Skip to content

iPhone charging speeds: wireless vs. wired vs. fast charging

All iPhones in Apple’s current range support both wireless and wired charging, and they have done for a number of years. What’s more, recent iPhones also support MagSafe charging.

So how fast is each method, and which chargers can you use? Also – while we’re on the subject, what’s the best way to “fast charge” an iPhone or iPad?

Wireless charging

This is a feature that’s available on all iPhones from the 8 series onwards. If you own that or a subsequent iPhone (including the iPhone SE 2 and 3), you can make use of Qi wireless charging.

Just place the device on a generic Qi charging pad and it’ll start gaining juice. There’s a 7.5W maximum for wireless charging in this way.

Either way, though, this type of charging can never be as efficient as a wired connection, nor indeed can it be as fast as MagSafe charging.

MagSafe charging

If you own an iPhone 12 or later, you can also take advantage of MagSafe charging. Fit one of Apple’s bespoke magnetized wireless chargers to the back of your iPhone, and it will charge at 15W – double the speed of standard Qi wireless charging.

It’s worth pointing out that Apple’s work with MagSafe has fed directly into the Qi2 wireless charging standard, which is the follow-up to the aforementioned Qi. Set to hit the market imminently, generic Qi2 chargers will closely resemble MagSafe.

Indeed, Qi2 chargers will work with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, while iOS 17.2 extended Qi2 support to the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14.

Wired charging

All iPhones and all iPads can charge using any official Apple adapter without harming the device, so it’s safe to mix and match despite the chargers varying in power. Take a look at the small print on the adapter to see the wattage you’re dealing with.

Up to and including the iPhone 11, Apple shipped a slow 5W charger with its smartphones, which will charge modern iPhones and iPads extremely slowly. Ever since the iPhone 12 in 2020, Apple has not shipped a charger in the box.

Apple continues to supply a 20W charger with each of its iPads. It also ships chargers with its entire MacBook range, ranging from 30W right up to 140W.

All of these chargers can be used safely with any iPhone or iPad, as they automatically limit power consumption to appropriate levels for the specific device. All you need is to supply the appropriate USB-C or Lightning connector, which Apple continues to ship with every device it sells.

Fast charging

All iPhones from the iPhone 8 onwards, and every iPad from the iPad Pro (1st gen) onwards, support fast charging. This means that they can be charged from 0% to 50% in just half an hour using a charger with the appropriate wattage.

To guarantee fast charging speeds, make sure you use at least a 20W charger, and note that charging will always be slower in extremely hot or cold environments.