How to charge your iPhone 4 from a power outlet in The United Kingdom

Using a 30 pin Apple connector and a 3 pinned Type G USB adapter to power your iPhone 4 from a UK power outlet.

UK power outlet

If organizing a vacation to The United Kingdom it is useful to know in advance if you can charge your important devices such as cell phones or laptop computers that you are bringing along. However without knowing which power supply is used you are more likely to bring the wrong power adaptor, thereby leaving you needing to purchase a potentially overpriced adaptor when you arrive. Varying different combinations of frequencies and region codes can all cause confusion when planning to stay in a different country to the first time traveller. These instructions were written to stop you needing to worry if you'll be able to charge your iPhone 4 when you're going abroad.If you are visiting The United Kingdom this page contains instructions showing how to power the iPhone 4 using their 230 volt 50Hz G Type UK wall outlet, with the British using a BS 1363 13 amp plug for power outlets. When you are visiting The United Kingdom from a different country ensure the iPhone 4 can be charged using a 240 volt supply. If it was purchased in a country which uses a lower voltage (for example 110v) check that the iPhone 4 is dual voltage (marked with a 100-240 volt notation) otherwise you may need to use an additional converter to stop the device from overheating when powering up. If you are planning on taking a trip to destinations such as London or Edinburgh we also recommend reading the The United Kingdom Wikipedia web page [1] for more indepth details prior to travelling to the area. These instructions assume that you are running Apple iOS 7 or greater on the iPhone 4.

Charging the iPhone 4 in The United Kingdom

Can the iPhone 4 be used in The United Kingdom?

You can connect the iPhone 4 to a UK power outlet.

What is the best power charger for the iPhone 4 in The United Kingdom?

When you are travelling with more than just your iPhone 4 then the best international travel charger for The United Kingdom is a multiple USB charger which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [6].

As these types of chargers are supplied with interchangeable pins and handle 100 volts to 240 volts will mean that you can travel to over 100 countries around the world simply by switching the included heads over. If your model of iPhone 4 supports Fast Charge (not all USB devices will) then you'll benefit from much faster recharging times by using one of these power chargers, along with additional compatibility with more power demanding devices. Having a 4 port charger means you can charge more than one device at the same time without needing to bring individual power chargers for your trip. Because you are only packing a single lightweight USB travel charger will also keep the overall size down, making it perfect to store in hand baggage whilst travelling and suitable for recharging your iPhone 4 at an airport or on a flight. Because of their space saving versatility these types of travel adapters can be used when back at home so when you're not on holiday they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple tablets and smartphones and using just a single plug socket.

For those travelling often we recommend searching for this type of versatile power charger online. The power charger illustrated here is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [6] which has been tested successfully for recharging multiple USB devices in numerous different countries.

Alternative travel adapter for The United Kingdom

The 4 port USB travel charger [6] is the most compact option for travellers from around the world who only have USB devices such as the iPhone 4, but for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs these power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power adapters offer surge protection which can be necessary for visitors of regions with unstable power grids to prevent damage to any connected devices from voltage spikes. These power adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both The United Kingdom and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular portable power converter for travellers originating from America visiting The United Kingdom using 3 pinned type B US plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Likewise having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from America using type B plugs. This is a more cost effective alternative to the BESTEK with one less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers 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 perfect for most travellers from around the world visiting The United Kingdom.
What is the best power charger for the iPhone 4 in The United Kingdom?

How to use a Type G power charger for recharging your iPhone 4 from a UK power outlet

Using a USB 30 pin Apple connector and a three pinned Type G USB adapter to recharge your iPhone 4 from a UK power outlet.

  1. To power your iPhone 4 from the UK power outlet you'll need to buy a Type G USB power adapter [4] and a USB to Apple 30 pin cable [5] - Apple normally include this cable when you first purchase your iPhone 4.
  2. Start the process by plugging the Type G USB power adapter in the UK power outlet. The plug outlet, sometimes called a Type G power outlet [3], looks like three vertical rectangular slots forming a triangular pattern.
  3. Plug in one end of the USB cord into the bottom of the USB power charger and the other end into the dock connector on the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 dock connector is found at bottom of the iPhone 4.
  4. Switch on the UK power outlet.
  5. The battery icon that you'll find in the top right corner of your phone screen will display a charging icon to indicate that the iPhone 4 is recharging taking roughly one to four hours to completely recharge.
How to use a Type G power charger for recharging your iPhone 4 from a UK power outlet

SIM cards in the UK

What are the best SIM pay as you go cards suitable for the iPhone 4 when travelling to Britain?

