The iPhone 11 Doesn't Include a Fast Charger, And That's Not Okay

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 11 is a great phone on many fronts. The new dual camera system with its wide-angle lens opens up new photography opportunities, the A13 processor is super fast, and Apple promises an hour longer battery life than the iPhone XR.

However, there’s one thing that it should really have that the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max come with automatically. Not the third camera lens, nor the OLED display, but a better charger.

Within the iPhone 11’s box, you’ll find a 5-watt charger. This is the same wattage as the charger that came with the original iPhone back in 2007. While I’m sure Apple’s improved other aspects of the charger, the fact that the output hasn’t changed in 12 years of iPhones is lame.

If you get an iPhone Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, you get Apple’s first ever in-box fast charger, an 18W model. This does work with the standard iPhone 11, but you’ll need to buy it separately for $25/£25 if you want it, as well as a USB C to Lightning cable (another $19/£19) to connect the charger to your iPhone.

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When you’ve spent your $44/£44, you’ll then achieve a charging speed of 50% of a full charge in 30 minutes, according to Apple’s tech specs. While that’s a lot better than what you’ll get from the 5W default charger, this still isn't great performance.

How slow is the iPhone 11's charging?

Based on our testing, the iPhone 11 Pro got to 55% in 30 minutes, while the iPhone 11 Pro hit 48% after the same amount of time. Sadly, the iPhone 11 got to a sad 16% after 30 minutes. So it's about three times as slow with its standard charger.

If you look over the fence into what Android phones are doing with their chargers, you’ll find far better figures. The OnePlus 7 Pro, which comes bundled with a 30W ‘Warp Charge’ adapter as standard, charges up to 60% in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, with its included 25W charger, makes it to 47% in half an hour, while the Note 10 Plus manages 65% in half an hour. The Note 10 Plus can also utilize a separate 45W charger if you want it. The top of the Android charging speed tables is the Huawei P30 Pro, which can get you to 70% in 30 minutes with its included 40W charger.

Bottom line

We're glad that Apple is providing fast charging to iPhone 11 Pro buyers, and it’s a long overdue addition for those buying the top-tier iPhone. But the fact that Apple is still bundling a slow charger with the iPhone 11 is not okay.

The 2020 iPhone is expected to be a big shake-up for the iPhone series as a whole, and we can only hope that faster charging tech — including USB-C across the board — is part of it.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.