Is the iPhone 8 and iPhone X's fast charge feature a $75 dollar scam?
Fast charging on the iPhone 8 - How quick is it? And do you need it?
Apple’s new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus now have fast charging! iPhone might have been a little late for the party but it’s good to see Apple finally including the feature on their lineup.
Well….that was what we initially thought. There’s a catch.The charger included with the iPhone is not capable of fast charging your phone. We did a bit of digging and found out that you need a higher wattage on the power adapter in order for fast charging to work. The charger and the corresponding cable, costs $75 dollars on Apple’s website.
If you think that you might get away with a cheaper cable, think again. The only USB-C to Lightning cable that we found on Amazon wasn’t compatible with the fast charging protocol on the iPhone 8.
Since Apple is forcing us to buy a new charger for this new feature to work, we are here to help you decide the best charger for your buck! For this article, we tested the standard iPhone charger included in the box, an iPad charger, a Samsung Galaxy S7 Charger and an Anker 4-Port charger to see how they fare on iPhone’s Fact Charge feature.
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What is Fast Charging?
Apple claims that fast charging on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will provide 50% of the battery charge in 30 mins.
We’ve been using Samsung Galaxy S’s for the last few years and have grown to like the fast charge feature ONLY because our Galaxy S’s tend to go dead from lack of use. The fast charge feature is handy when we need our Android devices as an extra camera and the batteries are dead.
According to Apple, for fast charge to work, you’ll need either a 29W, 61W or 87W Apple charger or USB-PD compatible charger and a USB-C to Lightning cable.
This requirement seem reasonable until you realize that Apple is talking about using laptop chargers! The 29W charger is for the MacBook 12 inch, 61W for the MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch and the 87W charger for the Retina 15 inch.
The cheapest charger in the group is the 29W charger which still costs $49 dollars on Apple’s website. The USB-C to Lightning cable is $25 dollars which means it will cost you 25 pumpkin spice latte’s before you can start using fast charging on the new iPhone 8.
Do we really need a special charger for the iPhone 8's Fast Charging?
To gauge how “fast” the charging was on the iPhone 8, we compared the charge speeds between all the chargers we had. For each charger, we drained an iPhone 8 Plus completely before charging the device. We also used the same outlet and power bar to eliminate the the differences between plugs. We did this at least twice for each charger and took the average between the two measurements.
We weren’t really expecting anything spectacular from the iPad charger since we know that it would result in a faster charge. But there were a couple of odd things that popped out in our tests.
The new fast charge feature on the iPhone 8 definitely was the fastest. Our expectations was to see the charge sit around the high 40%’s, not close to 60% in 30 mins. For us, we could use that 60% for another 1.5 days before needing a charge which is great.
The next fastest charger was the 2.4 A Anker 4-Port charger. 40% in 30 mins is quite respectable and honestly, the Anker charger only costs $22 dollars so you get 80% of the fast charge benefit at a fraction of the cost.
The most disappointing charger was the Samsung Galaxy S7 charger. The power adapter is rated to 2.1 A so we were expecting a much faster charge than the 1 A iPhone charger
The iPad charger provided approx. 1/3 of the battery in 30 mins which is quite handy if you’re a iPad owner.
The slowest charger in this group was the stock 1 A charger included with the iPhone 8.
Is the Fast Charging capability on the iPhone 8 a $75 scam?
We were really disappointed with the stock iPhone 1A charger. It was the slowest in terms of charging. However what is more disappointing with this fact is Apple requiring us to have an additional hardware to use fast charging. But wait, maybe we’re expecting too much of Apple since nobody else includes fast chargers with their devices.
Oh wait, Samsung does!
We don’t mind paying for Apple’s perceived “Luxury” tax but with these chargers, it feels like they are “nickel and diming” us. We were completely ready to pay more for Qi-wireless chargers since nobody includes a Qi-charger with a smartphone but most smartphone manufacturers do include a fast-charge capable adapter. Why couldn’t Apple do the same?
For shame Apple, For shame.