How to charge iPhones – and how not to charge them

Although iPhones have had a fast charging function for a long time, Apple only included a weak power adapter for a long time. This is the best way to charge!

For several years, iPhones came with a very compact 5-watt power adapter. While this was great to carry around, it wasn’t particularly powerful. Charge the iPhone quickly with its own power supply? Not a chance. iPad owners should consider themselves lucky, because they have the larger 10- or 12-watt power supply (different depending on the iPad) at their disposal. Buyers of the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max also got a stronger power supply (18 watts). The iPhone 12, however, no longer comes with one. But do stronger power supplies really charge all other iPhones faster? And don’t they destroy the battery? The quick answer can be found in the video:

Charging the iPhone with the iPad power adapter

Since the iPhone X and iPhone 8, Apple smartphones support a fast charging function. On the Apple site, you can check which iPhones officially charge faster with iPad power adapters. Although older iPhones do not have this fast charging feature according to Apple, the iPad power adapter can be used for charging in a purely practical way. And more importantly, it actually shortens the charging time considerably, at least since the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which also benefit from stronger power adapters. Even older iPhones like the 5s do not allow a stronger charging current than that from the 5-watt power adapter.

For example, a complete charging cycle is shortened by up to 98 minutes for an iPhone 7 Plus. In a test of the British YouTube channel SuperSaf TV, the battery was 35 percent full after one hour with the 5 watt power supply, but already 64 percent with the 12 watt power supply. After 2:05 hours, the iPhone was fully charged on the iPad power supply, while the original power supply was only at 73 percent. After a yawningly long 3:43 hours, the iPhone was finally fully charged.

However, there are also differences between the current iPhones. Models with a larger battery benefit more from the larger power adapters because they can draw even more current. Nevertheless, the power supply change is also very worthwhile for the base model, the iPhone 11.

Use power adapters from third-party manufacturers

To charge the iPhone quickly, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the iPad charger. Since the smartphone is charged via USB just like any other, any USB charger can be used, it should just have a higher wattage than the standard 5-watt one. It is best to go for a device with 15 watts of power right away or one that has the “USB Power Delivery” feature. Because starting with the iPhone 8, Apple smartphones also supported this fast charging technology.

The 5 best chargers for smartphone and tablet

Does the faster charging break the iPhone battery?

To put it simply, it is not the power supply that determines how much power is pumped into the consumer, but the consumer itself. Thus, the iPhone draws as much current as it needs. The built-in limit protects the iPhone battery from being overloaded.

The final proof that the 12 watt iPad power adapter does not harm the iPhone battery is provided by Apple itself: In the compatibility list, the manufacturer not only lists all iPad models produced so far, but also all iPhones since the 1st generation, most iPods and even the Apple Watch.

On the other hand, the iPhone’s small 5-watt power adapter is not compatible with all iPad models. It can only be used to charge iPad mini 2, 3 and 4. It’s just too weak for the larger iPads.

So if you want or need to buy a new power adapter, you should rather buy the more powerful 12-watt power adapter right away, because it costs just as much as the 5-watt power adapter. And the iPad power supply definitely provides faster charging – without side effects.