Update, 07/27/2022: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and are confident that these are still the best phone chargers you can buy.
What to look for in a phone charger in 2022
You might be wondering why you might need to buy a charger in 2022. The reality is that Apple, Google, Samsung and other companies are all getting rid of the slow and inefficient chargers that traditionally come with new smartphones. In Apple’s case, you’ll need a better charger than stock if you want your iPhone to charge quickly, so the lack of an included cube isn’t the end of the world.
If you are looking for a charger for your smartphone, tablet or even laptop, you need to keep in mind the type of cable you want to use with it. More and more devices now come with USB-C chargers that use the universal and double-sided connector. Even if your smartphone left out the power adapter in the box, most manufacturers still include this cable. If you need a cable, check out our guide to the best USB-C cables to buy.
You may also own older devices that use USB-A cables. These are the old irreversible types of connectors, most of which have two open holes at the top to help guide you in. Some chargers support both USB-C and USB-A in different slots, which is useful if you have a number of devices.
You’ll also want to try and take advantage of all the fast charging options your gadgets have. Buying a charger capable of fast charging is a good decision that will pay off in the future, even if your current devices don’t support it.
Chargers are generally rated in watts, with Qualcomm’s standard Quick Charge reaching 27W. The more common USB Power Delivery 3.0 (USB-PD) standard can reach 100W, with the upcoming USB-PD 3.1 reaching 240W over a single USB-C cable.
The latest high-tech chargers are ditching silicon in favor of gallium nitride (GaN), which allows for more efficient charging because it loses less energy as heat. These chargers can also be much smaller than the older silicon-based chargers they replace.
Some proprietary charging methods work best with proprietary chargers. One example is Apple’s 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro, which uses up to 140W via USB-C for fast charging. In cases like this, it might be best to stick with first-party chargers. And then there are other types of chargers, such as wireless chargers, car chargers, and charging stations designed to charge all kinds of devices simultaneously.
Now let’s take a look at the best chargers you can buy right now.
- ✓ Charge up to three devices simultaneously
- ✓ Two USB-C ports
- ✓ One USB-A port
- ✓ Small and efficient GaN design with foldable wall adapter
- ✗ Charging multiple devices will split the total output power between the devices
- ✗ Limited laptop charging support, especially when using two or more ports
- ✗ There are no charging cables in the box
If you’re looking for a charger that can charge all your smartphones and tablets in one neat package, it’s hard to beat the TECKNET 65W Tri-Port Fast Wall Charger. It features two USB-C ports that can deliver up to 65W of power on a single charge, and one USB-A port for older devices with a maximum power of 30W.
This wall adapter quickly charges most smartphones, including the iPhone 13 series and the Samsung Galaxy S21. There’s plenty of juice for tablets like the iPad Pro and even laptops that support USB-PD, like the MacBook Air and many Windows ultrabooks.
The charger uses GaN technology rather than silicon, which means it’s small and efficient at just 110g. It’s one of the best portable chargers you can buy, with a foldable design that makes it easy to fit in your bag or pocket.
Best overall charger
- ✓ Small, light and pocketable 20W charger
- ✓ Single USB-C output for charging iPhones, iPads and non-Apple gadgets
- ✓ The clean look matches your Apple devices and first-party cables
- ✗ The single USB-C port may be limiting for some
- ✗ No USB-A compatibility, although you can swap out your old USB-A cable for Lightning
- ✗ The Apple tax is real
For a charger that works with an iPhone or iPad, Apple’s 20W USB-C Wall Adapter does the job well. It has one USB-C port that supports fast charging of all compatible iPhone models, the iPad series and the more demanding iPad Pro series.
If you have an older iPhone that came with a USB-A to Lightning cable, you can switch to a USB-C to Lightning cable and charge that way. You can also use this charger to power non-Apple devices with up to 20W fast charging if the cable uses a USB-C connector.
If you’re an iPhone or iPad owner who likes to stick with first-party chargers for peace of mind and aesthetic reasons, this USB-C adapter should tick all the boxes. You can get a 30W Apple charger for a bit more money, but if you don’t need the extra power, then you’re better off saving money and weight on the smaller 20W model.
Best charger for iPhone/iPad
Apple 20W USB-C power adapter
Apple’s own 20W USB-C charger is ideal for charging your iPhone or iPad. It can quickly charge your iPhone or non-Apple smartphone, power your iPad and other devices that consume up to 20W of power. There is no cable in the box, so be sure to bring your own USB-C to Lightning adapter.
