the iPhone 12 will be the first Apple phone to come without a charging brick in the box, and it won’t have EarPods either. Combined with the move to a Lightning to USB-C cable, that means many new buyers won’t have the charger they need to power their phones. If you are ready for a phone upgrade, you also need a charger upgrade.
There are a few options here. The cheapest is to just find an old Lightning to USB-A cable – you might have one from an old iPhone, iPad, or AirPod, and it should work with an old charger as well. An Apple MacBook charger with USB-C will work well, although this is a less ideal solution, since it’s a big brick (offering a lot more charge than you need) and it only has only one USB-C port. You’ll need to replace it with your laptop or charge through your laptop’s USB-C ports if you want to have one for both.
A better solution is to get a dedicated charging brick. There has been a surprising innovation in these ubiquitous gadgets over the past few years: a new manufacturing process for gallium nitride (GaN) means that even the smallest can be extremely powerful.
If you are looking for the cheapest possible solution, this Aukey brick is what you are looking for. It’s a simple, one-port USB-C brick with an output power of 18 watts – the maximum for fast charging the iPhone 12. It’s only a few bucks, and it will work with anything, too. what other smartphone, although it will not maximize the charging speed on some Android devices. Pins fold up for convenient storage.
18-watt USB-C charger
If you want to charge multiple devices at once, spend a bit more on this model. It comes with a USB-C fast charging port and an additional USB-A port. With 30 watts of output, it can handle any iPhone and an accessory on the USB-A charger, like AirPods or a spare USB battery. 30 watts is enough to charge an iPad Pro or MacBook Air at its maximum speed, as well as some smaller and less powerful laptops.
If you want to charge a more powerful laptop and your phone at the same time, you’ll need to figure out how much juice you need. For example, the 13-inch MacBook Pro needs 61 watts, while the 16-inch model needs 96 watts. This Aukey model should work for both a mid-range laptop and an iPhone.
Aukey 65 watt USB-C charger
If you have a much more powerful USB-C laptop, you will need this 100 watt charger. It can charge your phone and laptop at the same time.
Aukey 100 watt USB-C charger
And if you’re looking for a more complete upgrade, check out this Anker model. It can distribute 100 watts between two USB-C devices and two other USB-A devices, with a regular power cord for the outlet, as it’s a bit too much to hang on the wall.
Multi charger Anker 100 watts
Oh, and if you don’t have a pair of EarPods (or wireless headphones) and really want them, you can get a pair that uses the Lightning cable connection for a few extra bucks.
There will likely be a crash on USB-C chargers as the new iPhones approach. Get an order before then if you don’t want a headache when yours arrives.