How to Charge Your Phone Without a Charger
Karen Marcus is a former Lifewire writer who has also written for companies like HP, Intel, IBM, Samsung, and others.
Christine Baker is a marketing consultant with experience working for a variety of clients. Her expertise includes social media, web development, and graphic design.
What to Know
- Plug your phone into your laptop or an alternate USB port.
- Purchase a battery pack, wireless charging pad, solar charger, or an emergency hand crank.
- If your vehicle doesn’t have a USB port, buy an adapter for the lighter port.
This article explains several ways to charge your phone if you don’t have a phone charger. All of these methods require either a charging cable that’s compatible with your iPhone or Android device, or a wireless charging pad.
Use a USB Port to Charge Your Phone
For this process, you need a charging cable that is compatible with your phone. You can plug your phone into your laptop for a quick charge or find alternate USB ports that can do the job.
- Most USB ports found in airports and some coffee shops provide enough power to charge a standard smartphone. Also, some hotels have USB ports built into lamps and bedside tables. They are usually of the USB-A shape, which is the rectangle end of the cable you usually use to charge your phone.
Charge Your Phone With a Battery Pack
You’ll need to do a little advance planning to use this method.
- All modern battery packs can supply enough power to charge your smartphone, although not all of them may support fast charging (even if your phone does).
Hand-Crank Chargers for Emergency Phone Charges
A hand-crank charger doesn’t require any electrical power, making it a great choice for outdoor adventures or emergencies. To use a hand-crank charger, plug the charging cable into the charger and into your phone, and keep cranking until you get a usable charge.
It may take some time before you get a usable charge. Some hand-crank models have batteries built in, so you could charge the battery and then use the battery to charge your phone.
Use an Eco-Friendly Solar-Powered Charger
Another great choice for outdoor adventures, a solar-powered charger only requires sunlight to run. Solar chargers typically work in one of two ways: Sunlight charges a battery in the unit, which is then used to charge the phone or the solar charger charges the phone directly.
Charge Your Phone With a Car Charger
Use a Wireless Charger for Easy Charging
If your smartphone works with wireless charging, you don’t have to do anything other than place your phone on the charging pad.
The urban myth that you can use fruit to charge your phone is technically true but requires a lot of fruit and additional equipment. Therefore, it is impractical and not recommended.
Your charger might stop working for several reasons: the wall socket is off or damaged, the charger is damaged, or there is damage to the device’s power port.
To clean the iPhone’s charging port, use canned air, a mini vac, a Post-It Note, or a toothpick. You can also take it to a professional at the Apple Store or even a jeweler.
Fastest charging phones in 2023
Fast charging is one of those features in a phone that have developed exponentially throughout the last few years, and continue to do so. Phone manufacturers, especially those in China, regularly push the boundaries of charging tech, surprising us with innovative approaches.
One of the commonly raised concerns with fast charging tech, however, is the negative effect it can have on the overall battery life span. But that is just another area where manufacturers have began to improve by creating new ways to regulate the temperatures, since high heat is the main reason a battery’s life span shortens over time.
With all of this in mind, we have compiled all of the popular recent phones to compare how fast they are able to recharge.
Below, you will find the fastest charging phones out there along with a few details about the technologies used by each of the companies making them.
Which is the fastest charging phone in the world?
The fastest charging phone at the moment is arguably the Redmi Note 12 Explorer from Xiaomi, which comes with a 210W maximum charging speed. It’s 4,300mAh battery can fill up from 0-100% in around 9 minutes.
A close runner-up is the iQOO 10 Pro that comes with a top charging speeds of 200W, which is advertised as enough to juice up the phone from 0-100% in about 10 minutes.
Of course, we can’t forget to mention OnePlus here too, as the OnePlus 10T supports 160W and with the SuperVOOC charger inside the box we measured it to go from 0 to 100% in 23 minutes. Keep in mind that we do our tests with the phone being completely drained.
Phone charging speeds by brand
|Apple||iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max||30W||USB-PD|
|iPhone 13 Mini, 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max||27W||USB-PD|
|iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max||20W||USB-PD|
|iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11, SE (2020)iPhone XS Max, XS, XRiPhone X, 8 Plus, 8||18W||USB-PD|
|Samsung||Galaxy S22 Ultra, S22, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Note 10||45W||USB-PD|
|Galaxy S22, Galaxy S21 Ultra, S21, S21,Galaxy S20, S20Galaxy Note 20, Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy Z Fold 3Galaxy Z Fold 2||25W||USB-PD|
|Galaxy Z Flip 3, Galaxy S10, S10, S10eGalaxy Note 9, Note 8||15W||QuickCharge 2.0|
|Pixel 7, 7 Pro||23W||USB-PD|
|Pixel 6, 6 Pro||23W||USB-PD|
|Pixel 6a, Pixel 5, 5a,Pixel 4, 4 XLPixel 3, 3 XLPixel 2, 2 XLPixel, Pixel XL||18W||USB-PD|
|OnePlus||OnePlus 10T||150W||SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition|
|OnePlus 10 Pro||80W||Super VOOC 2.0|
|OnePlus 9 ProOnePlus 9||65W||Warp Charge 65T|
|OnePlus 8T||65W||Warp Charge 65|
|OnePlus 8 Pro, 8, 7 Pro, 7TOnePlus Nord||30W||Warp Charge 30T|
|Sony||Sony Xperia 1 IV||30W||USB-PD|
|Sony Xperia 1 II||21W||USB-PD|
|Motorola||Motorola Edge 30 Ultra||125W||USB-PD|
|Motorola Edge 30 Fusion, Neo||68W||USB-PD|
|Motorola Edge (2022)||30W||USB-PD|
|Huawei||Huawei Mate XS||55W||SuperCharge|
|Huawei P40 Pro, P40 ProHuawei P30 Pro, Mate 30 Pro||40W||SuperCharge|
|Xiaomi||Redmi Note 12 Explorer||210W||Navitas GaNFast|
|Xiaomi 12 Pro, Xiaomi 11T Pro, Mi 10 Ultra||120W||HyperCharge|
|Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro||50W||USB-PD|
|Redmi K20 Pro||27W||Sonic Charge|
|Oppo||Oppo Find X5 Pro||80W||Super VOOC 2.0|
|Oppo Find X2 Pro||65W||Super VOOC 2.0|
|Oppo Reno Ace||65W||Super VOOC 2.0|
|Realme||Realme X50 Pro||65W||SuperDart Charge|
|Realme X2 Pro||50W||Super VOOC|
|Vivo||iQOO 10 Pro||200W|
iPhones Fast Charging Explained
Starting with the iPhone 8 back in late 2017, Apple has adopted the USB Power Delivery standard and all new iPhones released since then, including the recent iPhone 12 family, support this fast charging technology.
However, starting with the iPhone 12 series, Apple no longer includes a charger in the box and you need to purchase one separately. Apple is selling its own official 20W USB-C Power Adapter for around 20, and you will also need a USB-C to Lightning cable if you don’t own one.
Can you use a third-party power adapter that is not made by Apple and still get those fast, 20W charging speeds? The answer is mostly yes, but make sure that the adapter you purchase supports the USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) standard. For example, a standard Samsung phone charger also supports the same USB-PD standard and will also deliver a fast charge to iPhones safely. You also have numerous third party options with names like Anker being among the most reliable brands.
Samsung Galaxy Fast Charging Explained
Samsung has been supporting different fast charging standards in the past, but it has finally adopted the widespread USB Power Delivery standard with the Galaxy S20 series and the Note 10 series of phones.
Interestingly, the latest Samsung phones (including the S21 Ultra) don’t support the 45W fast charging speeds that Samsung introduced with the Note 10, and instead max out at 25W. Samsung will not officially confirm what’s the reason behind that, but long-term battery preservation might be one possible reason.
Earlier Samsung phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, S10 and S10e only support the Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 standard and they max out at charging speeds of 15W.
Google Pixel Fast Charging Explained
Google has been among the earliest companies to adopt fast charging via the USB Power Delivery standard and all the way back in late 2016 when the original Google Pixel launched, it already came with a 18W fast charger in the box. It was also one of the first phones to use the USB-C standard on both ends of the line for charging.
Can you use a faster 25W or 45W power adapter to charge Google Pixel phones even quicker? The answer is no, the phone is configured to receive a maximum charge of 18W so you won’t see any benefit from plugging it to a more powerful charger.
LG ThinQ Fast Charging Explained
LG supports the Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0 fast charging standard with a maximum charge rate of 21 watts on phones like the LG G8X ThinQ and the LG V50 ThinQ, but the charger provided in the box can provide a maximum of 16 watts of power, so you might want to invest in a faster charger to use the maximum speed.
In fact, this 16W charger that goes by the name of LG Travel Power Adapter is compatible with most LG phones like the LG G7, LG G6, LG G5, LG V40, LG V30, LG V20, and even affordable phones like the LG Stylo 5 and LG Stylo 4. This power adapter features a standard USB port, and not the newer USB-C type.
With the newer LG V60 ThinQ, you get a more modern 25W USB-C charger with support for the Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0 standard.
