Charging the iPhone 6 when visiting The United Kingdom

How to connect a UK power outlet to the iPhone 6

UK power outlet

Complicated combinations of standards and voltages can often cause confusion when planning to visit another country, especially if you've never visited before. These guidelines were specifically written to help prepare travellers wanting to charge the iPhone 6 when they are visiting The United Kingdom.This page is a simple guide demonstrating exactly how to supply power to your iPhone 6 when visiting The United Kingdom using their standard 230 volt 50Hz Type G power outlet, the British will use a BS 1363 13 amp plug for power outlets. If travelling to The United Kingdom from a different region check that the iPhone 6 can be charged using a 240v supply. If your iPhone 6 originated in a country which uses a lower voltage such as 110v check your iPhone 6 is dual voltage (indicated by 100-240 volts) else you may need to use an additional voltage converter to prevent the device from overloading when charging it. These instructions assume that you are running Apple iOS 7 or greater on the iPhone 6.

Charging the iPhone 6 in The United Kingdom

Can you use the iPhone 6 in The United Kingdom?

Yes, you can connect the iPhone 6 to a UK power outlet.

What is the best travel adapter for the iPhone 6 in The United Kingdom?

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

Because these chargers come with interchangeable plugs and handle 100 volts to 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa simply by switching the included heads over. If your iPhone 6 can support Fast Charge (not all USB devices will) then you'll benefit from much quicker charging times by using one of these types of power adapters, and 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 and store in hand luggage. Due to their space saving versatility these types of travel adapters can be used when you return home as well as abroad so when you're not on holiday they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple tablets, smartphones and speakers with only a single power outlet.

If you travel to The United Kingdom we recommend buying this type of flexible power adapter at an electronics retailer - the multipurpose power charger illustrated here is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [6] which has been tested successfully with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries around the world.

Alternative travel adapter for The United Kingdom

The 4 port USB travel charger [6] is the most compact option for travellers from any country wanting to charge devices via USB, however for those also wanting to use their domestic plugs these power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power converters offer surge protection which is useful when visiting counties with unstable power grids. These travel converters come supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering Europe, North America, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China and over 150 countries around the world:

  • 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 compact power converter for travellers originating from North America going to The United Kingdom using type B American plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from North America using type B plugs and gives almost the same set of features as the BESTEK with just 1 less AC outlet for almost half 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 ideal for a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting The United Kingdom.
What is the best travel adapter for the iPhone 6 in The United Kingdom?

Powering the iPhone 6 with a UK power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type G USB adapter

Using the Apple Lightning connector and a Type G power adapter to charge the iPhone 6 from a UK power outlet.

  1. In order to power the iPhone 6 using the UK power outlet you'll need a Type G USB power adapter [4] and a USB to Apple Lightning cable [5], typically already supplied with your device by Apple.
  2. Firstly you'll need to insert the Type G USB power adapter in the UK power outlet. You can identify this power outlet by the 3 vertical rectangular slots with shutters forming a triangle configuration.
  3. Plug in the USB end of the USB to Apple Lightning cable into the USB power charger and the other end into the Lightning connector on the iPhone 6. You can find the Lightning connector on the iPhone 6 situated at the bottom of the iPhone 6.
  4. Switch on the UK power outlet.
  5. The battery icon which you'll find in the top right hand corner of the iPhone screen will display a charge icon to indicate that the iPhone 6 is recharging which should take around 1 - 4 hours to fully recharge.
Powering the iPhone 6 with a UK power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type G USB adapter

SIM cards in the UK

What are the best free SIM pay as you go cards which will work with your iPhone 6 in the UK?

If you are travelling and need to use the iPhone 6 abroad then we recommend using a free local SIM card in the United Kingdom to avoid paying excessive roaming costs from your own network.

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 United Kingdom 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 6 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 6 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, therefore 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.

iPhone 6 SIM card only contracts for the UK

For longer trips to the UK there are 4 providers which don´t ship free PAYG cards but will 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 card with a locked iPhone 6?

If you do change network carriers you will need to ensure you´re using an unlocked iPhone 6 prior to inserting another SIM. If the iPhone 6 wasn´t unlocked at the time of purchase you should be able to request to your current cell phone carrier to unlock it for a small charge, use a high street mobile phone unlocking service or look for instructions online on how to unlock the iPhone 6 yourself. Please be aware that the cost of unlocking the iPhone 6 is likely to be cheaper than using paying roaming charges.

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom - The United Kingdom country Wiki 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