Apple took its own sweet time but starting with the iPhone X in 2017, the company got around to supporting fast wired charging on its devices. Fast charging is as important as excellent battery life in this day and age and it gives one peace of mind knowing that they can charge their phone for just 10-15 minutes to make it last for a few more hours. The iPhone 11/Pro series, 2020 iPhone SE, iPhone XR, iPhone X, all support fast charging, and here’s everything you need to the fast charging supported by iPhones and the best chargers for these devices.
The thing is that even though Apple started supporting wired fast charging on its iPhone lineup with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X in 2017, it did not get around to bundling a fast charger with them until the iPhone 11 Pro series last year. This means that barring the iPhone 11 Pro series, every other iPhone launched since the iPhone 8 supports fast charging but since it comes with a regular 5W USB charger, it takes over 2+ hours to charge. With a fast charger, you can cut down the time to charge your iPhone from 0-50% to just 30 minutes and to 75% to around 45-50 minutes. This is going to be good enough for most users to ensure their iPhone lasts another 12-hour day easily.
iPhones With Fast Charging Support
Below is a list of all the iPhones that support fast wired charging:
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro
- 2020 iPhone SE
Apple only bundles an 18W USB-C fast charger with the iPhone 11 Pro series. With all other iPhones, the company continues to bundle a paltry 5W USB-A charger that can take more than 2.5 hours to charge the phones.
Fast Charging Your iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone SE: What to Know
Apple supports the USB-Power Delivery fast charging protocol on its iPhone lineup with up to 18W of charging speeds. The iPad Pro lineup, for comparison, supports up to 30W fast charging. This does not mean that you can fast charge your iPhone by simply plugging it into any 18W or higher fast charger. There are plenty of fast charging standards out there, including OnePlus’ Warp Charge, Oppo’s VOOC, Huawei’s SuperCharge, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, and more. All these fast charging technologies can easily push up to 50W of power on phones, but these chargers won’t charge your iPhone any quickly. None of these fast-charging protocols are compatible with each other which further adds to the confusion.
Since the iPhone supports the USB-PD protocol, you must use a USB-PD certified charger to fast charge it. This charging protocol is also used by Samsung on its flagship Galaxy Note and S lineup of devices and by Google on its Pixel lineup. Otherwise, almost all other major Android OEMs support their own fast charging technology. The USB-PD charging standard was developed by USB-IF — the body behind the USB standard. This fast charging spec is a part of USB-C and it is capable of supplying up to 100W of power. USB-PD was designed not just with smartphones in mind but other power-hungry devices as well such as laptops, monitors, DACs, and more. In fact, Apple uses the same USB-C PD protocol for charging its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup as well.
When Apple had first launched the iPhone X with fast charging support in 2017, the USB-PD was still relatively new. Since then though, the USB-PD protocol has seen wider adoption and has grown in popularity with the likes of Nintendo Switch and other laptop OEMs supporting it.
The Benefits of Fast Charging
Another thing to know with fast charging your iPhone is that the benefits are going to be limited. Basically, you are going to see the biggest impact with fast charging when charging your iPhone from 0-50% and up to 75% at the maximum. The iPhone 11 Pro, for example, takes around 1 hour 45 minutes to charge from 0-100% when charged with an 18W fast charger. For iPhones that ship without a fast charger, the difference in overall charging speed will be greater, though it will still be slower than the charging speeds of most flagship Android phones. All iPhones that support fast charging will go from 0-50% in just 30 minutes. However, after that, the charging speed will drop dramatically and your iPhone will take almost another hour or around 75 minutes to charge to 100%. That’s still significantly faster than the 5W charger that Apple bundles with its iPhone which can take nearly an hour to charge your iPhone to just 50%.
Apple does this to help increase the lifespan of your iPhone’s battery life. It is not good to rapidly charge a phone’s battery when it is nearing its full capacity as it could greatly reduce its lifespan. Thus, not just Apple, but almost every other OEM slows down the charging speed of their device once it crosses the 80% mark. The rate of reduction, however, varies from OEM to OEM.
Wired Charging and Wireless Charging Speeds Are Not the Same
Apple started including wireless charging on its iPhones starting with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X in 2017. It is important to note though that wired and wireless charging speeds are not the same. The iPhone only supports fast wired charging, not wireless charging. Its wireless charging speeds are capped at 9W irrespective of which charger you use.
GaN or Gallium Nitride is the next big thing in the world of chargers. GaN chargers are notably smaller and more efficient than regular silicon chargers. This means you can get a 30W or 45W GaN charger that will nearly be of the same size as your iPhone’s 5W charging brick. A higher wattage charger is also handy for people who own multiple USB-C devices including MacBooks, Nintendo Switch, iPad Pros, and more.
The Best Fast Chargers for Your iPhone
Apple itself sells an 18W USB-C fast charger ($23 [Amazon]), but it is way relatively expensive when compared to third-party offerings. My recommendation would be to buy a quality third-party fast charger for your iPhone as they come in different shapes and sizes to meet all your needs. I have also listed some 45W or 60W USB-C GaN chargers below for people who are looking to buy a single charger for all their USB-C devices. Don’t forget to use the coupon codes to grab the exclusive deal.
- Aukey 18W USB-C Fast Charger – $14.99 [Amazon] – iPhoneHacks readers can use code “2ZZHSHAC” to get it for $9.89.
- Choetech 18W USB-C Fast Charger – $14.99 [Amazon]
- Aukey 30W USB-C Fast Charger with USB-A port – $21.99 [Amazon] – Use code “E2TNFJXY” to get it for $15.39.
- Aukey 60W USB-C GaN Charger with USB-A port – $34.99 [Amazon] – Use code “FOHNPE8G” to get it for $24.49.
- RAVPower 61W USB-C GaN Fast Charger – $35.99 [Amazon]
- Choetech 60W USB-C GaN Fast Charger – $28.99 [Amazon]
The Best USB-C to Lightning Cable for iPhone
Do note that along with a USB-C charger, you will also need a USB-C to Lightning cable. The USB-A to Lightning cable that ships with your iPhone is not going to work with a USB-C charger. Thankfully, this type of cable has come down in price over the last couple of years.
- Choetech USB-C to Lightning 4ft. Cable – $13.99 [Amazon]
- Anker USB-C to Lightning 3ft. Cable – $12.99 [Amazon]
- Apple USB-C to Lightning Cable – $19 [Amazon]
The Best USB Car Chargers for iPhone
Apart from a fast wall charger, you can also get a fast car charger for your iPhone so that you can charge it quickly in your car when you are on the go.
- Anker USB-C 18W Car Charger with 12W USB-A port – $19.99 [Amazon]
- AmazonBasics USB-C 18W Car Charger with 12W USB-A port – $7.37 [Amazon]
- Aukey USB-C 18W Car Charger with 12W USB-A port – $19.99 [Amazon]
Do you fast charge your iPhone? Or do you prefer to charge it with the stock 5W charger? Or have you switched over to wireless charging completely? Drop a comment and let us know!
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This post was last updated on May 6, 2020.