Phones 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 can be charged at a much faster rate than you even realise, and all that's missing is a decent charger. We've rounded up a bunch of single- and multiple-port USB chargers that offer fast charging for your phone (or tablet, too).
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.
Best Phone & Tablet USB Charger reviews
1. SyncWire USB Plug Travel Charger - Best Travel Charger
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.
2. Anker PowerPort 5 - Best Value Multi-port Charger
This older Anker model offers great value if you need to charge multiple devices, something it achieves by omitting a power delivery output and focusing 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 blocky design, but this no-frills model has a clean look and appeals for its good value.
3. Aukey USB-C Power Delivery Charger - Best Single-Port Charger
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, in addition to 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.
4. Anker PowerPort III Fusion 5K - Best Hybrid Charger
The Fusion 5K from Anker is of interest not only because it's a capable mains-operated wall charger for up to two USB devices, but because it also serves as a 5,000mAh power bank. And there's a trickle-charging mode, making it suitable for smartwatches and earbuds, too.
The first of its type that we have encountered, the additional power bank functionality makes the Anker rather large for a phone charger (and heavier than most at 176g), but significantly more useful if you are frequently on the road.
There's an 18W USB-C PD port and a 12W USB-A, making it easy to charge two devices at once.
5. RavPower USB Quick Charger - Best Compact Charger
A two-port charger that is cheaper than buying two single adaptors, this double-Quick Charge 3.0 wall charger is perfect for charging multiple devices from a single socket.
The Quick Charge 3.0 outputs are also backwards-compatible and can deliver a 12W charge to non-Quick Charge devices.
6. Anker PowerPort +1 - Best Value Single-port Charger
This 18W Quick Charge adaptor hails from one of the best known names in charging tech, and offers very good value. It will charge non-Quick Charge devices at up to 12W.
The PowerPort +1 has an ultra-slim design, but with more squared-off corners than some. We like it.
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: