Phone battery capacity, measured in milliamp hours (mAh), is one of the most important things to consider when buying a smartphone, but a lesser studied but almost-as-important factor is how fast the phone charges.
Of course. this is in part dependent on the size of the battery: it generally takes longer to charge a 6,000 mAh battery than a 3,000 mAh, as you would expect. But that’s only part of the formula.
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The phone charging time is also impacted by the maximum supported charging speed of the phone and the power of the charger you have, both measured in watts. In some cases this means you can upgrade your phone’s charging speed by buying a higher rated charger than the one in the box (if one is included at all).
Phone charging speeds compared
|Battery gain in 30 minutes
|Max charging speed
|Asus ROG Phone 5
|Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
|Moto G Power
|Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus
|OnePlus 9 Pro
|Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
|Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
|Samsung Galaxy S21
|Google Pixel 4a 5G
|Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
|Google Pixel 4a
|Apple iPhone 12 Pro
|iPhone 12 mini
Apple iPhone 12
Using Apple’s $19 20W fast charger, the iPhone 12 went from zero to 57% in our half hour charging test. As the company has stopped shipping power adapters with its handsets, you’ll need to source your own, however.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
The iPhone 12 Pro is rated for 50% of a charge in 30 minutes, and got better than that at 55% with a 20W Apple charger. The battery is on the small side, though, at 2,815 mAh.
Apple iPhone 12 mini
The iPhone 12 mini did even better – which perhaps shouldn’t be surprising, given its battery is 588mAh smaller. Still, the phone managed to reach 60% in 30 minutes.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
The iPhone 12 Pro Max packs the largest battery in Apple's lineup at 3,867 mAh. Apple's 20W charger got this big-screen phone to 47% in 30 minutes.
Apple iPhone SE
The good news? The iPhone SE shipped with its own power adapter. The bad news? It’s just 5W, meaning that our review recorded it as reaching just 29% in half an hour.
This could reach speeds very similar to the iPhone 12, however, as the phone supports charging speeds of up to 18W.
Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus’ gaming phone is one of the fastest charging phones around. The 6,000mAh battery is supported by a bundled 65W charger, which means the Asus ROG Phone 5 goes from 0 to 70% in half an hour. It reached a quite respectable 44% in 15 minutes, too.
Google Pixel 4a
The Google Pixel 4a’s bundled 18W charger ensures the handset hit exactly 50% battery from a half-hour charge, which is quite impressive for a lower-end device. Just keep in mind the capacity is on the lower side at 3,140 mAh.
Google Pixel 4a 5G
The enhanced Pixel 4a 5G did slightly worse, but not enough to make you reconsider the upgrade, especially considering it comes with 745mAh more capacity. In half an hour, the bundled 18W charger took the phone from zero to 46%.
Moto G Power
The Moto G Power’s legendary long stamina may guarantee it a place in our list of the longest phone battery life, but it takes a fair while to charge. In our test, the battery got to just 22%, thanks to the slower 10W charger.
The OnePlus 9’s bundled WarpCharge 65T charger promises a full charge in just 29 minutes. It’s not far off: in our 30-minute test, the OnePlus 9 hit 98% capacity.
OnePlus 9 Pro
The OnePlus 9 Pro also comes with a Warp Charge 65T charger, and it did slightly better, hitting 99% battery with half an hour at the outlet. This is the fastest charging phone we've tested. A recent rumor has the OnePlus 10 Pro tipped to come with 125W charging, near doubling the 65W charging the current OnePlus phones have, so the OnePlus 9 Pro could lose it's spot on this list.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
In a slightly disappointing downgrade from the Note 10 Plus which has 45W charging, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra ‘only’ supports 25W speeds. All the same, in half an hour, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra hit a quite respectable 56%.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE offers a huge amount of what made the original S20 so special at a cut-down price. But cost savings have to be found somewhere, and one such saving is in the bundled 15W charger. It took the Galaxy S20 FE to 35% in 30 minutes, but if you want faster than that then you’ll need to spend $29 on a 25W power adapter.
Samsung Galaxy S21
Like Apple, Samsung decided to ditch the power adapter with the S21 series, so your speeds will be dependent on what plug you have available. Still, in our tests, using a 25W charger on the Samsung Galaxy S21, we were able to hit 55% in 30 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy S21 UItra
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra not only doesn't ship with a power adapter, but Samsung has reduced the optional 45W charging found on the S20 Ultra to 25W here. Still, it’s not exactly slow, with the phone going from zero to 54% in 30 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Samsung’s foldable beast actually has two batteries divided pm either side of the folding screen, but it doesn’t seem to affect the 25W charging speeds too much. In half an hour, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 hit 46% battery.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.
How about including some other TOP PERFORMERS? How does The Huawei P40 Pro do in comparison, for example?Reply
I mean- for the sake of God! - even my old P30 Pro, from the early stone ages, kicks the butts of all the phones on your list, bar OnePlus 9/9 Pro and gets a shared second (modelwise, otherwise shared third..) place together with Asus ROG Phone 5! (Even though the ROG 5 has a HUGE battery.. But how many consumers will actually buy that model? Isn't that a total "fringe-product"?)
With up to 70% of 4200 mAh for the P30 Pro, (which also happens to be a rather common phone, globally...), wouldn't it be OBJECTIVE and also FAIR TO YOUR READERS, to also include the P40 Pro, or are Huawei phones maybe not being sold in the US anymore? (I'm NOT being sarcastic here, as I do understand that there are issues with Huawei, especially on the US market..)
Btw- NO affiliations with China or Huawei for me! (except that almost every technical gadget I buy, seens to be manufactured in China - just like all of the other phones on your list, obviously...)
Cheers from Sweden!