With the release of iPhone 12 and Magsafe accessories, lots of companies are trying to come up with new ideas to make accessories using this new “standard”. One on my wish list is the Magsafe wireless car charger. At time of this writing, Belkin offers the “Magsafe Car Vent Mount Pro”, which is just a car mount that will NOT wirelessly charge your iPhone 12 (you still need to connect the charger to the phone). This makes the ESR HaloLock (Magsafe-compatible) Wireless Car Charger Mount the world’s first.
On a side note, it is interesting to see so many articles titled the “BEST Magsafe Car Charger” and alike. The fact is, these articles talk about the ONLY Magsafe car chargers available now, not the “best”. These are click bates.
You get the ESR car charger, a vent clamp, a 1-meter USB-C to USB-A cable, and the user manual.
The wireless charging capability includes 5W, 7.5W, and up to 10W. As per the user manual, wireless-charging-capable iPhones can charge at up to 7.5W while 10W is meant for Android phones. This appears to be the case for any non-Apple wireless chargers, so it didn’t come as a surprise.
For input, this unit supports up to 2A at 9V (18W), via both QC and PD. Since the cable supplied is USB-C to USB-A, you should consider a QC charger. If you intend to use a PD charger, you will need a USB-C to C cable.
Did you notice the phrase “Magsafe-compatible” in the opening paragraph? The ESR wireless charger is not an official “Magsafe” charger. Rather, the placement of the magnets follow the Magsafe design so it is compatible with Magsafe cases. ESR’s own HaloLock cases are pretty much just a rebranding of Magsafe, but cheaper. To work with the charger, you must have a case-less iPhone 12, or iPhone 12 in Apple’s Magsafe case or ESR’s own HaloLock case. If you want to use other phones, consider using this magnet addon, which should work for most “soft” cases on any phone.
We usually mount our phone through the car vent, dash, cup holder, or rare-view mirror. Here is an excellent article that talks about the pros and cons of these various mounting locations. The ESR unit is meant for mounting through the car vent. On my Honda Accord, it is the perfect spot for my personal take. Not all vents are compatible so if you have a non-standard car vent, do some research before you buy any vent mount.
This vent clamp is much better than my previous car mount. Other than the main “clamp”, there’s a bottom piece that prevents the clamp itself from tipping downward. This was an issue with all of my previous car mounts. The ESR design really solved that problem.
Because the phone will magnetically align the charging coil you just need to get the phone close to the mount, and you will feel a satisfying click when connected. You can mount it portrait or landscape without needing to adjust anything. All you do is rotate your phone that’s magnetically held by the charger and you can set up your phone at any angle. I can see some practical yet unsafe use of this feature. You can possibly (but please don’t) watch a movie while on the road.
iPhone 12 supports up to 15W wireless charging capability through Apple’s own Magsafe charger. I have yet to find another non-Apple wireless charger that can support this wattage. Most of them are capped at 7.5W, as with this unit. According to the Specification, this charger can support up to 10W of wireless charging applicable for most Android phones (not yet supported at this time due to lack of Magsafe-compatible cases). Maximum charging power for the iPhone 12 is 7.5W, which is sufficient for regular use on the road (GPS on, music on, while still charging the phone). Note ESR’s official website states that this charger can support up to 15W of charging power, this contradicts the Spec on the unit itself. I believe it’s a typo on the website.
In order to fast charge at anything beyond 5W, you will need to have a charger that supports either PD (Power Delivery) or QC (Quick Charge), which will bump up the voltage to increase the power output. In addition, wireless charging is not efficient at all, meaning if you give it 10W of input power, you will not get even close to 10W on the output. This is called conversion loss, which is what creates the heat when charging wirelessly. As such, I recommend pairing this mount with a car charger rated for 18W (typical for most PD/QC chargers) at a minimum. I personally use the Anker 39W QC Car Charger, available at Amazon.
Stability under Different Driving Conditions
Here comes the million-dollar question. How does this car charger perform in real-world driving conditions? I drove locally, on the highway, and some unpaved roads with this charger mount, the magnetic connection is very strong and the phone always stayed in place.
As a comparison, the magnet strength feels very comparible to the Magsafe charger. If you don’t already have one, there are many YouTube videos showing how the iPhone 12 and Magsafe charger work together. You need to shake pretty hard when holding the Magsafe charger to actually drop the phone. If we translate this to regular driving, you won’t get even close a hard “shake” unless you drive directly over a major pot hole.
Now, a caseless iPhone 12, or, in my case, one with Apple’s clear Magsafe case, the phone feels a bit slippery at the back. As you can see from the picture, the connection pad is very smooth and there’s no downward magnets like the Magsafe wallet to secure the phone’s orientation.
The good thing is that the phone can be rotated freely between portrait and landscape modes, and any angle in between. The bad, if I drive through a bump, sometimes the phone will rotate ever so slightly from being perfectly straight. It doesn’t really bother me because it can be adjusted effortlessly.
According to another review that I read, if you have Apple’s silicon case, this would be even less of an issue due to the inharent friction provided by the case material.
No question about it, if you own an iPhone 12, you want the ESR Magsafe Wireless Car Charger Mount!
Before I bought this, my biggest concern was whether it would hold the phone in place through all driving conditions. With actual testing, the answer is YES. The phone is NOT going to be dropped unless you hit an impossible pot hole or, God-forbid, if you crash your car. Just to be clear, I drove over a few speed bumps at some unsafe speeds, enough for me to worry about my car, the phone stayed very well in place. So this is no longer a concern.
There’s 7.5W wireless charing built-in, so even if you use GPS, turn on music, and maybe watch a video (not when you’re driving please) at the same time, the phone will still charge at a respectable rate. You go in the car, get the phone close to it and it connects. When you’re done, just grab it and go. EASY!
If you’re interested, you may buy this from Amazon by link below: