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How to choose the best iPhone 11 charger

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.

iPhone 11 chargerThe 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 longer battery life. 

With the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple finally includes a fast charger. They both come packed with an 18W fast charger and a Lightning to USB-C cable that allows connection to current Mac computers. Unfortunately, the iPhone 11 still comes with the regular 5W USB-A to lightning charger, an outdated and slow adapter found on previous iPhone versions.

Thus, many iPhone 11 shoppers are wondering whether or not they should buy the same one that comes with the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 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.

Official Apple charging solutions for your iPhone 11

As previously mentioned, Apple keeps packing many of its iPhones with non-fast chargers. The iPhone 11 comes with a 5W (5V/1A) charger, which not only is slow but also uses a USB-A to lightning cable. Luckily, you can still get a fast charger for your iPhone 11 by investing some money on a higher wattage charger.

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.

The official Apple charging cable

Now, you must be wondering which cable is the best and if it’s a good idea to buy a longer one to make the charging experience a little more comfortable. Ideally, the length of the cable should not have a big impact on charging your device, and here’s a quick explanation.

A charger does not supply the same voltage sated in its specifications; it also loses some of it due to internal losses, 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, the current flowing will be less. 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.

To avoid headaches, it’s recommended to use original accessories with standard output. In this sense, Apple offers an official 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.

Apple Lightning to USB-C Cable (2 m)

  • works with any Apple device (iPhone, iPad, iPod)
  • works with any Apple wall charger: 29W, 61W, or 87W
  • 2 meters long
  • only comes in white

Last update on 2021-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The official Apple chargers

As customary, Apple sells chargers and cables separately, so after choosing the cable, now you need to decide on a fast-charging power adapter. If you intend to use the fast-charging adapter with the iPhone11 only, then the $23 official 18W USB-C power adapter is one of the best options.

Apple 18W USB-C Power Adapter

  • 18W max output
  • One USB-type-C port
  • Compatible with all Apple products
  • Does not come with a charging cable
  • Only comes in white

Last update on 2021-03-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you have other Apple devices, it’s likely you don’t even have to buy another adapter. For instance, the latest MacBook models are already pre-packed with a power adapter that is capable of covering all your fast-charging needs, including the iPhone 11. Besides, MacBooks from 2015 to date use USB-C-compatible charging blocks, so if you happen to own one these MacBook models, buying an extra cable for fast-charging your iPhone 11 won’t be necessary. However, if you don’t have one these MacBooks, you can still purchase the 30W USB-C power adapter, and use it with the Lightning to USB-C cable

Apple 30W USB-C Power Adapter

  • 30W max output
  • One USB-type-C port
  • Compatible with all Apple products
  • Does not come with a charging cable
  • Only comes in white

Last update on 2021-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Comparing the Apple wall chargers

The following picture illustrates a charging test with 3 different chargers:

iPhone 11 Charging Time

With a fast charger, the total time taken to charge goes down to less than 2 hours. That’s a notable reduction, but most importantly, it reduces dramatically the charging time, from 0-80%, 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.

Non-Apple alternatives for the iPhone 11 charger

The first thing that any user needs to know is that buying a high wattage charger is useless unless the smartphone is designed to operate at such. In the case of the iPhone 11, the maximum wattage input that it’s able to take is no more than 24 Watts. In fact, it will take 22.5W (9V/2.5A) in most cases, so a 30W charger will charge the iPhone 11 a bit faster than its included charger. 

On the other hand, choosing a wall charger not only depends on the power it can deliver; it also has to deal with the functionality you want to give it, such as if you intend to use with you MacBook, iPad, charging simultaneous devices, or even charging smartphones with other fast charging protocols (Qualcomm Quick Charge or Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge). Thus, spending on chargers with an output beyond 30W to fast-charge the iPhone 11 is impractical, especially if it comes with a single port.

As a competitive alternative to Apple’s 30W USB-C charger, we suggest the Anker PowerPort Atom III 60W Fast Charger. For $37.99, you’ll get a charger that it is well-built and equipped with a 45-watt USB-C port and a 15-watt USB-A port, which makes it highly compatible with any Apple and other brand devices. 

Anker 60W PIQ 3.0 & GaN Tech Dual Port Charger

  • 60W max output
  • Power IQ 3.0
  • GaN technology
  • Compatible with all Apple products
  • Compact and lightweight

Last update on 2021-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here’s why you should consider buying the Anker PowerPort Atom III:

  • It’s faster than the stock 18W iPhone 11 charger
  • It’s cheaper than the Apple 30W USB-C charger
  • It’s smaller and lighter
  • It has two different ports: USB-A and USB-C
  • It uses advanced GaN technology

Overview of the best chargers for iPhone 11

 Apple 5W ChargerApple 18W ChargerApple MacBook ChargerAnker PowerPort Atom III
Apple 5W ChargerApple 18W chargerApple MacBook ChargerHow to choose the best iPhone 11 charger 1
Max power output5W18W65W60W
Output portsUSB type AUSB type CUSB type CUSB type C and USB type A
Dimensions2.6 x 3.1 x 1.2 inches2.64 x 1.26 x 3.27 inches3.82 x 1.26 x 3.82 inches2.68 x 2.72 x 1.1 inches
Wegith0.634 ounces2.39 ounces5.6 ounces5 ounces
Price (it can vary)~$13~$23~$48~$38

Final Thoughts

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 with 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.