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While it’s fair to say that Apple’s MagSafe ecosystem hasn’t taken off as well as we’d like — it’s mostly battery packs, stands, and chargers at this point — popular game peripheral maker Razer is doing its part to change that.
Razer is best known for its game-centric mice, keyboards, and headsets, although it’s dabbled in Android gaming smartphones in the past, and also makes mobile game controllers, wireless earbuds, and even audio glasses for gamers.
With a product lineup like that, Razer’s latest accessory shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise, but it’s still one of the cooler, more unusual things we’ve seen for your iPhone.
The Razer Phone Cooler Chroma is essentially a big fan that’s designed to clamp onto the back of your iPhone to keep it cool during intense gaming sessions, but what’s really cool is that it uses a MagSafe-compatible magnetic ring to latch on without the need to fuss with awkward mounting solutions.
In true Razer style, it also features the company’s signature Chroma RGB lighting, with a dozen customizable LEDs embedded behind the fan, so you can make it pulse with up to 16.8 million colours while you’re immersed in your game.
The actual fan component uses a Peltier cooling tile that snuggles up to the rear of your iPhone to act as a heatsink, plus a seven-blade fan that spins at up to 6,400 RPM to draw that heat away and send it out the back. Razer claims it shouldn’t generate more than 30dB of noise.
As nifty as Razer’s new fan is, however, it’s not really a “smart” device in the truest sense of the word. At least when it comes to the MagSafe ecosystem.
The dream of MagSafe is to allow accessories to communicate directly with the iPhone through the NFC chips embedded into the MagSafe ring. This is how Apple’s own MagSafe cases manage to display colour-matched rings when you attach them, and how the MagSafe Battery Pack can pass along its charge levels and charging status.
The MagSafe Battery Pack is also capable of drawing power from the iPhone, allowing it to recharge when the iPhone is plugged into a power source.
Sadly, as is usually the case with Apple, the company hasn’t yet exposed any of these MagSafe features to its third-party partners. Certified MagSafe chargers will trigger the standard charging ring animation, but that’s about it.
In practical terms, this means that Razer’s Phone Cooler Chroma is basically only using the magnets to hold it onto your iPhone. That’s still a nice touch, but when it comes to configuring the Chroma RGB lights, you’ll be stuck using Bluetooth. Further, since the fan doesn’t include a battery — and definitely can’t draw power from the iPhone — you’ll need to plug in a USB-C power cable to run it.
Still, if you’re an intense iPhone gamer concerned about your iPhone heating up, Razer’s fan should provide some welcome relief for your burning fingers.
Apple MagSafe Cooling Case
What’s also interesting about this, however, is that Apple appears to be looking into this concept as well, with a patent filed last year pointing to work on its own MagSafe cooling case.
The patent doesn’t actually say much about the physical hardware of such a case, but it does go into how the underlying MagSafe technology could be used to interface with it.
This would include not only controlling a fan from the iPhone — either manually or automatically — but also allowing the iPhone to identify that a certified cooling case or fan was attached, which could, in turn, allow iOS to take the brakes off and allow the A-series chip to run faster and hotter.
Of course, the iPhone includes its own thermal sensors, so MagSafe signalling with a case isn’t strictly necessary to achieve peak performance. Simply keeping things as cool as possible should prevent any performance throttling that normally occurs when an iPhone heats up, and in that sense, Razer’s MagSafe-compatible fan doesn’t necessarily need to offer anything more than it already does to be effective.See Razer’s MagSafe Fan on Amazon