iPhone 8 and iPhone X Fast Wireless Charging Tested: Worth It?

It's long overdue for Apple's phones, but the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X all support wireless charging. And if you buy a Qi wireless charger with 7.5 watts of output for an extra $25 or so, you'll get fast wireless charging (now that iOS 11.2 has enabled this capability).

To see what a standard Qi charger could do, we tested with the Mophie Charge Force Wireless Charging Base ($35.04 at Amazon), which outputs at 5 watts. We also used the new Mophie Wireless Charging Base ($59.95 at Amazon), whose 7.5 watts of power enables faster wireless charging on the new iPhones. We compared the charging prowess of those options to wired charging using a fast adapter and Apple's included Lightning adapter.

The difference is noteworthy, but Apple's bundled wired Lightning adapter was faster in some cases. And if you don't mind being tethered, fast wired charging is still the fastest way to go.

iPhone X

In our first round of tests, the iPhone X reached 10 percent on both the fast wireless charger and the regular wireless charger after 15 minutes of use. However, charging via the in-box Lightning Adapter (14 percent in 15 minutes) was quicker.

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15 Minutes30 Minutes
Standard Qi Charger10%17%
Mophie Wireless Charging Base (7.5 watts)10%20%
Lightning Adapter14%17%
Fast Wired Charging24%50%

If you're willing to spend $68, you can charge the iPhone X to 24 percent in 15 minutes using a combination of a USB-C power adapter and USB-C-to-Lightning adapter.

After 30 minutes, Mophie's fast wireless charger took the iPhone X to 20 percent, compared with 17 percent for the standard wireless charger. That's a decent improvement, but it's not a huge difference.

Mophie Wireless Charging Base

In this case, Apple's wired Lightning adapter was a bit slower, at 17 percent, after 30 minutes. But the fast wired charging method achieved 50 percent in a half-hour.

MORE: Best iPhone X Cases: Our Top Picks

iPhone 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 Plus reached 12 percent of a charge after being placed on Mophie's fast wireless charger for 15 minutes. That beats not just the standard wireless charger (7 percent) but also the wired Lightning cable (11 percent).

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15 Minutes30 Minutes
Standard Qi Charger7%16%
Mophie Wireless Charging Base (7.5 watts)12%23%
Lightning Adapter11%26%
Fast Wired Charging24%47%

At the 30-minute mark, the fast wireless charger delivered 23 percent battery capacity, versus 16 percent for the regular wireless charger. That's about a 44 percent improvement.

With the in-box Lightning adapter, the iPhone 8 Plus reached 26 percent after 30 minutes, so it's a little bit faster than the fast wireless charger.

Fast wired charging (with the right accessories mentioned above) can get you to 47 percent in 30 minutes.

iPhone 8

The iPhone 8's test results make a great case for getting a fast wireless charger. The model we tested offered just 4 percent juice after 15 minutes on a standard charger and 10 percent after 30 minutes. Compare that to 10 percent and 21 percent, respectively, for the fast wireless charger.

So you're getting more than double the charge in the same amount of time.

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15 Minutes30 Minutes
Standard Qi Charger4%10%
Mophie Wireless Charging Base (7.5 watts)10%21%
Lightning Adapter13%30%
Fast Wired Charging26%49%

The Lightning adapter on the iPhone 8 got it to 13 percent in 15 minutes and 30 percent in 30 minutes, so that's a good deal quicker than fast wireless charging.

Willing to schlep a bigger USB-C brick and USB-C-to-Lightning cable around? You can get a 26 percent charge in 15 minutes and 49 percent by 30 minutes.

Bottom Line

If you're going to charge your iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X wirelessly, a fast wireless charger with 7.5 watts of power is indeed faster than a standard Qi charger.  However, the difference in speed wasn't as great as we hoped on the iPhone X.

We saw a bigger delta on the iPhone 8 Plus and especially the iPhone 8. So, if you have either of those two phones, it's definitely worth spending the extra $24 for a fast wireless charger.

As far as wired charging goes, Apple's Lightning adapter was generally faster than Mophie's fast wireless charger, but there were some exceptions.

Overall, the fastest way to charge your new iPhone is a USB-C charger and USB-C-to-Lightning cable, but if you like the convenience of being able to place your phone on a base or mat, a fast wireless charger is better than a standard one.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.