With the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple finally included a fast charger. They both come packed with an 18W fast charger and a Lightning to USB-C cable. Unfortunately, the basic iPhone 11 comes with just the regular 5W USB-A to lightning charger, an outdated and slow adapter found on previous iPhone versions.
Thus, you may be wondering whether or not you should buy the one that comes with the iPhone 11 Pro and the Pro Max. If not, then what the best fast charger is, and how to pick up the one that charger the phone at its top speed.
Original charging solutions for the iPhone 11
Out of the box, the iPhone 11 comes with a 5W (5V/1A) charger, which is not only slow but also uses a USB-A to lightning cable. Apple’s fast chargers, however, use the USB-C output standard, which is capable of delivering power faster than previous USB standards. Thus, for fast charging the iPhone 11, you’ll need to buy not only a wall adapter but also a USB-C to Lightning cable.
2m Apple charging cable
Apple offers the original 1m Lightning to USB-C cable for $19 and a longer, 2-meter version for $33. Getting your hands on one won’t be much of a problem, as you can go to the nearest Apple Store or order it directly from Apple online or Amazon. This is your best bet for a solid iPhone 11 charging cable.
20W Apple charger for iPhone 11
If you intend to use the fast-charging adapter with the iPhone 11 only, then the 20W USB-C power adapter is one of the best options.
Non-Apple alternatives for the iPhone 11 charger
The first thing that you need to know is that buying a high-wattage charger is useless unless the smartphone is compatible. In the case of the iPhone 11, the maximum wattage input that it’s able to take is 22.5W (9V/2.5A). Thus, buying a charger with an output beyond 30W to fast-charge the iPhone 11 is impractical.
Anker Nano II 30W Charger
As a competitive alternative to Apple’s 30W USB-C charger, we suggest the Anker Nano II 30W Fast Charger. This is the latest iteration in Ankers famous Nano charger series. If you want to also charge your Mac using the same charger, then you might want to have a look at the 65W version.
RAVPower 30W Charger
Another option that will charge your iPhone 11 in the fastest time possible is the RAVPower 30W charger. It comes with two ports (USB type C and USB type A), so you can use it to charge two different devices at once. The foldable prongs make it easier to carry around too.
A quick glance at the iPhone 11
On September 10, 2019, Apple unveiled its newer iPhone (the successor to the iPhone XR), and surprisingly, three different versions were presented to the public: the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Max.
The thirteenth generation of the iPhone was finally released on September 20, 2019. Besides being available in six different colors, it features considerable technical improvements over its predecessor, most notably its double-lens rear camera system for the iPhone 11, and triple-lens for the iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Max.
Besides the revolutionary camera, another undoubted highlight is the inclusion of the A13 Bionic chip, a 64-bit six-core CPU. Compared to the A12, the two high-performance cores of the A13 consume 30% less power, while the four high-efficiency cores consume 40% less power, which results in longer battery life.
In regards to battery, all three models come with significantly larger capacities than the iPhone XS. The iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro come with a 3110mAh and a 3046mAh battery capacity, respectively, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max comes with a larger capacity of 3969mAh. The reduction of power consumption and the bigger battery size clearly indicate that iPhone 11 owners can enjoy a longer battery life.
Comparing the different types of Apple chargers
The following picture illustrates a charging test with 3 different chargers:
- The 5W charger that comes with the iPhone 11.
- The 18W USB-C charger that comes with the Pro versions with a Lightning to USB-C cable.
- The 61W 13″ MacBook Pro USB-C charger.
With a fast charger, the total time taken to charge goes down to less than 2 hours. That’s a notable improvement, but most importantly, it dramatically reduces the charging time from 0% to 80%, which is what most people are going to appreciate. Your iPhone 11 will charge to 50% in just 30 minutes and to 80% in around an hour. After that though, the phone will take another hour to charge to 100%.
The explanation for these results is simple. The 5W wall charger operates at 5V/1A, the 18W charger does so at 9V/2A, while the 61W adapter charges at 9V/2.47A, and its power is 22.31W.
As can be seen, there was barely any difference between the 61W and the 18W charger, but a very significant difference between the charging times when the 5W is involved. The charging speed from 0–80% is almost 3 times faster on the higher wattage chargers compared to 5W, and from 0–100% is twice as fast.
That been said, fast-charging for the iPhone 11 usually occurs at 9V maximum, so what varies is the current being pulled (2.5 max), and thus the Watts. (Remember that Watts is the result of the Volts multiplied by Amps). The iPhone 11 does support a maximum of 15V PD charging, which is above the value at which the Apple 29W charger operates (14.5V) given that it lacks the 9V range. However, the 14.5V voltage difference is too large and the temperature rise is very exaggerated, which is why Apple has discontinued the 29W charger and replaced it with the 30W model.
Does a longer cable affect charging speeds?
Ideally, the length of the cable should not have a big impact on charging your device, and here’s a quick explanation.
Generally, chargers do not supply the same voltage as stated in their specifications. They lose some of it due to several factors, which is why it’s modeled as a voltage V with a series resistance (Rs). The cable also opposes resistance to the flow of voltage, so we’ll call it Rc. Finally, your device represents the load and it’s also modeled with a resistance, which we’ll denominate Rl.
The current flowing through the mobile will be V/(Rl + Rs + Rc), with Rl (ohms) being undoubtedly larger than Rs and Rc (milliohms). What occurs is that if the cable has a poor cross-section, the resistance can reach values in ohms, and therefore, there will be less current flowing. Coincidentally, fast charging occurs at a higher Amperage, so this means that your phone will charge more slowly.
So, how can you choose a cable that will work with fast charging? Well, if you need a longer cable, you should look for one with a strong cross-section (thickness), as a lengthier and thicker cable works the same as a short and thin cable.
The bottom line is that as long as the charger you pick is from a renowned brand, offers PD charging, and has a minimum power of 18W, you can be sure that your iPhone 11 will charge faster than the one that comes in the box. Ideally, the better options are chargers in the 24W – 30W range since they ensure the average output of 22.5W.