- ✓ True budget performance, charge up to four devices simultaneously
- ✓ A single 100W USB-C connector for devices with higher power consumption such as laptops
- ✓ Another 18W USB-C and two USB-A connectors of 17W each
- ✓ Power adapter folding design and rounded edges
- ✗ Total performance depends on the number of connected devices
- ✗ Only one USB-C port supports 100W charging
- ✗ Different colors have different power and ports
Amazon Basics is usually a budget option, but the Amazon Basics 4-Port 100W Charger offers much more than just good value. It has two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports, which allows fast charging of the vast majority of smartphones, tablets and maybe even your laptop.
All four ports can be used simultaneously to charge devices, but be aware that the power will be split between these devices. This means that thirstier devices such as laptops that use 65W or more may need to be charged separately. The charger uses GaN technology, making it smaller and lighter than comparable silicon models.
The collapsible wall adapter makes it easy to travel or store the charger. Be careful when choosing a color, as different versions may have different performance and port configurations.
The best wall charger
- ✓ Charge devices wirelessly at up to 10W (Samsung Galaxy), 7.5W (iPhone) and 5W (other Qi devices)
- ✓ USB-A to Micro USB cable in the box
- ✓ Comfortable and works over most smartphone cases
- ✓ Also charge wireless headphones
- ✗ Slow charging on most devices
- ✗ No AC adapter in the box (requires USB-A 5V/2A wall adapter)
- ✗ Get better performance with first-party wireless chargers
Wireless charging is slow but handy for recharging. You often have to sacrifice charging speed for the convenience of drop and go charging, and that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. For this reason, it may not be worth spending too much on a wireless solution. That’s why we like the affordable Anker PowerWave 10W Qi-certified charger.
While there are some drawbacks, Anker’s design is solid and works in most smartphone cases. This no-frills wireless charging pad only reaches a full 10W with Samsung Galaxy devices like the S20 and Note 10. iPhones that can charge wirelessly use just 7.5W, while Google’s Pixel 3 and other Qi-enabled devices sip just 5 W. Not much to complain about for the money though.
There’s no AC adapter in the PowerWave box, which means you’ll need something that can output 5V/2A to pair, like our wall charger.
If you have an iPhone and AirPods, you can use Apple’s MagSafe charger instead to charge wirelessly at a faster rate than third-party alternatives. You need to be MagSafe compatible to use MagSafe charging through the case, and there’s no AC adapter in the box, but overall it’s a good wireless charging choice for Apple products.
The best wireless charger
- ✓ Charge USB-C (24W) and USB-A (18W) devices at the same time.
- ✓ All-metal construction and compact design
- ✓ A USB-C to USB-C cable is included
- ✗ Insufficient USB-PD output for most laptops
If you need to charge your smartphone or tablet while driving or on long car trips, but don’t have a direct outlet, a car charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter is a must. AINOPE Dual USB Charger supports both USB-A and USB-C boxes and can provide 24W charging for USB-PD port or 18W for Quick Charge port.
This allows you to quickly charge your smartphone or power a tablet such as the iPad Pro with a suitable cable. AINOPE even includes a USB-C to USB-C charger in the box, which is ideal for charging most Android phones – although iPhone owners will need to supply their own Lightning cable.
The charger is sturdy with an all-metal body and uses a compact design that fits into most car sockets. It is ideal if you use your iPhone or Android smartphone as GPS navigation while driving so that you don’t run out of power at the wrong time.
The best car charger
- ✓ 100W USB-PD charging via USB-C
- ✓ Charge up to five smartphones or three laptops
- ✓ Wireless charging for smartphones, headphones and more
- ✓ Storage for five devices while charging
- ✗ This may be overkill for many households
- ✗ You probably won’t see 15w charging from that wireless charger
- ✗ More storage would be nice
A charging station should do it all, and that’s exactly the approach taken by the Techsmarter 11-Port USB and Wireless Charger. Five USB-C ports with a power of up to 100 W allow you to charge up to three laptops or five smartphones with fast charging at the same time. There are also five additional USB-A ports, each rated at 18W.
The charging station also features a removable 15W wireless charging pad, although note that most devices will use 10W (Samsung), 7.5W (iPhone) or 5W due to manufacturer limitations. In other words, it will charge your devices to their maximum allowed power, but you may not be able to take full advantage of the 15W station.
Up top, there are five positions for storing smartphones and tablets while charging, a feature that probably works best with short “patch” charging cables.
If you don’t need such a huge number of ports, the Amazon Basics 4-Port GaN Charger might be better. But for households that have multiple people who need to charge devices, the Techsmarter charging station can’t be beat.
The best charging station