Fast Charging on iPhone 8 Compared to Wireless Charging, 12W, and 5W Chargers


iPhone 8 Plus front view

When Apple first unveiled the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, it silently mentioned that the handsets also support fast charging. The official spec sheet of the handsets suggests that with fast charging, the handsets will be able to charge to up to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. 

However, Apple does not bundle a fast charger with the new iPhones which means that if one has to experience fast charging on their iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, they will have to separately buy a 29W USB-C to Lightning MacBook charger which comes in at a hefty $49 and an equally expensive USB-C to Lighting cable.

As it turns out though, buying a 29W MacBook charger just to enjoy fast charging on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or even the upcoming iPhone X is not worth it. Tests conducted by AppleInsider show that the iPhone 8 Plus takes 90 minutes to charge from 0-100 percent while the 12W iPad charger takes an additional 15 minutes for a total time of 1:45mins.

The stock 5W charger that Apple bundles with the iPhone performs terrible and takes more than 2 hours 30 mins to charge a depleted iPhone 8 Plus to 100 percent. Buying a 12W iPad charger is a substantially cheaper affair when compared to buying a $49 USB-C MacBook charger and a USB-C to Lighting cable which costs another $25.

Before you go ahead and completely dismiss fast charging as a gimmick though, do note that it has its own advantages. When charged with the 29W MacBook charger, the iPhone 8 Plus is able to charge itself from 0 to 52 percent in just 30 minutes. In comparison, the 12W charger is only able to charge the handset to 36 percent while the 5W charger is even further behind at 21 percent.

Fast charging works best when one wants to quickly top up their device to ensure it lasts for an additional few hours. After reaching the 50 percent mark, Apple slows down the fast charging speeds to ensure the battery longevity is not affected. This approach is similar to many other Android OEMs who also slow down the fast charging speeds on their devices after crossing the 50 percent mark to ensure that the heat generated does not affect the battery lifespan.

As for wireless charging which is capped at 7.5W on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the charging speeds are similar to the 5W wired charger Apple bundles with its devices.

While the numbers does paint a negative outlook about fast charging on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, that is not the case. It is just that spending almost $75 to enjoy fast charging on the new iPhones makes it an unattractive proposition. Ideally, you should wait for third-party accessory makers like Anker to come out with their own fast charger for the new iPhone since it should be substantially cheaper than Apple’s 29W MacBook charger.

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