Do you want a charger with that? The demise of inbox accessories (opinion)

I am ranting about the demise of inbox accessories like a charger with certain brands of smartphones. It is getting as bad as ‘Batteries not included’.

First, Apple took out the charger offering a range of USB-C PD (Power Delivery) chargers

  • 20W (PD 2.0 5V/3A/15W or 9V/2.22A/19.8W or 12V/1.5A/20W) for $29*
  • 30W (PD 2.0 5V/3A/15W, 9V/3A/27W, 10V/2A/20W, 15V/2A/30W) for $69*
  • And it offers an uber-expensive PD 3.0 range including 61W, 67W, 96W, 140W for iPad, MacBooks and fast charging iPhones 12 and 13.
  • A proprietary USB-C* to Lightning Cable (1m) for $29 is required. Note these are quite slow at 480Mbps data transfer rate.

Let’s not forget that Apple led the way by removing the 3.5mm headphone/mic port; microSD; going to single SIM (and eSIM); using a Lightning connector (instead of USB-C) and removing earphones from the box. It is called Shrinkflation – charge more for less.

Samsung slavishly followed suit

Its Galaxy S21, S22 Flip and Fold series are charger-less. And its meat and potatoes 2022 A-series is charger-less. Oh, and it lost the 3.5mm port, microSD and more along the way. If a USB cable is in the box, it is 2.0 for a maximum of 10W. So, you need a new 3A or 5A rated cable anyway.

  • 25W PD 2.0 for $50 – needs a 3W cable
  • 45W PD 3.0 for $69 – needs a 3W cable
  • 65W PD 3.0 for $99 (also has USB-A 5V/3A/15W, USB-C 25W and USB-C 65W to a total combined 65W output – needs a 5W cable

See our USB and Thunderbolt cables made easy (guide) and realise that good cables are not cheap.

Regrettably, Google followed suit, too. Chargers, headphones and USB-C DACs are MIA. It recommends a 30W PD 2.0 charger for $35 that comes with a USB-C 3W cable, usually $39.

Nokia has also followed suit with its X-series.

Is the demise of inbox accessories simply penny-pinching?

To many readers who raised this issue with Cybershack – ‘Yes, it bloody is’.

Apple and Samsung use rather flimsy excuses that you probably already have a charger (who gives a rat’s backside if it is too slow?). Or that their move saves the planet via reuse and lower freight costs.

But there are some notable exceptions and we applaud them

OPPO has not succumbed to the dark side. If anything is the leader in providing the right charger for the job. For example, its economy flagship Find X5 Lite has a 65W SUPERVOOC charger inbox. Its premium flagship Find X5 and X5 Pro have 80W SUPERVOOC charger’s inbox for near 30-minute charges. Its new Battery Health Monitor doubles the battery life from 800 charge cycles to 1600! Samsung and Apple don’t do that.

Even its $349 A-76 comes with a 33W SUPERVOOC charger for about a 1-hour charge. Its chargers are well priced – $35 for the 65W version. Thanks, OPPO.

Motorola has taken a different route. The excellent g51 has a 10W charger supplied, but it can charge at 15W. The Edge 20 Pro has a 30W charger, but it can charge at 68W. OK, that is meeting you halfway.

CyberShack’s view – The demise of inbox accessories is penny-pinching

Apple said that it means less packaging. Hello, what about the bloody box you buy the charger in – FAIL.

Apple said most would have a charger. Well, until iPhone 12 and 13, Apple chargers were 5V/1A/5W or fast charge (an oxymoron) 5V/1.5A/7.5W. These also use the USB-A to USB-C 2W cable with a minuscule 480Mbps data transfer rate – your granny can walk faster than that! So, you need a new cable too – more packaging.

Samsung is just a slavish follower. Given that you need to fork out extra for a charger and cable for already premium-priced gear, we can understand why readers are angry.

Our best advice is not to buy the branded charger.

Look for RCM C-Tick approved PD 3.0 GaN (gallium nitride) charger instead. It does not matter if you buy a multi-port 100W or a single port 30W. You are fine as PD 3.0 looks after everything.

Our preferred charger is the Alogic Rapid Power 4-port 100W charger at $129. Remember that you need 5W capable cables to get full speed. It also has a 65W 2-port for $84.

Or Belkin has a 108W 4-port GaN at $129 but it is more a ‘brick’ style.

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