What Apple is not saying about your new iPhone
It’s that time of the year again! For tech fans and shoppers around the world, whether you like it or not, the new iPhone is here – and is getting all the spotlight.
The iPhone 12 series is magic. It’s hard not to be tempted by the powerful new chipset and camera system, Lidar-empowered AR, super Retina OLED screen.
It’s so great that it’ll almost get away with no EarPods or wall charger. While Apple says the new iPhone can be charged wirelessly twice as fast, you’ll have to use Apple’s new MagSafe brand of charger or a MagSafe-compatible one.
Wireless charging is by no means new. But let’s admit it. Even though a lot of us already own a Qi wireless charger, the fastest and most convenient way to charge a phone is still plugging it in with a wall charger. Apple’s proud claim that the iPhone can reach “up to 50% charge in around 30 minutes” is supported by a 20W USB C fast charger.
So, what do we do for a charger? Before we dig into the options, let’s briefly go through the things you need to know about fast charging tech so that you know what’s best for you, your new phone, and maybe other devices.
What is PD Fast Charging?
USB Power Delivery (or USB PD) is among the most popular universal fast charging standards. It juices up an array of devices in a short span of time via a USB connection. The power is delivered through a USB-C cord/cable capable of handling large volumes of current and voltage. This is why it can speed up charging to 3 times more efficiently than a basic 5w socket.
USB PD is a single charging standard that can be used with all USB devices. Typically, every device charged by USB has its own distinct adapter, but USB PD has changed this. One universal USB PD can power a range of devices. This eliminates the need for a new charger every time you buy a new device, which in turn, makes charging multiple devices not only convenient, but also cost-effective and clutter-free.
Benefits of PD Fast Charging
So what makes USB Power Delivery a leader in fast charging technology? In addition to its universal compatibility with most devices, it offers a variety of benefits that make it worth every penny. Just to list a few:
- Increased standard power levels of up to 100W.
- In a USB PD charger, the power direction isn’t fixed. This enables the device with the power (host or peripheral) to share power with other devices.
- Optimal power management across multiple devices. It does so by allowing devices to absorb only the amount of power it needs.
- No overcharging. The USB-C cable that connects Power Delivery is equipped with communication pins, which allows the receiving devices to communicate the precise level of power they need.
- Intelligent and flexible management of power through hub communication.
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Is PD the Same as USB-C?
Simply put, no. USB PD does operate with the USB-C connection. But, not all USB-C chargers are compatible with USB PD charging. You will need to look for the necessary markings to decipher if the charger is compatible.
Further, different types of USB chargers offer different speeds. For instance, the USB Type-C (aka. USB-C or Type-C) charger is faster than USB PD 3.0 which is faster than USB PD 2.0. As USB technology upgrades, users constantly purchase new cables or devices. This generates tremendous amounts of e-waste. This is where USB-C PD comes into the picture.
As mentioned, USB-C (aka. Type-C) comes with a reversible tip, and there is no “up” or “down” orientation to follow. So, you need not worry about fitting the connector correctly into the port. Moreover, the USB-C (aka. Type-C) connector has a small size and slender design. Hence, it can be used with a variety of devices.
USB Type C charger also allows the power to move bi-directionally. So you can connect two phones that support Power Delivery with a USB-C fast charging cable. This allows one phone to charge the other.
What’s more? Some USB-C Power Delivery chargers can facilitate higher data transfer rates. They can also withstand bigger voltages and current. Power Delivery starts at the 5V setting and is configurable up to 20V. With the help of a USB-C cable, it can handle up to 60W, and even go up to 100W, if required.
How to choose the right charger?
Now that you understand what USB PD is all about, here are a few tips that help you pick a suitable PD charger.
Different types of devices need varying PD input power. It is, therefore, necessary to consider the input power your device supports. This is crucial before choosing a PD charger.
Typically, PD chargers are usually classified into 20W, 30W, 45W, and 60W or above.
- 20W Power Delivery charger meets fast charging needs of smartphones and certain tablets
- 30W PD charger can deliver full-speed charging for laptops and most tablets
- Chargers over 45W can usually support more than one devices
- Devices like laptops and drones need 60W or more power
We know the iPhone 12 needs a 20W charger or higher, any charger under that level shouldn’t be on your list. And if you’re thinking about having one charger that can support not just your new phone, but other devices such as a second phone, a laptop, a camera, or a drone, we’d recommend higher watts. A higher total output will allow you to push the maximum power on each port. You will be able to charge multiple devices at the same time, and at a faster speed.
Another factor to consider is the number of ports. The demand for multi-port PD chargers is gaining ground. If you go for such a charger, make sure you don’t end up with more than you will actually use. Remember, more ports mean a higher price and more weight. Choose the one that suits you the most.
The size of the PD charger may not matter to some. But, a compact one is always preferable as it is portable and can be taken anywhere without a hassle. Gallium nitride (GaN) technology has, therefore, been introduced in the fast charging field. It is being considered as a superior alternative to silicon.
GaN Charger is proving to be a more efficient fast charging solution. It loses less power than its silicon counterpart. Hence, the number of components required in a charger can be reduced to shrink the charger’s size. If your budget allows, go for a PD charger enabled with GaN technology.
As a fast charging standard, USB PD has evolved over time and transformed the way we charge our devices. You need not worry about the new iPhone coming without a charger. It’s time to get a high-performing charging solution that supports both your new phone and other devices.
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