Apple iPhone XS and XS Max fast-charging speeds compared: Standard vs iPad vs MacBook charger
Indeed, fast-wired charging is a relatively new, but still criminally under-used iPhone feature. The hardware is perfectly capable of handling faster charging times, but the stock charging brick that Apple ships in the box is incapable of charging the phones rapidly.
Then charging ensued.
Have in mind that the new iPhones naturally can't receive the tremendous input of 87 watts of power that the brick is capable of pushing out. It would seem that the phones are capped at 18W similar to last year's iPhone X, meaning that regardless whether you pick a 29W, 30W, 61W, or an 87W power adapter, you should be able to achieve the advertised charging speeds. As we had an 87W brick, we resorted to using that one, but have in mind you should expect similar results with the aforementioned MacBook charges as well.
Okay, enough setting up the plot, it's time for the raw data to come pouring in! Here's what we found out.
As far as full charges go, the trends remained largely unchanged - the stock charger was, well, very slow, the MacBook charger performed admirably, and the iPad charger stood as a nice middle ground.
iPhone XS MaxWhat about the larger iPhone XS Max? With its larger battery, this one naturally takes slightly more to achieve the same battery levels as its more compact peer. The stock charger would halve the battery level in 1 hour and 31 minutes, which is sloooooooooow, but do you know5 what's slower? That's right - the stock charger going for the full lap from 0% to 100%, which is a 3-hour-and-23-minutes endeavor. To put things in perspective, the critically-acclaimed cult classic The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King runs for 3 hours and 20 minutes, so grab some popcorn and watch it if you haven't while you're charging your device.
Meanwhile, the 12W iPad charger fares much better. Charge with it short of an hour and you will get some 50% of battery charge inside your phone; leave it hooked up for 2 hours and 40 minutes, and your phone will be fully charged.
The 87W MacBook charger amazes once again - a 30-minute top-up will get you to 50%, while a full charge takes just 2 hours, which is an impressive result compared to what the stock charger is capable of.
Our test further solidifies a couple of notions flying around:
1) fast-charging is awesome;
2) the standard 5W iPhone charger is inexcusably slow.
Of course, it's not exclusively an Apple practice to sell more potent phone accessories separately, as multiple manufacturers did just that even before the iPhones had scored quick-charging. However, it shows how behind the times the stock 5W charging brick is, falling ungraciously behind all of its Apple-branded brethren, especially those sweet iPad chargers that seem more and more appealing.
We'd actually recommend getting yourself an iPad charger or any compatible MacBook charger. Given that the iPad one is the most affordable at $19 and the MacBook ones start at $49, we'd wager most of you would rather consider getting the tablet charger.
Needless to say, it will be wonderful if you already own any of the chargers listed above, great! Feel free to use them and charge your iPhones much faster than what the stock charging brick would otherwise let you and don't be afraid you'd "fry" or somehow harm your $1000 gadget. By all means, if you have one of these lying around, use it!