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All four iPhone 12 variants include wireless charging. Here's what to know about it

CNET logo CNET 11/22/2020 Alison DeNisco Rayome
icon: The iPhone 12 will feature wireless charging, as past models have. Apple © Provided by CNET The iPhone 12 will feature wireless charging, as past models have. Apple

The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max are all now on sale. The new phones have 5G capabilities, a new design, and a starting price of $699 for the Mini. All iPhone 12 models feature wireless charging, as every iPhone has since the iPhone 8. But with the iPhone 12, Apple has also introduced a MagSafe charger, which uses magnetic pins to connect the charging cable with the device.

The MagSafe charger delivers up to 15 watts of power to your phone. It's in the form of a magnetic attachment system for different accessories, including cases, which can snap onto the back of your phone. Apple also showed off a MagSafe Duo charger that can charge both your Apple Watch and iPhone at the same time during a virtual iPhone 12 event in October. Third-party accessories from Belkin will soon be available too, including a car mount and a multicharger dock, Apple executives said during the event. 

The iPhone 12 also has magnetic positioning, which moves the phone to the right position on the charging pad. You can check out all of the MagSafe accessories you can purchase for the iPhone 12, and learn more about how MagSafe technology works in the phone

Another area of speculation had been whether the new iPhones would have reverse charging -- when a phone that can be charged wirelessly can also act as the charging station and be used to charge another device wirelessly. Competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S20, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the OnePlus 8 Pro have wireless and reverse wireless charging. But this feature is not included in the iPhone 12.

icon: The iPhone 12 is rumored to have wireless charging, and possibly reverse charging.  © Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The iPhone 12 is rumored to have wireless charging, and possibly reverse charging. 

However, though it wasn't discussed at the iPhone event, a set of FCC filings suggest that the iPhone 12 actually does have wireless power transfer capabilities -- but that this charging power would currently only be used for other Apple accessories like AirPods at some point in the future.

For more, check out how to prepare your current phone before upgrading to the iPhone 12, and more about the Apple HomePod Mini speaker.

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