Phones and tablets are capable of increasingly fast charging, but it's rare that a charger that can support these top speeds is supplied in the box. That's if a charger is supplied at all, and many of us are still using old 5W chargers that are painfully slow.
It doesn't have to be this way. The likelihood is your phone or tablet can be charged at a much faster rate than you even realise, and all that's missing is a decent charger. In this article we've rounded up a bunch of single- and multiple-port USB chargers that offer fast charging for your phone or tablet.
The latter, which can plug directly into a wall socket or be mounted on a desk, are extremely convenient if you have multiple USB devices to charge at once, freeing up power sockets in your home and doing away with the need to carry multiple adaptors. (And if you know someone who doesn't already have one of these, it will make a great gift.)
The fastest standard USB chargers support 18W Quick Charge 3.0, but this is worthwhile only if the device you want to charge also supports the standard. Even without it you'll find chargers that can deliver up to 12W of power, which is going to be notably faster than your old 5W charger.
These USB adaptors are not powerful enough to charge a laptop and some games consoles, however. For that you need a Quick Charge 4/4+ or Power Delivery charger, which can output up to 100W over USB-C. We've rounded up the best laptop chargers in a separate article.
You don't need to worry too much about how much power your phone or tablet can accept, since it will draw only the amount of power it requires. Buying a fast charger now will offer you some level of future-proofing for when you later upgrade to a new model that supports faster charging.
We've put together a range of articles to help you choose the best charging tech for the mobile devices you carry everywhere. You'll also like:
- For charging away from home: Power banks for phones & tablets | Power banks for laptops | Travel adaptors
- Best Wall & Desktop Chargers: For phones & tablets | For laptops
- For convenience: Best wireless chargers
- Best charging cables: Micro-USB | USB-C | Lightning
Best Phone & Tablet USB Chargers
1. RAVPower 6-Port Filehub (60W)
Currently out of stock in the UK, this desktop charger is still available in the US via Amazon or RavPower direct.
Chances are you have USB-powered devices in your home that all need regularly charging, so it makes more sense to buy a single device that can charge them all from one power outlet than to buy multiple USB chargers and leave yourself wondering where is there a spare socket to plug in the vacuum cleaner.
We like this RavPower 60W 6 Port Filehub because it is a good-looking and affordable multiple-USB solution, with four fast outputs for charging gadgets, plus it has an additional two ports for quickly and easily sharing files and backing up data between your phone and portable hard drive via a mobile app.
One of those four power outputs is a USB-C PD port that can deliver 24W, while the three full-size USB outputs comprise two 12W outputs and another Quick Charge 3.0 output that can run up to 24W. If you still run out of USB ports for gadgets the phone data port can also run at a slightly slower 7.5W.
Do note that you won't get all these outputs running at their maximum power at once, since the device has a maximum output of 60W, and when those two faster ports are running together each will operate at 18W.
The RavPower comes with a 1.5m power cord and an 18-month warranty.
2. Anker PowerPort Speed PD 5 (60W)
Another desktop charger that is currently out of stock for our UK readers, this Anker model remains available in the US.
This product from Anker is another desktop charger with multiple USB outputs, but it keeps things simple by focusing purely on charging - and therefore comes in a little bit cheaper.
There are five USB outputs in total, with four full-size USB and one USB-C, the latter a Power Delivery port that operates at up to 30W. This is enough to charge some USB-C laptops, such as a MacBook, but others will require a higher input so be sure to check your laptop's spec before you buy.
The remaining four USB outputs share a 30W maximum output and use intelligent technology to work out how to best share that power, but independently each can operate at up to 12W.
We like the simple black plastic design of the PowerPort Speed, with its nicely rounded corners and minimal appearance that should blend into any home.
3. Aukey 6-Port Desktop Charging Station
Priced in line with the two desktop chargers listed above (and actually in stock for UK readers), this Aukey Charging Station offers six outputs for charging your USB-powered devices. None of these ports supports Power Delivery, so it's for charging phones, tablets and other smaller USB devices only - not laptops.
