Charging your iPhone 5C from a power outlet in The United Kingdom

How to connect a UK power outlet to the iPhone 5C

UK power outlet

Varying different frequencies and standards can often be confusing when planning on staying in another country especially if you've never been there before. This page was written to prevent visitors having to worry if they'll be able to charge the iPhone 5C when they're staying in The United Kingdom.The following useful guide tells you exactly what you'll need to charge the iPhone 5C when you're visiting The United Kingdom using the 230 volt 50Hz G Type UK power outlet, with the British using BS 1363 13 amp plugs for power outlets. If you are travelling to The United Kingdom from another country ensure that your iPhone 5C can accept a 240 volt supply. If your iPhone 5C was purchased in a country which uses a lower voltage such as 110 volts double check the iPhone 5C is dual-voltage (marked with a 100-240 volt notation) else you may need to use an additional power converter to avoid the device from over-heating whilst powering it. These instructions assume that you are running Apple iOS 7 or greater on the iPhone 5C.

Charging the iPhone 5C in The United Kingdom

Can the iPhone 5C be used in The United Kingdom?

Yes, you can connect the iPhone 5C to a UK power outlet.

What is the best travel adapter for the iPhone 5C in The United Kingdom?

When travelling to more than one country then the best travel charger for The United Kingdom to buy is a multiple USB charger which includes compatible plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger [6].

Because these types of chargers come with interchangeable pins and can handle 100 volts - 240 volts will mean that you can travel to multiple countries around the world just by switching the included heads. If your iPhone 5C can support Fast Charge (note that not all USB devices can) then you'll benefit from faster charging times with one of these types of travel chargers, and compatibility with certain power hungry devices.

This means you can recharge multiple devices simultaneously without needing to buy seperate travel chargers on your trip or using up additional power sockets. Only bringing a single international travel charger will also keep the size down, making it ideal to fold up and store in hand baggage. Because of their versatility these types of chargers can be used back at home not just abroad so when you're not on holiday they can be used under your bedside table charging multiple tablets and phones without using up an additional wall outlet.

For those travelling to The United Kingdom we suggest searching for an adaptable travel charger of this nature online; the travel adapter illustrated is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [6] which has been tested successfully with multiple USB devices in numerous different countries around the world on a daily basis.

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 5C, but for those also wanting to use their domestic plugs the following power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which is necessary for travellers to counties with unreliable power grids to prevent damage to any connected appliances. These travel adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs which cover both The United Kingdom and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel adaptor has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular portable power adapter for travellers originating from North America going to The United Kingdom using 3 pin type B plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the Orico travel adapter is also aimed at travellers from the US using type B plugs. This is a cheaper alternative to the BESTEK with just one less AC outlet for almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers a more 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 ideal for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting The United Kingdom.
What is the best travel adapter for the iPhone 5C in The United Kingdom?

Powering the iPhone 5C with a UK power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type G USB adapter

Using a Lightning Apple cable and a 3 pin Type G USB charger to charge your iPhone 5C with a UK power outlet.

  1. To charge the iPhone 5C from a UK power outlet you will need to use a Type G USB power adapter [4] and a USB to Apple Lightning cable [5] (typically already included with the device by Apple).
  2. Begin the process by plugging the Type G USB power adapter in the wall supply. You can identify the power supply by the three rectangular slots forming a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth.
  3. Plug in one end of the Apple power cable into the bottom of the USB power adapter and the other end into the Lightning connector on the iPhone 5C. The iPhone 5C Lightning connector is situated at bottom of the iPhone 5C under the home button.
  4. Switch on the UK power outlet.
  5. The battery icon that you'll find in the top right hand corner of your iPhone 5C screen will display a charging icon to indicate that the iPhone is powering up and takes around one to four hours to fully recharge to full capacity.
Powering the iPhone 5C with a UK power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type G USB adapter

SIM cards in the UK

What is the best local SIM only card for pay as you go for the iPhone 5C if travelling to the United Kingdom?

If you are travelling and need to use the iPhone 5C abroad then we recommend using a free local SIM in the UK to avoid paying excessive roaming costs from your own country.

The 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 SIM card pre-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 United Kingdom which offer free SIM only deals online, this list of 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 5C 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 5C 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.

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.

Please 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 SIM only contracts for the iPhone 5C for the UK

For longer trips to the UK there are 4 providers which won´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.

Unlocking your iPhone 5C for use with a free SIM card

If you intend to swap network carriers you will need to ensure you´re using an unlocked iPhone 5C prior to inserting a different SIM. If your iPhone 5C was locked at the time of purchase you should be able to request to your current mobile phone carrier to unlock it for a small charge, use an online mobile phone unlocking service or look for instructions online on how to unlock your iPhone 5C yourself. Please be aware that the cost of unlocking your phone is likely to be significantly cheaper than using paying roaming charges.

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom - UK Wikipedia 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 Lightning cable - The Apple Lightning cable is a charging and syncing cable for more recent Apple devices and connects compatible iPhones and iPads to a USB port
  6. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters