(Pocket-lint) - USB-C has been here to stay for a while now, and it's a superb standard that can charge countless devices and transfer data with ease.
However, we're starting to see a new trend of top-line smartphones shipping without the usual charging apparatus. The general consensus is that people will have a charging brick at home already from a previous device.
If you don't have a USB-C charging brick laying about, though, you might find yourself unable to charge your phone, which is obviously less than optimal.
Now, not all charging bricks are the same, with some providing far more charging power than others, as well as offering multiple charging ports. Prices, therefore, can vary wildly, too. Then there's the size of the brick - some actually resemble bricks, while others keep a slim profile.
To make it easy for you, we've gathered together some of the very best alternative chargers you can pick up right now. To help save you money, give you a boost in power and allow you to charge your device way faster than before, check out our tried and tested selections below.
Our Top Pick is the UGreen 100W USB C Multiport Charger. Other good options are the Anker Nano, the UGreen Type-C Charger, the Aukey Omnia 65W Charger, and the Anker 100W 4-Port Type-C Charging Station.
Our Top Pick
UGreen 100W USB C Multiport Charger
- 100W charging
- 3 USB-C ports should cover all your devices
- Compact for how many ports you get
- Design limits where you can plug it in
With GaN tech powering the UGreen 100W USB C Multiport Charger, you're set to get a powerful charger that won't overheat or struggle to work all day keeping your devices juiced up.
It's not cheap, mind. But when you have a single charger to take care of all your devices at once, then it's worth it.
The size is surprisingly compact, though the design would stick out of the wall, limiting where you can plug it in.
USB-C chargers we also recommend
Here are four other USB-C chargers you should also consider:
- Great shape sits flush against the wall
- Perfect for travelling
- Only 20W power isn't as much as other chargers
Anker has managed to shrink down a powerful 20W charger into a tiny package in the form of the aptly named Nano, and it's a great bet for most people to pick up.
You'll get a power socket for your USB-C cables, and a plug that doesn't get in the way at all. What more could you want?
Well, if it's an American standard plug you're after, then there's an option for that too.
UGreen Type-C Charger
- Reasonably priced
- Good design
- Only 18W
UGreen has done a great job of keeping its charger as small as possible here, and an equally impressive job of making sure that it doesn't cost too much.
You can pick it up at an affordable price and be charging via USB-C without breaking the bank. The 18W it offers isn't as much as others, though for the price it's hard to beat.
Aukey Omnia 65W Charger
- Two ports
- Excellent 65W charging
- Only one USB-C port
Another powerful 65W option is provided by Aukey with this slick charger, that's impressively sleek despite its power and two ports.
It's got a nice mottled design and is great for slipping into a backpack on the go, with its prongs folding away for easy transport. Plus, you'll get super-fast charging speeds where your device supports it.
Anker 100W 4-Port Type-C Charging Station
- 4 ports offer 100W charging
- Cable offers charging from inaccessible outlets
- Cable can be cumbersome
The Anker 100W 4-Port Type-C Charging Station is the second 100W charger in our list. It offers four ports: two USB-C and two USB-A ports. This is great if you have devices that still use USB-A, but if USB-C is what your devices require, it can be limiting.
The cable can be a benefit or a drawback, depending on your needs. It adds bulk, especially if you're travelling. However, if you need access to a difficult outlet, it can be a lifesaver.
Other products we considered
The Pocket-lint editorial team spends hours testing and researching hundreds of products before recommending our best picks for you. We consider a range of factors when it comes to putting together our best guides including physically testing the products ourselves, consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. Many of the devices we consider don’t make our final best guides.
These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5:
How to choose a USB-C charger
Chargers aren't what they used to be. It was the case that you'd use the charger that came with your device and that was the end of it. But since most devices now use the USB-C standard, there's been a huge uptake in the third-party USB-C products on offer. You have a range of different chargers to choose from, too, with some offering more than one port and a varying degree of charging power. This means you can potentially get your device charged up far faster than with the charger that came with your device.
So, what should you be looking out for?
Why should you buy a USB-C charger?
Well, as most phones don't actually come with a charging brick, you might not have one handy. So, that's the perfect reason to look at getting a USB-C charger. And since brand-name chargers are usually quite expensive, it's a good idea to look elsewhere, especially since they often offer more for your money.
What can you use a USB-C for?
Loads of devices now use the USB-C standard. Most phones use it, even if that doesn't include Apple (for now). But funnily enough, Apple's MacBooks do use it, as well as most other laptops too. Basically, any new device that's got fast charging will have a USB-C port, as the Micro USB standard just can't compare in terms of speed of charging.
What should it look like?
The design of a charger can be hit or miss. It's something that most of us would prefer to fade into the background. It should work well and not be noticed. Some designs can stick out a bit from the wall, which restricts where you can use it, and others use a cable from the wall, which can be a good thing, or a bit bulky.
If you're likely to travel with many devices, it's worth considering the size. Though if it's going to stay in one place, then you can forgo a sleek design for greater power output.
What differences do you get?
There are two differences that can determine the choice you make in a USB-C charger. The first is how many ports you need. And the second is the charging power. There are many chargers that only have one port, and that extends to four if you need, though it obviously comes with a price. You'll be hard-pressed to find chargers with more than three USB-C chargers, with the fourth usually being occupied by a USB-A port.
Next is charging power. The least on offer is 5W, and that can extend all the way to 100W and even over. It's worth noting that not too many devices can utilise the full 100W if you splash out for the more powerful options. Though, you usually have more than one port on these chargers, so can be great if you need to charge many devices simultaneously.
More about this story
Every product in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your day-to-day life.
We all use chargers on a daily basis, so it's an easy thing to test. But in the bigger picture, chargers only provide one function, if a rather important one.
We aren’t interested in pointless number crunching or extraneous details - we just want to provide an easy to understand review that gives you an idea of what it's going to be like to use. And don’t for a second think that the products aren't tested fully because the reviews are concise.
We’ve been covering tech since 2003, and, in many cases, have not only reviewed the product in question, but the previous generations, too - right back to the first model on the market. There is also plenty of models we've considered that didn't make the cut in each of our buyer's guides.