it before buying.
The beauty of MagSafe chargers is that you don't need to have a MagSafe iPhone in order to use them. Sure, you won't get that satisfying snap into place, but any Qi-enabled phone will charge wirelessly all the same. You'll find that to be true with Belkin's Belkin BoostCharge Pro MagSafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charger. The charger comes in black or white, and can charge your iPhone, AirPods with Wireless Charging Case, and even your Apple Watch.
You can place your iPhone in the magnetic center that holds it in either portrait or landscape orientation, and your Apple Watch in the smaller space. On the bottom, you'll find a normal wireless charging pad "dedicated for charging your AirPods," though it could be used for other Qi-enabled devices, too. Remember, your iPhone can max out at 15-watt charging speeds, while the other areas give you standard charging times.
- Belkin: BoostCharge Pro MagSafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charger ($149.99)
You use likely use Apple Maps, Google Maps, or Waze to get around in the car. If you want a super strong magnetic car holder for your MagSafe iPhone, check out Belkin's MagSafe Car Vent Mount Pro. It attaches to a standard car vent, then snaps your iPhone in place. Unlike magnetic car holders of the past, you don't need a case or metal plate to secure your iPhone here. You can even use your iPhone in portrait or landscape, whichever works for your navigation.
- Belkin: MagSafe Car Vent Mount Pro ($39.99)
You thought Moment wouldn't try their hand at a car vent mount? Think again! If you're a Moment fan, you might prefer their MagSafe car vent mount for your iPhone 12 mini. You'll just want to double check that your car's vents are compatible with this particular mount.
- Moment: Car Vent Mount with MagSafe ($29.99)
ESR's offering this year is certainly unique. You'll notice it doesn't include the term "MagSafe" in its name, opting instead on its "HaloLock" brand. That's because HaloLock doesn't just work with MagSafe, but all magnetic charging pads. That makes ESR's case much more compatible with the magnetic charging products on the market. The case is made of silicone, has a velvety inner lining to protect your iPhone like Apple's cases.
- Amazon: ESR Soft Case with HaloLock - Blue ($19.99)
- Amazon: ESR Soft Case with HaloLock - Blue + Screen Protectors ($21.01)
OtterBox is an iconic smartphone case maker. Maybe you've had one of their cases in the past. That said, you haven't had one of these cases. OtterBox's first MasgSafe-compatible case for iPhone 12 mini — the Figura Series Case with MagSafe — is soft and flexible, but protects from drops and scratches.
It also stands out with bold, intriguing designs. Rather than just go for solid colors, OtterBox decided to include artful swirls on each case. You can choose from Berry, Teal, Yellow, and Fuchsia. Of course, the built-in magnet allows you to attach accessories like Apple's MagSafe Wallet, or MagSafe Charger.
- Apple: OtterBox Figura Series Case with MagSafe $49.95
Another OtterBox offering is the sleek Aneu Series Case with MagSafe. Instead of the artsy design of the Figura, the Aneu is a multi-tone design, featuring multiple solid colors per case. Stone has an aqua band with green buttons; Pink has a maroon band with light pink buttons; Black has white buttons; Blue has a black band with yellow buttons.
You'll find the Aneu slim enough to fit in your pocket or your bag, but its raised bumpers ensure adequate protection from bumps and scratches. Of course, it's MagSafe magnets connect to your MagSafe accessories.
- Apple: OtterBox Aneu Series Case with MagSafe ($49.95)
We're not done talking about MagSafe yet. The Pro Symmetry Series+ Case with MagSafe is a slim case, but comes in fun, solid colors like Black, Navy Captain Blue, Spring Snow Beige, and Tea Petal Pink.
OtterBox brings out the big guns with this case. Not only does it feature antimicrobial technology to ward off bacteria, as well as silver-based additives to prevent microbial growth, it also sport "Drop+ Protection," a certification earned after drop testing the case with three times as many drops as the military standard (MIL-STD-810G 516.6). MagSafe compatibility allows you to connect to your other MagSafe accessories.
- OtterBox: Pro Symmetry Series+ Case with MagSafe ($59.95)
Back to Moment! The camera company makes tripod mount styles that works with MagSafe, so you can conveniently attach your iPhone to your tripod with the 12 mini's magnets.
Moment offers three options here. The Tripod Mount with MagSafe works with any standard (1/4"-20) tripod or handle. The Pro Tripod Mount with MagSafe is essentially the same thing, only with a cold shoe mount on it to attach microphones or lights. Finally, the Multi-Threaded Mount with MagSafe has three 1/4"-20 threads as well as two 3/8" threads, giving you the freedom to mount it to pretty much anything you want.
For something a little under the radar, try Pitaka! The Pitaka MagEZ Case for the iPhone 12 mini is created from 100% aramid fiber, a synthetic material used in aerospace and military applications. Fun fact: aramid fiber is thinner than the average human hair, but still unbelievably strong. The result is a carbon fiber finish that's stylish and protective.
This case works with MagSafe wallets, chargers, and more, but also uses metal plates that go around your iPhone's magnetic array. Why? Because it's also designed to work with Pitaka's MagEZ Juice charging station. Pitaka's just keeping it in the ecosystem.
- Amazon: PITAKA MagEZ Case - Black/Gray Twill ($49.99)
If you prefer to stick to Apple products, the company has another case that just came out on Nov. 6 — Apple's Leather Case with MagSafe. If you preferred the leather-based cases for your previous iPhones, you might want to get this one over the others above. Like Apple's other cases, it has a built-in magnet that helps align your iPhone with other MagSafe accessories.
Apple's leather cases are always impressive, and this year is no exception. Apple's Leather Case with MagSafe looks great and connects to all your MagSafe accessories, including, of course, the Leather Wallet. What more could you want?
- Amazon: Apple Leather Case with MagSafe - Baltic Blue ($59)
- Amazon: Apple Leather Case with MagSafe - Black ($59)
- Amazon: Apple Leather Case with MagSafe - California Poppy ($59)
- Amazon: Apple Leather Case with MagSafe - Product(Red) ($59)
- Amazon: Apple Leather Case with MagSafe - Saddle Brown ($59)
In other Apple leather news, Apple's Leather Sleeve with MagSafe came out on Nov. 20, and it has four colors to choose from. The sleeve, which is made from specially tanned and finished European leather, covers your entire iPhone 12 mini and uses a button strap on the bottom to keep your device in place.
Coolest of all, the case has a MagSafe sensor inside that communicates with your iPhone to show the time through the cutout on the front of the case. Hopefully, that means we'll see always-on displays coming to iPhones soon.
If you have an iPhone and Apple Watch and don't need a regular wireless charging pad, you might want to consider skipping Belkin's offering for Apple's. While it's not out yet, Apple's MagSafe Duo Charger folds up to make charging on the go as easy as possible. It's certainly impressive, just without an ETA, unfortunately.
- Apple: MagSafe Duo Charger (coming later this year) ($129)
To get the 11-watts worth of fast charging, you'll need Apple's 20W USB-C Power Adapter. To reach up to 14 watts, you'll need its 27W USB-C Power Adapter, which might not be an actual Apple product coming soon, but higher ones like the 30W USB-C Power Adapter will work.
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