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IFA 2023: Pitaka’s MagEZ Slider 2 is a magnetic and modular miracle

We’ve spent some time with Pitaka’s latest accessories for Apple products during IFA 2023 in Berlin, and the MagEZ Slider 2 is a super satisfying standout.

Pitaka MagEZ Slider 2 review header showing the device, a black puck in a grey docking stand all on a yellow background. A white watch stand is attached to the right side.

After years of using an iPhone, I think it’s fair to argue that the addition of MagSafe to the back of the last couple of renditions is the biggest change I’ve seen. Sure, processing power improves, colors change, and the cameras get better, but these are tweaks. The real good stuff comes when we get something new. And MagSafe is just that.

If you don’t already know, Apple added a ring of magnets around its wireless charging bit of the iPhone a few years back, as well as a strip below to keep everything in line. This is something other companies don’t do, and one of the few remaining features of iPhone that feels unique. It’s cool — though not game-changing — and also opens the door to all manner of things beyond just easily-aligned wireless charging.

All this is to say that MagSafe means possibilities, primarily for non-Apple-made products — mainly because Apple keeps things simple, meaning getting a unique accessory that bang-on fits your requirements isn’t that common. One company that has fulfilled that possibility near-perfectly is Pitaka, with its MagEZ Slider 2. We’ve had time with a few bits from the company — fine Apple Watch straps, pretty iPad folios — but the Slider 2 is a proper standout, an absolute star.

The Slider works like this: there’s a dock, into which slides a vaguely-ovoidal puck. The puck is a 4000mAh MagSafe battery pack, and the dock is stable and spinnable. This on its own is enough, and in reality the biggest reason to love this thing. You can snap your phone onto the docked battery pack while at your desk to keep the juice up on your phone, then slide your whole device out with up to double the battery life ready to take on the go — knowing that the battery pack has been on the mains power the whole time. That’s very neat.

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However, there’s more to the Slider 2. There are two more things, in fact (though one is a paid-for add-on, keep that in mind). There’s a little rectangle that snaps to the back of the dock, right behind where your phone-plus-battery-pack combo sits. It snaps to it via magnets and creates a balcony where your AirPods (or other similarly-sized wirelessly-charging device) can sit and get 5Ws of juice.

But Pitaka seemed to get that Big Magnet Fever and added another bonus accessory, one that doesn’t come with the product. It’s another little square, this time partially see-through (giving Nothing vibes), that has an Apple Watch charging pad in the middle and a magnetic cover for when you’re not using it. If you take that cover off, underneath hides a USB-C. So, while it’s not magnetically attached, it’s still magnetic in its imagination and plugs straight into the side of the dock. Even in this imperfectness, I love the ambition; it’s plain tech fun.

The MagEZ Slider 2 is a reiteration, as you can probably tell by the number two in the title. And while it’s not massively different, the improvements make it more usable and therefore far easier to recommend. It feels so darn close to a perfect bit of modular magic. While this second iteration is getting better at pulling the trick off seamlessly — adding faster charging and the like — it’s still not quite there when you take everything as a whole package.

The main reason it’s not completely excellent is because of the Apple Watch puck. The way it attaches to the device feels slightly like a late addition, a last-minute thought that works well enough, but undercuts the smoothness of the original package’s experience. While the rotating dock, MagSafe battery pack, and the slidability of the said pack feels like a neat, clear, and contained package, the watch thing feels like excess.

But then, as I said earlier, this excess costs extra money, so it would be a little bit mad to put it down for that. And I’m definitely not going to — in fact, my favorite thing about this device, after all the stuff I’ve already mentioned, is that it feels like Pitaka has thought of everything. If you don’t buy and use the Apple Watch add-on, it has an extra USB-C port for outputting power if you need to juice something non-essential; that’s ace.

What I’m scrambling to express, albeit clumsily, is that the Pitaka MagEZ Slider 2 is a perfectly neat little package that justifies its price. It becomes a little clumsy once the Apple Watch add-on is added on, sure, but it’s a device that feels like it fits so many use cases — there’s a sticky pad on the bottom you can use (or not use) depending on what you need, rotation on the pad to spin the dock but also a lock to stop that, and modularity that feels like it’s made to fit into a moving lifestyle. It’s just lovely in the way I get to decide what I do with it. Almost like Android, eh? Either way, maybe don’t feel obliged to get that watch thing, too.