Best USB fast chargers 2022

Which unit is best to keep your phone topped up on the move?

Charging your phone while you drive is sensible, especially if you use it for work. Many of the latest smartphones have fast-charge capability, but you’ll need a suitable USB adaptor to take advantage of this great feature in-car. And of course, it can also be used to charge a tablet, sat-nav, MP3 player, handheld game console or other devices. 

Most chargers boost the standard 5V CLA output to 9V, using the original USB sockets or the latest symmetrical USB-C connection. Depending on your device, you may need an adaptor plug and cable, which should be added to the cost unless they’re supplied.  

You should check the phone’s wattage capabilities. Between 7.5W and 10W is typical, but many more recent devices can be charged at a higher wattage, which is where USB-C comes into its own and why many adaptors have an increased rating. 

Having twin sockets comes in handy if you regularly charge two products, but make sure you buy an adaptor with outlets to suit your requirements. It’s often good to have a choice of USB and USB-C to cover all bases.

How we tested them

We checked the fast-charging capabilities of each adaptor using a Samsung S10e smartphone, with a 3100mAh battery starting at around 50 per cent charge. 

The adaptors charged at the same rate whether under load (with sat-nav running) or not. We noted the increase in charge after 30 minutes and gave points for build quality, sockets, wattage, cabling where included and extras, such as power-on LEDs. All elements were balanced against the cost.

Verdict

With close specifications and overall performance, the Olixar takes a win on price, but the Choetech remains the best choice if you’re totally USB-C-equipped. Despite being quite pricey, the Halfords charger mixed and matched enough points to claim third place in the test. 

  1. Olixar USB-C Power Delivery & QC 3.0 Dual Port 36W Fast Car Charger
  2. Choetech Car Charger Dual PD 40W USB-C 
  3. Halfords Dual USB Charger

Reviews

Olixar USB-C Power Delivery & QC 3.0 Dual Port 36W Fast Car Charger

  • Price: Around £9
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Number of outlets: 1xUSB,1xUSB-C 
  • Contact: mobilefun.co.uk

The Olixar matched the Choetech adaptor in many ways, not least its overall length and smart circular power-on LED, although its twin sockets are divided between the two USB types. 

It also has a slightly flared top, which made it easier to grasp during removal. The available charging power of 36W was more or less the same as the Choetech, and the charge increase of 32 per cent was joint best overall. With a longer warranty (24 months) and a recent drop in price, the Olixar gained enough points to take the win. 

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Choetech Dual USB-C PD Fast Car Charger 40W 

  • Price: Around £13
  • Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Number of outlets: 2xUSB-C 
  • Contact: box.co.uk

The Choetech is well made and, at just 55mm, it fits in most socket spaces. The top of the device was sculpted to enable easy removal, and it looks good with a large, circular blue LED to show when it is being powered. 

With twin USB-C sockets, it charged two power-hungry devices simultaneously to a maximum of 20W each, more than enough for most people. It charged at 9V and produced a very good result of 31 per cent. With an 18-month warranty and a great price, it’s our choice for a USB-C-only device.

Buy now from Box

Halfords Dual USB Charger 

  • Price: Around £22
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Number of outlets: 1xUSB,1xUSB-C 
  • Contact: halfords.com

Recognisably a Halfords product, the triangular top design mimics its long-running USB adaptors. In this case it includes one standard and one USB-C socket, and using the latter we got an equal best result of 32 per cent. 

At 65mm, it’s long enough to be practical, but not so much that it gets in the way when plugged in. Build quality is good and that design made it easy to install and remove. With its great performance and versatility, it might have climbed higher, but its price is more than twice that of our winner, which was too much to overcome. 

Buy now from Halfords

Samsung 15W Adaptive Fast Charging Dual In-Car Charger 

  • Price: Around £13
  • Rating: 3.5 stars
  • Number of outlets: 2xUSB
  • Contact: box.co.uk

Although 15W is enough for most people, it was the lowest on test here, and was also only one of two units (with the Belkin) not to feature any USB-C sockets. Despite this, both the standard USB outlets charged at 9V and produced a very respectable 29 per cent increase. 

The design is conventional and a good length, at 66mm. The chunky top encloses some clever electronics, which in turn makes it easy to unplug. We liked the calming blue LED light that surrounded the top and illuminated the twin sockets, making them easy to locate at night.  

Buy now from Box

Belkin Boost-Up Quick Charge 3.0 18W Car Charger 

  • Price: Around £12
  • Rating: 3.5 stars
  • Number of outlets: 1xUSB
  • Contact: amazon.co.uk

Belkin’s 18W Boost-Up was easily the shortest on test at 46mm, which makes it easy to carry and store. It didn’t cause any installation problems or hinder the operation of nearby kit, but its straight-sided design might cause a problem for long fingernails when it’s being removed, especially with tricky-to-access 12V sockets. 

With a 32 per cent charge increase, it matched the best on test and the price was reasonable, although it only had a single standard USB socket and wasn’t much cheaper than the twin-socket variants, but it did include a USB to USB-C cable.

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Samsung 45W Dual Port PD USB-C Fast Car Charger & Cable

  • Price: Around £40
  • Rating: 3.5 stars
  • Number of outlets: 1xUSB,1xUSB-C
  • Contact: mobilefun.co.uk

If you need to feed some wattage-ravenous kit, then this one's for you, because it comes with one standard USB socket, rated at 15W, and a USB-C socket capable of supplying a heady 45W. 

The circuitry required to do this meant its top is quite bulky and it was the longest charger here, at 80mm, which is something to consider. The charge of 31 per cent was competitive, and just one per cent down on the test best. The price of this hi-tech is felt at the check-out, though, with it easily being the most expensive unit we tried. 

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Scosche 40W Dual Fast Charging USB-C PD Car Charger

  • Price: Around £25
  • Rating: 3.5 stars
  • Number of outlets: 2xUSB-C
  • Contact: mobilefun.co.uk

As with the Choetech, the Scosche is aimed at the latest products with its two USB-C sockets, but is almost twice the price of our winner.  Rated at 40W overall – 20W per socket – we got a 26 per cent increase: the lowest here, but not a bad score overall. As with all the units we tested, it features overload and short-circuit protection. 

We liked the piano-black casing, which becomes matte and textured near the top to improve grip, although we’d have liked a larger LED. At 70mm, it’s the third longest charger here, but that didn’t make it cumbersome in our test vehicles. 

Buy now from MobileFun

Muvit For Change Eco-Friendly 18W USB-C Fast Car Charger

  • Price: Around £15
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Number of outlets: 1xUSB-C
  • Contact: mobilefun.co.uk

The Muvit leads on its eco-credentials, emphasising that it uses no plastic packaging, and ultrasound fixing was used, rather than glue or screws. The product itself is 100 per cent recyclable. 

While that’s laudable, it didn’t quite have the feeling of quality that most of the others had. We liked the knurled top section but, at 75mm, it might be awkward in some cars. As with the Belkin, it has a single socket, but here it is a USB-C, rated at a useful 18W. Yet its 27 per cent charging figure was one of the poorest. 

Buy now from MobileFun

If it’s your car itself that needs charging, check out our list of the best battery chargers...

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