Why It Matters Which Charger You Use for Your Phone


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As with normal charging, to get the best results from fast charging you need both the charger and the phone to support it—you can’t just plug the OnePlus 8T into any charger and see that full 65-W speed charging.

Wireless charging is a little bit different. Again, you’ll see the charging speed measured in watts, though wireless chargers are slower than the wired versions. Fortunately, just about everyone has now adopted the Qi wireless charging standard, so you can plonk your phone down on any model you like. Speaking of which …

What Charger Can I Use?

As long as you’re using the right cable or the right wireless standard (and it’s difficult not to), you can use just about any charger with your phone. Modern-day handsets will regulate the power draw to keep the battery protected, so there’s no danger of blowing up your phone by using a charger that’s too powerful for it.

That said, be wary of using cheap, no-brand chargers, or chargers that have been sitting around for years, as they may not necessarily stick to the same safety standards as the rest. We’re not saying all of these chargers are dodgy, but to be safe it’s always worth going with a newer charger from a reputable manufacturer or accessories maker, even if it’s a little bit more expensive.

The bottom line is that while just about any new-ish charger will work with just about any new-ish phone at this point, you won’t necessarily see the maximum charging speeds or the most efficient charging rate if you’re not using kit made by the same company.

As we alluded to above, this is particularly true when it comes to fast charging, as phone makers like to deploy their own standards and methods—for the maximum fast charging rates, you’ll usually need to plug in the charger specifically made for your phone. Use other chargers if you need to, but the official charger when you can.

The new iPhone 12 phones support MagSafe wireless charging.Photograph: Apple

It’s the same for wireless charging. As most docks and mats now use the same standard, they should work with just about every phone—though different phones are likely to charge up at different speeds if the dock and handset haven’t been specifically designed for each other (the charging device documentation should explain all of this for you).

The exception—as is often the case—is Apple. Its new MagSafe charging standard, designed for the iPhone 12 in particular, uses magnets to hold it in place, and we wouldn’t recommend using it on other phones (magnets and wireless charging aren’t typically a good mix, and Apple will have performed some clever engineering tricks to get it to work properly on the iPhone 12).

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