With the iPhone 12, Apple is removing the adapter that has come with every single mobile phone since they were invented. While almost everyone has an extra adapter, there will be some that will want a newer one to replace an aging one with slower charging.
Until very recently every iPhone came with a 5W charger, but iPhones have supported fast charging since the iPhone 8. For that you’ll need an 18W charger or better, and it should have a USB-C connector, especially since the cable that comes with the iPhone 12 is USB-C.
The bigger and better Apple's batteries get, the bigger the screens and the more powerful the processors the company attaches to them on the iPhone. That means we all still need to charge our iPhones regularly.
Below you'll find advice on what to look for in a charger, followed by our picks for the iPhone 12 adapter.
1 Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter
2. Anker PowerPort III Nano
3. Anker PowerPort III Duo
4. Satechi 75W Dual Type-C PD Travel Charger
Wireless vs wired charging
Wireless isn’t as fast, but it’s more convenient. The latest iPhone 12 features MagSafe technology that allows you to wireless charge your phone faster at 15W.
Most standalone charging pads expect you to provide the actual adapter, and can’t deliver more power than you put into them – so even if an iPhone wireless charging pad can deliver 15W, it can’t do that if you’re plugging it into a charger that only gives it 5W.
How to pick an iPhone 12 adapter
Don’t just look at the price. Look at what you want to do now, and what you might want to do next year. For example, an 18W charger will fast charge your iPhone, but it’s not powerful enough to run a MacBook Pro; a more powerful one may be a better option for your future tech arsenal.
It’s also wise to go for USB-C: that’s where everything is heading. Apple has already moved to US-C on the iPad as well as Macs. Even the cable that comes with your new iPhone 12 has USB-C plugging into the charger and Lightning on the other end to plug into the iPhone.
Below are our favorite iPhone 12 adapter and charging cables. We’ve chosen them on three key criteria: quality, usefulness and value for money. Whether you’re a road warrior or a box set binger, these chargers and cables are the best ways to keep your iPhone 12 powered up.
What to look for...
In a charging block
Power and ports matter here. For fast charging (iPhone 8 onwards) you’ll need 18W or more and USB-C, not the older, more common USB-A.
In a charging cable
Durability is key. Nylon braiding reduces tangling; look for reinforcements where the cable meets the connector, as that’s where cables tend to fray.
In a wireless charger
Many wireless chargers deliver 5W, which is fine for overnight charging, but 7.5W charges faster.
The best iPhone chargers and charging blocks
Apple recommends this charger for the iPad Pro and iPhone 8 or later, all of which support fast charging. With no charging brick inside your iPhone 12 box, it’s a somewhat essential investment. The difference between the 20W charger and the ancient 5W one is dramatic: with the former you can get about 50% charge from flat in half an hour, but the latter takes about six years.
If you're looking for the smallest brick for your iPhone 12 then look no further. The Anker PowerPort III Nano offers the same wattage as the official Apple charger but in a smaller and lighter package. It supports Anker's latest PowerIQ 3.0 to fast charge competing phones as well.
If you want to be able to charge more than one device at a time, this dual USB-C weilding Anker PowerPort III Duo is a good bet. It supports 36W fast charging and works with all iPhones and fast charges iPhone 8s onwards.
It’s half the price of the Apple one and has one high-speed USB-C for fast charging and a second USB-A for other devices. Cables aren’t included.
We’ve used many Anker chargers for many years now and we’ve found them to be utterly reliable.
Most of us live in households where there’s more than one kind of device to charge. While this Satechi is not incredibly light or small, it is pretty useful and powerful.
The Satechi 75W Dual Type-C PD Travel Charger can throw up to 60W through its USB-C connector, which is enough to charge a laptop, and still fast charge your iPhone 12 using the secondary 18W USB-C connector. You also have two additional USB-A connectors for charging an Apple Watch and one more device such as the AirPods.
The best iPhone charging cables
The Powerline Plus II is exceptionally tough and exceptionally quick, and may be the last Lightning cable you ever buy. That’s because it’s designed for USB-C connections, which deliver much faster charging than USB-A ones – assuming your charger delivers the right amount of juice, of course.
It works with high-powered chargers including Apple’s ones and is lab-tested to withstand 30,000 bends, which means it should last thirty times longer than lesser cables. Anker is so confident that it offers a lifetime warranty: this cable should last much longer than any of your iPhones or iPads.
If you’re not fussed about getting a braided cable and want a 1.8 meter one, the original Powerline cables are very good value: you’ll be hard pushed to find a similarly good quality USB-C cable of the same length for the same price.
The question here is whether you want the increased strength of the braided Powerline Plus II, which is only a little bit more expensive. Where that one has been lab-tested to survive 30,000 bends, the original Powerline has only been tested to 12,000 bends – although like its sibling it does come with a lifetime warranty.
This 3 meter cable may be the most useful iPhone charging cable ever made. It’s available in much smaller sizes, but there’s a reason we love the long one. It’s long enough to stretch from a wall socket to the sofa or from your in-car charger to the kids’ iPad in the back seat.
Length isn’t the only good thing here. Nylon braiding means it doesn’t tangle easily, and the sleeves at the joint between the cable and the connector prevent the bending that can lead to dangerous fraying.
The colors range from utilitarian grey to hard-to-lose red and rose gold. Our only niggle is that the lightning end feels a little looser than Apple’s own cable, especially in our iPad.
Sometimes little things make a big difference: at 1.2 meters (4ft) compared to the more common 0.9 meter (3ft), Belkin’s Boost is a little bit longer than the average iPhone charging cable.
That extra foot means it’s a lot more useful: it’s long enough to reach from the floor socket to the sofa without you having to sit in an awkward position; it’s long enough to reach the bedside table without having to rearrange the furniture; it’s long enough for the passenger in your car, and so on.
It’s a typically high quality Belkin product, although personally we prefer braided cables to smooth ones.
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