Unlike its competitors, all six are full-size USB-A outputs, though two operate at the higher speed of Quick Charge 3.0. The remaining four operate at up to 10.5W, which is still fast. Do note that the maximum output of this device is 60W, so with all six ports in use you'd see slightly slower charging from each.
The design is not as polished as the other desktop chargers here, with its blocky design and straight edges. We like the matte surface, but it feels more plasticky than some of the (also-plastic) competition.
There's a three-pin wall plug with a 1m cable in the box, which is short enough to prevent cable clutter, but may be a little too short depending on where you intend to place the charger.
Nevertheless, a very handy device to have about the home if you have multiple USB devices to charge.
4. SyncWire USB Plug Travel Charger (48W)
A really handy charger for frequent travellers, the SyncWire Travel plug is a four-port USB wall charger that has a two-pin US plug and adaptors that slide over the top for the UK and Europe. If you're going abroad, taking a multi-port device such as this can eliminate the need to carry four separate adaptors.
Though this travel plug doesn't support Quick Charge or Power Delivery, it has recently been upgraded so that all four of its full-size USB outputs are capable of delivering a nippy 12W at once.
5. Aukey 4 Port USB Wall Charger
Though we prefer the design of this Aukey model to the otherwise similar SyncWire above and Amazon Basics models lower down the chart, it is more expensive and also a bit slower. While all four of its USB-A ports are also able to run at 12W, they can't all do so at once. This charger offers a max output of 30W over USB.
These multi-USB plugs are in essence the same thing as desktop chargers, but plugging directly into the wall outlet they do away with unsightly cables. Of course, that's useful only if you can easily access the wall socket, and it's close enough that your USB cables can stretch to the desk. We prefer them for travel as they take up significantly less room in the case.
This Aukey wall charger is much sleeker than the Amazon alternative, and though it is not small (99x57x31.5mm) it sits close to the wall, with the USB cables inserted to the bottom surface of the device - potentially more awkward to reach, but certainly tidier. This may be an issue if your wall outlet is particularly close to your skirting.
An advantage this model has over all the other chargers in this round-up is that it doesn't prevent you using the wall outlet for powering other devices. This is handy if you have only a few sockets, and especially if you're travelling and have only one adaptor. On the front surface of the device is an AC input, so you can use this wall charger even if you have no free sockets.
6. Anker PowerPort 5 (40W)
Another option from Anker, and this time a cheaper desktop charger that omits the power delivery output and focuses purely on fast charging for your phone, tablet and other USB gadgets, the PowerPort 5 has five 12W USB outputs that each share up to 40W of power. That means with all five in use each will get only 8W.
It has a slightly more blocky design than the 60W model, but this no-frills model has a clean look and appeals for its cheaper price.
7. Aukey USB-C Power Delivery Charger (27W)
Aukey's 27W USB-C Power Delivery charger is a single-port adaptor that ticks all our boxes if you're concerned with charging only one device. That's enough to charge your Nintendo Switch and some USB-C laptops, and is certainly more than enough for your phone or tablet.
It is about as compact as you'll find such a device without a folding plug. As you would expect it has all the necessary safeguards in place to combat overheating, short-circuiting and so forth.
8. RavPower USB Quick Charger (36W)
A two-port version of the model above, yet cheaper than buying two single adaptors, this double-Quick Charge 3.0 wall charger is perfect for charging multiple devices from a single socket.
As with the single-port version, those outputs are backwards-compatible and can deliver a 12W charge to non-Quick Charge devices.
9. Anker PowerPort +1 (18W)
It's slightly more expensive than the comparable model from RavPower above, but this 18W Quick Charge adaptor hails from one of the best known names in charging tech. Aside from price and design it's identical, all will charge non-Quick Charge devices at up to 12W.
The PowerPort +1 also has an ultra-slim design, but here the corners are more squared-off. Which you prefer will ultimately come down to personal taste.
10. Amazon Basics Wall Charger (40W)
Don't overlook Amazon's own range for a great deal: this 40W wall charger might not be much to look at but it's very cheap and completely functional.
With four full-size USB outputs, independently they can run at 12W each, but with all four at once you get a still fast 10W.
This is a no-frills device so don't expect Power Delivery or Quick Charge support, but for simply getting the job done it will serve you well.