And the fastest charging smartphone is.... not the iPhone 6

Now that most of the recent Android phones -- including some low-cost models -- support fast charging, Apple's iPhone has to play catch-up.

For the past few years I've used an iPad charging brick to power up my iPhone. The higher charging output tops off the iPhone battery a little quicker that way. Compared to the latest Android phones, however, the current iPhone 6 is actually among the slowest charging phones.

That surprised me but Tom's Guide has the data to prove it, having tested a number of recent Android phones against the iPhone 6 when it comes to recharge rates. Indeed, the iPhone comes in dead last in the comparison.

Most of the newer Android handsets now support Qualcomm's Quick Charge capabilities, or some form of it. Hardware makers often re-brand the fast charging function to stand out from the crowd.

But you don't have to spend flagship-type money to get the feature. Indeed, the $199 to $299 Asus ZenFone 2 is the fastest out of the gate. In five minutes, the battery can go from 5 percent to 17 percent and then up to 32 percent capacity in just 15 minutes total. The iPhone 6 in the same time frames? Just 6 and 20 percent battery levels.

After that, the Samsung Galaxy S6 pulls even with the ZenFone 2, with both handsets charged to 53 percent capacity in 30 minutes. The iPhone 6 beats out one contender at this point -- the OnePlus 2 -- with 36 percent charge.


All told, it takes the Galaxy S6 just an hour and 22 minutes to fully recharge from a 5 percent starting level. Most of the other tested Android phones do so under an hour and 50 minutes while the iPhone 6 takes two hours and 35 minutes in the testing. Note that the Galaxy S6 has a larger 2,550 mAh battery than the 1,810 mAh unit in the iPhone 6.

There's still one more contender that isn't yet in the mix though. Next month the Moto X Pure Edition launches in the U.S. and Motorola says it charges faster than Samsung's Galaxy S6.

Of course, phone recharging is only half the total battery equation.

How long the battery actually lasts is important too. Based on my experience and the way I use my iPhone 6, I have no issues with it in that regard. And just to be safe, I tend to carry a small portable battery with me, regardless of what phone I'm using.

Even so, I anticipate Apple speeds up the charging on upcoming handsets; possibly next month with the anticipated iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.