Dan Loewenherz, the founder of a software studio in Texas that helps startups turn ideas into working products, has take it upon himself to compare iPhone charging times by charger.

TL;DR: all you need to charge your iPhone twice as fast is a 10/12W iPad charger.

(By the way, Dan is also the brains behind a tremendously useful app that makes it easy to move your Health data from one iPhone to another).

In comparing iPhone 8 Plus charging times by charger, Loewenherz has found out what I’ve suspected all along: fast charging using Apple’s 29-watt charger and USB-C to Lightning cable is only marginally faster than with an iPad charger and standard Lightning cable.

Do yourself a favor, save a ton of money and just use an iPad charging brick with your iPhone.

Consider for a moment that a Lightning to USB-C cable from Apple (only Apple sells these at the moment) is a $25 value. On top of that, you need a USB Power Delivery-compatible (USB-PD) charger from Apple, or a third-party one.

ROUNDUP: The best wireless chargers for iPhone 8

Getting a 29W USB‑C Power Adapter as the least expensive Apple option is another $49 so you’re looking at a minimum cost of $74 to take advantage of Fast Charge support in iPhones.

Go with either a 61W or 87W USB-C charger from Apple and you’re looking at a total of $94 and $104, respectively, to get a bit faster charging times than with a 29W adapter.

Here are iPhone 8 Plus charging times with Apple chargers.

Minutes to 50 percent:

  • 12W: 37 minutes
  • 29W: 33 minutes
  • 61W: 29 minutes

The 29W and 61W chargers obviously get you faster from zero to the fifty percent mark, but Apple’s power controller ratchets down charge rates after 30 minutes so the difference is not as pronounced when charging the device from zero to 100 percent.

Apple’s 29W charger takes about one and a half hours total to completely charge an iPhone 8 Plus from dead. The 12W charger and USB-C to iMac connection needs only 15 minutes longer to top up, AppleInsider has discovered.

For context, it takes about 2.5 hours to achieve a full charge with Apple’s gratis 5W adapter.

ROUNDUP: The best power adapters to fast charge iPhone 8 and iPhone X

Of course, you don’t have to use Apple’s pricey chargers: there are more affordable options out there, but be sure that a third-party charger you’re buying uses USB-PD specification.

Wireless charging is currently just as slow as the included 5W adapter, resulting in about ten percent gain every fifteen minutes. An upcoming software update due later this year will increase wireless charging speed by bringing power transfer rates up to 7.5W.

BOTTOM LINE: if you care about iPhone charging speed and own an iPad, just use the included 10/12W wall brick for two times faster charging without needing to buy extra things.

Alternatively plug your iPhone into a USB 3.0 port on a Mac.

If you own an iPad Pro and an iPhone, it may make sense to upgrade to Apple’s 29W charger because not only will your tablet charge noticeable faster but you’ll get two times faster iPhone charging, too. Plus, you’ll have a spare iPad charger to carry in your bag or purse.

And if you typically charge your iPhone overnight or while at your desk, then even the bundled 5W charger may suffice. Regardless, Apple should definitely do the right thing and start putting a 10-watt charger in the box with each iPhone instead of cheating out.

And for those wondering about higher wattage charging negatively affecting battery health and life, Apple’s online store pages for the 10/12/29/61/87W chargers all mention iPhones in the Compatibility section so clearly the company condones using them with iPhones.

Thoughts?

  • jacjustjac

    I’m so glad someone compared this. I wanted to test them with a kilowatt hour meter to see if the iPhone 8 really does draw 29 watts or fewer, but I don’t have an iPhone 8!

  • Bacillus

    OMG Who would even think of buying a car from this company ?
    These bean counters would launch it with a set of penlight batteries where else you can buy your first accu pack – loading in a week – for an additional $40,000

    • Kappamello

      The majority of Apple’s customers are employed people. When you work on a full-time job you can get a new iPhone every month. Apple products are priced so high becuse there is demand for it. They get more expensive every year, meaning people apparently buy more and more of them and enjoy them.

      • Bacillus

        You seem either ready for the Business School admission test.
        Or a parrot.

  • Abhinav Chaudhary

    Instead donate that money for an iOS 11 jailbreak. Paying more than 1000$ on a phone to see the default ugly iOS icons is such bs.

    • RGm_aC

      Don’t knock people who can afford the X and you cannot.

      • Abhinav Chaudhary

        Hopeless.

      • RGm_aC

        Could be worse..I could be telling people how they should spend their money. And im not buying the X…let people spend their money how they want.

    • Kappamello

      I like to have something new in my hands, something I am excited about. I’ll enjoy the bigger screen and smaller bezels. It makes me happy, and that is what life is all about, right? If you can afford it, buy it. I buy a new phone every year and I have a great time for a few weeks.

      • Abhinav Chaudhary

        Good for you. I personally can’t use iOS without a jailbreak.

  • Adrian

    Thank you for the advices! Also, if you put your phone into “Flight Mode” you will see an even faster charging which ever charger you use… Give it a try! Great day to you all!

  • Blip dude

    Thanks Captain obvious, as if I didn’t point this out a few times in your previous posts but instead decided to contribute to the problem but telling people they needed to spend at least $70 on something that would cost $20 tops for non-iPad owners.

    You also forgot about the part about enabling low-power mode BEFORE charging, cause as I mentioned before that’s critical to how much quicker the phone charges not just to 50%, but to 80% as well.

  • OneBigInFiniteJoinT

    a day too late.. damn it! I already bought the 29w apple charger with usb c to lightening.. oh well. returning it tomorrow !!!!

    • Kappamello

      Same here, will return. I checked comparisons before and there was very little difference between 29w and higher. On this graph, it’s a pretty high difference. Will get a 61W one, that 87W is way too big.

      • OneBigInFiniteJoinT

        iPhone 8 and iPhone X are not capable of getting more then 29w… 29w is the max iPhone 8 and iPhone x can do.. 61w and 87w only fast charge for the first 50% then lowers the watts to 29w for the remaining, so there is no point spending ridiculous amount of money on them. also the difference between 12w and 29w is just 4 minutes to get to 50% so I’m going to just buy another iPad charger honestly ! what do you think ?

      • Kappamello

        What? In your first comment you said that you bought the 29w charger. Oh, I guess you want to return it because the 12W is the best bang for the buck. Misunderstood you there because I was thinking about returning too and getting a 61W one. It is completely fine to get the 12W one. If you want the best from the best or you are in need of very fast charge times, get the 61W one.

      • OneBigInFiniteJoinT

        I bought 29w and the usb c cable with it to be ready for iPhone X… but 12w takes 37mins for 50% while 61w takes 29mins. so for me 8 minutes fast charge for $74 is really not worth it.. 12w would do just fine !

  • wrighty

    Don’t knock people who can afford the X and you cannot.

  • Ando

    So a regular lightning cable to USB-A will be able to output a full 12 watts?

  • glassedsilver

    faster charging puts more wear on your battery.

    Unless you need to catch a train and you forgot to charge at night or similar cases where time is at a premium, use the slowest charger you have.

    Hell, I even charge my iPad with my iPhone charger.

    Yeah takes forever, but when I’m at my desk using my Mac for a few hours what difference does it really make? Exactly, none.

  • Hunter926

    Hey Christian, do you know if anyone has put a watt meter to the chargers to really see the difference and how many watts they take? Like Kill-a-watt? Just curious, because this whole time measurement seems to include to much room for human error. For example I’ve seen evidence saying the 29watt is faster. A watt meter would give the most accurate reading showing how much power the device is consuming during the entire process assuming you take readings throughout the charging cycle.