First, let’s identify what USB-A and USB-C each look like. USB-A is pictured on the right and was the standard USB connection used by iPhone and Android for the last decade. This is also the familiar shape most wall blocks, computers, laptops, and cars manufactured in the last 15 years have available as ports.
USB-C connectors are easily identifiable by their symmetric, flattened-oval shape that can be inserted into devices in either direction. They are reversible while USB-A is not. The ports the cords plug into appear considerably smaller and symmetrical. USB-C is pictured above on the left.
Now that we understand what each looks like, let’s talk about their differences. The biggest difference between the two is charging speed. USB-A to Lightning will charge 30% of your iPhone battery in 30 mins. This will result in a full charge in about an hour and a half. USB-C to Lightning will charge your battery 55% in 30 mins, resulting in a full iPhone charge in just under an hour.
In short, USB-C is considerably faster than USB-A. However, depending on where you are using the charger and what accessories you already have available will impact whether or not you need USB-C. For example, if you’re using this charger in your bedroom on your nightstand, spending the extra money on USB-C may not make sense since your phone will be plugged in all night. If this is a charger for your living room or office and you would like to be able to quickly charge your phone before leaving the house, the extra speed may be worth it. Additionally, if you already have a slew of USB-A wall blocks, USB-A ports in your car, or USB-A ports on your computer or laptop, it might not make sense to upgrade to USB-C just yet. With that being said, the latest MacBooks, MacBook Pros and iMacs come equipped with a number of USB-C ports. So really the choice should come down to weighing the cost difference with what accessories you already have while also taking the charging speed/location of the charger into consideration.
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