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Android is crushing iPhones in this one key area

Published Nov 18th, 2021 9:20AM EST
An iPhone 13 Pro on a table next to Apple AirPods
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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If you’re comparing a brand new iPhone against a run-of-the-mill Android, let’s be honest: the iPhone is going to emerge victorious every time. However, if you take an iPhone and compare it to a top-of-the-line Android from the likes of Samsung and Google, it’s actually something of a close race. For this very reason, the iPhone vs. Android debate isn’t as heated today as it was a few years ago.

While iPhone and premium Android devices are mostly about even when it comes to features like camera performance, there is one area where Apple still lags considerably: fast charging.

iPhone fast charging – where we are

For years, fast charging on the iPhone wasn’t even an option. As anyone with years of iPhone experience can attest, there was a time where most people simply charged their device with the 5W USB adapter that came with every device.  Eventually, Apple came to its senses and started shipping an 18W adapter with support for fast charging. This gave iPhone users the ability to charge their iPhone up to 50% in 30 minutes.

Apple these days, as you likely know, doesn’t even include a charger with new iPhone models. The reason, according to Apple, is that most people already own a charger. Further, removing the charger entirely helps reduce packaging materials.

“Leaving out those adapters was a bold change for Apple, and a necessary one for our planet,” Apple said at the time.

If you go to Apple’s website today, you can choose between a 15W MagSafe charger, a 20W USB-C Power Adapter, or a 30W USB-C Power Adapter. The latter option will set you back about $49, though there are great options on Amazon that cost about half that much.

iPhone Vs Android fast charging

In a broad sense, Apple is more than happy to play catch-up in certain areas. For example, Apple has historically been incredibly stingy when it comes to increasing entry-level storage capacities. Apple also doesn’t have a problem adding new features years after Android. Put simply, Apple isn’t in a race to be first. Rather, as Apple CEO Tim Cook has said, the company is more concerned with being the best.

This, of course, provides a lot of wiggle room for Android rivals to set new bars for performance in certain areas. And fast-charging is certainly one of those areas. These days, some Android devices can go from 0 to a full charge in less than half the time it takes for some iPhone models.

Upcoming Android devices

All that said, there are rumors that some Android handset manufacturers are exploring the idea of releasing devices with support for 125W charging.

Input Mag writes:

The technology would make it possible to completely charge phones in under an hour. Last year, Oppo claimed it could fully charge a 4,000 mAh battery in 20 minutes with 125W fast-charging.

According to the leaker, the phones bringing 125W+ fast-charging to the masses are the OnePlus 10 Pro, Realme GT 2 Pro, Oppo N series, and Reno 8 Pro. Notice anything in common? They’re all brands under Chinese conglomerate BBK Electronics.

There’s even something of an insane rumor that Xiaomi is working on a 200W fast charger capable of taking a device from empty to a full charge in 15 minutes flat. The downside to this, however, is that battery degradation becomes something of an issue after a few hundred charges.

A concept Xiaomi phone with a quad waterfall display. Image source: Xiaomi

So while it remains to be seen if and when these fast chargers become a reality, it stands to reason Apple is in no rush to get into a fast-charging arms race.

So even though Android will likely continue to trounce Apple in this area, Apple likely doesn’t care all that much. And if we’re being honest, the ability to charge to 50% in 30 minutes is perfectly fine for most iPhone users. This is especially true when you take into account that iPhones tend to be more power-efficient than their Android counterparts.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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