Apple does, however, include a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box. It’s a more modern cable than what has historically been included (we’re looking at you, regular ol’ USB cable).
If you’re still using your USB-A cable of yore, you likely don’t have a USB-C wall plug lying around. Sure, you can opt to use the classic 5-watt adapter and a USB-A cable from an older iPhone — but, with that, you won’t see fast-charging speeds on the iPhone 12. And since there are literally thousands of fast-charging 20-watt plugs out there, we’ve been putting them to the test alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro so you can power up quickly.
We’ve focused on three chargers that strike value with the number of watts (aka the maximum speed of charging):
At just $16.99, originally $19.99, this charger is both smaller in size and cheaper than Apple’s own 20-watt charger. It has some super-neat tech inside — gallium nitride, or GaN, is replacing silicon inside. These electrical components, which power the charge, are both smaller than silicon and don’t get as hot. Even when deep into a charge, the brick does not get overly warm to the touch. And with a single USB-C port on the front, it works with the included cable that comes with your iPhone.
During our tests, charging speeds with the Nano were lighting quick.
For our charging testing, we ensured the iPhone’s battery was fully drained. After just two minutes and 16 seconds of being plugged in, the Apple logo appeared and the iPhone turned itself back on. And at three minutes and 42 seconds, it was already at 10%.
We should note that, generally, iPhones are quicker to charge in the beginning and slow down as they reach closer to 100%. This goes back to the technology inside the lithium ion battery. At 15 minutes flat, the iPhone 12 Pro reached 27%, and at just 27 minutes it was already at 50%. It fully reached 100% in under one hour.
At $29.99, Belkin’s Boost Charge 30-watt USB-C charger costs a bit more but also provides an extra 10 watts of power. Like Anker’s Nano, Belkin is using GaN tech inside for a fast charge that doesn’t create an exhaustive amount of heat. Size is a bit different here, though; Belkin’s charger is larger at about 1.5 times the size of the Nano. The two wall prongs can collapse in for storage as more of a square.
And if you want to charge more than just your iPhone, 30 watts is also enough to make a dent with an iPad Pro 12.9-inch, a MacBook and even a MacBook Air. With our iPhone 12 Pro, it hit 50% at 30 minutes in and 80% at 55 minutes. Still seriously impressive, but it also took a bit more to get going and deliver those faster charging speeds in comparison to the Anker Nano.
With either Anker or Belkin, you’re definitely getting a faster speed over the classic 5-watt charger that Apple used to ship. In our testing, that averages 15% of charge in 30 minutes.
At just $19, Apple’s 20-watt USB-C plug is one of the most affordable products from the company. In fact, it replaces the $29 18-watt charger while adding a bit more speed. It’s billed as the fast-charging accessory to pair with your iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max.
In our testing, it charged both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro to 50% in just 30 minutes. It was plugged into a dedicated outlet and tested with the included USB-C cable.
At the end of the day, the route for fast charging really depends on what price point and design you’re looking for. Anker’s Nano is our favorite for the sheer size and speed. Oh, and it’s on sale for just $16.99 right now.
We’ve also rounded up some epic cases and screen protectors that are designed for the iPhone 12 family.