Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K Battery Pack

Trying Out Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K Battery Pack for MagSafe iPhones

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Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K Battery Pack

After ordering as soon as they became available on Amazon, I guess I was one of the earlier recipients of Anker’s new PowerCore Magnetic 5K MagSafe-compatible battery pack. It came a day before we left for our vacation, which I figured would be the perfect time to try it out.

I will write more on this accessory after spending more time with it, but so far my experience has been mixed. That said, it isn’t all bad news. Does it work? Yes. So far, I have found that this pack doesn’t cause my iPhone to heat up as much while charging via MagSafe as the Charge Fast Battery Pack that I got a couple of weeks ago.

The Anker pack attaches to the back of my iPhone or to a MagSafe case at least as firmly as Charge Fast’s. I actually went ahead and bought an Apple Clear MagSafe Case while we were on the road so I could test this further. I just don’t feel comfortable using my iPhone without a case, so this will allow me to test the Anker pack, as well as other future battery packs, more thoroughly.

Anker's PowerCore Magnetic 5K pack with iPhone

The Anker pack has a much better and more unassuming design than the original Charge Fast pack, as well. It’s thin, light and looks very simple and professional. It’s also very simple to operate. There’s a single button that enables charging, a blue LED status light, and four dimly lit white LEDs to indicate the remaining charge.

Anker's PowerCore Magnetic 5K

Recharging is handled via a single USB-C port. There aren’t any auxiliary charging ports like the Charge Fast, but that helps to cut down on the bulk.

As for the not so good, while Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K doesn’t set my iPhone 12 Pro Max on fire while I charge during use, it also doesn’t recharge it very quickly via MagSafe. In fact, it barely holds serve at times while continuously using the phone. When I charge with the iPhone in standby, it does better, but it doesn’t seem to be capable of fully recharging my iPhone. Considering that this pack is advertised at 5,000 mAh and the iPhone 12 Pro Max is rated at 3,678 mAh, I find the results pretty disappointing. It is clear that inefficiency is a BIG problem here.

So where does the fault for this inefficiency lie? This is not an officially certified MagSafe product like some third party cases are, so Anker didn’t go through the MFi program with this accessory. They just made a Qi-compatible charger with magnets that match up with Apple’s. Is that good enough, or is there something missing here that is holding this new battery pack back?

Or is the problem really Apple? Is MagSafe just not an efficient enough charging standard for a battery pack? That is entirely possible, especially in light of the rumors that Apple has run into roadblocks with its one battery. I don’t have these same exact issues with Apple’s MagSafe cable charger, even though it is noticeably slower than using a USB-C to Lightning Cable. However, charging using the steady power coming from a wall outlet is a much different story than using an external wireless battery.

One saving grace of this battery pack is that, also like the Charge Fast pack, you can revert to using a USB-C to Lightning Cable for a faster, more efficient charge.

Anker's PowerCore Magnetic 5K Pack Wired

I haven’t spent enough time testing this yet to say much about it, other than it does seem to work faster. However, it’s good to have a fallback option. You can even continue to use the magnetic connection to the iPhone so you don’t have the annoyance of fumbling around with a battery pack while using your phone.

I will keep using Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K battery pack a while longer before making a final determination on it. Like I said before, it does work as a MagSafe charger. I have been using it to trickle charge while we are out and about during our vacation as my iPhone’s battery gets low. Since my 12 Pro Max is my only camera on this trip, it is seeing a lot of use and running down during the day. My wife and I also both forgot to bring car chargers, so we’ve been relying on battery packs to recharge while in the car. The Anker has been one of them, and it does give my iPhone’s battery a bump, when needed.

However, when using this pack via MagSafe, it cannot be viewed in the same way as a wired battery pack, or even Apple’s own MagSafe charge cable. It just doesn’t recharge an iPhone that fast. Also, even if the Anker pack is fully charged up, it won’t fully recharge my iPhone from any lower than maybe 60% via MagSafe. Slow and inefficient aren’t ways you want to describe your battery pack, even if it is convenient to carry and  use.

However, I haven’t really done any specific testing or collected hard numbers yet since we are on vacation and I’m not taking the time to go that far right now. I’m going to keep an open mind and keep using Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K for a while longer so I can get a better feel for how it works in different situations. For now, I will just say that, if you are interested in this or any similar accessories, just make sure your expectations are in line with what you will be getting.

The good news is that at $39.99, you get a solidly build slim 5,000 mAh battery pack that  you can use to charge pretty much anything with USB-C, as well as wirelessly charge any Qi-compatible devices. There is enough versatility here that the PowerCore Magnetic 5K’s mediocre performance with MagSafe doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider buying one. It just wasn’t as good as I was initially hoping for using MagSafe.


James Rogers

I am a Christian husband and father of 3 living in the Southeastern US. I have worked as a programmer and project manager in the Commercial and Industrial Automation industry for over 19 years, so I am hands on with technology almost every day. However, my passion in technology is for mobile devices, specifically Apple's iOS and iPadOS hardware and software. My favorite is still the iPad.

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