Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Qi2 Battery Packs and Chargers

Christian Selig:

Qi2 was supposed to be a glass of ice water to those in hell of Qi1, and I was hyped! Apple stopped making MagSafe battery packs themselves, and their old pack used Lightning instead of the newer USB-C, so I was excited to see third-parties bring MagSafe into the golden age of USB-C.


The word “compatible” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there, just indicating that the battery packs have a magnet in them and using just regular Qi1 charging. None of the actual MagSafe benefits are available. This means they’re kinda “dumb” and don’t communicate well with the host device, leading to hotter devices (and thus faster battery degradation) and lower efficiency due to energy loss as heat.


Despite being announced last year, there’s still like… only one manufacturer offering Qi2 battery packs: Anker. The rest are still “coming soon”. […‘ Qi2 battery packs seemingly don’t even support OS level battery status! I can only assume this is an omission on Apple’s part rather than Anker’s, and is hopefully fixed in the future, but that was one of the aspects of Qi2 I was looking forward to the most. All you get is a slightly larger indicator of the phone’s battery level, but not the pack’s.

This Anker battery pack has been working great with my iPhone 15 Pro, but I don’t think it’s Qi2. Oddly, I’ve had mixed results with USB-C battery packs, e.g. the HTGK Power Bank sometimes causes iOS to report heat errors and seems to actually drain the phone’s battery rather than charge it.

Juli Clover:

Satechi today announced the availability of its two new Qi2 charging stands, the 3-in-1 Foldable Qi2 Wireless Charging Stand and the 2-in-1 Foldable Qi2 Wireless Charging Stand.


One of the benefits of Qi2 is lower prices, but Satechi's Wireless Charging Stands are still expensive. The 3-in-1 model is priced at $130, likely because Satechi is still licensing Apple Watch charging technology from Apple, while the 2-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand is $80.


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I just wish Apple would get over the wireless charging obsession entirely and go back to manufacturing battery cases. Because honestly even Apple's pack wasn't that great, and that was probably the nicest UX as well as being broadly energy-efficient despite being miserable capacity for its size. It's all downhill from here, I'm afraid. I use an Anker now and it works, but there's no UI and the battery always charges at 7.5W irrespective if it's on mains or not. So yeah, a big letdown. Still, can't argue with the (real) all-day battery life on my otherwise capacious iPhone 15 Pro Max.

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