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The best Apple iPhone chargers: A buyer's guide
Apple’s decision to not include a charger with the new iPhone 12 series is quite divisive. The tech giant undoubtedly has its reasons for this move, and a case can be certainly be made against bundled chargers. Any first-time iPhone buyers will need a charger, however. Unless you’re upgrading from an iPhone 11, you’ll likely need a new one for cable compatibility and fast charging too.
Looking for a new charger or need a replacement? We’ve got you covered! Here’s everything you need to make shopping for iPhone chargers easier.
Apple iPhone chargers vs third-party charging accessories
Any smartphone OEM will tell you that the best charger to use with their smartphone is its own first-party charger. While the latest iPhone doesn’t come with a charger in the box, you can still buy a compatible Apple charger for it. Of course, any Apple charger will also be compatible with other iPhone generations as well.
Unfortunately, lost chargers, torn cables, and chargers that don’t support the latest features are part and parcel of having a smartphone. You can always get a first-party charger, but third-party options have a few advantages that make them more enticing.
Pros and cons of getting Apple iPhone chargers
The biggest advantage of any first-party accessory is that it’s usually for a specific range of phones. Apple’s 20W USB-C charger is ideally suited for the new iPhone 12 series. However, you can also use it with previous iPhones, with the right cable.
Nevertheless, there isn’t a lot of variety with first-party charging accessories other than the standard charging bricks. If you want multi-port docks charging stations, third-party options are the only way to go.
Pros and cons of third-party charging accessories
Third-party accessories have the leg up in many aspects, particularly in categories like multi-port chargers, car charging accessories, and cables. These are usually cheaper too.
However, these products’ generic nature may not provide the best results in terms of feature compatibility. The charging speed might not be the fastest possible, and some chargers don’t work with certain phones at all.
The much bigger issue, however, is the number of accessories available. Many come from companies that aren’t well known, or even unheard of. Buying a bad charging accessory can have severe consequences, including potentially damaging your device.
Things to look for when buying third-party chargers for the iPhone
Before you buy an accessory from a brand you’re not familiar with, be sure to check for the following:
- Look through owner-submitted reviews on sites like Amazon. Are the reviews for the right product? Do users express legitimate concerns? For example, some submissions may be sponsored, if they are super vague and poorly written.
- Look for oddities! The most common is when the product reviews aren’t actually for the product. A 5-star review of a protein powder is not what you want to see when trying to buy a wall charger.
- Check the return policy. A lot of products have return periods. Some might only have a replacement window, in which case refunds won’t be possible.
The best iPhone wall chargers
Apple 20W USB-C charger
Apple’s 20W USB-C charger lets you utilize all the iPhones’ fast charging capabilities. You will need a USB-C to Lightning cable which you’ll find in the box of both the iPhone 12 range and the iPhone 11 series. If you want to stick to first-party accessories, this is the charger to get.
Anker Powerport III Pod
The Anker Powerport III Pod is a great option for the iPhone, but it’s all-encompassing. If you’re looking for a charger for your phone, tablet, Nintendo Switch, or even laptop, this is one of the best wall chargers you can get. It comes with the latest version of Anker’s Power IQ tech that ensures fast charging for most smartphones and tablets. It’s also impressively compact. It’s a perfect travel companion.
Further reading: The best wall chargers
The best iPhone multi-port chargers
This Ravpower charger is an excellent option for the iPhone. The USB-C port lets you fast charge supported iPhones at 20W, while the USB-A port allows you to charge anything else simultaneously. It’s also compact and light, so you can carry the RAVPower anywhere you go. You also get an MFi-certified USB-C to Lightning cable in the box.
The Satechi USB wall charger balances between two USB-C options and two USB-A ones. The two USB-C ports combine for 108W of total charging, while the USB-A options add 12W between them. It’s an easy way to recharge all of your devices, from iPhones to Macbooks, at once. It’s not the most travel-friendly, but the sleek gray finish won’t look out of place on a desk next to Macbooks and iPhones, either.
Looking for more options? These are the best charging stations currently available!
Wireless chargers for the iPhone
Apple MagSafe charger
Apple finally has its own wireless charging solution in the form of the MagSafe charger. It magnetically snaps on to the back of compatible iPhones, so you don’t have to worry about alignment. MagSafe also works as a Qi-compatible wireless charger, so you can charge every iPhone going back to the iPhone 8, as well as AirPods. Apple recommends pairing the MagSafe charger with the 20W USB-C charger and the 1m USB-C to Lightning cable.
Belkin wireless charging pad
The Belkin wireless charging pad is designed to offer up to 15W of fast-charging to compatible phones, so you shouldn’t have any issues with a new iPhone. Every other Qi-enabled device will be charged at 5W, including Apple’s Airpods and other true wireless earbuds.
Belkin 3-in-1 wireless charging dock
Taking things two steps further, this Belkin charging station lets you simultaneously charge an iPhone, AirPods, and the Apple Watch. It tops out at 7.5W for iPhones, andup to 5W for your watch or wireless earbuds. This dock is compatible with all iPhones that support wireless charging and every iteration of the Apple Watch, including the new series 6.
See more: The best wireless chargers you can get
Q: Can I bring my iPhone chargers on a plane?
A: Absolutely. You should not have any issues bringing the chargers mentioned on this list in your carry-on luggage. In fact, if it’s a long flight, you might want to have one handy to keep the phone topped up.
Q: Should I leave my iPhone charging overnight?
A: It’s not recommended to leave your phone charging overnight, and it’s definitely a bad idea if your phone and charger come with fast charging capabilities.
Q: Can I charge one phone with another?
A: You will not be able to charge one phone with another by simply plugging a charging cable into both phones. Like many recent flagships, some iPhones come with a power share feature that uses reverse wireless charging. In this case, the phone serves as a Qi charger for another device, like a smartphone, a smartwatch, or wireless earbuds.
Q: Is overcharging bad for the iPhone?
A: Continuing to charge your phone after it has reached 100 percent is a recipe for voltage and temperature stress since it creates heat. High temperatures make the battery lose capacity far more quickly.
Q: Is it okay to leave an iPhone charger in a wall unit without a phone plugged in?
A: Leaving a charger plugged in even when it isn’t charging a device will draw some power. This is usually negligible and won’t add a noticeable amount to your electricity bill. However, depending on how many chargers you have, how long they are plugged in, and how much electricity costs where you are, things could start to add up.
Q: Is wireless charging faster than using a wall charger?
Unfortunately not. Most wall chargers still provide a much faster charging time. Only OnePlus gets close with its Warp Charge 30W wireless charger, but even that is a touch slower.
Q: Does your iPhone support wireless charging?
A: Every iPhone going back to the iPhone 8 supports wireless charging. You can even use the new MagSafe charger with these phones.