Apple recently unveiled the new range of iPhone 12 models as well as fancy new MagSafe wireless chargers. However, the phones themselves no longer ship with an AC adapter or power brick. Instead, they merely come with a USB-C to Lightning charging cable — one that happens to be incompatible with certain previous generation chargers. If you’re looking to get one of the new models, here’s a look at the best iPhone 12 USB-C chargers and more information about iPhone 12 compatible power adapters.
A note on iPhone 12 power adapter compatibility
Despite early rumors of full USB-C support, the latest generation of iPhones retain the company’s signature Lightning power port. As such, iPhone users who are upgrading to a new model will still be able to use their previous generation power adapters and cables.
However, this leaves new users unable to charge their phones without a separate purchase. The iPhone 12 ships without a power adapter, offering instead to include a single USB-C to Lightning cable. While USB-C is fast becoming the standard in modern tech, USB-C equipped power adapters are still relatively uncommon. Most so-called power bricks typically offer a USB-A connection — the common rectangular variant seen on PCs or video game consoles.
To make matters worse, the company’s new MagSafe chargers similarly ship without an included power adapter. As can be seen on the Apple website, the new MagSafe charger terminates in a USB-C connection, meaning it must be used with a USB-C power adapter.
This means that first-time Apple buyers who purchase an iPhone 12 will also need a compatible USB-C power adapter. Alternatively, they can always ditch the packed-in cable and opt for a standard USB-A charger coupled to a USB-A to Lightning cable.
Either way, you’ll still need something to charge to your phone. Fortunately, there are plenty of great iPhone 12 compatible USB-C chargers on the market, both Apple-endorsed and otherwise.
The best iPhone 12 USB-C power adapters
If you want to use the USB-C cable included with the iPhone 12 to charge your device, you’ll need a compatible power adapter. Thankfully, these aren’t hard to find. Many brands offer adapters that can charge an iPhone 12 through USB-C, including Apple itself as well as popular manufacturers such as Anker and RAVPower.
Here are our choices for the best iPhone 12 USB-C power adapters.
Apple 20W USB-C power adapter
The top of our list is the also most obvious: Apple’s own 20-watt USB-C charger. This is the lowest amount of power you’ll want, since the iPhone 12 page on Apple’s website indicates that users should opt for a 20W or higher adapter for fast-charge support. If you want more power — or if you want to charge up bigger Apple devices — you can instead opt for either a 30-watt or 61-watt adapter.
Anker Ultra-Compact 30W USB-C power adapter
Anker is a big name in the electronics world, and the company happens to have a few Apple-endorsed power adapters. The Anker Ultra-Compact 30W USB-C wall charger offers enough juice to keep any iPhone 12 model topped up without taking up too much space.
Anker Nano 20W USB-C fast charger
Like the aforementioned Ultra-Compact charger, the Anker Nano 20-watt USB-C adapter is small and powerful. The company’s proprietary PowerIQ 3.0 technology supports iPhone 12 fast charging, and it’s similarly small to boot. Best of all, since it doesn’t come from Apple, it’s around $30 cheaper than the Ultra-Compact model listed above.
RAVPower 61W USB-C PD fast charger
RAVPower may not have the prestige of Anker, but their products are no less popular. In some ways they’re actually more popular, since they’re priced much more competitively. Case in point: The RAVPower 61W USB-C fast charge adapter includes a USB-C Power Delivery port as well as a standard USB-A port. Plus, its power rating matches that of Apple’s biggest charger for less than one third of the price. If you don’t need the extra power or ports, you can score the RAVPower 30W USB-C charger for less than 16 bucks.
Aukey Focus 30W USB-C fast charger
For all-around value, the Aukey Focus 30W power adapter is hard to beat. Its 30-watt rating exceeds the minimum requirement for iPhone 12 fast charging, and it includes an additional USB-A port you can use for other devices. Of course, the best part is the price: Retailing for $22, you can typically find these selling for less than 15 dollars.
It’s worth remembering that you don’t necessarily need to upgrade to a USB-C power adapter. Any USB-A power adapter coupled with a Lightning cable can charge the iPhone 12. If you’ve got an old charger sitting around, you can make it work with the new models by using a standard Lightning cable. The only real consideration involves quick charge, which can top up the iPhone’s battery without a long wait. That’s why all of the adapters we’ve listed here support Apple’s own fast-charging technology, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3 or above, or other compatible rapid charging protocols.