When it comes to tech, I’m great at making a new purchase. I do my research and buy a product that does a little more than I currently need because I know that I keep things for a while. If it’s working, why buy a new one?
I try to keep up but I’m bad about staying current once I’ve purchased something. For a computer or phone, I’ll download updates as they come available but that’s the extent of my effort. That’s why I was so surprised when I found out that there’s been a way to charge my iPhone faster. I wasn’t taking advantage of it for years.
In my experience, I use my phone a lot more when we’re traveling than when I’m at home. It’s my map, GPS, schedule keeper, flight tracker, food search helper, hotel key, social media updater and a theme park wait time display. All of that on top of serving all of the normal tasks of being a phone, email, messaging, camera and weatherman.
Needless to say, all those tasks take a toll on my battery life and with my reliable iPhone X, I’ll run out of charge by most evenings. If we stop back at the hotel, I’ll start to charge right away and get back enough battery life for the rest of the day. What I didn’t know is there’s a way to quick charge your iPhone.
Up until now, I’ve been using a USB charger (which is actually a USB-A connection). This is the same USB cord most people know for over a decade. The one where you have two ways to hold the plug but it often takes you three tries to plug it in. Unfortunately, a USB-A charging cable can only carry so much power. While that may have been sufficient to charge a battery in the iPhone 6 in 2014, it’s not great for the larger batteries in today’s smartphones.
I didn’t know that there’s a faster way to charge any iPhone from the 8 series up to the current iPhone 12. To do so, you need to use a USB-C charging cable. USB-C is the standard that most other smartphones and computers use. Apple has even adopted this technology into its iPad Pro and MacBooks. The new iPhone 12 comes with a USB-C to Lightning cable included, but no longer includes the power brick. For those of us with no USB-C accessories around the house, it’s not too expensive to upgrade.
You’ll need two things.
USB-C to Lightning cable
I mentioned above that the newest iPhone models come with this in the box and you can purchase the cable directly from Apple if you’re into paying extra for a so-so accessory. There are plenty of third party cables out there, that vary greatly in price and quality. I’m willing to pay a little extra for a quality product when electricity is involved.
I picked up this 6 ft. Anker cable from Amazon.com for $12.99
You’ll also need a new power brick.
USB-C Wall Plug
In purchasing this item, you have many choices. What you’re looking for is the power supplied by the outlet. This simple single outlet plug by Aukey goes for $14.99 and supplies 20W of power.
Since these items will be for when we’re traveling, I like to conserve our outlet usage. There are also multi-plug adapters available. Some of them have two USB-C ports but I think one that has USB-C and USB-A ports is best for our needs.
RAVPower offers a two-port charger with an 18W USB-C outlet and 12W USB-A outlet for $15.89.
I can’t personally vouch for these products as I’m just upgrading to a USB-C charger myself. The ones I mentioned above received good reviews from both professionals and in the comments (we don’t get any commission if you use the links above – I was just showing them as examples).
It costs less than $30 to upgrade your charging equipment so your iPhone will probably be ready to go out that evening before you will. I still can’t believe that it took me this long to learn there was a faster way to charge my phone.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary