As if 2020 was not already bad enough, Apple has started shipping its iPhones without chargers. There was an attempt to implement this change as an environmentally friendly gesture, but Apple and its investors are the biggest winners from this controversial move, which everyone can easily guess. And even worse, other manufacturers may follow suit.
To make this possible, Apple has slowly laid the foundation in recent years by adopting a more or less universal charging protocol for its products – USB Power Delivery. All current iPhones and MacBooks can be charged with any USB PD charger you may have at home. And if you do not have one, Apple will gladly sell you one. But all this is a matter of question – is Apple’s charger better somehow than the alternatives already on the market. USB power supply is hardly new and there are many compatible options – even if they are not intended for iPhones specifically.
So if you get a new iPhone this season – you have to ask yourself the smart question – which charger will I get for my new iPhone? Well, we’re here to shed light on that.
All iPhones up to the iPhone 11 Pro came with 5W adapters, while the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max were the only models that came with an 18W ‘Pro’ charger. The latter has been discontinued in favor of an upgraded 20W version. And as for Apple, buy either the 5W or the 20W adapter.
Well, some of you may have forgotten, but iPads’ original 10W and 12W chargers also charge iPhones quickly – all iPhones. And compared to the 5W slouch, the 10W and 12W adapters can do a pretty decent job.
All iPhones since the iPhone 8 also support Qi wireless charging. And all except the iPhone 12 generation is limited to the slow 7.5 W charging. With the newly introduced MagSafe wireless charger, the iPhone 12 can now go as high as 15W.
Finally, it’s good to know that all iPhones since the iPhone 8 support USB-PD charging and all USB-PD adapters work fine with iPhones. We have taken this last wholeheartedly and that is why we did this crazy charging strip with the chargers we have in our office. And we have found some special features that we hope will help you choose the best charger for you.
And before we go deep into some charging numbers, here are the official charging specifications for the iPhone 12 series according to Apple:
- Fast charging: Up to 50% charge in 30 minutes with 20W adapter or higher
- MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W
- Qi wireless charging up to 7.5 W.
And here is the list of all the chargers we have used for this test:
- Apple 5W Charger (iPhone)
- Apple 10W Charger (iPad)
- Apple 12W Charger (iPad)
- Apple 18W Charger (iPhone)
- Apple 20W Charger (iPhone)
- Apple 29W Charger (MacBook)
- Google 18W USB PD Charger (Pixel 3)
- Samsung 25W charger (Galaxy Note20 Ultra)
- Xiaomi 10W Charger (Redmi 9)
- Xiaomi 22.5W Charger (Redmi Note 9S)
- Huawei 18W charger (P30 Lite)
- IKEA KOPPLA 12W charger
- Aukey 12W car charger
- Apple MagSafe Wireless Charger
- Samsung Wireless Charging Stand (2018)
- Samsung Wireless Charging Stand (2019)
- Xiaomi Powerbank 20,000 mAh 18W, 2x USB-A, microUSB
Finally, we used these two cables for our charging test:
- Apple USB-C for zipper cable from iPhone 12 Pro
- Apple USB-A for zipper cable from iPhone X
And now let’s look at some numbers, shall we?