Can You Use a Non-iPhone Charger with Your iPhone?

If you happened to misplace your iPhone charger, you might be curious whether or not you can use a different USB charger that you have lying. Here’s what to look for when you’re wanting to use a non-iPhone charger with your iPhone.

Every smartphone comes with its own charger, mostly because each phone requires a different amount of amperage, wattage, etc. when it comes to charging them. However, what if you lose the charger that came with your iPhone, but have another one lying around that came from a different phone? Can you use it on your iPhone without any problems?

It short, most USB wall chargers will work with most smartphones, but there are a couple things you’ll want to be aware of if you plan on using a charger from a Samsung phone (for instance) with your iPhone.

Ideally, you should use the charger that came with your iPhone to charge it, but we’re human beings and occasionally we’ll misplace those small wall chargers with ease, and when you’re iPhone is down to its last couple of drops, you may have no choice but to use a spare charger from another device that you have lying around.

Here’s what you need to know when you use a non-iPhone charger with your iPhone.

Look at the Amperage

You may have noticed that all of your chargers have a block of small text on them, and you’ve probably never bothered reading it. However, it contains some important information about the charger itself, and if you’re thinking about using a non-iPhone charger with your iPhone, you’ll want to read the fine print.

phone-charger

Specifically, you’ll want to look for a number that comes before a capitalized A. In most cases, this number will be between 1 and 1.5, so you might see a charger that says 1.2A. This is how many amps the charger delivers to your gadgets. Amps is the measurement of the amount of current flowing through a cable, and the larger the number, the bigger the device probably is.

This means that most smartphones can charge effectively off of 1-1.5A, while tablets usually require a bit more (the iPad requires 2.1A to charge efficiently).

Comparing my iPhone charger with my Nexus 5 charger, I’ve discovered that the iPhone charger puts out 1A, while the Nexus 5 charger puts out 1.2A. This isn’t a huge difference, and I can use my Nexus 5 charger with my iPhone to charge it up — nothing will explode.

iPhone-charger

So you might be asking yourself, since the Nexus 5 charger has more amperage, wouldn’t it charge an iPhone quicker than an iPhone charger? Not exactly, While the Nexus 5 charger could technically deliver more power than necessary for the iPhone, devices only draw as much power as they need. Thus, an iPhone would still only draw 1A from the 1.2A charger.

Voltage & Wattage

While the everyday user doesn’t technically need to know what voltage and wattage is, we think it’s still something that all people should know about.

The only time you really need to worry about voltage when it comes to charging your iPhone is when you’re traveling to a different country. The US uses a completely different system than Europe, so you’ll have to get a voltage converter if you want to use your American gadgets across the pond.

Otherwise, all USB devices rely on the 5V standard, so all USB chargers for all smartphones use 5V. Thus, this is something you don’t really need to worry about.

The same goes for wattage, although Apple markets their various chargers by labeling them with their respective wattages. The iPhone charger is 5W, while the iPad charger uses either 10W or 12W. Wattage is nothing more than a measurement of volts multiplied by the amperage, and since all USB devices use 5V, you really only need to take a look at the amperage to get an idea of how much power it can deliver.

iPhone-charger-1

Let’s think of all these electrical terms as water flowing through a garden hose. Voltage is the amount of water pressure. So if there’s more voltage, water shoots out of the hose faster. Amperage is the amount of water that comes out of the hose. More amperage means a bigger hose, and more water can flow through at a given time. Finally, wattage is simply the total amount of water flowing through the hose and at what speed it’s traveling at as it exits the hose.

With USB chargers, we really only need to focus on the size of the hose (amperage). Most smartphone chargers are rated at 1-1.5A, which is enough to charge a phone sufficiently. However, if you’ve ever plugged your phone into your computer to charge, you might have noticed it charges a lot slower. That’s because USB ports on most computers have a max output of only 0.5A, so you can charge an iPhone through a computer’s USB port, but it’ll take a bit longer to refill the juices.

10 Comments

  1. Ge

    04/05/2015 at 6:18 am

    thanks for this info, very helpful and useful.

    Reply

  2. Celia

    06/08/2015 at 4:42 am

    Really useful, thanks

    Reply

  3. Bartjan

    09/25/2015 at 2:52 pm

    I’m charging my iphone 4 with a 2A charger made by samsung, and i noticed the battery is getting warm. The article only mentions 1-1.5 A chargers. Anyone have any idea if my iphone will only draw 1 A from my 2 A charger? Or will the battery overheat? Thanks for any replies!

    Reply

    • THUNDERBOLT

      01/12/2016 at 12:45 am

      we have the same thing here, i am also charging my iphone 4s with 2A Samsung charger but didn’t experience any battery temperature issues..

      Reply

  4. mark

    12/22/2015 at 8:38 pm

    In the caravan I have dual NARVA USB charger which are both 5V, 2.5A … will this high Ampage overheat the iPhone or Samsung phones if I connect them?

    Reply

    • Sarah hames

      03/01/2016 at 12:26 am

      I need to use them please

      Reply

  5. asdf

    04/23/2016 at 11:54 pm

    Uh, you people are confused. Output VOLTAGE is the important number to match, or you can destroy your device, especially if the voltage is more than the device is specified for. Voltage is sort of like the force the electricity is transferred. AMPS is the RATE the device will “rate” the device will consume electricity. If you have a charger that 5 Volts, then your phone, and tablet has to be rated to charge at 5 Volts. If you put 10 Volts to your phone, it’ll probably burn a circuit, or if there is some kind of cutoff, then maybe that’ll kick in. There’s a reason for the 5 Volt number, that’s what USB is specified for. As for AMPS, if your charger only puts out .5 amps at 5 Volts, and your phone wants to “drink”, 1.2 amps at 5 Volts, well nothing bad is going to happen, except the phone will charge very slowly. What if the charger puts out 30 amps at 5 volts? Nothing. Your phone is rated to pull 1.2 amps at 5 volts, it will only pull 1.2 amps.

    Reply

    • That guy

      06/24/2016 at 6:18 pm

      Ive heard that USB can only carry 5v so output voltages shouldnt worry anyone.

      Reply

  6. Maxtropin

    12/01/2016 at 5:25 pm

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this content together.

    I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time
    both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    Reply

  7. Wayne Failor

    03/19/2017 at 7:44 am

    This person really knows what they are talking about. I know enough to know that!!!!

    Great response to the issue

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *