Now that you have got your hands on a shiny new iPhone XR or iPhone XS for the holidays, you may be noticing that the phone charges slowly compared to the iPhone you upgraded from, like an iPhone 6 or 6s. Buy a new charger to solve your problem. Here’s why …
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The iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have much bigger internal batteries than the older iPhone model you are upgrading from. This means that they take longer to charge if using the same charger — this is normal function and not a defect of your phone.
However, the charger bundled in the box with the iPhone XS and iPhone XR is the same 5w charger Apple has been bundling with all iPhones to date. The charger in your shiny new iPhone box is not any faster than the one that came with your iPhone 6, 7, or 8.
To get your iPhone to charge faster, you need to buy a higher-rated charger. You can buy the official Apple 12W charger for about $15, this is the same charger that comes with iPads. Using the 12W brick with a normal Lightning to USB cable (or the one you already have) will dramatically speed up the charging times for your iPhone XS, iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max.
The built-in charger can take up to 4 hours to fully charge an iPhone XR or XS Max. With the 12W charger, that time is cut in half. The 12W charger lets you get to 50% battery charge in 44 minutes.
If you buy an even higher rated charger, like this 18W charger from Aukey, you can get your new iPhone from 0% to 50% in under 30 minutes. Note that iPhone XS and iPhone XR will only draw a maximum of 18 watts, so any additional wattage makes no difference. The 12W Apple charger is a good tradeoff of price-performance, and you already own one if you have an iPad.
It is disappointing that Apple continues to include only a measly 5W charger in the iPhone box, but that is the reality we live in today. If you want your iPhone XS or iPhone XR to charger more quickly, you need to use a different charger.
To illustrate the difference in capacity between old and new iPhone models, the iPhone 6s had an internal battery with 1715 mAH capacity. The iPhone XR features a battery with 2942 mAH capacity, almost 70% larger. Roughly speaking, this is why it feels like your new iPhone takes twice as long to charge than the one you are upgrading from.
The iPhone XS Max features an even larger battery with 3174 mAH capacity. A 5W charger really isn’t suitable and hopefully Apple changes course in the future. They have started making an 18W USB-C charger for the new iPads, so perhaps that will become standard in the 2019 iPhone box.