3What to Look For in a Phone Charger in 2023
You might be wondering why you might need to purchase a charger nowadays, when phones typically come with its own charger. The reality is that Apple, Google, Samsung, and other companies are all ditching the slow and under-performing chargers traditionally included with new smartphones.
In the case of Apple, you’ll need a better-than-stock charger if you want your iPhone to charge quickly, so the lack of an included brick isn’t the end of the world.
If you’re looking for a charger for your smartphone, tablet, or even laptop, you’ll need to keep in mind the type of cable you want to use with it. More and more devices are now shipping with USB-C chargers, which use a universal and reversible connector.
Even if your smartphone omitted the power adapter in the box, most manufacturers still include this cable. If you need a cable, check out our guide to the best USB-C cables you can buy.
You may also own older devices that use USB-A cables. These are the non-reversible fiddly connector types of old, most of which have two signature open holes on the top to help you guide your way in. Some chargers support both USB-C and USB-A in different slots, which is handy if you have a range of devices.
You’ll also want to try and take advantage of any fast-charging capabilities that your gadgets have. Buying a charger capable of fast charging is a good decision that will pay off in the future, even if your current devices don’t support it.
Chargers are generally rated in wattage, with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge standard topping out at 27W. The more common USB Power Delivery 3.0 (USB-PD) standard can hit 100W, with the upcoming USB-PD 3.1 reaching 240W over a single USB-C cable.
The latest high-tech chargers forego silicon in favor of gallium nitride (GaN), which allows for more efficient charging since they lose less energy as heat. These chargers can also be much smaller than the older silicon-based chargers that they replace.
Some proprietary charging methods work best with proprietary chargers. One example of this is Apple’s 16-inch 2021 MacBook Pro, which uses up to 140W over USB-C for fast charging. In cases like this, it may be best to stick with first-party chargers. And then there are the other charger types, like wireless chargers, car chargers, and charging stations designed to charge all manner of devices simultaneously.
Now, let’s get into the best chargers for you to purchase right now.
Best Phone Charger Overall: TECKNET 65W Three-PortTECKNET
- ✓ Charge up to three devices simultaneously
- ✓ Two USB-C ports
- ✓ Single USB-A port
- ✓ Small and efficient GaN design with foldable wall adapter
- ✗ Charging multiple devices will split total power output between devices
- ✗ Limited laptop charging support, particularly when two or more ports in use
- ✗ No charging cables in the box
If you’re looking for a charger that can charge all of your smartphones and tablets in one tidy package, it’s hard to beat TECKNET’s 65W three-port fast wall charger. It features two USB-C ports that can output up to 65W in single charge mode and a single USB-A port for older devices with a maximum output of 30W.
This wall adapter will fast charge most smartphones, including the iPhone 13 range and Samsung Galaxy S21. There’s enough juice for tablets like the iPad Pro and even laptops that support USB-PD like the MacBook Air and many Windows ultrabooks.
The charger uses GaN technology rather than silicon, which means it’s small and efficient with a weight of only 110g. It’s one of the best portable chargers you can buy, with a collapsible design that makes it easy to store in a bag or pocket.
Best Overall Charger
TECKNET 65W Three-Port Charger
TECKNET's 65W three-port GaN charger can charge up to three devices simultaneously, with enough power to fast charge most smartphones and tablets, plus support for many USB-PD laptops.
Best iPhone and iPad Charger: Apple 20W Power AdapterApple
- ✓ Small, lightweight, and pocketable 20W charger
- ✓ A single USB-C output for charging iPhones, iPads, and non-Apple gadgets
- ✓ Clean look matches your Apple devices and first-party cables
- ✗ A single USB-C port may be limiting for some
- ✗ No USB-A compatibility, though you can replace your old USB-A to Lightning cable
- ✗ The Apple tax is real
For a charger that works with iPhone or iPad, Apple’s 20W USB-C wall adapter does the job just fine. It has a single USB-C port that supports fast charging of all compatible iPhone models, the iPad range, and the more demanding iPad Pro range.
If you have an older iPhone that shipped with a USB-A to Lightning cable, you can switch to a USB-C to Lightning cable and charge that way instead. You can also use this charger to power non-Apple devices with fast charging abilities up to 20W, providing the cable uses a USB-C connector.
If you’re an iPhone or iPad owner that likes keeping your chargers first-party for peace of mind and aesthetic reasons, this USB-C adapter should tick all of the boxes. You can grab an Apple 30W charger for a bit more cash, but if you don’t need that additional power, then you’re better off saving money and weight on the smaller 20W model.
Best iPhone/iPad Charger
Apple 20W Power Adapter
Apple's own 20W USB-C charger is perfect for charging your iPhone or iPad. It can fast-charge your iPhone or non-Apple smartphone, power your iPad, and other devices that sip up to 20W power.
Best Wall Charger: Amazon Basics 100W Four-PortAmazon
- ✓ A true budget powerhouse, charge up to four devices simultaneously
- ✓ A single 100W USB-C connector for more power-hungry devices like laptops
- ✓ Another 18W USB-C and two USB-A connectors at up to 17W each
- ✓ Collapsible power adapter design, and rounded edges
- ✗ Total power output depends on how many devices you have connected
- ✗ Only a single USB-C port supports 100w charging
- ✗ Different colors have different power rating and ports
Amazon Basics usually represents the budget option, but the Amazon Basics four-port 100W charger offers far more than just good value. It has two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports, which allows fast charging for the vast majority of smartphones, tablets, and maybe even your laptop.
