No one wants to sit around and wait for their phone to charge. When your precious iPhone runs low on battery, you simply want to plug it in, suck in as much power as rapidly as possible, and get on with your day.
The thing is, not all charging bricks are created equal—some charge faster than others. So how do you ensure you get the fastest charging speeds? One easy fix is to ditch the slow Apple charger (which has a USB Type-A port on the charging block) and upgrade to a more powerful plug with a USB-C port.
Should You Use USB-C to Charge Your iPhone?
Yes, we know that even the latest iPhones still rely on Apple’s Lightning port for charging. But what you plug the other end of the cable into matters. For instance, that old USB Type-A, 5-watt (5W) power brick that came with your iPhone a few years ago isn’t going to do you any favors—particularly since Apple ships its newer iPhones with a Lightning-to-USB-C cable. Many of the best iPhone chargers offer much faster charging rates and, by no coincidence, rely on the USB-C standard.
Choosing an adapter with more power is a good idea because the newest iPhones can benefit from that extra juice. For instance, the iPhone 13 Pro can achieve wired charging speeds of 20W or higher, while reports indicate the iPhone 13 Pro Max can reach speeds up to 27W with the right charger. Switching from a lower wattage charger to a higher wattage charger typically boosts the rate at which a charge is pushed into a device’s battery. This depends on circuitry in both the charger and the device. The higher the wattage, the higher the charging rate, or “speed” if you will.
Apart from the charging-speed improvements, you might consider upgrading due to the pending EU law that will require all phones to switch to USB-C by 2024. Clearly there’s no rush, but a side benefit of switching to USB-C chargers now is that you likely won’t have to again once the mandate goes into effect. Moreover, the new EU legislation also unbundles the sale of the charger from the device itself, so there’s no reason to anticipate that manufacturers will start to include a charger in the box again.
Apple has not made public any details regarding how it plans to address this future requirement. Whether it switches the iPhone to USB-C on the device side, or ditches the physical port entirely in favor of MagSafe wireless charging, there’s no harm in reaping the benefits of USB-C-based charging in the meantime.
The Best USB-C iPhone Chargers
Below are some of our favorite USB-C chargers for the iPhone. You don’t have to spend much to upgrade your charging experience, but pay attention to the power ratings if you are worried that future devices might be power-hungrier than current ones.
Anker 511 Charger (Nano)
Sometimes, you want a portable charger that won’t take up a lot of space in your bag or pocket. The affordable and slender Anker Nano adapter ($18.99) is about the same size as the old 5W adapters that Apple used to bundle with the iPhone, but it offers a more impressive 20W of power. That’s sufficient for recharging the latest iPhones at or near their maximum supported rates.
Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter
If you want to ensure the charger works with your iPhone, Apple’s official 20W USB-C adapter ($19) is your best bet. It’s not as compact as the Anker, but you can rest easy knowing you’re getting a genuine Apple accessory that is natively compatible with your iPhone.
Recommended by Our Editors
Belkin USB-C PD GaN Wall Charger (60W)
If you want a power adapter that’s close to future-proof, consider this Belkin 60W brick ($44.99). The Belkin USB-C PD GaN Wall Charger can provide the maximum charging speed to current iPhones and, potentially, to future models, too. As a bonus, its extra power means you can use it to recharge some USB-C laptops and leave your bulky power brick at home. You pay a premium for this versatility, but it’s worth the additional expense.
Google 30W USB-C Power Charger
Yes, you read that right: A 30W charger from Google ($25) is one of the best chargers you can get for your iPhone. It’s affordable, reliable, and fast, which is really all you need from a USB-C charger. Just ignore the Google branding if that clashes with your Apple-only lifestyle.
Twelve South PlugBug Slim
Have you ever needed a charger to sit flush against the wall? If so, the 20W Twelve South PlugBug Slim ($24.99) is a good option. This brick positions the cable pointing downward, allowing you hide it behind a piece of furniture. And it still offers enough power to charge your phone quickly.
Android Phones Charge Faster
Regardless of which power adapter you buy for your iPhone, many Android phones charge much more quickly. That’s because Android device manufacturers have access to technologies such as Quick Charge 3.0, which can push 36W of power to a phone. Moreover, some phone makers have developed proprietary charging technology for ultra-rapid charging as a point of market differentiation. For example, the Realme Naruto charges at a rate of 150W and can go from empty to 100% in just 16 minutes. But don’t let that deter you from investing in a fast USB-C power adapter for your iPhone now. After all, even today, we can’t wait forever to recharge our phones.
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