Best iPhone charger for 2020 – CNET

Apple has always included a power adapter, a USB charging cable and a pair of wired EarPod headphones with new iPhones. But that may change if and when the iPhone 12 ships this fall: The rumor is that it may not ship with a power adapter or headphones in the box — just a charging cable. Apple will likely tout the lone USB cable as an environmentally friendly effort to reduce e-waste, but it may also be a cost-saving move to help offset the presumed expense of bringing 5G technology to the next iPhones. 

Everything is speculation until the new iPhones become official. But adding to the confusion is that Apple is currently shipping two different charging cables with the current iPhones: The iPhone 11 comes with a USB-A to Lightning cable, while the iPhone 11 Pro models ship with a USB-C to Lighting cable ($19 if purchased separately, or as low as $11 from third-party vendors), which offers the fastest charging speeds. Which one will Apple include in the box with the new iPhones? And if components are missing, what is the best iPhone charger you can buy?

Now, Apple already offers an Apple’s 18-watt USB-C power adaptor for $29 — but that’s overpriced. The company is also reportedly prepping a 20-watt version for the fall, but why wait? We’ve pulled together some of our favorite chargers to give a boost to your battery life, many available for less than $20, some even less than $10. A few quick ground rules before we start: 

  • Your existing charger will likely work just fine with the new iPhone, but those puny 5-watt Apple chargers are as slow as they come — all of the ones below will charge phones much faster.
  • Two ports are always better than one, allowing you to charge two phones at once, or a phone and an accessory like wireless headphones.
  • Chargers with USB-C or PD (power delivery) support can generally charge devices faster than chargers with USB-A ports.
  • Higher wattage is better to a point. But getting 18 watts or better will allow you to charge tablets and even a Nintendo Switch. Get 65 watts or more and you can charge most newer laptops, too.
  • Many of these new chargers use a material called gallium nitride (or GaN) that enables high-power adapters to be made in much smaller sizes.   
  • Every charger here can also juice up an Android phone (so long as you supply a compatible USB cable).

While there are a plethora of charging brands available, we can broadly recommend three brands: Anker, Aukey and RAVPower. All three have similar offerings at similar wattage, and prices fluctuate almost daily. Our favorites are below, including some power bank (battery), wireless, charging stand and car options. We’ve used all of these over the past few months (or their direct predecessors), and we’ll update this periodically in our quest for the absolute best iPhone charger.

Amazon

Just looking for a compact single-port fast-charger? The Aukey 18-watt PD charger is available for as low as $10 (black version) and has foldable plugs. In white, it’s 50 cents more. (Both have a 10% off coupon right now.) Just make sure you have a USB-C to Lightning cable. 

Amazon

If you just have a standard Lighting cable and not a USB-C to Lightning cable, you can pick up two of these dual-port USB-A chargers for around $12. They’re compact, have foldable plugs and will charge your phone faster than a 5-volt charger would.

Amazon

With this 30-watt Aukey charger, you can charge both an iPhone and iPad at the same time. If you’re only using the USB-C port to charge, it delivers the full 30 watts and can charge a smaller MacBook. Use both ports and the output drops to 18 watts for USB-C and 12 watts for USB-A.

It’s usually $20, but there’s currently a 20%-off instant coupon on Amazon.  

Amazon

You could argue which is the better deal, this 30-watt dual-port charger or the Aukey above. The Aukey has a slightly more appealing design, but they are very similar otherwise, with the USB-C port delivering the full 30 watts of juice if used alone and 18 watts if used while charging a second device via the USB-A port, which delivers 12 watts of charging. Currently 10% off.

Amazon

I bought this charger and like it a lot. Not only is it capable of fast charging but it’s got a low profile so it sits flush with your 12-volt port. It has both a USB-C and USB-A port for charging.

It lists for about $15 but frequently goes on sale. I picked it up for $9.

Amazon

I like this RAVPower charging pad because it’s relatively inexpensive and comes with a power adapter that allows you to get the faster 10-watt wireless charging speeds (some top out at 7.5 watts, and a lot of cheap wireless charging pads don’t include a power adapter). It lists for $23, but there’s currently a $6 instant coupon that brings the price down to $17. 

Amazon

This svelte Anker 30-watt charger with foldable plugs is pocket friendly and can charge your iPhone impressively fast with a USB-C to Lighting cable.

Amazon

This compact 65-watt USB-C charger will not only charge your iPhone at maximum speed (if you spring for a USB-C to Lightning cable), it also charges most USB-C charging laptops. Additionally, you can charge a second device via the USB-A port. 

Amazon

Another good choice in the best all-around category is RAVPower’s 65-watt dual-port charger. It’s very similar to the Aukey and costs within a couple of bucks of the same price.

David Carnoy/CNET

While the Omnia 100-watt USB-C PD Charger is designed to be able to charge larger laptops like the MacBook Pro 16-inch, it will charge any laptop that charges via USB-C, as well as smartphones and tablets, at their maximum charging rate (it automatically adjusts its charging output for the device). It should be able to charge most laptops in two hours or less.

Apple’s 96-watt USB-C charger costs $79, so this Aukey is about half its price and also significantly smaller.    

Amazon

Why carry around both a power adapter and a portable battery when you can have both in one device? We loved the earlier version of this model, and now it’s back with both USB-A and USB-C ports, with power up to 18 watts. Yes, it’s bigger and heavier than most of the power adapters on this list, because it does have that integrated battery.

Amazon

This Power Bank from Aukey has both wired and wireless charging options. If you use the USB-C port, you can get 18 watts of charging. Go wireless and lay your phone on the battery and it will wirelessly charge at 10 watts, which is where the iPhone currently maxes out for wireless charging. You’re paying a premium, but this unit has a massive battery (20,000 mAh), a built-in kickstand and a digital readout listing the remaining charge. It comes with a USB-A to USB-C cable, but you’ll need to supply an adapter to charge it.