All four ports can be used simultaneously to charge devices, though be aware that power output will be divided between these devices. That means thirstier devices like laptops that use 65W of power or more may need to be charged alone. The charger uses GaN technology, so it’s smaller and lighter than comparable silicon models.
A foldable wall adapter makes it easier to travel with or store the charger. Just be careful when choosing a color since different versions may have different power ratings and port configurations.
Best Wall Charger
Best Wireless Charger: Anker PowerWave 10W Qi-Certified ChargerAnker
- ✓ Charge devices wirelessly at up to 10W (Samsung Galaxy), 7.5w (iPhone), and 5w (other Qi devices)
- ✓ USB-A to Micro USB cable in the box
- ✓ Convenient and works through most smartphone cases
- ✓ Charge wireless earbuds too
- ✗ Slow charging for most devices
- ✗ No AC adapter in the box (requires a USB-A 5V/2A wall adapter)
- ✗ Get better performance from first-party wireless chargers
Wireless charging is slow yet handy for topping up. You often have to sacrifice charging speed for the convenience of “drop and go” charging, and that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. For this reason, it may not be worth spending too much on a wireless solution. This is why we like the budget-friendly Anker PowerWave 10W Qi-certified charger.
While there are some drawbacks, Anker’s design is solid and works through most smartphone cases. This no-frills wireless charging pad will only hit the full 10W with Samsung Galaxy devices like the S20 and Note 10. iPhones that can charge wirelessly will only use 7.5W, while Google’s Pixel 3 and other Qi-enabled devices sip just 5W. For the money, however, there’s not a lot to complain about.
There’s no AC adapter in the PowerWave’s box, which means you’ll need something that can output 5V/2A to pair with, like our wall charger pick.
If you have an iPhone and AirPods, you can use Apple’s MagSafe charger instead to wirelessly charge at a quicker pace than third-party alternatives. To use MagSafe charging through a case, you’ll need it to be MagSafe compatible, and there’s no AC adapter in the box, but overall it’s a good wireless charging pick for Apple products.
Best Wireless Charger
Anker PowerWave 10W Qi-Certified Charger
Charge Samsung Galaxy devices at up to 10W, iPhones at up to 7.5W, and other Qi-certified devices at 5W. You'll need to provide your own 5V/2A USB-A power adapter.
Best Car Charger: AINOPE Dual USB-C and USB-AAinope
- ✓ Charge USB-C (24W) and USB-A (18W) devices simultaneously
- ✓ All-metal construction and compact design
- ✓ USB-C to USB-C cable included
- ✗ Not enough USB-PD output for most laptops
If you need to charge your smartphone or tablet while driving or on long car trips but don’t have a direct plug-in, a car charger that connects to the cigarette lighter is a must. AINOPE’s dual USB charger ticks both the USB-A and USB-C boxes and can provide 24W of charge to the USB-PD port, or 18W to the Quick Charge port.
This allows you to fast charge your smartphone or power a tablet like the iPad Pro with a suitable cable. AINOPE even includes a USB-C to USB-C charger in the box, perfect for topping up most Android phones—although iPhone owners will need to supply their own Lightning cable.
The charger is solid with an all-metal body and uses a compact design that sits flush in most car outlets. It’s ideal if you use your iPhone or Android smartphone as a GPS navigator while driving so you don’t run out of power at an inopportune time.
Best Car Charger
AINOPE Dual USB-C and USB-A
Charge both USB-C and USB-A devices with up to 24W and 18W output respectively over USB-PD or Quick Charge 3.0. AINOPE even throws a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box, great for Android smartphones and tablets.
Best Charging Station: Techsmarter 11-Port Charging StationTechsmarter
- ✓ 100w USB-PD charging via USB-C
- ✓ Charge up to five smartphones or three notebooks
- ✓ Wireless charging for smartphones, earbuds, and more
- ✓ Storage for five devices while they charge
- ✗ May be overkill for many households
- ✗ You probably won't see 15w of charge from that wireless charger
- ✗ More storage bays would have been nice
A charging station should do it all, and that’s precisely the approach taken with Techsmarter’s 11-port USB and wireless charger. Five USB-C ports with up to 100W allow you to charge up to three notebooks or five fast-charging smartphones at a time. There are also five additional USB-A ports rated for 18W each.
The charging station also features a detachable 15W wireless charging pad, though be aware most devices will use 10W (Samsung), 7.5W (iPhone), or 5W at most due to manufacturer limitations. In other words, it’ll charge your devices to their maximum allowed wattage, but you may not be able to take full advantage of the station’s 15W.
There are five bays on top for storing smartphones and tablets while they charge, a feature that probably works best with short “patch” charging cables.
If you don’t need such a huge number of ports, the Amazon Basics four-port GaN charger might be better. But for homes that have multiple people needing to charge devices, Techsmarter’s charging station can’t be beat.
Best Charging Station
Techsmarter 11-Port Charging Station
Five USB-C and five USB-A ports with up to 100w fast charging and intelligent power distribution. Also features a single wireless charging pad with up to 15w output, and convenient storage for up to five devices.
The Best Portable Chargers of 2022
Best Portable Charger Overall
Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 Portable Charger
Best Budget Portable Charger
Iniu Portable Charger
Best Portable Charger for Laptops
Omni 20 Portable Charger
Best Portable Solar Charger
Goal Zero Nomad 7 Portable Charger
Best Rugged Portable Charger
Techsmarter 20,000mAh Rugged Power Bank
Best Small Portable Charger
Anker 321 PowerCore 5K
Best Portable Charger for iPhone