Fast Charging Comes to iPhone X, 8 (But Requires a New Charger)

The recently unveiled iPhone X and iPhone 8 introduced a plethora of new features and functions. But one feature got little to no mention at Apple’s keynote and was mostly glossed over in media coverage: all three of Apple’s new devices support fast charging.

Apple says that its new lineup of iPhones will be able to recharge up to 50 percent of their battery life in just 30 minutes, according to the handsets’ tech spec page on the company’s website. That’s a feature that Apple also included on its newest 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros. But there’s a catch: the feature relies on USB Power Delivery, a specification of the newer USB-C port standard. That means that users will need to plug the iPhones into a wall or port via a Lightning-to-USB-C charging cable in order to enable fast-charging.

The addition of fast charging capabilities was previously predicted by a Barclays analyst in June. Contrary to that prediction, however, is the fact that Apple decided to package a normal Lightning-to-USB cable with its new devices, rather than a Lightning-to-USB-C cable. There’s no word as to why, but presumably, it’s because of USB Type-A’s ubiquity in the current tech scene.

That means that users will need to purchase a separate Lightning-to-USB-C cable (luckily, Apple sells them on its website for $ 25). Additionally, the feature will require a USB-C compatible charger with Power Delivery. Apple sells one 29W charging brick (made for the 12-inch MacBook) for about $ 50, its cheapest option. Theoretically, any third-party USB-C charger with Power Delivery will work, but those usually run over $ 25.

Still, it’s a useful update for users who want to forego wireless charging. Even just half an hour of charging could result in hours of additional battery life. And buying an extra Lightning-to-USB-C cable means that you’ll be able to plug the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X into your new MacBook models without a dongle.

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