After many years of rumors, the second-generation iPhone SE is here. At $399, it is the most inexpensive iPhone Apple has sold since the original iPhone SE came out. And while the new SE comes with Apple's typical five-watt power adapter, the smartphone supports fast charging — you just need to get a fast charger separately.
Right now, the only iPhone models that actually come with Apple's fast charger are the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, despite fast charging appearing on every iPhone since the iPhone 8 models. But when it comes to buying a fast charger for your 2020 iPhone SE, you're not stuck with Apple's offering. There are plenty of good fast chargers on the market, some of which running cheaper than Apple's versions.
Since the second-gen iPhone SE supports wireless charging, you could opt for a 7.5-watt or larger Qi-certified wireless charging pad to get a little boost in charging speed over the 5-watt adapter. But those have nothing on the 18-watt charging speeds you can get with a cable and the right adapter, where you can get up to a 50% charge in just 30 minutes.
Technically, you won't need just a fast charger; you also need to get a USB Type-C cable with a Lightning connecter on one end to go with it.
While you can opt for the Apple's 18-watt USB-C power adapter ($23) — the same one included with the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max — and its Lightning to USB-C cable ($19 for one meter, $35 for two), you end up spending at least over $40. But with the right third-party options, you can get much more for the same price.
Let's start with the cable. If you already have Lightning to USB-C wire, go ahead and skip to the power brick section to see our favorite options for that part of the puzzle.
1. Lightning to USB-C Cable
Because your iPhone SE (2nd generation) doesn't have a USB Type-C port, you need a cable with a Lightning header and a USB-C header. The usage of the Lightning connector will result in a higher price than, say, Apple's USB-C to USB-C cable, but that doesn't mean you can't find third-party options that are much cheaper.
Our favorite right now is Adprotech's silver Lightning to USB-C cable. It's currently going for $11.99 for six feet, which is just slightly smaller than Apple's two-meter cable but $23 less expensive. It's also a nylon-braided cable, which improves durability. Plus, if you buy it on Amazon, there's currently a 10% off coupon to reduce the price further.
Adprotech also sells a similar model, which is basically the same thing, in different sizes and colors. There's a black 3.3-foot ($11.99) or six-foot cable ($12.99) (with 10% off coupon), a red 3.3-foot cable ($11.99), and a six-foot silver cable ($11.99) (with 10% off coupon).
If you need an extra cable, pick up the Eashion's USB-C to Lightning cable two-pack for $10.99. It comes with one three-foot and one five-foot cable similar to Apple's, so you can fast-charge at home and work or wherever with a durable, cheaper option. (Note: Eashion also sold a black nylon-coated version of the two-pack, but it's not available at this time.)
2. 18-Watt Power Adapter
The second component needed is a power adapter. Specifically, one that supports USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) 2.0 or newer. Each version of Power Delivery introduces new safety features to charge devices without overheating. All of the options we recommend are using the latest standard, USB-PD 3.0.
The 18-watt RAVPower wall charger comes with a USB-C port to fast-charge your iPhone, as well as a USB Type-A for your other electronics or when charging your iPhone at typical speeds. When a single port is used, it will charge at up to 18 watts. Using both ports will reduce the power wattage to both devices, but each port will still be pushing out 15 watts. That's still a decent fast-charging speed. The charger is $9 less than the official power adapter from Apple, and it comes in black or white.
For those of you in the market for a more compact design, Aukey's 18-watt PA-F1 power adapter ($8.99) is a perfect choice. The space-saving design features a foldable two-prong plug, which also protects the prongs from damage during transport.
If you prefer to use one charger for multiple devices, Aukey's 36-watt PA-D2 fast charger ($20.99 for black; $27.99 for white) is your best bet. For a few dollars less or only a few dollars more than the Apple's power adapter, you get two USB-C ports so you can charge both your iPhone and iPad with the same charger at fast-charging speeds. Plus, it also has the foldable prongs for safer transport.
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