Home / iPhone / The best iPhone 12 chargers starting at just $10 – CNET

The best iPhone 12 chargers starting at just $10 – CNET

Apple always put a USB cable, power adapter and a pair of wired EarPod headphones in new iPhone boxes — until the release of the iPhone 12 series, which doesn’t include a power adapter or headphones in the box. All that’s included is a USB-C-to-Lighting cable, which offers the fastest charging speeds if you pair it with the right Apple iPhone charger.

Apple’s new 20-watt USB-C power adapter sells for $19, which is $10 less than its overpriced and discontinued 18-watt USB-C power adapter. But several attractive alternatives can be considered among the best iPhone chargers. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite Apple device chargers to give a boost to your battery life, many available for less than $20 and some even less than $10. A few quick ground rules before we start: 

  • You’ll need a charger with a USB-C port, or you’ll need to get a USB-A-to-USB-C adapter. At the prices below, you might as well just get a new charger. 
  • Two ports are always better than one, allowing you to charge two phones at once, or a phone and an accessory like wireless headphones.
  • Chargers with USB-C or PD (power delivery) support can generally charge devices faster than chargers with USB-A ports.
  • Higher wattage is better up to a point. But getting 18 watts or better will allow you to charge tablets and even a Nintendo Switch. Get 65 watts or more and you can charge most newer laptops, too.
  • Many of these new chargers use a new, fast semiconductor material called gallium nitride (or GaN) that is replacing the old, slow, silicon chip. Chargers with “GaNFast” have a charging speed up to 3x faster than traditional chargers — and they’re half the size and weight. They’re compatible with everything in today’s Apple range from AirPods and the iPhone 12 all the way to the big 16-inch MacBook Pro. They might not be optimal for an older iPhone model, however.
  • Every charger here can also juice up an Android phone (so long as you supply a compatible charging cord/ USB cable) and the Nintendo Switch.

While there are a plethora of charging brands available, we can broadly recommend three phone charger brands: Anker, Aukey and RAVPower. All three have similar offerings at similar wattage, and prices fluctuate almost daily. Our latest iPhone favorites are below, including some power bank (battery), wireless, charging stand and car options. We’ve used all of these over the past few months (or their direct predecessors).

None of these incorporate Apple’s new MagSafe charging standard — an upgrade from the lightning connector. That’s brand new and will have a price premium for the foreseeable future — don’t expect to pay less than $39

While we haven’t yet tested these iPhone charger models with the iPhone 12, they should all work based on our experience with previous iPhone models. We’ll update this periodically in our quest for the absolute best iPhone charger.

Read more: Best headphones for iPhone 12


Just looking for a compact single-port fast-charger? We’ve seen the Aukey 18-watt PD charger is available for as low as $7.69 (black version, if you have Amazon Prime, after an on-screen coupon is clipped) and has foldable plugs. In white, it’s a bit more, for some reason. The newer 20-watt model will run you $15, if you’re looking for a bit more juice.

David Carnoy/CNET

Anker’s Nano is literally the size of old Apple’s 5W USB charger that used to ship with iPhones but offers 20W charging. Featuring Anker’s PowerIQ 3.0 technology, it charges more than 2.5x faster than that 5W charger (with a USB-C to Lightning cable). It was recently upgraded from 18W to 20W.


A GaNFast charger that uses gallium nitride (or GaN) technology, Spigen’s 20W ArcStation Pro is one of the smallest fast USB-C chargers you’ll find. While the Anker Nano is a bit smaller, it doesn’t have a foldable plug like this model. Using a USB-C to Lightning cable, it charges close to 3x faster than Apple’s standard 5W USB charger. 


You could argue which is the better deal, this 30-watt dual-port charger or the Aukey wall charger below. The Aukey has a slightly more appealing design, but they are very similar otherwise, with the USB-C port delivering the full 30 watts of juice if used alone and 18 watts if used while charging a second device via the USB-A port, which delivers 12 watts of charging. It’s currently selling for $16 (be sure to “clip” the coupon), and has dipped as low as $10. It, too, is a GaNFast charger.



With this 30-watt Aukey charger, you can charge both an iPhone and iPad at the same time. If you’re only using the USB-C port to charge, it delivers the full 30 watts and can charge a smaller MacBook. Use both ports and the output drops to 18 watts for USB-C and 12 watts for USB-A charging port.

It’s usually about $20, but was selling for as low as $13 during Prime Day sales.


I bought this portable charger and like it a lot. Not only is it capable of fast charging but it’s got a low profile so it sits flush with your 12-volt port. It has both USB-C and USB-A ports for charging.

It lists for about $15 but frequently goes on sale. I picked it up for $9, but it’s currently selling for closer to $10.


No, this isn’t a fancy new MagSafe charger — but it doesn’t cost $60, either. I like this RAVPower charging pad because it’s relatively inexpensive and comes with a power adapter that allows you to get the faster 10-watt wireless charging speeds (some top out at 7.5 watts, and a lot of cheap wireless charging pads don’t include a power adapter). It lists for $23, but there’s currently a $6 instant coupon that brings the price down to $17. It’s been as low as $16.


This svelte Anker 30-watt charger with foldable plugs is pocket friendly and can charge your iPhone impressively fast with a USB-C-to-Lighting cable. Like many other compact chargers, this uses gallium nitride (or GaN) technology.


Another GaNFast charge, this compact 65-watt USB-C charger will not only charge your iPhone at maximum speed (if you spring for a USB-C-to-Lightning cable), it also charges most USB-C charging laptops. Additionally, you can charge a second device via the USB-A port. 


Another good choice in the best all-around wall charger category is RAVPower’s 65-watt dual-port charger. It’s very similar to the Aukey and often costs within a few bucks of the same price. (Wait for frequent sales, when it dips under $30.) This is also a GaNFast charger.

David Carnoy/CNET

While the Omnia 100-watt USB-C PD Charger is designed to be able to charge larger laptops like the MacBook Pro 16-inch, it will charge any laptop that charges via USB-C, as well as smartphones and tablets at their maximum charging rate (it automatically adjusts its charging output for the device). It should be able to charge most laptops in two hours or less (yes, this is a GaNFast charger).

Apple’s 96-watt USB-C charger costs $79, so this Aukey is about half its price and also significantly smaller. (A $10 instant coupon on Amazon brings the price down to $30). 


Why carry around both a power adapter and a portable battery when you can have both in one device? We loved the earlier version of this model, and now it’s back with both USB-A and USB-C ports, with power up to 18 watts. Yes, it’s bigger and heavier than most of the power adapters on this list, because it does have that integrated battery. 


This Power Bank from Aukey has both wired and wireless charging options. If you use the USB-C port, you can get 18 watts of charging. Go wireless and lay your phone on the charging dock battery and it will wirelessly charge at 10 watts, which is where the iPhone currently maxes out for wireless charging. You’re paying a premium, but this phone charger unit has a massive battery (20,000 mAh), a built-in kickstand and a digital readout listing the remaining charge. It comes with a USB-A-to-USB-C cable, but you’ll need to supply an adapter to charge it. We’ve seen the price dip to below $38 — that’s when it’s a good time to buy.

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