If you’re struggling with a last minute gift idea, here’s an easy one: buy them a fast charger for their phone. Most modern phones support some form of fast charging that can top off your battery to 50-60% in as little as 15 minutes. It’s an excellent upgrade no matter what phone you have.
There are tons of gifts you can give that people won’t like: books they aren’t interested in, sweets when they don’t have a sweet tooth, movies they’ve already seen (or don’t want to see), and all manner of things. But we think you’d be incredibly hard pressed to find someone upset at the thought of charging their faster. If ever there was a gift close to cold hard cash in terms of universal appeal, this is probably it.
Sound good? Here’s what to get for the people on your holiday shopping list, based on the phone they have.
For iPhone Users, Get Anker’s USB-C Charging Block
The latest generation of iPhones—including the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X—all support fast-charging technology. You can read more about the details of Apple’s fast charging standard in our write-up here. The short version is, Apple’s official fast charger is good, but overpriced. Not surprising for an Apple accessory. Instead, this charger from Anker (normally $30, on sale for $22) works just as well for less money. You’ll still need an official Apple USB-C to Lightning cable for $20 if you don’t already have one, but walking away with a fast-charging solution for $42 instead of $70 is a win by any standard.
For (Most) Android Users, Buy Anker’s Quick Charge 3.0 Charging Block
The Android side of fast-charging is a little more complicated. If your gift recipient has a phone from Samsung, Google, LG, or HTC, you can pick up Anker’s Quick Charge 3.0-compatible charging block for $24. You’ll also need either a micro USB or USB-C cable, depending on what type of charging port they have on their phone. Some phone manufacturers like Huawei or OnePlus use their own type of charger, so if you’re not sure what to buy, check out our more in-depth guide to Android fast charging here.
For Android users, you might need to do a little reconnaissance before buying a charger for your gift recipient. Not only do you need to make sure you get the correct cable, but most Android phones that support quick charging come with at least one fast charger in the box. If you’re not sure whether the person you’re buying for already has a quick charge, the next item on our list is a safe middle ground.
For Everyone, Get Aukey’s Quick Charge 3.0 Car Charger
Your gift recipient might already have a fast charger or two laying around. No worries, we have a back up plan. Aukey’s Quick Charge 3.0 compatible fast charger supports phones from Apple, Samsung, Google, LG, and HTC. It also comes with two USB ports, so the driver and navigator can charge both their phones at once. Even if the person you’re shopping for already has a fast charging block at home, they might only have a regular charger—or no charger at all—in the car, making this a solid upgrade.