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iPhone 13 might get charging speed boost - but it won't tempt Android phone fans

An artist's impression of the iPhone 13 in pink
(Image credit: TechRadar)

If you're expecting the iPhone 13 to be a super-premium smartphone, you might be right in some ways and wrong in others - case in point, we've got a charging speed leak that's not very impressive.

According to a source speaking to Chinese site MyDrivers, the iPhone 13 series will likely get 25W wired charging - that'd be a moderate boost from the 18W on the iPhone 12 series.

Take this with a pinch of salt, as the site's sources aren't clear, and the website also has a dubious track record with iPhone leaks like this.

If the iPhones used 25W, "the charging speed should not change much" according to MyDrivers - that could imply an increase in battery size, or just refer to the fact that, in the grand scheme of phone charging speeds, an extra 7W isn't much.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series uses 25W fast charging, so Apple would be playing catch-up to a top competitor, but comparisons pale when you look at the range of other Android manufacturers and the charging speeds many of these use.


charging

(Image credit: Future)

Analysis: not enough for Android fans

If you look at Chinese phone companies like OnePlus, Oppo, Realme and Xiaomi, you'll see charging speeds that are 30W at a minimum, and usually closer to 65W or even 100W.

That kind of charging speed can power a phone from empty to full in half an hour or less - not an hour or two, as 25W powering can take.

Such fast charging would typically damage a battery, but most phone brands have software and hardware optimizations to ensure the battery life lasts a long time.

Compared to the lightning-fast powering many Android phones have (including budget and mid-range devices), iPhone charging feels relatively glacial, whether it's 18W or 25W. 

Just note by 'Android' we don't actually include Samsung phones, as the brand's devices also lag behind on the fast-charging front.

So while it's good that Apple is finally opting to improve the powering speed of its smartphones, this simply isn't enough to keep iPhones competitive with Android handsets for people who like fast charging.

Tom Bedford

Staff Writer, Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more.