Anker PowerPort PD 2 - iPhone SE 2020 Slow Fast Charge?

Hi there,

I’m wondering if anyone can shed some light on the issue i’m having with the an iPhone SE 2020 coupled with an Anker PowerPort PD 2 + Anker Nylon USB-C to Lightning cable.

As I understand the iPhone fast charges at 18W below 50% Battery but after doing some extensive tests with the Anker gear it seems to be barely drawing over 13-14W Max mostly sitting at 10W-11W at at the wall with a Watt Meter & USB-C Multi-meter which shows it at 9V (which is correct) but low power consumption?

I would have assume it would have been pretty at 16-17Watts (accounting for overhead)

I’ve even tried it with an Official Apple 18W Power Supply with the same result.

Could this be a possible cable issue even though it’s MFI Certified or is this normal behaviour?

This is probably normal behavior, though I’d be interested to see whether Apple’s official 18W adapter charges any faster.

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This looks normal behaviour.

Try with the phone turned off, less thermal throttling. A mostly discharged powered off device has the most headroom to charge.

As everything is new here, this is unlikely, but tiny chance the cable is the fault. Try different cable. I’d say put the meter at the end attached to the phone to see the voltage drops, but…

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The iPhone won’t draw more than 15W. It requires a 9V/12V/15V power output, which is typically found on 18W or higher chargers. But the iPhone’s own power draw won’t go above 15W regardless of the charger it is using.

You won’t see it go past 10W often. Usually only when the battery is below 20%. As the battery charges the current request from the iPhone drops. The result is lower wattage at various stages. By the time it hits 80% battery fast charging is turned off completely and it won’t charge any faster than the included Apple charger. This is why companies advertise the 0-50% speed, as that is during peak fast charging. It can take as long to get the last 10% as it does the first 50%, due to battery physics.

The slow down as you charge is to reduce stress on the battery, increasing its lifetime. Think of it like filling a large bag. You can go quickly at the start. But when almost full you have to slow down as to not overstuff and damage it. This is typical for most lithium using devices, from phones to laptops.

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Thanks for the in-depth replies so far!

Taking into account what everyone has said especially queubitt I still find it a bit disingenuous if that’s the case if the USB-C PD protocol in this scenario is barely any faster than the standard USB-A Charge rate of say a 12W Adapter. If it’s maxing out at 13-14W albeit extremely briefly and generally sitting at a 11-12W Draw sustained I see little to no advantage over a conventional USB-A Charger which I used prior - an Anker 24W 2-Port to be precise (5v 2.4A) 12W

I even went as far to conclude it may be down to the iPhone SE 2020’s smaller battery that perhaps couldn’t quite accept a higher charge rate even though technically supporting fast charging akin to the iPhone 11 Pro.

Perhaps someone with an iPhone 11 + could verify this under different circumstances as I’ve yet to find anything conclusive.

If the iPhone is capped at 15W doesn’t that negate the need for the 18W charger?

It is even worse than that.

The DC-DC conversion within the phone is more efficient at 5V, so if you use a PD portable charger, you pay more for the portable charger and get less phone recharges.

Test it, using a Type A port and type C port. Count how many phone recharges you get.

It isn’t so much the small battery, it should be able to ingest < 50% >10W, it is thermal throttling of all the technology at once. Turn phone off, powered down, for fastest recharge.

The primary advantage of higher Wattage chargers is from 0% up to around 50%,you can do that in less time. If you also know lower voltage is more efficient then by elimination you must drive current up instead. That is what happens with proprietary non-PD chargers like OPPO Vooc.

A 12W USB-A adapter with an iPhone is not using a “standard” USB charge protocol. It is using an older fast charging standard called Apple 2.4A. Which was created before USB-C PD was around. Newer iPhones have kept the older fast charging standard. It works with most USB-A chargers offering 5V/2.4A.

From 0-100% a newer iPhone will charge ~15 minutes faster using USB-C PD than Apple 2.4A. From 50-100% there is little to no difference in charge time.

Again, these are both fast charging standards. For “standard” USB charge rates you’d look at the iPhone’s included 5W charger.

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From 0%-50%, how much faster 9V 2A 18W PD vs 5V 2A 12W?

I’m seeing an increase at the USB meter from 9W to about 13W so about 40% faster 0%-50%? But I not yet done a full phone cycle test to know.

Apple’s technology decisions are baffling, they adopt PD at the charger end but not USB at the device end (so force C-L cables to be needed, an Apple “tax”), and they don’t bundle the fastest chargers so you get shipped both inferior and expensive.

I haven’t done a test specifically from 0-50%. But given the wattage difference between Apple 2.4A and USB PD is highest at those lower battery levels I would say most, if not all, of the 15 minute difference will be in that window. They boast about their 0-50% charge times cause that is where PD has really sped things up.

Apple 2.4A was made to support the iPad, which needed more juice. Apple added it to the next gen iPhone cause why not. And then they could see 12W chargers to some iPhone owners. It has remained on all model iPhones since then.

Adopting USB PD as a member of the USB-IF also makes sense. It allowed them to keep up with Quick Charge 3.0 and the larger phones/batteries needed faster charging.

The reason they kept Lightning and didn’t go USB-C is two fold.

One, in 2012 they did a change from 30-pin dock to Lightning. That was a big PR hit for them. A lot of pissed off customers having problems upgrading phones and losing old dongles/cables. They weren’t looking forward to doing it again in 2015-2016. That would impact many of the same customers, some who may end up with three model iPhones using three different connectors. So they added USB PD to Lightning and that gave them the big advantage most users wanted. Lightning was already orientation agnostic, like USB-C. The only remaining advantage was data transfer rates, which most users didn’t care about. It isn’t until now that device cross compatibility is a thing for more than early adopters. And Apple is close enough to going totally wireless that it isn’t worth the trouble of a connector change.

Two, Lightning is Apple licensed tech while USB-C is open standard. Apple likes having end-to-end control. Whatever one may think of that, it is a big part of Apple’s customer satisfaction success with their devices. It also meant a steady income stream,. Both from selling their own accessories and from licensing fees for third parties making Lightning products. iPhone profits have been declining for years, and it was the single biggest part of the company. Losing the Lightning income became more problematic each year and new iPhone release. To the point where they had to double down on the decision.

Android phones including fast chargers mostly do it as a pro against the iPhone. It isn’t because those companies like their customers better. It is one more thing they can say they do better than Apple. Apple doesn’t have that problem. If you want an iPhone then you’ll take what you are given. If you don’t want an iPhone include a fast charger isn’t going to change your mind, you have other reasons. They only added the fast charger to the premium level iPhones this last round because those customers expect the full package for the premium price.

So now an Apple customer needs to buy C-C for their iPad and C-L for their iphone, instead of one C-C for everything.

The makes sense at the time argument is still baffling when you don’t standardize across everything.

Agree the move to C for the charger end meant gateway to faster and lower cost charging buy instead of people buying C-C cables, they have to buy C-L cables which only work on iPhone. They should have dumped L altogether.

Why is the bundled charger not 18W? It’s just a waste as is.