The Fastest Way To Charge An iPhone (And Android)

Last Updated: Dec 28, 2022

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Despite the proliferation of wireless charging technology, you’ve probably realized by now that wireless charging is slower than using a regular cable. But even when using a cord, there are significant differences in charging speeds, depending on the power adapter you use. In this review, I’ll answer the question: What is the fastest way to charge an iPhone Xs?

The short answer is, you need a USB-C Power Adapter with at least 18W to achieve the highest charging speeds.

Unfortunately, Apple still includes a mediocre 5W charging brick, even with its latest iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone Xr. Upgrading to an Apple USB-C power adapter and the required USB-C to Lightning cable is relatively expensive, but there are third-party options of comparable quality available, such as the iClever 30W Type C Wall Charger.

Note that Apple introduced fast charging with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. That means, if you own an older iPhone, you might still benefit from a more powerful power adapter, but you won’t be able to recharge your iPhone to 50% battery capacity in only 30 minutes.

The fastest way to charge an iPhone
Click on the image to watch the video on YouTube.

Reviewed Chargers and Cables

Various Apple and 3rd-Party Power Adapters
Various Apple and 3rd-Party Power Adapters
iClever 30W Type C Wall Charger $15.99
Apple 12W USB power adapter (iPad) $49.00
Apple 30W USB-C power adapter $49.00
Apple 87W USB-C power adapter $79.00
Apple USB-C to Lightning Cable (1M) $26.99

Charging Speeds Compared

iPhone Xs Charging Speeds Compared
iPhone Xs Charging Speeds Compared (Source: MacRumors)

In 2017, Julie Clover of MacRumors did a test, comparing the iPhone X charging speed of various wireless and wired methods. Since Apple hasn’t announced any improvements in the area of quick charging with the iPhone Xs, I assume we can still rely on those test results.

Apple’s official statement is that you’ll need one of the following adapters to take advantage of fast charging:

  • Apple 29W, 30W, 61W, or 87W USB-C Power Adapter
  • A comparable third-party USB-C power adapter that supports USB Power Delivery (USB-PD)

So according to Apple, you need at least 29W of power supply to fast-charge an iPhone 8 or newer. The question is, does using an 87W MacBook power adapter further increase the charging speed? Apple doesn’t say, but according to the MacRumors tests, a higher wattage doesn’t necessarily result in faster speeds.

5W Wireless 7.5W Wireless 5W Wired 12W Wired 18W USB-C 29W USB-C 30W USB-C 87W USB-C
60 Minutes 38% 46% 39% 72% 79% 78% 77% 79%
45 Minutes 29% 36% 30% 56% 68% 66% 65% 66%
30 Minutes 20% 27% 21% 39% 49% 49% 45% 49%
15 Minutes 11% 14% 11% 21% 28% 27% 26% 27%
0 Minutes 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%

Based on Julie’s findings, you only need an 18W power adapter to get the fastest charging speed, which seems to contradict Apple’s statement.

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