If you just got a new iPhone, chances are you picked up the iPhone 11, successor to the iPhone XR, the most popular device in Apple's 2018 series. Since the XR did so well, it was predicted that the iPhone 11 would too, and so far, it has lived up to that prediction, beating the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max in sales in 2019.
However, one thing missing out of the box that the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max models have is a fast charger, even though the iPhone 11 is capable of fast charging. In fact, any iPhone since the iPhone 8 can charge faster with the right cable and power adapter.
Getting Apple's 18W USB-C Power Adapter ($29) and USB-C to Lightning cable ($19) for your iPhone 11 will set you back at least $48 plus tax and shipping. If you want to charge your iPhone 11 (or iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, XS, XS Max, or XR) to 50% power in 30 minutes, there are cheaper solutions out there that will do the same if not a better job. In general, for fast charging, you need two things:
Let start with the cable. But if you already have a USB-C to Lightning wire, you can go ahead and skip to the section filled with power bricks.
Because Apple hasn't made the switch to USB-C ports on the iPhone, the cost of third-party cables isn't dirt cheap since third-party manufacturers have to pay a licensing fee to use Apple's Lightning technology. That raises the cost for third parties, but there are still cheaper options than Apple's.
Anker is one of the most trusted brands in USB cables. Its Powerline II comes in a three-foot cable, which is $15.99 (currently on sale for $11.99). For just one dollar more, you can get its six-foot-long cable, which is a full $18 cheaper than Apple's six-footer. Anker also offers nylon-braided Powerline+ II cables, but they're more expensive, costing $21.99 and $23.99 for the three-foot and six-foot cables, respectively.
For an even cheaper option, try the Jsaux USB-C to Lightning cable. It's four or six feet long, Apple MFi-certified, and works with USB-PD fast charging bricks. Also, like the more expensive Ankers above, it's nylon-braided. Right now, the four-foot and six-foot cable start at $13.99. That's a $21 savings over Apple's longest option.
Another option is the Poweradd USB-C to Lightning Cable for $12.99 (regularly $19.99). It's also 3.3 feet and Apple MFi-certified. Plus, it has a nylon-braided sheath, adding extra durability not found in Apple's cables.
Another trusted name, Aukey, offers a 3.9-foot long cable (a little bit longer than official cable) at $10.99, which is also braided for extra durability.
The second component you need is the power adapter, and that's where things can get tricky. Since Apple uses USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) to provide fast charging, you need a power adapter that supports the standard. USB-PD has come a long way, and like other fast charging methods, it has different versions. The version the iPhone 11 supports is USB-PD 2.0 or newer.
Finally, there is the wattage. With USB-PD, the cable, power adapter, and phone communicate with each other before any power starts moving. What makes USB-PD so unique is that it sends out a higher amount of power if the device needs it but can still provide charge to devices that don't need as much power. In the case of the iPhone 11, the phone is only capable of using up to 18-watts of power officially (though, according to Weibo, it may be able to support up to 22 watts), so higher wattage won't make it charge faster.
Apple's 18W USB-C Power Adapter will set you back $29, so thankfully there are cheaper options.
RAVPower has a compatible 18-Watt USB-C Power Adapter for $19.99, which is $9 cheaper than Apple's. Not only does it have a USB-C PD port, but it also has an additional USB Type-A port to charge another device. If you use both ports at the same time, the power output drops to 15 watts on both ports.
You can also look at Aukey, which offers a super-compact 18-watt charger at $19.99 as well. What's great about this charger is that it not only takes a minimal amount of space but comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee and a two-year warranty that includes product replacement.
Quntis makes an excellent option as well. Its USB-C Wall Charger 18W PD includes a six-foot charging cable, so you have room to move your iPhone once it's plugged in. And for peace of mind, it even comes with a lifetime worry-free product guarantee. It goes for $23.99 right now.
What if you want to fast-charge an iPhone and another device? While you could use the RAVPower 18-watt charger above, you won't get full fast charging. You'll need to grab a charger with a higher power output to get true fast charging on both devices (or just two iPhones).
Aukey makes an excellent 30-watt charger that offers 18 watts of power to both ports when used simultaneously. And it's only $26.99. Yes, that's only $3 less than Apple's 18W charger, but you can fast-charge twice as many devices. That's sure to come in handy.
Even with our most expensive cable and the Aukey charger, you will still save compared to Apple's cheapest combination. You'll also get more flexibility and features, like a more durable cable, dual ports on the power adapter, and a much longer warranty (the cable has a lifetime warranty).