When it comes to charging, new iPhones are routine affairs. The in box charger comes in any color you want, as long as it’s white, and it charges at any speed you like, as long as it’s slow (5 watts).
Since the release of the iPhone 6, we’ve discovered that each new iPhone can charge faster with another charger.
But the release of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus broke away from the norm. Apple introduced a couple new features on the charging front. First, the new phones support fast charging. Second, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are capable of charging wirelessly.
What does that mean for owners of the new iPhones who want to get the fastest charge? We tested the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with a number of wired chargers and wireless chargers, to find you the fastest way to power up.
How you can charge the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus to 50 percent in 30 minutes
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus come with slightly smaller batteries than the 7 and 7 Plus, though Apple says you’ll get the same hours of usage with either.
But the 8 and 8 Plus do have a feature that hasn’t been seen on iPhones before: fast charging. Apple promises to get users to 50 percent battery in 30 minutes.
Now we’re talking.
To fast charge your iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, you’ll need two things: a charger that’s compliant with USB Power Delivery and a Lightning to USB Type-C™ cable.
Apple doesn’t yet allow third-party manufacturers to make those cables, so you’ll have to rely on Apple for that. But you don’t need an Apple-branded charger.
We charged the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with Ventev’s 45-watt wallport pd1300 to put Apple’s claim to the test. Here’s what we found out.
The wallport pd1300 charged the iPhone 8 from 5 percent to 58 percent in 30 minutes. The iPhone 8 Plus, with its bigger battery, got to 54 percent. For comparison, the in box charger filled the 8 and 8 Plus to 34 and 26 percent, respectively, in the same time.
But while a Power Delivery charger powered up both new iPhones the fastest, other chargers are still a big step up from what you get in box. For example, the wallport r1240 can charge at up to 2.4 amps. The wallport rq1300, is one of the few chargers that supports both rapid charge and Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0. Despite Quick Charge being most commonly associated with Android phones, all of Ventev’s Lightning cables work with either charger.
They charged the iPhone 8 at 12 watts, but hit nearly the same percentages at the same time markers as the wallport pd1300.
The story of the 8 Plus was a bit different. All mobile phones will accept more power when the battery is close to zero and will charge more slowly as it approaches full. The 12 watt chargers charged the 8 Plus to about 46 percent in a half hour, while, as mentioned above, the pd1300 charged the 8 Plus to 54 percent.
Those differences evened out, however. After one hour, the 12-watt charger pushed the 8 Plus to 81 percent, while our Power Delivery charger raised it to 83 percent.
What’s that mean? If you’re the kind of person who almost always pushes your battery to the freak-out point (or if you carry a laptop or tablet that charges via USB Type-C™), pick up a charger capable of Power Delivery. A Power Delivery charger will also likely future-proof you for any new phones that come out in the next few years with USB Type-C™, as well as work with the most recent iPads, Macbooks, and Macbook Pros, which also support Power Delivery.
But if you’re the type to hold onto your phone for a while or don’t currently have a USB Type-C™ device, a 12-watt charger can get you pretty close to the same charge times for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
Bottom line: Upgrade yourself all the way and don’t use the in box charger.
Wireless charging for the iPhone: How fast is it?
Though the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are capable of wireless charging, Apple hasn’t released a wireless charger yet. So we tried out the new iPhones on our wireless chargestand instead.
Tests confirmed that the iPhones are currently limited to 5 watts when charging wirelessly.
Because wireless charging for the iPhone 8 has been limited to 5 watts, charge times were fairly slow. Both phones hit 50 percent after 1.5 hours of wireless charging, and the iPhone 8 charged to 100 percent in 3 hours, while the iPhone 8 Plus took 3.5 hours.
While the new iPhones are currently limited in charging speed, Apple is expected to release an update in the near future that allows charging at 7.5 watts. That update will certainly increase the rate at which the phones power up, but won’t match the Qi standard that allows for wireless charging up to 15 watts. As consumers bring home their new iPhones and wireless charging is put to increased use, it will be interesting to see if Apple eventually ups the charging speeds for its devices.
How fast does the iPhone X charge?
The iPhone X was released Nov. 3. Apple has already confirmed that it charges wirelessly. Its battery is also bigger than the iPhone 8 Plus.
How fast will it charge? Stay tuned. We’ll let you know as soon as we finish our testing.
Qualcomm Quick Charge is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Quick Charge is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated.