How to charge the iPhone 4S when planning a trip to China

Using an Apple USB 30-pin cable and a two pinned Type C USB charger to power the iPhone 4S with a Chinese power outlet, how to charge the iPhone 4S using a two pinned Type A power plug and how to charge the iPhone 4S using a three pinned Type I power plug

Chinese power outlet

If packing for a holiday to China it's helpful to know in advance if you can use all your vital electronics such as cell phones and laptop computers when you arrive at your hotel. By not knowing which power socket is being used in China you could end up either weighing your luggage down with unnecessary spare adaptors or bring the wrong power adaptor, leaving you needing to buy or borrow a potentially expensive power adaptor when you arrive which could be incompatible. Varying different region codes and sockets can all be confusing when planning on travelling to another country to the first time traveller. This isn't as complex as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of sockets used in the world this article tells you exactly what to pick up in advance to charge the iPhone 4S . This step by step guide tells you how to power the iPhone 4S when you're travelling to China by using their Type I, A or C Chinese 220 volt 50Hz wall outlets, you will find most Chinese use Type I power outlets. If travelling to China from a different country ensure the iPhone 4S can accept a 240v supply. If your iPhone 4S came from a country which uses a lower voltage (for example 110v) double check the iPhone 4S is dual-voltage (indicated by 100-240 volts) else you may need to use an additional power converter to avoid the device from overheating when powering up. These instructions assume you are running Apple iOS 7 or greater on the iPhone 4S.

Charging the iPhone 4S in China

Can the iPhone 4S be used in China?

Yes, you can use the iPhone 4S in China by using the correct power convertor.

What is the best travel adapter for the iPhone 4S in China?

If you are travelling with more than just your iPhone 4S and visiting more than one country the best travel power adapter for China is a multiple USB charger which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [10]. Chinese use three different types of plug sockets (types I, A and C) and using a power charger like this will ensure that you are covered for both types A and C.

Because these chargers come with interchangeable plugs and can handle 100 to 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa just by switching the included heads over. If your iPhone 4S supports Fast Charge (not all USB devices will) then you'll benefit from much quicker charging times by using one of these types of power chargers, along with support for more power hungry devices. Having a 4 port adapter will allow you to charge multiple devices at once without needing to bring multiple power chargers. Because you are only packing a single travel charger will also keep the overall size down, making it perfect to fold up in hand luggage. Due to their space saving versatility these types of adapters can be used back at home so when you're not on holiday they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple smartphones, tablets and e-readers without using up an additional power outlet.

For those travelling often we recommend buying this type of flexible travel adapter at an electronics retailer, the power adapter illustrated below is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [10] which has been tested successfully for powering multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries with perfect reliably.

Alternative travel adapter for China

The 4 port USB travel charger [10] is the most compact option for travellers from any country who only have USB devices such as the iPhone 4S, however for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs the following power adapters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power strips offer surge protection which is necessary when visiting regions with unstable power supplies. These travel adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both China and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular portable option for travellers originating from North America visiting China using type B US plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs. This offers practically the same functionality as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers a flexible 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it suitable for most travellers from around the world visiting China.
What is the best travel adapter for the iPhone 4S in China?

Powering the iPhone 4S with a Chinese power outlet by using a 2 pinned Type A USB adapter

Using an Apple USB 30-pin cable and a two pinned Type A USB charger to recharge the iPhone 4S with a Chinese power outlet.

  1. In order to power the iPhone 4S using the Chinese power outlet you'll need a Type A USB power adapter [4] and a USB to Apple 30 pin cable [5], typically already supplied with your device by Apple.
  2. Plug in the Type A USB power adapter in the power supply. This plug outlet, sometimes called the Type A power outlet [3], is recognised by two thin adjacent slots next to each other.
  3. Connect one end of the cord into the mains USB charger and the other end into the dock connector on the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S dock connector can be found at bottom of the iPhone 4S.
  4. Switch on the Chinese power outlet.
  5. The battery icon that appears in the top right corner of your iPhone 4S will display a charge icon to indicate that the phone is charging and takes roughly 60-240 minutes to fully recharge.
Powering the iPhone 4S with a Chinese power outlet by using a 2 pinned Type A USB adapter

Powering the iPhone 4S with a Chinese power outlet by using a 2 pinned Type C Europlug USB adapter

Using a USB 30 pin connector and a Type C power adapter to charge the iPhone 4S from a Chinese power outlet.

  1. To supply power to your iPhone 4S from a Chinese power outlet you will need to buy a Type C USB power adapter [7] and a USB to Apple 30 pin cable [5], Apple normally supply this USB cable when you purchase the iPhone 4S.
  2. Start the process by taking the Type C USB power adapter and inserting it into the power outlet. You can identify this plug outlet by 2 circular holes adjacent to each other where the two plug outlet pins go.
  3. Then connect one end of the USB to Apple 30 pin cable into the bottom of the USB mains adapter and the other end into the dock connector on the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S dock connector can be found at bottom of the iPhone 4S.
  4. Switch on the Chinese power outlet.
  5. The battery icon which you'll find in the top right corner of the iPhone screen will display a charge icon to indicate that the iPhone 4S is recharging which should take around 1 - 4 hours to fully recharge.
Powering the iPhone 4S with a Chinese power outlet by using a 2 pinned Type C Europlug USB adapter

Charging the iPhone 4S from a Chinese power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type J USB adapter

Using the Apple 30-pin cable and a three pin Type I USB charger to power the iPhone 4S with a Chinese power outlet.

  1. To supply power to the iPhone 4S from a Chinese power outlet you will need to buy a Type I USB power adapter [9] and a USB to Apple 30 pin cable [5], Apple typically supply this USB cable when you purchase your iPhone 4S.
  2. Start the process by taking the Type I USB power adapter and inserting it into the power outlet. The plug supply, sometimes known as the Type I power outlet [8], can be recognised by three slots for the live, neutral and earth blades. Please note that the neutral and live pins are configured reversed compared to Argentinian plug outlets, please check that your Type I power adaptor is compatible in China.
  3. Connect one end of the cable into the mains USB charger and the other end into the dock connector on the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S dock connector can be found at bottom of the iPhone 4S.
  4. Turn on the Chinese power outlet.
  5. The battery icon that appears in the top right corner of your cellphone will display a charging icon to indicate that the phone is charging and takes between 60-240 minutes to completely recharge to 100% capacity.
Charging the iPhone 4S from a Chinese power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type J USB adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China - wikipedia web page about China
  2. https://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/1000/MA1565/en_US/iphone_user_guide.pdf - Official iPhone user guide
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  4. Type A USB power adapter - Provides USB power from a type A mains power outlet
  5. USB to Apple 30 pin cable - This connects compatible iPhones, iPods and iPads to a USB port for charging, syncing and playing music
  6. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  7. Type C USB power adapter - Provides USB power from a type C mains power outlet
  8. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeI.htm - Type I power outlet
  9. Type I USB power adapter - Provides USB power from a type I mains power outlet
  10. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters