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One of the best new iPhone 13 Pro Max features is a secret fast charge

Published Oct 19th, 2021 12:08PM EDT
iPhone 13 Pro Battery
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Rumors claimed that every iPhone 13 model would feature a larger battery. The new handsets would be slightly thicker, which would help Apple increase the battery capacity. The rumors turned out to be accurate. From mini to Pro Max, every iPhone 13 model has a larger battery pack than its predecessor. Also, they’re all 0.25mm thicker than their iPhone 12 predecessors. The reviews that followed proved all iPhone 13 models feature remarkable battery life, especially the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Real-life tests then told us the iPhone 13 mini outlasts the iPhone 12. More importantly, the iPhone 13 Pro Max set a record in the same test. We now hear that the largest iPhone in Apple’s lineup has a secret battery charging feature that Apple doesn’t advertise. It can reach even faster speeds than before.

Battery charging speed vs. battery life

Android vendors have steadily increased battery charging speeds in recent years, surpassing 100W recently. That means a single laptop charger could recharge the Android handset at peak speed. However, the downside of increasing battery charging speed is that it might impact the battery’s overall health. If you plan on keeping your device for several years before upgrading, you might have to replace the battery at some point down the road.

Apple chose a more conservative route for the iPhone when it comes to battery charging speed. The iPhone 13 series go up to 20W, assuming you buy a USB-C charger. The regular iPhone chargers that used to ship with iPhones only reach speeds of 5W. That’s where the iPhone 13 Pro Max surprise comes in. The phone can reach charging rates of 27W in tests.

iPhone 13 Pro Max charging tests

It was leaker Ice Universe who posted online the following image that shows an iPhone 13 Pro Max reaching a battery charging speed of 27W:

Since then, YouTube channel ChargerLAB ran a more detailed test, posting the results in video form. As you’ll see in the clip at the end of this post, the tester used several chargers to measure the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s charging speeds.

You’ll see various types of USB-C chargers in the video, going from 20W to 100W. The iPhone 13 Pro Max routinely approaches 27W as soon as you connect it to a charger that can support at least 30W of power. It’s unlikely that peak charging speed will stay on for too long. That’s probably why Apple never quotes it. Built-in protections in the software will ensure the battery is safe and that it doesn’t overheat. That means it’ll likely throttle that maximum speed.

The video, however, doesn’t show a full iPhone 13 charge for any of the chargers. We have no idea how long the iPhone 13 Pro Max battery recharges at that top speed. Also, it’s unclear whether the iPhone 13 Pro or the regular iPhone 13 can reach 27W charging speeds.

Why can the iPhone 13 Pro Max charge faster?

This video shows exactly why the latest iPhone charges faster.

Still, this iPhone 13 surprise is something to be aware of. If you own a Pro Max, you can consider using your laptop’s charger to take advantage of the slightly faster than advertised battery charging speeds. If the battery’s longevity is more important, then you might want to use a 20W charger at all times. On that note, MagSafe charging doesn’t exceed 15W.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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