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Portable batteries, also known as power banks, come in all shapes and sizes, and so too do smartphone stands and chargers. But what happens when you merge all of those product categories together, incorporate a Qi wireless charger, and throw in MagSafe compatibility for good measure?
The result is the Anker 633 magnetic wireless charger, a four-in-one device that charges your iPhone and AirPods, while also serving as a convenient, adjustable stand and a portable, wireless battery pack for top-ups on the go.
Due to its compatibility with Apple’s MagSafe magnetic charging system (although Anker calls it MagGo), the Anker 633 is designed for use with members of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 family. And, while Anker’s intention is for the wireless charging pad to be used with Apple AirPods, it employs the Qi standard so can be used to top up the batteries of other devices too.
The whole system is powered via an included USB-C cable and plug adaptor, and although the removable battery pack is almost identical to Anker’s 622 battery (£49.99, Amazon.co.uk), the two are not interchangeable.
Is this the perfect all-in-one charging solution for your iPhone and AirPods? Read on to find out.
How we tested
The Anker 633 replaced an ageing wireless charging pad that had been on our desk since the iPhone X took cable-free charging mainstream back in 2017. We tested the charging performance of the Anker 633, in terms of both speed and how much charge it delivers to an iPhone. That mean using it as a stand while at home and as a charger on the go. We wanted to see if the Anker really could keep our iPhone and AirPods Pro fully-charged during the working day. Here’s how it fared.
Anker 633 magnetic wireless charger: £89.99, Amazon.co.uk
Compatibility: iPhone 12 and 13 onwards
Battery capacity: 5,000mAh
Connection: USB-C (cabled plug included)
Wireless charging rate: 7.5W
Colour options: White, grey, blue
Price and availability
The Anker 633 comes in three colour options, comprising white, grey and blue. The stand, battery pack and even the USB-C cable are all the same colour; but no matter colourway you pick the price, £89.99, stays the same.
We’re big fans of the Anker 633, as clearly a lot of thought has gone into its design. The base is compact enough to not take up too much precious desk or bedside table space, while also being heavy and sturdy enough to remain stable. It’s that heft, along with the use of soft-touch plastics and polished metal, that we think help justify the near-£100 price tag.
Smart design touches can also be found all over the Anker 633. There’s the attractive light ring running the full circumference of the base and a set of charge status lights can be seen on the side of the removable battery – though these are shielded so not to be too distracting when sat at your desk.
The stand itselff has 40-degrees of vertical adjustment, and because the iPhone is held in place magnetically, it can be rotated to any angle between portrait and landscape. The 5,000mAh-capacity battery snaps securely to any MagSafe-equipped iPhone, then slots neatly into the stand, where it automatically charges via an array of pin connections.
We really like how the stand doesn’t take up much space, especially if we are charging both our iPhone and AirPods at the same time. It also holds our phone at the perfect angle for Face ID to see us and reveal the content of incoming notifications when we glance at the screen without having to take it off the stand.
Even the 25W, USB-C power plug is a clever piece of design, with the three-pin UK adapter attaching over the top of the integrated two-prong US connection, meaning nothing needs to be thrown away or detached and hidden in a drawer for the rest of its life.
How does it work?
The stand is powered via a USB-C cable attached to a wall plug, both of which are included in the box. The base then has a Qi wireless charging pad, onto which you can place an AirPods case, or any other Qi-compatible device.
Anker says this charging pad isn’t compatible with phones, however, we found it did manage to charge our iPhone 12, albeit very slowly. Getting the right placement was tricky though so you are probably best using it with AirPods and other small accessories instead.
Read more: 10 best wireless headphones 2022
When removed, the battery can be used to charge an iPhone wirelessly via MagSafe, or it’ll charge an AirPods case placed on top. Alternatively, devices can be charged from the battery’s USB-C port, which is also used to charge the battery itself. It’s all very clever, but simple and intuitive at the same time.
To check how much charge the battery pack has, there are four LED lights on its side. These are illuminated while charging, and can be seen for a few seconds with a press of a dedicated button on the battery pack.
A quick word on MagSafe. The Anker 633 isn’t actually MagSafe-certified. Instead, it uses a technology Anker calls MagGo, which uses magnets and wireless charging in the same way as Apple’s MagSafe, and attaches to iPhones just the same, but can’t offer the peak 15W charging rate of devices made or certified by Apple. This sidestep no doubt saves on development costs for Anker, and while faster charging is always nice to have, a device like the 633 is more for all-day battery top-ups, rather than an emergency, quick-as-possible recharge.
Performance and features
The Anker 633 works very well indeed. We were pleasantly surprised by how strong the magnets are, it kept the battery securely attached to our iPhone 12. That said, the battery can be knocked off when the phone is pushed into a pocket – this is a flaw shared by all MagSafe accessories though so we won’t knock off points for this alone.
The battery is relatively compact at 11.77mm, roughly doubling the size of an iPhone when attached, and its 5,000mAh capacity means a full charge of any current iPhone should be possible. Though we should note that this will only be possible when plugged in with a cable, as the inefficiency of wireless charging means that same capacity will only fill an empty iPhone to around 85 per cent.
Similar to Apple’s own MagSafe battery pack, the Anker’s wireless charging speed is 7.5W. However, Apple’s battery can be used at the same time as a wired charger, doubling charge speed to 15W – something that sadly isn’t possible with the Anker 633. So there are other wireless chargers on the market that can top up iPhones faster.
Truthfully, a wired charger is always going to be quicker than a wireless one, but the idea here is your iPhone spends most of its day attached to the Anker 633, so it’ll always be full and – providing the Anker itself is plugged into a wall outlet – the portable battery will be at 100 per cent too. We love the convenience here, and the peace-of-mind in knowing both our iPhone, and a portable battery that can be used to power anything, are both always fully-charged.
Our only major complaint is how non-MagSafe cases don’t work too well with the Anker 633. We have a generic, no-name case for our iPhone 11 and, while it works with this charging stand, the magnets are severely weakened by the thickness of the case and the iPhone falls off with the slightest touch. If you use a MagSafe-compatible case (or a very thin regular case) and you’ll be fine.
The verdict: Anker 633 magnetic wireless charger
Spending almost £100 on a smartphone charger won’t be for everyone. But we think the Anker 633 is so much more than that. It’s a convenient charging stand, but also a charger for your AirPods and a portable battery for extra power on the go, too.
You could buy individual devices to fulfil these tasks for less than £90, but the way Anker combines four products into one, and has clearly put a lot of thought into the design, makes it worthy of the price.
Anker 633 magnetic wireless charger
Buy now £89.99, Amazon.co.uk
Fancy buying a new smartphone to get the most out of magnetic chargers? Read our roundup of the best Apple iPhones on sale today.