OnePlus Fast Charging Explained
OnePlus phones use a proprietary charging standard that uses high current (more Amps) rather than high electric pressure (Volts) to deliver a faster charge.
What this means is two things: one, it is a proprietary solution which means that you need to use the OnePlus charger with the OnePlus cable to make use of the fastest charging speeds (thankfully, both are provided for free in the box), and second, it means that other chargers like a USB Power Delivery charger will not be able to deliver its maximum output on OnePlus phones.
In reality, we have found the proprietary OnePlus charger to work extremely well and one advantage it has over other technologies is that it is able to maintain the fast charging rates even while you are using your phone. On other phones, in contrast, charging rates drop noticeably if you use your phone while charging.
Huawei Fast Charging Explained
Starting with the Mate 20 Pro in late 2018, Huawei is shipping its flagships with a 40W charger that is capable of topping up the phones extremely quickly. Prior to that, the Huawei P20 Pro used a 22.5W fast charger. And recent phones like the Huawei Mate XS foldable now comes with a 65W charger in the box (the maximum charging speeds of that phone are limited to 55W, though).
Can you use a third party power adapter with Huawei phones? The answer is yes, but don’t expect to get the same fast charging speeds.
Oppo and Realme Fast Charging Explained
Chinese company Oppo is not popular in Western markets, but its budget off-shoot Realme is picking up pace in many places across the globe, and one of the key selling features is a super fast charging rate.
In fact, the Oppo Ace Reno was the first commercially available phone that would support 65W charging speeds. This phone is able to get a 70% charge in just 15 minutes, and charges fully in about half an hour. Truly impressive. But what technology does it use?
The technology is similar to what is used in OnePlus phones (which are part of the Oppo group of companies). It’s called Super VOOC 2.0 and it uses pumps up power at a rate of 10V and 6.5A, and it also uses GaN technology to achieve that in a relatively compact package.
This charger, however, will only work with few very specific phones and will charger other phones at a rate of just 10 watts.
As for Realme phones, the Realme X50 Pro 5G supports 65W charging via the same technology and the phone would also charge at rates of 18W with a QC/PD charger and 30W with the company’s Flash Charge power adapter.
Xiaomi and Redmi Fast Charging Explained
The charger provided in the box also supported the QC4.0 and Power Delivery 3.0 standards, so it is technically compatible with many other phones as well.
How to charge your iPhone faster when you’re in a rush
Sometimes waiting for your iPhone to charge can feel like it takes ages. Here are a few things you can do to speed up the process.
Is there anything worse than waiting for your iPhone to charge when you have somewhere to be? Even if you’re doing all that you can to make your iPhone’s battery last longer, it’ll eventually hit zero and you’ll need to wait around for it to charge.
While waiting for your iPhone to charge can feel like forever, that seemingly long charge time isn’t entirely psychological. There’s no magic trick that will have your iPhone’s battery going from zero to 100 percent in 10 minutes, but there are a few things you can do to ensure your iPhone’s charging capabilities aren’t being held back.
Use a wall charger
You should always try to use a wall charger when juicing up your iPhone. While USB charging cables make it easy to plug your iPhone into a PC, laptop, or gaming console, that will almost always result in a longer charge time.
Even if you’re using a charger with lower wattage, an outlet will usually charge faster most of the time.
Don’t use wireless charging
While wireless charging is super convenient (and really cool) it doesn’t work as well as plugging your iPhone in. Use a wireless charging pad for your iPhone when you’ve got time to spare or you’re charging overnight, but use a good old-fashioned cable when time is of the essence.
Use a fast charger
Every iPhone model since the iPhone 8 supports “fast charging,” which should take your device from zero to about 50 percent battery in around 30 minutes.
That sounds lovely, but Apple has never included a charger with a high enough wattage to support fast charging. That free charger from your older model is probably a slow 5W one and you need at least a 20W charger to fast charge an iPhone 12 or newer. And Apple doesn’t even include a charger with its iPhones anymore.
A higher wattage charger will charge your device a lot faster, but know that there’s a limit. It’s not like you can simply buy a 100W charger and juice up your iPhone in a handful of minutes. For example, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a charging ceiling of 27W; it won’t charge faster than that with a compatible charger.
Here are some of our favorite fast chargers from brands we trust:
This official Apple adapter hits 20W — exactly what you need to use fast charging on newer iPhone models.
If you’re looking to hit that 20W threshold and don’t want to break the bank on a new charger, the official Apple adapter is the way to go.
With dual ports, this adapter provides enough juice to fast-charge two iPhones at the same time.
If you have multiple iPhones in your household and find yourself fighting for the charging cable, this ArcStation Pro 40W dual charger from Spigen will solve all of your problems. At 40W, you can fast-charge two iPhones at once. If one port is being used on its own, it can provide up to 30W for charging larger devices.
If you want to charge your iPhone and your MacBook at the same time, this 65W adapter will get the job done.
This flagship Anker 725 Charger (Nano II 65W) is a multi-tasker. The top port gives out 20W of power for iPhone charging while the bottom can hit 45W. When every device you own is hitting that low power range, this is the charger you want around. Despite its power capabilities versus lower-wattage chargers, it’s still a very small adapter.
Don’t use your iPhone while it’s charging
While your iPhone is plugged in and regaining strength, leave it alone! It’s not just heavy usage like streaming videos or playing games that will slow your charging efforts — going on a texting spree or scrolling through Instagram will also slow things down. If your battery is in the red, try to leave it alone while it’s charging.
Turn off your iPhone for a faster charge
If you can, you should turn your iPhone off entirely for the fastest charge. Even if you’re leaving your iPhone alone, it’s probably refreshing apps in the background or pulling your location — all things that will slow charging.
Turn on Low Power Mode
While this won’t bump up your charging time more than shutting your iPhone off completely, enabling Low Power Mode shuts down a lot of background functions that can tax the battery.
To turn on Low Power Mode, open up your Settings app and find the “Battery” menu. The Low Power Mode toggle is at the very top of the menu. If you really want to watch your battery, you can set Low Power Mode to turn on automatically when your iPhone hits a certain battery percentage.
iPhone X Charging Speeds Compared: The Fastest and Easiest Ways to Charge Your iPhone
With the addition of both fast charging and wireless charging to Apple’s 2017 iPhone lineup, there are more ways than ever to charge your iPhone. Every method is different.- some are faster and more expensive, while others are slower but more convenient. We did this testing in 2017 for the iPhone X, but it is still relevant for newer iPhones. USB-C charging is always going to be faster than wireless charging by a notable amount but wireless charging has improved with MagSafe.
We tested several charging accessories from both Apple and third-party manufacturers with the iPhone X to see how charging speeds compare across different charging methods.
The 5W and 12W chargers from Apple were paired with a standard Lightning cable from Apple, priced starting at 19. All USB-C charging accessories were paired with a USB-C to Lightning cable from Apple, priced starting at 25.
We used the same iPhone X for all tests, plugged into the same outlet. Between tests, the battery was drained to one percent, and then battery percent was checked at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and 60 minutes while charging.
For all tests, the iPhone X was placed into Airplane mode with no apps running. The display was deactivated except for the four time checks. Tests were conducted without a case on the iPhone X.
The absolute fastest way to charge an iPhone 8, iPhone X, or iPhone 8 Plus is with a USB-C power adapter and an accompanying USB-C to Lightning cable. Charging with USB-C activates a fast-charge feature that’s designed to charge the iPhone to around 50% in 30 minutes, and I saw about that level of charge in all of my USB-C tests.
5W wireless charging and 5W wired charging with the standard iPhone adapter were the slowest methods that I tested. 7.5W wireless testing was faster than 5W wireless charging, but not by much.
Charging at 12W with the iPad adapter wasn’t ultimately too far off of the fast charging results at the end of an hour, making this one of the better compromises between cost and speed.
I tested both Apple’s 29W and 87W USB-C chargers that come with the 12-inch MacBook and the 15-inch MacBook Pro, respectively, along with much cheaper 18W and 30W chargers from Choetech and Anker. I saw little difference in charging speeds between 18W and 87W.
At the 30 minute mark in all tests, my phone was charged to between 45 and 49%, and at 60 minutes, I reached 77 to 79% battery life. The slowest charger was the Anker 30W, but the overall difference was so small that I think it can be chalked up to random variance. My charts are using 1 charging result, but I did test many of these chargers multiple times with the same general results.
Apple’s 29W MacBook charger costs 49 and the USB-C to Lightning cable costs 25, so you’re looking at about 75 for this charging method, but luckily, third party USB-C power adapters work the same way and are more affordable. That 18W Choetech charger I tested, for example, is just 18, while the one from Anker is 30.
There are cheaper non-official USB-C to Lightning cables on Amazon, but given the problems we’ve seen with some third-party USB-C cables, it may be best to stick with verified Apple hardware as far as the cable goes. I didn’t test third-party Lightning to USB-C cables, but I wouldn’t expect to see major speed differences.
If you go with Apple’s cable and something like the 18W Choetech charger, you can get a fast charge setup for just over 40. If you want to try your luck with a non-official cable, you can get fast charging for under 30.
