Apple Watch Series 7: Which power adapter?

OK, so Apple have released the S7 watches (and this is my first Watch: Titanium Space Black, coming in early-mid Nov, if anyone cares. ;-).

S7’s come with so-called “fast charging”, which apparently requires this Apple USB-C cable:

But strangely the AW Accessories page only has older USB-A adapter bricks, and no USB-C ones to match the cable?:

Two questions:

  1. What brick Wattage did earlier generation watches come with (when Apple supplied an adapter brick in the box)?

  2. Is this the lowest size (thus cheapest) USB-C brick that does the S7 fast charging thing?:
    UK: Buy 20W USB-C Power Adapter - Apple (UK)
    US: Buy 20W USB-C Power Adapter - Apple

Rather weird AW release this has been, all told.

For example, another weird thing is Apple do no black or near-black colour options for their Loops (Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop)… surely the black colour ones must be highly in demand, so why on earth have they failed to release ANY black colour with the new S7’s. Bonkers. :man_shrugging:

  1. It was the same 5w charger cube that used to come with iPhones.

  2. Any 20w charger should do, but with my iPhone I am using one from Anker. Anker and RavPower both make smaller, less expensive GaN chargers. Like this Anker Nano: Anker Nano

But that Apple one that you link to looks fine, too.


Ah ok, many thanks. Really, only a 5W one originally; but now it’s their 20W one for the fast charge thing (bought separately, of course).

So any of Apple’s USB-C adapters (or third part GaN ones) work with this new fast charge AW thing, do they.

Just really strange Apple don’t even bother to put their 20W one on their AW Accessories page, nor clarify the adapters usable on the USC-C fast charge cable page either. :roll_eyes:

This whole AW launch has been a bit of an omnishambles, to say the least. Sure a lot of that’s the Chinese supply chain issues, but other bits are just plain idiotic on Apple’s part. Not their finest hour, for sure.

They do in the US anyway.

Yeah, the UK version of that page omits it, strangely:

But the one I was talking about is the drill-down AW Accessories page, where both US & UK omit USB-C variants:

Another question that just came to mind…

Do any other current accessories from Apple or elsewhere (with or without Apple’s new USB-C fast charge cable) offer the fast charging thing? Or do you need a separate 20W+ block to get this?

I wish Apple and other brands would be clearer on this. Some charging devices allow you to add the Apple cables to their device stand, but are entirely unclear on the power block included or required (if possible at all) to get this new fast charge functionality.

Presumably new stands from now on will be clearer on this, but for the moment at least, it effectively kills the market for current stands, as most buyers will want fast charge functionality if buying a new one.

Maybe. I think it depends on context.

My new iPhone supports fast charging, but since a charge usually lasts the entire day and the 5W charger on my nightstand is enough to bring it to 100% when I’m asleep, I don’t have a need for a faster charger.

In contrast, my Samsung phone has a hard time charging overnight if I don’t use the high power charger it came with. If I’m traveling and happen to be in a location with a weak signal and forget to bring that charger, a generic USB charger often can’t keep up with it’s standby current drain. I need to power it off in order to not have it drain to 0 while plugged in to such a charger.

As long as Apple’s devices can charge overnight on a 5W charger, I think only the power users will have a problem, and they’ll want the fast charging only in some situations (e.g. an office desk), not necessarily everywhere.

I suspect this is why iPads ship with 10-12W chargers and iPhones have shipped with 5W chargers. But even then, I’ve been able to (slowly) charge an iPad on a laptop’s USB 2.0 port (2.5W) - the device reports “Not charging”, but the charge level increases nevertheless.

Maybe not. Since only the S7 supports fast charging, and will still charge with the lower-charging stands, they’ll probably still do ok. It would be interesting to know how many people buy the S7 vs. the SE and S3, which cannot fast charge. (Plus. of course, all of us existing watch owners who cannot use fast charging.)

To me fast charging is probably most interesting to people who use the sleep tracking features of watchOS. Everyone else who charges overnight while they sleep won’t need fast charging all that much.

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FWIW, current iPad Pros ship with a 20-watt USB-C charger (and the capability is shown in large print. My previous iPad Pro model shipped with an 18-watt charger.

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Many Apple pundits said last year that still offering the S3 was rather incongruous even then when the s6+se were released. Yet here we are, a year on, and they’re still offering it at exactly the same price point.

Presumably the limited supply chain issues are still at work here, but I can’t see many (likely tech savvy) in the first-world buying it, unless they’re just wanting any AW to match a fashion-statement, or as a second watch, or something.

I’m guessing Apple’s main sales angle here is perhaps getting a burgeoning middle-class in the developing world to buy-in, who may have a matching midrange iPhone already – clever in that sense, at least until supply chain issues improve for next year.

As for the charger stands…
Well if you’re buying a s7 AW this year, I’d think most buyers would want to future proof themselves by buying-into the fast charging thing with any new charging facilities they’re buying. But Apple seem to be very coy on the subject. I guess only time will tell.

As it turns out, the charger only needs to be USB-C PD 5w or higher.


Interesting, so presumably all of Apple’s <18W adapters are not ‘PD’ standard, whereas third party (likely newer) ones are, so they can offer this fast charging.

Anyway, good to know.

Now we also have the new MBP 16" adapter, and its fast charging capabilities!..

140W GaN adapter, using a new PD 3.1 spec not seen anywhere before. Though for the larger 16" you have to use the new MagSafe 3 cable to get fast charging (USB-C is standard speed), while the 14" can use either USB-C or MagSafe via its 97W adapter to get fast charging.

Luckily the cables are non-captive for both, so you can use either C or MS cables with the adapters – a great move, as no more having to buy a whole new block because the cable is ripped!

My wallet hurts badly. :wink:

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