MagSafe vs Lightning: Which one is better? 2023

Modified Nov. 3, 2023, 9:27 p.m.


Should you use MagSafe or Lightning while charging your iPhone? Which one is faster? I’ve compared them

It’s better to use Lightning while charging your iPhone, it will charge at a faster speed than using MagSafe.

To understand why Lightning is faster than MagSafe, I’ve checked and compared the technical details of both. In any case, MagSafe is still great to use and you want to have on MagSafe charger, especially if you are planning to buy the iPhone 15.

MagSafe vs Lightning: Which one charges faster?

Let’s make a comparison between MagSafe and Lightning, how much power they can deliver but also how much power iPhones can use to charge the battery.

How much power deliver a Lightning charger

An iPhone official power adapter, for the newest one, is delivering 20W of power using the fast charge feature, with 9 volts and 2.2 amps, and an Apple power adapter is not the fattest one.

Indeed, my Belkin charger, can deliver up to 30W of power on fast charging, using the power delivery certification.

If some chargers can deliver more than 30W, it does not mean that they will charge faster your iPhone. iPhones are made to use only a maximum amount of power while charging the battery.

iPhones 11 and later can only use a maximum of 22.5W of power while charging, only the iPhones 14 Pro and Pro Max can use up to 27W of power.

How much power deliver a MagSafe charger

A MagSafe charger can deliver 15W of power maximum, using 9 volts. To use a MagSafe cable, you need a power adapter that can deliver 9 volts in output. Every charger Apple is selling today can deliver 9 volts, but the old iPhone charger could not.

So, unless you are using an old iPhone charger with your Lightning cable, using the Lightning charger will charge faster than using MagSafe. But choosing a charger only because it charges faster would be a mistake.

Let’s see what are the pros of MagSafe, and the pros of Lightning.

Advantages of Lightning on iPhones

So, the first obvious main advantage of Lightning usage is to be able to charge your iPhone at its maximum speed. You still need to use a good charger tough, here are the best of them.

Another great advantage to using a Lightning charger is to be able to use more easily your iPhone while it's charging. If some MagSafe charge allows you to do the same, not all of them do, but all Lightning charger allows you to use your iPhone while charging.

Moreover, it’s easier and cheaper to find a longer Lightning cable, the Belkin one I use is 3 meters long and costs less than 20 bucks. Being 3 meters away from the power adapter but still able to charge the iPhone is really cool.

The lightning charger also reduces the heat produced by the charging process, compared to the use of MagSafe. If you have an overheating issue while charging your iPhone, you might prefer to use Lightning over MagSafe.

Advantages of MagSafe on iPhones

The main reason why people love using MagSafe is because it’s easier to put your iPhone on charge. You only need to just put your iPhone on the MagSafe, magnets will place it correctly and your iPhone will start to charge.

Most of the time, the MagSafe charger stays in the same place, therefore you don’t have to plug in the charger again. The charging habit becomes easier, you always put your iPhone on charge at the same place.

Another advantage of using MagSafe is that your Lightning port stays available while your iPhone is charging. If you need the port to plug in headphones, or to transfer files for example, you just can’t do that with a Lightning charger, unless you use this kind of dual Lightning adapter.

Why you should still use MagSafe among Lightning

From my point of view, using a Lightning charger seems a better option than using MagSafe. Everyone wants to charge their iPhone at maximum speed, and MagSafe can’t do that. But it’s still important to have a MagSafe, for some cases.

First, Lightning chargers can be damaged much easier than MagSafe ones, it’s not rare to see Lightning iPhone chargers crack. If it happens to you and you do not have any other charger around, you just can’t charge your iPhone. By using a MagSafe charger you won’t have this kind of issue.

There are plenty of good MagSafe chargers available, I personally use this one from Belkin

Belkin 2-in-1 Wireless charger stand

Belkin 2-in-1 Wireless charger stand


Buy on Amazon

Apple, due to EU laws, has to remove the Lightning port from their iPhones, the iPhone 15 might not have a Lightning port. Nobody knows if they are planning to add a USB-C port or go full wireless without any port. They could just remove the charging port, as they did with the jack port earlier.

Therefore, your Lightning charger and accessories won’t be usable with newer iPhone models, but MagSafe ones will be. Because of this, I prefer to buy MagSafe accessories instead of Lightning when I kind.



Maxime Levesque is a technical engineer with more than 5 years of professional experience. He is an expert in computer and phones, mostly on Apple products. Maxime is also the founder of TechBrowser.

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