How to charge the iPhone 5S in The United Kingdom

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

UK power outlet

Different combinations of voltages and standards can all be confusing when planning to travel to a different country if you've never visited before. When staying in The United Kingdom this page has useful instructions showing you how to charge the iPhone 5S using their 230 volt 50Hz G Type power outlet, the British will use BS 1363 13 amp plugs for power outlets. When you are travelling to The United Kingdom from a different country check your iPhone 5S can be used with a 240v supply. If it came from a country which uses a lower voltage (for example 110 volts) ensure the iPhone 5S is dual voltage (marked with a 100-240 volt notation) otherwise you may need to use an additional voltage converter to avoid the device from overloading when powering up. If you plan on staying in a UK destination like London or York we suggest referring to the UK Wikipedia page [1] for further information on visiting the area. These instructions assume you are running Apple iOS 7 or greater on the iPhone 5S.

Charging the iPhone 5S in The United Kingdom

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

Yes, you can use the iPhone 5S in The United Kingdom.

What is the best power adapter for recharging the iPhone 5S in The United Kingdom?

When you are travelling to multiple countries the best travel charger for The United Kingdom is a multiple USB port adapter which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [6].

As these types of chargers come with interchangeable plugs and can handle 100 - 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries around the world simply by changing the included heads over. If your model of iPhone 5S can support Fast Charge then you'll benefit from quicker charging times with one of these power chargers, along with additional compatibility with more power hungry devices like tablets.

Having a four port charger means you can charge more than one device at the same time without needing to bring multiple travel adapters. Because you are only packing a single lightweight USB travel charger will also keep the overall size and weight down, making it ideal to fold up in hand luggage. Because of their space saving versatility these types of power chargers can be used at home as well as abroad so when you're not travelling they can be used overnight charging multiple phones, tablets and speakers without using up an additional power outlet.

If you travel on a regular basis we suggest buying an adaptable power charger like this online, the multipurpose travel adapter illustrated below is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [6] which has been tested successfully with multiple USB devices in numerous 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 5S, however for those also wishing to use their domestic plugs the following power adapters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power converters offer surge protection which is useful for travellers to regions with unstable power grids. These travel adapters come supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs which cover Continental Europe, North America, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China 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 best selling portable power converter for travellers originating from America visiting The United Kingdom using type B American plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Likewise having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the Orico travel adapter is also aimed at travellers originating from North America using type B plugs. This is a more cost effective alternative to the BESTEK with one less AC outlet for almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers a more generous 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 a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting The United Kingdom.
What is the best power adapter for recharging the iPhone 5S in The United Kingdom?

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

Using an Apple Lightning cable with a 3 pinned Type G USB adapter to recharge your iPhone 5S from a UK power outlet.

  1. In order to charge your iPhone 5S from a UK power outlet you will need a Type G USB power adapter [4] and a USB to Apple Lightning cable [5] - Apple should usually supply this cable with your iPhone 5S.
  2. Start the process by inserting the Type G USB power adapter in the wall outlet. You can identify this wall supply by 3 rectangular holes with plastic shutters forming a triangular pattern.
  3. Plug in the USB end of the USB to Apple Lightning cable into the bottom of the USB mains charger and the other end into the Lightning connector on the iPhone 5S. You can find the Lightning connector on your iPhone 5S situated at the bottom of the iPhone 5S.
  4. Switch on the UK power outlet.
  5. The battery icon that appears in the top right hand corner of your cell screen will display a charge icon to indicate that the phone is powering up, typically taking around one to four hours to recharge.
Powering the iPhone 5S with a UK power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type G USB adapter

SIM cards in the UK

What is the best free SIM pay as you go card which works with the iPhone 5S if visiting the United Kingdom?

If you are travelling and need to use the iPhone 5S abroad then you should consider using a free local SIM card in the UK to avoid paying high roaming costs from your own country.

The data charges incurred with uncapped 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 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 5S 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 5S 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 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.

SIM only contracts for the iPhone 5S

For extended 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.

How to use a free SIM with a locked iPhone 5S

If you do change network carriers you will need to ensure you´re using an unlocked iPhone 5S prior to inserting a different SIM card. If your iPhone 5S wasn´t unlocked at the time of purchase you should be able to request to your existing mobile phone carrier to unlock it, use an online mobile phone unlocking service or look for instructions online on how to unlock the iPhone 5S yourself. Please be aware that the cost of unlocking the phone will be cheaper than using paying expensive roaming costs.

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