Apple likes to brag that its modern iPhones, like the iPhone X, 11, and SE, support 18-watt fast charging. But the charging accessories that come with iPhones have a max speed of just 5 watts. If you want to reach that maximum 18-watt speed, then it’s time to buy a new charging cable.
Welcome to ICYDK (In Case You Didn’t Know), a series where we offer tips and tricks that aren’t necessarily new but may have gone under the radar or otherwise not be well known.
But which cable should you buy? According to Apple, the iPhone can only reach its max charging speed with a USB-C to Lightning cable. I suggest using the Anker Lightning to USB-C cord because it’s 6-feet long, Apple-certified, and surprisingly well-made. It’s also half the price of Apple’s official USB-C to Lightning cable, which is a serious plus.
If you don’t own a USB-C power brick, then you’ll need to buy one of those, too. Any USB-C adapter that supports Power Delivery (PD) will work, but I suggest grabbing Aukey’s inexpensive 18-watt brick. It’s the cheapest USB-C PD adapter that you’ll find from a reliable brand, and it’s powerful enough to charge the iPhone at top speed. Aukey also sells an affordable USB-C PD adapter for cars, in case you want to charge at full speed on the go.
Okay, but what if you don’t want to drop $30 on charging accessories? You could always use your iPhone’s included Lightning cable with a 12-watt USB-A brick. That’ll double your device’s charging speed and save you a cool $15. Just keep in mind that USB-A devices are falling out of popularity. Over time, you’ll get more use out of newer, faster USB-C accessories.