USB-C is popping up almost everywhere these days — mobiles, laptops, tablets, even games consoles like the Nintendo Switch are wholeheartedly embracing this new powerful and reversible standard. If you want to charge your USB-C gadgets fast, you’ll need a mains charger that supports the official Power Delivery 3.0 standard. Today, we’re looking at one such option from Aukey, which can provide up to 27W of power. Let’s get into our rapid fire review!
Specs & Features
- Up to 27W (20V at 1.35A)
- USB Type-C Power Delivery 3.0
- 55 x 50 x 28mm (2.17 x 1.97 x 1.10″)
- 73 grams (2.57 oz)
- 24-month warranty
- RRP £33, currently £20
This USB-C charger has a rather pedestrian matte black design, with the usual bulky UK mains plug on one side and a green-coloured USB Type-C socket on the other.
Its size and weight are consistent with others in its class, allowing it to be pocketed if necessary. Realistically, you’ll keep it in a bag or plugged into the wall most of the time.
The device doesn’t come with any kind of USB-C cable, so you’ll need to provide your own.
We used the Aukey USB-C mains charger with several devices, including a Galaxy S7 Edge (via adapter), an iPhone X, a USB-C portable charger and an XPS 15 9560 laptop. We’ve also gleaned what we can from reviews online and our knowledge of the specifications to project the charger’s performance elsewhere.
Results: Smartphones & Tablets
This mains charger supports USB Power Delivery (USB PD) and delivers up to 27W. That makes it suitable for charging USB-C smartphones that support USB PD, and less useful for smartphones that use different rapid charging methods like Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.
(Confusingly, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0 standard does support USB PD, and we should see more proprietary fast charging standards that are USB PD compatible in the future.)
So, which phones will benefit from increased charging speeds?
|USB PD fast charging supported||USB PD fast charging not supported|
|Apple: iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPad Pro 10.5, iPad Pro 12.9, iPad Pro 12.9|
Google: Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL and earlier
Samsung: Galaxy S8, Galaxy S9, Note 8
LG: G7 ThinQ
Razer: Razer Phone
ZTE: Nubia Z17
|All Micro USB smartphones|
All other smartphones not on this list, probably
Information about USB PD is pretty hard to find, so in the absence of any central repository your best bet is to Google the name of your phone and ‘USB Power Delivery’ or ‘USB PD’. Look for hits on XDA Developers, Android news sites and other trustworthy sources. If you notice any mistakes or ommissions in the table above, please let us know so we can improve it!
In our testing, we found that the 27W of power was enough to recharge smartphones like the iPhone X from 0 to 50% in just under half an hour, taking about 90 minutes to completely refill the battery (as charging rates slow as the battery gets closer to 100%). Meanwhile, phones and tablets that don’t support USB PD, like the Galaxy S7 Edge, just received as many amps at 5V as they could handle, leading to charging times of around 2 to 4 hours depending on capacity and charging speed.
While 27W is more than enough power for a smartphone, laptops draw considerably more. The 12-inch MacBook charges relatively fast, but recent 13-inch MacBook Pro models require chargers that are closer to 61W to work well. The 15-inch MBP requires even more power, around 87W. Clearly, the Aukey charger will only be suitable for charging a 12-inch MacBook, and other similarly energy-modest laptops.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a recent USB-C charging MacBook to test the mains adapter with — the only laptop that we can charge from USB-C is an XPS 15 9560 laptop. It draws around 100W from its Dell USB-C charger, leaving the Aukey mains charger we’re testing today completely useless. When plugged in, Windows didn’t even recognise that it was receiving charge. Of course, Aukey do say that the smaller XPS 13 isn’t supported, so this wasn’t a surprising result!
Results: Nintendo Switch
The Switch is an interesting one, as it supports USB PD and draws 15V. The Aukey charger does have a 15V / 1.8A profile, so it should work to charge the Switch. However, the Nintendo charger has a higher wattage, 39 watts versus 27 watts, so this isn’t a perfect choice. Think of the ability to charge the Switch at a reasonable rate as a nice bonus, rather than the main selling point.