Best USB Wall Charger of 2020
If you are searching for a top-tier USB power adapter that just about does it all, then we highly recommend the Aukey PA-D1 30W PD. This charger has some impressive power output abilities, able to output a maximum of 30 watts. It has both a USB-C and a USB-A port, giving you plenty of flexibility when it comes to charging different devices and using different cables. This charger is also compatible with the USB Power Delivery 3.0 standard, allowing you to charge larger devices at higher voltages and current than a typical USB port, ensuring you can get your electronics charged as quickly as they allow. It's also a relatively compact charging solution, featuring a foldable plug.
However, this charger is undeniably quite a bit larger than some of the miniature single-port options, so it might not be the best travel option if you are only charging one device at a time. It also can block adjacent outlets depending on how it's plugged in, though we did find that you can typically still use an outlet below it if you plug it in upside down in the top outlet. Overall, we feel this is a fantastic charger and is one of the best wall chargers you can get today.
with its PowerIQ 3.0 charging standard. The main body of this charger measures approximately 1" on either side and only weighs about 30 grams, making it the perfect travel companion for all your charging needs.
The Anker PowerPort III Nano had very few flaws that stood out to us, with the most noticeable thing being its lack of a folding plug. True, it's still very small and compact even with the plug sticking out, but this definitely makes it considerably larger and a little less ergonomic to handle when not plugged in. This charger also only works with USB-C cables, so iPhone users may need to invest in some USB-C to Lightning cables if you don't already have some. These are fairly trivial flaws in our mind and we absolutely love this little charger and highly recommend it.
We think the Anker PowerPort Elite 2 is the perfect option for anyone looking for a solid charger and doesn't want to spend a whole lot for it. This charger is about average in size and weight for a dual-port charger, complete with foldable plugs. It has a pair of USB-A plugs that are each capable of sourcing up to 2.4 amps (12 watts each). It has a fairly sleek design and a wide blue LED indicator light at the top so you know if it's properly plugged in.
However, while this USB wall charger does have a respectable maximum power output, it isn't Qualcomm Quick-Charge compatible, so it won't be able to charge certain devices — typically Samsung phones — as fast as the other models we have tested. It also can block some of the adjacent outlets, depending on how you plug it in. Regardless, it's a great bargain option — especially since it can charge two things at once — and we highly recommend it for anyone shopping on a budget for a new phone charger.
If you are shopping for multiple chargers on a limited budget, then we would suggest going with the AmazonBasics One-Port 12W Wall Charger. This bare-bones option can charge phones and tablets at up to 2.4 amps with its single USB-A port. It's compact with a foldable plug, weighing just under 50 grams. It doesn't block both nearby plugs if oriented correctly and has one of the lowest price tags of the entire group when you take into account that it is sold in a pack of two.
This basic charger doesn't support USB Power Delivery or Qualcomm Quick-Charge so your devices might need a little more time to charge in exchange for saving you some cash with this USB wall charger. We did notice that this charger has an exceptionally bright LED light as well but we'll leave it up to you to decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Still, this is a great budget choice if you don't mind buying two at a time.
If you need a charger that can handle multiple devices at once, then we feel the Anker PowerPort 4 is where it's at. This charger has four USB-A ports and has a combined power output of 40 watts (8 amps), with up to 2.4 amps from a single port. This is plenty of power to charge plenty of devices as quickly as possible using Anker's PowerIQ and VoltageBoost. It has a foldable plug and, while it is larger than many other products, it does leave the outlet underneath it free if you plug it in upside down in a typical wall outlet.
However, this charger is still substantially larger than other USB wall chargers out there, especially when compared to its single-port counterparts. It weighs 139 grams and measures roughly 2.5" x 2.5" x 1.10" — considerably larger than the smallest chargers, which are only about 1"x1"x1" and weigh 30 grams. The power output for this charger also drops if you have four devices plugged in at once, so don't expect to get peak charging speed if you have four tablets or high-power phones all going at once. Additionally, it doesn't support Qualcomm Quick Charge or USB Power Delivery. In reality, these probably won't be issues for the vast majority of people and we definitely recommend this model to anyone who needs a charger that can handle a few devices at once.
If none of the other USB wall chargers that we have tested can meet your power requirements, then we suggest you consider the RAVPower PD Pioneer 45W GaN Tech USB-C Wall Charger. This USB Power Delivery charger can source up to 45 Watts for a single device, as well as outputting a higher voltage to give you some of the fastest charging possible for larger devices, like a Nintendo Switch or an iPad Pro. It also has a fairly slim design for a high-power charger and a convenient folding plug.
