Fast iPhone charging: everything you need to know

In an increasingly connected society, users expect their phone, this computer that fits in the hand, to have good autonomy and that its battery is quick to recharge. The mobile phone, which has become intelligent, has become widely used in our digital life for ordering food, watching a program or series, plotting a route in town or in the countryside, playing games, listening to music or “simply” sharing. photos with close people. The autonomy of the smartphone, used more and more intensively, can be reduced to a trickle depending on the use of each one. For more comfort, the various manufacturers are now trying to reduce the battery charging time. Some manufacturers offer faster charging, Apple is also part of this trend.

Fast charging for all Apple iPhones?

Fast charging depends on several factors. The first is the charger used. Indeed, not all of them allow to use this mode. The second is the model of mobile phone you have in your hands: all brands combined, only recent and generally top-of-the-range models support fast charging, which has really become more popular since the end of the last decade, in particular driven by brands such as Oppo, which launched its VOOC solution in 2018.

At Apple, fast charging only appeared from the iPhone 8. All models launched after 2017 therefore support its fast charging system. To get it, you must use your Apple cable (Lightning-USB-C) and an Apple-branded fast-charging adapter (20 W or more) or another brand that allows fast USB power (USB-PD ). In any case, there is no point in bringing a charger delivering a lot of power, since your iPhone is limited to 30 W. A charger of equivalent power will therefore be enough to obtain a fast charge.

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Not all chargers support fast charging. Check that it offers a power of at least 18 W.

© volkan cakirca / Getty Images

Note that Apple AC adapters are sold separately, and that a wireless charger can also be a fast charger. iPhones accept up to 15 W with the proprietary MagSafe standard, or 7.5 W with the open Qi standard.

Does fast charging deteriorate iPhone battery?

In general, a battery is an accumulator with a limited lifespan, which contains chemical elements that change over time. Gradual wear that prevents it from retaining as much energy as when new. So the older your battery, the lower its capacity and the more often you need to recharge it. At the same time, charging cycles, whether fast or not, affect the chemistry of your smartphone’s battery, especially in terms of voltage. The lifetime of your battery thus depends on your use/recharge cycles and its actual chemical age. Apple considers a battery to be in satisfactory condition when it can be charged to at least 80% of its original capacity.

With a standard charger (not dedicated to fast charging), the power is around 5 to 10 W, while a fast charger can easily exceed 100 W, at least in the current smartphone market. What really makes the difference is the voltage, and it is above all the voltage that can damage your battery and reduce its lifespan. To avoid damaging your iPhone’s battery during fast charging, the chargers are therefore programmed so that the voltage used is accepted by your battery, so as not to jeopardize the latter.

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Note, however, that if charging does not damage the battery, certain maintenance precautions should be taken to prolong its life. At first, the complete discharge can harm your battery. It is therefore not recommended to let your iPhone drain completely before charging it; it is better, as far as possible, to connect it when its level drops to around 20 to 30%.

Also, pay attention to the temperature. Thus, if it is very cold or very hot (above 30°C), your battery will not have the same autonomy. In the second case, heat and direct exposure to a heat source (such as leaving your iPhone in direct sunlight in the summer) can reduce your overall battery life.

Two phases for fast charging

Manufacturers of fast chargers think about the health of our batteries, and have therefore implemented an appropriate charging cycle.

The first phase of a rapid recharge is characterized by high voltage for a limited period (a few tens of minutes). It is during this period that the charge is really fast. At the end of this first phase, your smartphone will have recovered between 50 and 70% of its battery, i.e. many hours of autonomy.

Then, the charging cycle changes to deliver less voltage, because too much voltage for too long will harm your battery. As a result, and to preserve it, the second part of the charge is not as fast.

The overall process, with the two charging periods, is therefore faster than a standard charge, hence its name of fast charge. Note that it is the battery management system that manages the transition from one phase to another so that the battery has time to properly absorb the first influx of power.

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Since iPhone 6 (and iOS 11.3), iPhone has been equipped with an intelligent battery management system. You can access it through the Settings app, by going to Battery and Battery Status.

From this screen, you can ask iOS (your iPhone or iPad’s operating system) to display the remaining battery percentage next to the battery indicator. This indication allows you to better manage your battery, because you know exactly how much battery life you have left.

You can also go through this setting to enable power saving mode. The latter reduces consumption in the background (applications that retrieve information in real time to notify you of the arrival of new messages or retrieve emails, etc.). This mode is particularly interesting if you have little battery left and you do not have the possibility to recharge your device before it reaches a critical level.

Apple Battery Settings

Screenshot of iPadOS 15.7 battery setting

© iPadOS 15.7 Battery Settings Screenshot

The battery level graph lets you know how much you are using it during your day. It helps you spot power-hungry moments and identify responsible apps. The graph shows your energy consumption over 24 hours or 10 days.

On your iPhone, the battery settings also have a screen called Battery Status. From this screen, you have access to additional information, in particular concerning the age of your battery. Thus, you can visualize the percentage of life of your battery, that is to say its remaining capacity (according to its age and its frequency of recharging).

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From this screen, you can also enable the battery optimization option (if it is not already checked). The latter allows your iPhone to learn from your usage habits in order to optimize the use of the battery in order to improve its performance, autonomy and lifespan.

You can also set up tricks yourself to increase your autonomy, such as closing applications you don’t use, or cutting off wifi and Bluetooth when you don’t need them. Reducing screen brightness and preventing certain apps from using GPS can also be effective. Finally, it is interesting to limit the applications that use data in the background (by only doing manual synchronizations, for example).

Is it good to charge your iPhone overnight?

Unlike the very first models of mobile phones, recent smartphones have a battery charge control device. So even if you keep your iPhone plugged in all night, the security will stop charging as soon as its battery reaches 100%. No overload is therefore possible (except technical problem).

fast charging with an Apple iPhone

Yes, it is possible to let your iPhone charge overnight without damaging it.

© iStock/Getty Images Plus

In addition, since iOS 13.0, the system is able to protect your battery during charging periods. This way, even if your device remains plugged in after it has regained its full battery life, the battery will not suffer any damage, especially if you have activated the optimized charging option that we have already discussed. Indeed, this option knows your charging habits and arranges so that 100% battery is only reached when you leave the arms of Morpheus.

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Fast iPhone charging: everything you need to know

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