February 8, 2019

The fastest chargers for your iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

By Team Ventev Topic: Tech Specs

A lot has changed since the iPhone was first unveiled in 2007.

One thing has not: The white cube charger included in the box.

Even as Apple has painstakingly evolved just about every feature of the iconic smartphone, improving the display, removing the headphone jack and home button, the charger in the box remains a pedestrian 5-watt white cube.  

For years, we’ve known that iPhones are capable of much faster charging.

That holds true for the new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. If you want to power them up as fast as possible, you’ll have to find a better charger than what comes in box.

As we do with every flagship phone that hits the market, we tested the 2018 iPhones with a number of chargers to find the fastest way for you to charge up.

The charts below show the charging times associated with these new iPhones. For the XR, XS and XS Max, we tested two Apple chargers, and two Ventev chargers, and as you see, each one performed a bit differently. Each bar represents a different charger, and each band of color represents about 25 percent of the battery’s capacity. A shorter bar indicates faster overall charging, while a shorter band of color indicates that the phone sped through one of the charging intervals.

When looking at these graphs, pay attention to the charging times between 5 percent and 30 percent, and the times between 5 percent and 50 percent. Phones have complex power management systems that change the amount of power they accept as they approach 100 percent. These intervals can give a better sense of a charger’s overall power.    

 

As you can see, the 5-watt cube performed abysmally. Neither the iPhone XS Max, XS, or XR reached 50 percent charge after an hour. The Ventev wallport r1240 took all three phones above 70 percent within an hour. The 18-watt wallport pd1180, which relies on USB Power Delivery standards, performed similarly to the 30-watt Apple USB-C charger. That shows there isn’t much benefit to buying the more expensive 30-watt Apple charger if you’re just looking to charge your new iPhone.

Wireless charging

Wireless charging has been a recent addition to the iPhone’s array of features, and we’re sure it’s going to catch on. But wireless charging has a reputation for trading speed for convenience. When it comes to wireless charging, it’s great to be able to just set your phone down on a pad to charge, but it might be there for a while.

In our wireless charging tests, we compared our 15-watt wireless chargestand  and 10-watt wireless chargepad+ against each other.

The iPhone still has a top charging speed of 7.5 watts. That’s why you don’t see a huge difference between charging times with a 10-watt or 15-watt charger. While the charger is capable of charging faster, the phone won’t accept it.

The verdict

There’s a chance that Apple could update its phones to accept higher wireless charging speeds, so buying a 15-watt charger is a way to future-proof your charger purchase and ensure you’ll always get the fastest charging speed available.

If you want a full run-down on all of the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR features, check out this blog post.

As always, stay charged everybody.

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