If you are travelling and need to use the iPhone 4 abroad then we recommend using a free SIM card in the UK to avoid paying high roaming costs from your own country.

Data charges incurred with international roaming can inadvertently add hundreds to a cell phone bill unless data roaming is switched off, Wi-Fi is used or data is capped. Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK cost an average of £5 per session, therefore ordering a prepaid SIM card loaded with £5 credit provides better value which can last for the duration of trip to the UK providing that data usage is light.

There are 15 local mobile network providers in the UK which offer free SIM only deals online, this list of UK mobile providers in the UK highlights their best value deals and links directly to their SIM card ordering page:

  • FreedomPop is a UK mobile provider offering one of the best SIM only deals for the iPhone 4 in the UK with 4G data, text and talk time. Their basic service includes a SIM card with free 200mb of data with 200 minutes and text messages every month; users can then opt to pay for additional data or switch to a paid plan as their demands grow. FreedomPop also offers a premium free SIM only card for the iPhone 4 and are offering a one month of free trial of 1GB of data, 1000 minutes and text messages before paying an £8.95 monthly top-up with no contract or cancellation fees.
  • O2 will send free pay and go SIM cards with prepaid £10 top ups.
  • LycaMobile can either send a free SIM without credit or the option to pay for a preloaded SIM which includes additional free credit. LycaMobile also offers £15 of free credit when transferring an existing number.
  • Vodafone offer free SIM deals with plans from only £10 per month.
  • Asda Mobile will send you a standard, micro and nano SIM card for free and offer bundles from £5 per month.
  • BT Mobile have contracts from £5 per month for their 4G data including access to their national BT WiFi, choose between a free full sized, micro or nano SIM.
  • giffgaff start with preloaded SIM cards from just £5 along with PAYG plans and also offer free calls and text between other giffgaff customers.
  • Three Mobile free SIM cards are suitable for using 4G without committing to a monthly contract.
  • Virgin Mobile Pay As You Go SIM cards offer two simple pay as you go tariffs aimed towards either heavy calls or heavy data and text usage.
  • Talkmobile offer three different sizes of free SIM cards with the option to include top up amounts as well as longer 30 day and 12 month SIM only plans.
  • Tesco Mobile send up to 4 SIM cards per UK address and offer to triple credit when ordering.
  • The Peoples Operator allow you to nominate a charity to contribute to when you purchase top up your SIM card.
  • Lebara Mobile will supply a free SIM card, order online and credit with a minimum of £5 top up.
  • Pebble Mobile free SIM cards are the only consumer network with national roaming and inclusive EU roaming plans.

Be aware that some providers may only ship free SIM cards to UK residential or business addresses, so if you are staying in a hotel in the UK we suggest that your free SIM is delivered to a work, family or friends postal address.

You can also purchase prepaid Pay As You Go SIM cards at most UK newsagents and supermarkets, however you won´t be able to take advantage of the heavily discounted online offers. Most towns and cities in the UK have high street mobile phone stores which sell SIM cards promoting their own network at a much higher cost and will also encourage shoppers to take out a long term monthly contract.

Be aware if you are flying to a UK airport some arrival halls will sell preloaded SIM cards at highly inflated prices. Instead we recommend taking advantage of any available free airport WiFi until a suitable SIM card can be obtained once outside the airport.

The best free SIM only contracts for the iPhone 4 for the UK

For longer trips to the UK there are 4 providers which don´t ship free PAYG cards but still offer monthly SIM plans online:

  • iD Mobile have capped SIM only contracts from just £4 per month and offer data rollover with all GoTo contracts.
  • TalkTalk have SIM plans starting from less than £4 per month.
  • Truphone will send prepaid SIM cards with auto top-up and the ability to add local US and Australian numbers alongside a local UK number.
  • EE are a newly formed mobile network in the UK formally comprised of T-Mobile and Orange.

Can you use a free SIM with a locked iPhone 4?

If you intend to swap network carriers you will need to ensure you´re using an unlocked iPhone 4 prior to using a different SIM card. If your iPhone 4 wasn´t unlocked at the time of purchase you should be able to request to your current cell phone carrier to unlock it, use an online mobile phone unlocking service or look for instructions online on how to unlock the iPhone 4 yourself. Please note that the cost of unlocking your iPhone 4 is likely to be significantly cheaper than using paying roaming costs.

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom - The United Kingdom Wikipedia web page
  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/typeG.htm - Type G power outlet
  4. Type G USB power adapter - Provides power from a type G mains power supply
  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. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters