We’re always banging on about wisely future-proofing your tech by buying the best you can afford, with a sensible amount of storage and guaranteed software updates in the future. Because fewer devices are coming with chargers now, it’s time to approach buying a charger for your phone in a similar way, making sure it does everything you want today and also includes versatility for the future.
But charging is surprisingly confusing, especially if you want to fast charge your phone. I’ve been trying the Elecjet X21 GaN Pro fast charger, and it’s an excellent example of what to look for today if you’re shopping for a charger and want to make sure it lasts.
This is a 65W fast charger with true flexibility, providing three USB ports and up to 65W of power, all in a tiny case. The top USB-C port supports USB Power Delivery 3.0 and the elusive PPS format needed for Samsung’s Super Fast Charging at up to 63W. The USB-A port charges using Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 and up to 60W, while the central USB-C also supports Power Delivery PPS, but up to 45W. All three can be used at the same time, but speeds will then vary.
If you own an iPhone, a Samsung phone, or any phone that uses Qualcomm Quick Charge technology (including many LG and Motorola phones), the Elecjet X21 should charge it at the fastest speed possible. It will do the same with your iPad, MacBook, and most other tablets and modern laptops too. Although I haven’t tested it, Elecjet says the X21 will fully charge a MacBook in two hours.
It’s a gallium nitride-based (GaN) charger and not a silicon-based charger, meaning it’s smaller, lighter, and more efficient than other, older high-wattage chargers.
The versatility doesn’t stop at the number of ports and high power output. Although I’m not traveling at the moment, that doesn’t mean I won’t be in the future, and the Elecjet X21 GaN Pro will come with me when I do. The charger itself is a small oblong shape with a pair of USB-C ports and a USB-A port on one end and a clever power adapter locking system perfect for travel use on the other.
Included in the box is a U.S. plug, a U.K. plug, and a Euro-style plug, which you simply clip and twist onto the charger, where it’s held securely in place. When I do travel again, there won’t be any messing around with plug adapters or making do with a substandard, slow charging plug. I can just take the requisite adapter and still charge up to three devices at the same time. Thanks to the high power output, the Elecjet X21 will also charge your USB-C laptop, and to help make it possible, the kit comes with an extension lead with a full-size wall plug at the end.
You’d also be forgiven for thinking a 65W charger with room for three USB cables is massive, but it’s not. The GaN technology means fewer components are used inside than in larger silicon-based chargers. The Elecjet X21 Pro is 3 1/4 inches long and a little over an inch wide. It’ll easily slip into a bag.
The X21 Pro’s big advantage is supporting USB Power Delivery PPS, so it should charge the new Samsung Galaxy S21 range at the fastest speeds possible. I plugged the Galaxy S21 Ultra in, and after 30 minutes it had reached 59%, and was fully charged in about an hour and 20 minutes. Mission accomplished.
My iPhone 12 Pro gained 50% in 28 minutes, but not everything seems to charge very quickly. For example, my iPhone 11 took two hours in total, and my iPhone SE (2020) reached full in an hour and a half. While the charger does not support OnePlus’s proprietary Warp Charge system, it still fast charges and took my OnePlus 9 Pro to full in 85 minutes.
Interestingly, according to the message on the screen of my P40 Pro, it does seem to support Huawei’s Super Charge charging, provided you use Huawei’s proprietary cable. The charger also happily charged a Huawei MateBook X Pro, a notoriously finicky device to power up if you’re not using the included charging block.
Despite the Elecjet X21 Pro meeting most of your charging needs, there’s still a problem: It doesn’t come with any USB cables. While we’ve probably all got a cable or two hanging around, there’s no guarantee they will deliver the fastest charging speeds, especially if they are not USB-C.
I checked with Elecjet to get an idea of what cable someone should buy to make sure everything fast charges now and continues to do so in the future. The team recommended choosing a 100W/5A USB-C cable. If you’re buying a good charger, make sure you buy a good cable to go along with it. After all, this is an exercise in avoiding buying another charger for a while, so don’t cut corners now.
Added to this is some confusion around which port on the charger does what. For example, the top USB-C port is supposed to have the highest output, but it does not activate Super Fast Charging on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The center USB-C port, however, does. Why? I’ve got no idea, and it was only apparent because I was actively looking at the charging progress. Others may not realize at all. You’ll get used to the way it works with your devices, but definitely check and try the different ports the first time you use it.
The Elecjet X21GaN Pro is available from Amazon for $40, but it’s the version without the travel adapters and desktop extension. The version tested here is available only in the U.K. at the moment, but the company told Digital Trends it will be coming to the U.S. soon. From Amazon in the U.K., it costs 45 pounds sterling, or about $62.
As for the cable, Apple’s official USB-C to Lightning cable is your best bet if you own an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook, as it supports up to 96W power. They start at $19, depending on the length required. For USB-C to USB-C, there are several versions listed on Amazon, such as this $14 version from Aukey and this angled $13 version from UGreen.
What about the future? It should support Samsung and Apple devices in the near term, and if you purchase a phone with a proprietary charging system in the future, it will come with the required charging block and cable anyway. Plus, the power of the Elecjet X21 means it’ll still charge quickly. While there’s no complete way to future-proof your charging tech, the Elecjet X21 GaN Pro is a decent middle ground.
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