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Realme’s bulky magnetic wireless charger is almost as fast as promised

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The MagDart charger fills a OnePlus 9 Pro... sorry, a Realme Flash in an hour

The MagDart charger has a hefty cooling fan.

Earlier this month Realme launched MagDart, its MagSafe-a-like ecosystem of magnetic wireless charging products. The headline device is a 50W brick that Realme professes to be the fastest magnetic wireless charger in the world — it’s supposed to be able to charge a 4,500mAh battery from 0 to 100 percent in 54 minutes.

Naturally I was interested in trying this for myself. Realme sent me a 50W MagDart charger, a 65W SuperDart wall charger to plug it into, and a Realme Flash “concept phone” with built-in MagDart compatibility. (The only other Realme phone to work with MagDart is the new GT flagship, and even that requires a specialized case.)

The Flash isn’t a commercial device, but it’s a very nice phone nonetheless. That’s mostly because it’s very obviously a repurposed OnePlus 9 Pro, made possible by the fact that the two companies share ownership and suppliers along with Oppo and Vivo. The camera configuration has been reshuffled a little — for little reason, since the onboard software doesn’t even include a camera app — but the hardware is otherwise identical. The Flash’s “About phone” screen even still lists the device name as the OnePlus 9 Pro.

The Realme Flash is clearly a repurposed OnePlus 9 Pro.

The MagDart charger, meanwhile, is a chunky metal box with solid construction and a glossy top panel that makes contact with the phone. The magnetic force is fairly strong; you can attach the Flash and hold it facing the ground, though it’ll fall if you shake it around a little. Despite the charger’s bulky build, it’ll still stay attached if you try to pick the phone up, so you can’t really use it as a stationary wireless charger without securing it to a hard surface. There’s a cooling fan that varies in its noise output. At its loudest, I would say it’s comparable to an Intel-based MacBook Pro with a couple too many Chrome tabs open.

When it came to testing the performance, I found that the charger wasn’t able to wake the phone at 0 percent power. For that reason, I used a USB-C cable to turn the phone on and get it to one percent, then took my measurements from there. I didn’t use the phone while charging other than to wake the screen to check the battery status.

Basically, it turns out that this is indeed a very fast wireless charger, though not quite as fast as Realme claims. After 15 minutes the Flash was already at 35 percent, and reached 60 percent after half an hour. The 45-minute mark took it to 82 percent, but by the promised 54 minutes it was only at 95 percent. The Flash eventually hit 100 percent at a round 60 minutes. For comparison, an iPhone 12’s battery will only be around half full after that long.

The charger will stay attached if you pick your phone up from the desk.

So yeah, MagDart works. I’m not really convinced by the form factor, though — if speed was a priority, plugging in a cable wouldn’t be much less convenient than this, if at all. You can’t practically use the phone with this charger attached, either. (I’ll note here that Realme has also developed a thinner 15W MagDart charger that looks similar to Apple’s MagSafe charging puck).

Still, magnetic wireless charging is all about versatility, and the MagDart technology seems to work well for what it is. For readers in the US in particular, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on whether it shows up in actual shipping OnePlus devices any time soon.