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 ditching the slow, poor-performing chargers traditionally included with new smartphones. In Apple’s case, you’ll need a better-than-standard charger if you want your iPhone to charge quickly, so the lack of an included cube isn’t the end of the world.
If you’re looking for a charger for your smartphone, tablet or even laptop, you’ll need to keep in mind the type of cable you want to use with it. More and more devices are now shipping with USB-C chargers, which use a universal and reversible connector. Even if your smartphone left out a 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 you can buy.
You may also own older devices that use USB-A cables. These are the old non-reversible connector types, most of which have two distinctive open holes at the top to help you orient yourself. Some chargers support both USB-C and USB-A in different slots, which is handy if you have a range of devices.
You’ll also want to try and take advantage of whatever fast charging capabilities your devices have. Buying a charger with fast charging capability 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 Quick Charge standard being 27W. The more common USB Power Delivery 3.0 (USB-PD) standard can reach 100W, and the upcoming USB-PD 3.1 reaches 240W over a single USB-C cable.
The latest high-tech chargers forgo 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 of this is Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro 2021, which uses up to 140W via USB-C for fast charging. In cases like this, it might be best to stick with a first-party charger. 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.
- ✓ 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 power output between the devices
- ✗ Limited support for charging laptops, 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 TECKNET’s 65W 3-Port Fast Wall Charger. It has two USB-C ports that can produce up to 65W in a single charge mode and one USB-A port for older devices with a maximum power of 30W.
This wall adapter will quickly charge most smartphones, including the iPhone 13 range and the Samsung Galaxy S21. There’s enough juice for tablets like the iPad Pro and even USB-PD-capable laptops like the MacBook Air and many Windows ultrabooks.
The charger uses GaN technology, not silicon, which means it’s small and efficient with a weight of just 110g. It’s one of the best portable chargers you can buy, with a foldable design that makes it easy to store in your bag or pocket.
The best full charger
- ✓ Small, light and pocket charger of 20W
- ✓ One USB-C output for charging iPhones, iPads and non-Apple gadgets
- ✓ The clean look matches your Apple devices and first-party cables
- ✗ One USB-C port may be limiting for some
- ✗ There is no USB-A compatibility, although you can swap out your old USB-A to Lightning cable
- ✗ 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 just fine. 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 ships with a USB-A to Lightning cable, you can switch to a USB-C to Lightning cable and charge that way instead. You can also use this charger to power non-Apple devices with the ability to fast charge up to 20W, provided the cable uses a USB-C connector.
If you’re an iPhone or iPad owner who likes to keep his chargers front-facing only for peace of mind and aesthetic reasons, this USB-C adapter should tick all the boxes. You can pick up a 30W Apple charger for a bit more money, but if you don’t need that 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 perfect 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’s no cable in the box, so be sure to bring your own USB-C to Lightning adapter.
- ✓ A real cheap powerhouse, charge up to four devices at the same time
- ✓ One 100W USB-C connector for more power-hungry devices like laptops
- ✓ Another 18W USB-C and two USB-A connectors up to 17W each
- ✓ Foldable power adapter design and rounded edges
- ✗ The total output power depends on how many devices you have connected
- ✗ Only one USB-C port supports 100W charging
- ✗ Different colors have different power ratings and ports
Amazon Basics is usually a cheap option, but the Amazon Basics 100W Quad-Port Charger offers much more than good value. It has two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports, allowing fast charging for the vast majority of smartphones, tablets, and maybe even your laptop.
All four ports can be used simultaneously to charge devices, but note that the power output will be split between these devices. This means that thirstier devices like laptops that use 65W of power or more may have to charge themselves. The charger uses GaN technology, so it is smaller and lighter than comparable silicon models.
The collapsible wall adapter makes it easy to travel with the charger or store away. Just be careful when choosing the color as different versions may have different power ratings and port configurations.
The best wall charger
- ✓ Wirelessly charge devices up to 10W (Samsung Galaxy), 7.5W (iPhone) and 5W (other Qi devices)
- ✓ USB-A to Micro USB cable in the box
- ✓ Convenient and works through most smartphone cases
- ✓ Charge your wireless headphones too
- ✗ Slow charging for most devices
- ✗ No AC adapter in the box (USB-A 5V/2A wall adapter required)
- ✗ Get better performance than first-party wireless chargers
Wireless charging is slow but convenient to top up. You often have to sacrifice charging speed for the convenience of drop-and-go charging, which 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 budget Anker PowerWave 10W Qi Certified Charger.
While there are some flaws, Anker’s design is solid and works through most smartphone cases. This simple wireless charging pad will only reach a full 10W with Samsung Galaxy devices like the S20 and Note 10. iPhones that can be charged wirelessly will consume only 7.5W, while the Google Pixel 3 and other Qi-enabled devices consume only 5W . For the money, though, there’s not much to complain about.
There’s no AC adapter in the PowerWave box, which means you’ll need something that can provide 5V/2A for pairing, like our pick for a wall charger.
If you have an iPhone and AirPods, you can use Apple’s MagSafe charger instead for wireless charging at a faster rate than third-party alternatives. To use MagSafe charging through the case, you’ll need it to be MagSafe compatible and there’s no AC adapter in the box, but overall it’s a good choice for wireless charging for Apple products.
The best wireless charger
- ✓ Simultaneously charge USB-C (24W) and USB-A (18W) devices
- ✓ Full metal construction and compact design
- ✓ USB-C to USB-C cable included
- ✗ There aren’t enough USB-PD outputs for most laptops
If you need to charge your smartphone or tablet while driving or on long car trips, but you don’t have a direct connection, a car charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter is a must. AINOPE’s dual USB charger fills both USB-A and USB-C boxes and can provide 24W charging on the USB-PD port or 18W on the fast charging port.
This allows you to quickly charge your smartphone or power a tablet such as the iPad Pro with the appropriate cable. AINOPE even includes a USB-C to USB-C charger in the box, perfect for charging most Android phones—though iPhone owners will need to supply their own Lightning cable.
The charger is sturdy with an all-metal housing and uses a compact design that sits flush with most car outlets. It’s ideal if you use your iPhone or Android smartphone as a GPS navigator while driving so you don’t run out of power at an inopportune moment.
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
- ✗ It may be excessive for many households
- ✗ You probably won’t see 15w of charging from that wireless charger
- ✗ More storage space would be nice
A charging station should do it all, and that’s exactly the approach taken with Techsmarter’s 11-port USB and wireless charger. Five USB-C ports up to 100 W allow charging up to three laptops or five fast-charging smartphones at the same time. There are also five additional USB-A ports that have 18W each.
The charging station also has a detachable 15W wireless charging pad, although note that most devices will use 10W (Samsung), 7.5W (iPhone) or a maximum of 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 fully utilize the 15W stations.
There are five trays on top to store smartphones and tablets while they charge, a feature that probably works best with short charging cables.
If you don’t need that many ports, the Amazon Basics GaN four-port charger might be better. But for homes where more people are needed to charge devices, Techsmarter’s charging station can’t be beat.
The best charging station