Unfortunately, this single-port USB-C charger is definitely much larger than other single-port USB-C chargers and is also usually a bit more expensive. This means that we wouldn't really recommend it to anyone unless they are sure their device can take advantage of both the USB Power Delivery fast-charging protocol and the additional power output since most smartphones won't be able to make use of a charger with a power output of more than 18 Watts or so, even when charging at their fastest.
In our minds, the Anker PowerPort PD2 charger is an overall excellent charger — just narrowly missing out on the top spot. It's a USB Power Delivery charger capable of outputting up to 18 watts through its USB-C port with the other 12 watts allocated to the USB-A port. It can fast-charge most smartphones and medium-power devices, like an iPad Pro.
We rated the Anker PowerPort PD 2 a bit lower than some comparable chargers since it's a bit bulkier and heavier. However, this charger is still fairly compact and easy enough to travel with. It's a great option and we wouldn't dissuade anyone from this charger, as it was just barely edged out of the top spot in our tests.
The Aukey 18W PD USB-C Wall Charger is a petite USB Power Delivery charger with a single USB-C port. It can output up to 18 watts using the Power Delivery protocol, or 3 amps at 5 volts, 2 amps at 9 volts, or 1.5 amps at 12 volts. It should fast charge most iPhones and Samsung phones as fast as they allow. This is a very compact charger, made even more travel-friendly with its folding plug, and can leave an adjacent outlet open when plugged in.
This charger is a little bulkier and heavier than some of the other single-port USB-C chargers we have seen but not by too much. Its maximum output of 18 watts is a little too low for some larger Power Delivery devices, like an iPad Pro or Nintendo Switch, meaning it will charge a bit slower. We still think this is a good option if you want a travel-friendly Power Delivery charger with a foldable plug and are primarily charging smartphones and infrequently charging larger devices.
If you are looking for a simple, no-fuss power adapter that can charge your Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0-capable device — usually Samsung smartphones — as fast as possible, then you might want to take a look at the Anker PowerPort+ 1 with Quick Charge 3.0. This charger can output up to 18 watts through its single USB-A port. It has impressive charging specs, able to vary its voltage and current output to match your device's needs and is able to output up to 3 amps at the standard 5 volts for USB charging — one of the highest current ratings of the entire group.
These impressive charging capabilities come at a bit of a price, as this charger is a bit heavier and larger than most of the other single-port chargers. We also think that its charging specs put it in a bit of an awkward spot, as it has more than enough power for most smartphones but not quite enough to fast-charge larger devices. It's a solid QC 3.0 charger with a USB-A port if that's what you are looking for but we think most people will find more utility with other chargers.
The Aukey Quick Charge 3.0 Wall Charger is another single-port, USB-A, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 USB wall charger. This charger can adjust its current and voltage output to match your device, with a maximum current of up to 3 amps at 5 volts. We also liked that this charger is very slim and is one of the only products that we tested that leaves both the outlet above and below it free when plugged into a power strip.
However, this also gives this charger a bit of an odd look compared to the rest. The Aukey Quick Charge has a very wide and flat profile and a fixed plug. This does make it seem a little larger compared to other options in our mind and we found the fixed plug can get hung up on stuff if you throw it in a bag. It's a good option if you want a minimalistic QC 3.0 charger that doesn't block other outlets.
The iClever BoostCube 2nd Generation Dual Wall Charger is a fairly run-of-the-mill wall charger in our minds. It has two USB-A ports that are both capable of outputting up to 2.4 amps and can charge two devices simultaneously. It's actually a relatively small charger compared to some of the other dual-port options out there and has a folding plug to make it even more compact for travel.
Unfortunately, while this charger is capable of outputting a significant amount of power, it might not actually fast-charge your devices since it isn't a QC 3.0 or USB Power Delivery wall charger. We also noticed that the price of this charger can vary quite a bit so it could be a good basic budget option if you find it on sale but there are comparably priced chargers with more impressive fast-charging specs that we would suggest over the iClever BoostCube for most people.
The Anker 2-Pack Dual Port 12W Wall Charger is an economical charger, especially since it's usually sold in a pack of two at a comparable price to a single unit of many of the other chargers we tested. This power adapter has a foldable plug and has a fairly compact form factor, weighing just under 40 grams and can be plugged in so that it won't block an adjacent outlet.
Unfortunately, we weren't impressed with how this charger charged. It doesn't really support any quick-charging protocols and is limited to an output of just 12 watts of power shared between both outlets. This means that it does alright if you are just charging a single device but will be one of the slowest of the group to charge if you have two phones recharging simultaneously. While we like that this USB wall charger is inexpensive and compact, we just think it's hard to get past its lackluster charging capabilities and only would recommend it if you need to charge low-power devices (earbuds, wireless headphones, E-readers) and are shopping on a budget.
Why You Should Trust Us
David Wise takes the helm of our USB wall charger testing process and hands-on review. He has spent over four years rating and ranking consumer products side-by-side, working in detail with all sorts of USB power products ranging from portable power packs to wireless chargers and has in-depth knowledge of all the latest and greatest USB charging standards and specifications. He also brings his background as a mechanical engineer with expertise in subsea electronics and lithium batteries into the design of our testing procedures.
We began this review by researching all of the most highly-rated and ranked USB power adapters available today, then bought the best for hands-on testing. We looked at the different voltage and power output capabilities of each charger, as well as the different fast-charging protocols each one can achieve, comparing their performance with a digital USB multimeter, simulated Power Delivery trigger, and a dummy resistive load. We also took the number of ports, overall ease of use, and real-world performance with various devices into account when determining scores.
Analysis and Test Results
We split our hands-on USB power adapter testing process into four different metrics, scoring each product on their charging capabilities, size, multi-device charging, and indicator lights, with some of the most notable products in each metric highlighted below.
The first and most important thing we looked at when rating and ranking USB wall chargers is their charging performance, based on their maximum current output at 5 volts, which USB fast charging standards each product is capable of, if they are capable of fast charging a Samsung S8, and maximum power output for a single port.
The RAVPower 45W PD USB-C has the highest power output of all the chargers we tested, capable of outputting up to 45 watts through its single USB-C port. This charger complies with the USB Power Delivery 3.0 standard and is capable of Fast Charging the Samsung S8 we tested with. This USB PD 3.0 charger can output up to 3 amps at 5 volts and will adjust its voltage depending on the device, with a maximum of 20 volts.
The Aukey PA-D1 30W PD came next, also meeting the USB Power Delivery 3.0 standard. It has both a USB-C and a USB-A port, with a maximum power output of up to 30 watts through its USB-C port. It matches the performance of the RAVPower 45W PD USB-C at 5 volts, also able to output a maximum of 3 amps at 5 volts. However, while it also can adjust its voltage to match your device, the Aukey PA-D1 30W PD can't match the current output of the RAVPower 45W PD USB-C at higher voltages. The power output of the USB-C port will also drop to 18 watts if the USB-A plug is in use.
The Anker PowerPort PD2 looks very similar to the Aukey PA-D1 30W PD but is only a USB Power Delivery 2.0 charger. It can also output 3 amps at 5 volts but has a maximum voltage output of only 9 volts, compared to the 20 volts of the PD 3.0 chargers. It is capable of fast charging a Samsung S8 or an iPhone if a USB-C to Lightning cable is used but doesn't support "charge and play" mode for a Nintendo Switch when it's in TV mode.
The Anker PowerPort III Nano and the Aukey 18W PD USB-C Wall Charger both did well in our charging performance tests, especially given their small size. These both are USB Power Delivery chargers, with the Aukey 18W PD USB-C Wall Charger having a maximum voltage output of 12 volts and the Anker PowerPort III Nano maxing out at 9 volts. The Anker PowerPort III Nano does have a slightly lower maximum current output of 2.4 amps at 5 volts compared to the 3 amps of the Aukey 18W PD USB-C Wall Charger. However, both of these could fast charge the Samsung S8.
Next, we have our pair of Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 chargers, the Anker PowerPort+ 1 with Quick Charge 3.0 and the Aukey Quick Charge 3.0 Wall Charger. These both have a maximum current output of 3 amps at 5 volts and a maximum voltage of 12 volts. While these aren't USB Power Delivery options, the Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 makes them a great choice if you are planning on powering a wireless charger with this power brick, as QC 3.0 is required for wireless fast charging of certain phones.
Our remaining chargers, like the Anker PowerPort 4, the Anker PowerPort Elite 2, the iClever BoostCube 2nd Generation Dual Wall Charger, the Anker 2-Pack Dual Port 12W Wall Charger, or the AmazonBasics One-Port 12W Wall Charger, don't really meet any of the newer fast charging standards.
However, all of these chargers are able to output up to 2.4 amps for a single USB port, with the exception of the Anker 2-Pack Dual Port 12W Wall Charger which is limited to 1.2 amps.
After looking at how well each of the products did at charging a single device, we moved on to rating and ranking the size of each product. We started by looking at the size and weight of each charger, as well as if the plug folds up and if it obstructed other outlets when plugged into a power strip.
In our minds, the clear frontrunner in this metric is the Anker PowerPort III Nano. This minuscule charger only weighs around 30 grams and measures approximately 1.08"x1.08"x1.18", with the outlet sticking out another 0.5" or so. Unfortunately, you can't fold the prongs in but we did like that this charger doesn't block the outlet underneath it when plugged into a power strip or typical outlet, though it will block the one above it.
The Aukey PA-D1 30W PD and the Anker Dual Port 12W Wall Charger are both just a tiny bit larger, tipping the scales at around 40 grams. We liked that both of these chargers have foldable outlets but they are a little larger than the Anker PowerPort III Nano. We also found that you can use the outlet underneath without issue but that this pair do block the plug above them.
We think another wall charger from Aukey, the Quick Charge 3.0 Wall Charger is also worth mentioning. It is a little heavier and larger than some of the aforementioned chargers and its plug doesn't fold up but it's one of the only chargers we have seen that lets you use both the outlet above and below it when plugged in.
The AmazonBasics One-Port 12W weighs about the same as the Aukey Quick Charge but is a bit smaller and has a foldable plug. However, like many of the other chargers, it only leaves the outlet below it free for use. The Anker PowerPort+ 1 with Quick Charge 3.0 is very similar, though weighing about 10 grams more.
With the exception of the RAVPower 45W PD USB-C charger, all the other chargers are designed for charging multiple devices at once and are quite a bit larger. The RAVPower 45W PD USB-C is by far the largest and heaviest of the USB wall chargers that only have a single output port — understandable, since it also has one of the largest power outputs available — measuring around 2.8"x2.1"x0.56". It also blocked the outlet above and below it in our test but it at least has a foldable plug and only weighs about 78 grams.
The remaining multi-port chargers — the Anker PowerPort Elite 2, the Anker PowerPort 4, the iClever BoostCube, the Anker PowerPort PD2, and the Aukey Fast USB-C Wall Charger 3.0 — are all on the larger side, sticking out about 2" or more from the wall when plugged in. The Anker PowerPort4 is the heaviest of this group, weighing approximately 139 grams and each of these chargers block both access to the outlet above and below them when plugged in. However, they all do have plugs that fold.
Our next metric's results are based on the number of devices that you can charge simultaneously. We looked at how many ports each product has, as well as the shared power output .
The Anker PowerPort 4 took the top spot with its 4 USB-A ports. This charger can output a total of 40 watts. This means charging will slow down a bit to around 2 amps per device if you have 4 things plugged in at once, compared to the 2.4 amps that it can output from a single port.
Next, the Aukey PA-D1 30W PD and the Anker PowerPort PD2 followed, both having a USB-A and USB-C port and a maximum power output of 30 watts. The USB-A port is limited to 12 watts (2.4 amp output) and the USB-C port can output up to 18 watts if both ports are in use, with the voltage and current determined by the Power Delivery protocol, depending on the device.
The iClever BoostCube and the Anker PowerPort Elite 2 also can charge a pair of devices at once but both are of the USB-A variety. They have the same maximum power output of 24 watts — 2.4 amps, 5 volts per USB port. The Anker Dual Port 12W Wall Charger scored a bit lower than this pair, since its lower power output means you are limited to just 1.2 amps per USB port.
The other USB wall chargers in the group only have a single charging port, so you are limited to charging one device at a time.
While this is admittedly a fairly trivial detail, we think it's worth noting which chargers lacked LED status lights and which ones have them. We found this is only noticeable if you plug in the charger where you can see it when sleeping but some of these products do have a light that is bright enough to practically be a nightlight. We didn't necessarily score these products in this metric, as having your charger double as a nightlight might be a pro or a con in your eyes and a too-bright light can always be remedied by a piece of tape.
The AmazonBasics One-Port 12W stood out for having a particularly bright light. It's a tiny light but we think it's one of the brightest of the bunch. Both the Anker PowerPort Elite 2 and the Anker PowerPort4 have wide blue lights but aren't overly bright, with the Anker PowerPort Elite 2 being just a bit brighter than its 4-port counterpart.
The Anker PowerPort+ Quick Charge 3.0 and the Anker PowerPort PD USB-C both have small circular lights, with the Quick Charge 3.0 being green and the PowerPort PD USB-C being blue.
The iClever BoostCube doesn't have any external lights but has some small blue lights inside each of its USB ports. These also aren't very bright. The remaining wall chargers don't have any lights at all, making them a better option if you are bothered by an illuminated USB wall charger.
We hope that this has been a useful comparison of all the top USB power adapters currently available and has been helpful in your quest for a new charger, whether you want a compact travel option of a top-tier high-power option for larger devices.
— David Wise