Tiny iPhone and iPad charger will surprise you with its power [Review]

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Aukey Minima 18W PD Charger
Aukey’s 18W USB-C power adapter has definite advantages over Apple’s offerings.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Aukey makes a USB-C charger that’s about as small at the standard 5 watt iPhone charger but provides far more power. The Minima 18W PD Charger can quickly juice up an Apple phone or tablet, as well as other devices. With it, that old 5W charger can go in a drawer where it belongs.

It’s a low-cost option, plus I tested the product with an iPhone and an iPad so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

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Aukey Minima 18W PD Charger review

Apple controversially stopped bundling a USB-A charger with its handsets, but it does put a Lightning-to-USB-C cable in the box. Plug that cable into the Aukey Minima 18W PD Charger and your iPhone will charger much, much faster.

And you don’t have to put up with bulky accessory. Aukey’s version still very portable.

Design and hardware

Aukey‘s 18W charger is just 2.4 cubic inches, plus the prongs fold down to make it even more portable. It fits easily into any gear bag or purse.

The Minima is only slightly bigger than 5W charger that Apple once shipped with every iPhone. And the folding prongs make it feel smaller. So you could switch to Aukey’s without extra hassle.

The situation is even better for those with an iPad Pro. The 20W charger for this tablet isn’t very portable. It’s not as huge as a MacBook charger, but it’s still clunky and the prongs don’t fold down, making it seem larger. Aukey’s Minima 18W PD Charger is noticeably better designed.

This accessory comes in either basic black or in white to match Apple cables. It sports a plastic casing in rounded corners. The overall look is reminiscent of an Apple charger, except better.

Aukey Minima 18W PD Charger next too Apple 5W iPhone charger.
The Aukey Minima 18W PD Charger is just a smidge larger than Apple’s old 5W charger, but it’s so much better.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Performance

I started my testing with an iPhone 12. In half an hour Apple’s handset was at 53%. Compare that to the 19% the iPhone 12 was at with an Apple 5W charger.

In my tests, the Aukey Minima 18W PD Charger was able to give the 12.9-inch iPad Pro from 2018 a 15% charge in 30 minutes. The 20W charger that comes with this tablet provides essentially the same boost to the battery in that same amount of time. It’s a little bit faster on long recharge sessions. You can tell from the wattage that both accessories provide almost the same the same wattage — the third-party option just does so with more portable hardware.

Aukey Minima 18W PD Charger final thoughts

It’s convenient to have a second charger for your iPhone and iPad, especially if you travel frequently. Aukey’s Minima 18W PD Charger (product number PA-Y18) is a good option for people on the go.

iPhone users will see a significant increase in charging speed. And it’s more portable than the one that that comes with the iPad Pro with no noticeable decrease in power.

Pricing

The 18W Minima charger from Aukey is $21.99 on Amazon, and it comes with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable. You can find Apple’s 20W iPad charger for $19. The extra portability justifies the slightly higher cost, especially as Apple doesn’t throw in an iPhone charging cable.

Another alternative is the Aukey Omnia Mix ($26.50). It’s not nearly as a small, but has both a USB-C and a USB-A port for people not ready to commit to giving up the old charging standard.

Aukey provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more stuff we recommend.