What Phone Charger Do I need?

The smartphone industry is famous for the various manufacturers refusing to have a conversation about even the most basic things in order to bring some sort of consistency across devices. It is by far the most irritating of all is the humble charging cable. Who knew a phone charger could be so difficult?

Apple claim they are pioneers who drive changes in charging speed and reliability. While the rest of the world just sees their regular connector modifications as not much more than profiteering by forcing people who already own several cables to then buy more. All USB cables, whether v1.1, v2 or even v3 all have the same connector at one end, known as an A plug. This is what goes into a computer or a power point adapter. It’s the other end that causes all the heartache.

But okay, it is what it is. Here we look at the various cables you might need, and where we’re headed as an industry.

Mini-USB Phone Charger

mini usb cable

Although fewer and fewer devices now use a mini-USB connection, they do exist. Some PC peripherals also use it.

You’ll tend to see this in flip-top and some rugged phones. That is because the mini-USB connector and socket tend to be more robust than the equivalent micro-USB. This is the reason why digital cameras and other devices have continued to use a mini-USB connector long after it was officially retired.


micro usb cable

The micro-USB connector is now by far the most commonly used connector for smartphones and tablets. They started to appear on devices after about 2008. The micro-USB’s soon became the go to connector for smartphone manufacturers. Largely driven by the adoption of the standard by the EU for all mobile devices sold in Europe. It made sense for Samsung, LG etc. to use just a single type for worldwide distribution to keep costs down. Until now, this is the closest the smartphone world has ever come to having a charging standard. Browse our selection of phones that use micro USB!

Apple, of course, went their own way, as we’ll see later.

Just to confuse things a little, there are micro-A and micro-B USB connectors. The vast majority of smartphones do use micro-B. But you should make sure that you have the right cable to avoid risk of damage to the charging port on your phone.

USB-C Phone Charger

usbc cable

USB-C or Type C may well be the future of USB charging for smartphones. Mr.Aberthon has a few phones that use USB-C.

You know that little guy who lives in your computer, whose sole job is to flip the port round when he sees you coming? Of course it is so that you can never plug a USB cable in first time? Well his tenure is under threat. USB-C is a standard that has the same connector on each end. Those connectors have no up or down as they are fully reversible.

The rumor was that the iPhone 7 was going to use USB-C, but this never materialized. Hopes are fading for the iPhone 8, after initial hopes USB-C would be the new connection became rumors that USB-C technology would be incorporated in the current Lightning connector for faster charging. Apple make money off every “Made for i” peripheral sold. They appear keep to maintain that source of income, so we’ll need to wait and see.

For the rest of us, One-Plus first used USB-C in 2015, with Google following suit with the Nexus line. Samsung have already used USB-C in the Galaxy S8, and are poised to make it their default in all new releases. Of course, where someone of Google’s and Samsung’s size go, others will surely follow.


apple cable

So, Apple, is a company who have made millions just from licensing their connector technology to cable manufacturers. Where do they stand?

If you have an iPhone 4 or iPad 3, or earlier, you will still have the original 30-pin connector phone charger that Apple started out with. From iPhone 5 and iPad 4, they switched to the Lightning (above) connector. Of which, by the way, offered absolutely no speed advantage over USB 2.0. Follow the link to view our Apple phones!

In more recent times, Apple has added fast charging with a 20W USB-C. The lightning connector remains the same but the other end is a lot smaller since it’s now USB-C (below). It it compatible with iPhone 8 or later and optimal for the iPad Air and iPad Pro.

Apple USBC Cable

USB 1,2 and 3

USB 1 was the original USB standard phone charger, and USB 3.1 the last before USB-C was confirmed. The numbers only signify the available transfer speeds, and all ports are backwardly compatible. You can plug a USB 1 device into a USB 3 port on a computer. It will still work or charge, just at USB 1 speeds. USB 3 devices do have a different connector which goes into the device itself. That in order to facilitate the backwards compatibility but, otherwise, the technology is identical.

Top 41 Smartphones – Charger Directory

Apple Phones

iPhone 12 pro max all colors

Apple has incorporated fast charging for their latest models, iPhone 8 and up. The new cable is lighting connecter to USB-C. All iPhones from the 4 and up use the lightning connector, anything before iPhone 8 will not be compatible with the new cable.

Uses Lightning to USB

iPhone 6s

iPhone 6s Plus

iPhone 7

Uses Lightning to USB-C

iPhone SE

iPhone X

iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 12

iPhone 12 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro

Samsung Galaxy

galaxy s21 all colors

Samsung has jumped on the Type C train also. Earlier models like Galaxy S2 though S5 utilize micro USB. Then the Galaxy S6 & S7, S7 Edge still have Micro USB but with fast charging and the S8 and up use Type C.

Uses Type C

Samsung Galaxy A42

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus


oneplus 8T back view

Uses Type C

OnePlus 7T

OnePlus Nord

OnePlus 6T

OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8


Huawei P30 pro all colors

Uses Type C

Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P20 Pro

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei P40

Huawei P40 Pro

Huawei P40 Lite

Huawei P40 Pro Plus


Motorola edge plus all side views

Uses Type C

Motorola Moto G8 Plus

Motorola Edge Plus

Other Phones

Uses Type C

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

Lenovo Legion Duel

Cat S62 Pro

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