Standard iPad and iPhone Chargers
All of Apple’s iPhones ship with a standard 5W power adapter and USB-A to Lightning cable, and charging with the standard setup is excruciatingly slow comparative to other charging methods. It’s not faster than 7.5W wireless charging and it can’t compare to charging with power adapters that put out more juice. At 30 minutes, for example, it had only charged my iPhone to 21 percent, and I only made it to 39 percent after 60 minutes.
Apple’s 12W iPad charger is much quicker, though, and it’s affordable at 19. With the 12W iPad charger and a standard Lightning cable, I saw charging speeds that weren’t too far off of what I got when charging with a USB-C power adapter. At the 30 minute mark, my iPhone charged to 39 percent, and at the 60 minute mark, I hit 72 percent.
That’s not too bad for a setup that’s one of the most affordable I found, and there are a lot of 12W equivalent third-party charging options on the market, including several with multiple ports and other conveniences.
In general, wireless charging is slower than wired charging, but it’s undeniably convenient, and if you’re charging for a lengthy period of time, say at your desk at work or overnight on the night stand, the slower charging doesn’t matter.
That said, 7.5W wireless charging, which was activated in iOS 11.2, was faster than the standard 5W wired charging method in my testing. There’s also a noticeable but slight speed difference between 5W wireless charging and 7.5W wireless charging.
I tested this difference using the 7.5W wireless charger from Belkin, which Apple sells, on both iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.1.2, which limited iPhone charging to 5W. The Belkin 5W charging result on iOS 11.1.2 is the result included in my graph.
I also tested a Choetech 5W charger that was much slower than the Belkin at 5W, so much so that I wasn’t sure it was an accurate representation of 5W charging. From 1%:
There wasn’t a huge difference between 5W and 7.5W charging in my experience, but 7.5W is faster. If you’re buying a wireless charger, it’s worthwhile to get a 7.5W charger that offers faster charging for the iPhone, but which chargers are compatible with 7.5W wireless charging remains something of a mystery.
We know the Belkin and Mophie chargers that Apple sells offer the faster wireless charging option, but it’s not entirely clear if other higher-watt chargers from third-party manufacturers are able to charge the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus at higher speeds.
For a separate post on wireless charging options, we’ve been investigating third-party wireless chargers, and it’s looking like there may be a restriction put in place by Apple to limit 7.5W charging to approved manufacturers. As an example, on the Amazon page for this charger from Choetech, which says it is 7.5W, there is this message:
We get notice from Apple engineer that current iOS only support 5w qi wireless charging currently, 7.5w wireless charging is encrypted and never released to 3rd party manufacturer.
We’ve heard similar information from other manufacturers, but it’s all very nebulous and not something Apple has clearly outlined at this point. For that reason, if you want confirmed 7.5W wireless charging, go with the Belkin, the Mophie, or another charger that specifically states that it’s compatible with Apple’s 7.5W charging.
Just because a wireless charger offers more than 5W, it’s not necessarily going to offer 7.5W charging speeds when used with an iPhone. If you’re using wireless charging on the night stand or when sitting at a desk for long periods of time, 5W is perfectly adequate, and the third-party chargers are much more affordable than the Belkin and Mophie chargers.
On the subject of wireless charging, I also tested to see if case thickness impacts charging speed. I tested with a naked iPhone X, an iPhone X in Apple’s Silicone case, and an iPhone X with one of the thickest backs I could find, the glitter-filled iPhone X case from Casetify. Charging speeds were almost identical in all three tests, and while the Casetify case was maybe about 2 percent slower, that can perhaps be chalked up to margin of error. There was zero difference with the thinner Apple case.
If your case works with wireless charging at all (and most do, with the exception of those that have rear magnets or are made from aluminum), it’s going to charge at the same speed or nearly the same speed as a naked iPhone.
To get fast charging on iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, you don’t need anything over 18W, and you don’t need a USB-C power adapter that’s from Apple. The third-party options work just as well, but you will probably want to pick up Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable over the alternatives.
Fast charging is going to get you the best charging times, but for less money, you can get the 12W iPad charger and use it with a standard Lightning cable to charge your iPhone almost as fast as you can charge it with fast charging. There’s only about a 10 percent difference between the 12W iPad charger and USB-C charging.
It’s not really worth it using the 5W charger that the iPhone ships with if you can help it, because it’s incredibly slow.
Wireless charging is also a comparatively slow charging method, but it’s convenient to be able to set your iPhone right next to you on a wireless charger and pick it up when necessary without the need to hassle with a cord.