You might have hoped that Apple increased battery charging speeds on the iPhone 15 models because they come with USB-C charging ports instead of Lightning, but that hasn’t happened. Instead, Apple’s latest iPhones have the same official max charging speed of 20W from previous models.
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That also means that all iPhone 15 models will actually top that 20W speed if you have a compatible charger. It’s what Apple did with the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14. Speeds can surpass 25W, so you can get the iPhone to charge faster with a power brick that supports at least 30W. But how much faster are we talking about?
The following test shows how fast the iPhone 15 Pro Max takes to charge over USB-C with several different Apple chargers. It might help you decide which accessories to buy next.
YouTuber Brandon Butch conducted the test. He used 5W, 12W, 20W, and 30W chargers that Apple sells. The 5W wall adapter is the default iPhone charger Apple used to offer buyers for free. The 30W charger is something you’d use with the MacBook Air, as that’s the power brick that ships with base models.
Butch used a device to measure the top charging power for each charger while it was charging the iPhone 15 Pro Max. He also looked at how much heat was generated by the phones and the charger.
A chart showing how long it takes for various chargers to recharge the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Image source: YouTube
The YouTuber’s findings are clear: you should use a 20W or 30W charger instead of the smaller bricks. Charging speeds will not surpass 25W, so anything bigger than 30W will not have any impact on charging times. Also, you don’t get the maximum power throughout the charge cycle — not even if you’re using one of the lower-power models.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max needs 2 hours and 11 minutes to go from 0% to 100% using the 30W charger. The 20W power brick needs an additional 10 minutes to get the job done. You’re looking at over 4 hours for the 12W charger and nearly 6 hours for the 5W model. The real advantage is that a 20W or 30W charger will give you more energy during a quick top-up that lasts only a few minutes.
iPhone 15 Pro Max’s battery level after a 20-minute charge. Image source: YouTube
On the other hand, the advantage of using the 5W or 12W charger is that the iPhone doesn’t get as hot as it does with faster chargers. But the chargers themselves get hotter. In theory, using low-powered chargers could improve your iPhone’s battery health. But the gains might be indiscernible and not worth the sacrifice.
With all that in mind, going for a 20W or 30W charger is the best idea if you use wired charging. If you don’t have 20W USB-C chargers (or faster) around the house, you might want to purchase some and recycle/repurpose the lower-speed ones.
The test did not involve wireless charging. MagSafe chargers will recharge the iPhone 15 Pro Max at 15W.
Temperature readings for the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the various chargers used in the test. Image source: YouTube
I use both wired and wireless charging with my iPhone 14 Pro, which also supports unofficial speeds of over 20W. I rely on the same multi-port 100W charger that recharges my Mac to charge the iPhone.
I will also remind you of the battery health features available on iPhone 15 models. You might want to prevent the iPhone 15 Pro Max from reaching 100% when charging. That means you’ll get to 80% faster with a 30W charger than the 2 hour 11 minutes estimate. Your battery life will take a hit, but the battery will degrade slower.
Check out the full video below to see this iPhone 15 Pro Max battery charge test in full.