From the iPhone 8 on, you can charge wirelessly. From iPhone 8 to iPhone 11, this used the Qi wireless charging standard. From iPhone 12, you can use Qi chargers or faster MagSafe chargers that clamp to your iPhone using a ring of hidden magnets for a more efficient fit and therefore faster wireless charging.
Qi chargers range in power from 5W to 15W; MagSafe chargers from 7.5 to 15W. Because of the magnetic fit MagSafe chargers will be faster even if at the same wattage as Qi, so got for a MagSafe charger if you can (and your iPhone is version 12 or later). Read our recommendations for the best MagSafe chargers and also the best MagSafe power banks.
Can I leave my phone charging overnight
Ever since smartphones arrived, the most common way of recharging them has been to plug them in when you go to bed, then disconnect them in the morning with a full charge to last the day.
This made a lot of sense when batteries took a long time to get up to full charge, as the eight hours in bed gave both the user and device time to recover from the previous day’s exertions.
But now, as the period it takes to charge a battery has dramatically reduced, it’s time to reconsider how you top up the tank.
iPhones use Lithium-ion batteries because, Apple states, they “charge faster, last longer, and have a higher power density for more battery life in a lighter package”. These are all fine features, but one thing that Li-On is not really keen on is being reduced to 0 percent and then back up to 100 percent each day.
Apple recommends, as do many others, that you try to keep an iPhone battery between 30 and 80 percent charged. Topping up to 100 percent isn’t optimal, although it won’t necessarily damage your battery, but letting it regularly run down to 0 percent can prematurely lead to a battery’s demise. There is an exception, as it’s considered good form to do a complete 0-100 percent charge about once a month, just to keep the battery in good shape.
For all other instances, though, the best practice is to top your battery up periodically during the day so that it stays in that sweet spot. Hopefully, this should keep the cell healthy for as long as possible. To make this easier to achieve we recommend keeping an extra charger at work or in your car so that you can pop the iPhone on to it when you see the battery beginning to fade.
The generala dvice is that you should use the charger that came with your device. If you have an iPad, then the charger that came with it is also compatible and may actually get your iPhone up to a full tank quicker than its own charger.
But there are faster, smaller and cheaper chargers that beat Apple’s own. There are various third-party charger offerings on the Apple store itself, but, just for you, we have tested the best iPhone chargers to make your choices much easier.
Charging an iPhone via a cable is the speediest way to get back up to full power but wireless charging is often more convenient. From the iPhone 12 on, Apple has added a magnetic technology called MagSafe that makes wireless charging more efficient and therefore faster.
Avoid cheap knock-off products, as in some cases these have been known to damage devices. See our Are cheap iPhone chargers safe? feature for more details.
Does fast charging damage an iPhone?
No. So long as your iPhone has the Fast Charge capabilities (from the iPhone 8 and later) then the battery and iOS work together to ensure that it won’t overheat or cause any harm.
If you have a thick protective case on your iPhone, it might be a good idea to remove it while using a fast-charger, just so the heat dissipates easily and doesn’t trigger the software warnings to slow down the power flow.
Martyn has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews for Macworld and its sister site Tech Advisor.