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Fast Charging Explained

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You might not realize it, but chances are, Fast charging is an increasingly popular feature that allows you to power up your phone in just a fraction of the time it takes to do it the old-fashioned way.  If you’re enjoying the modern era Smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S9, LG G7, Moto G6 or iPhone X then it already supports some form of fast charging.

In today’s scenario, Fast charging is a must-have feature within smartphones. It keeps our batteries topped up through busy days in no time. However, there are a variety of different standards from different companies.
Before we explain more, it is important for you to understand that how does a smartphone gets charged

How do smartphones get charged?

Smartphone batteries charge when a current passes through them. Greater current and higher voltages charge batteries faster, but there’s a limit to what they can take. The charge controller (IC) protects against dangerous spikes in current. The controller chip regulates the overall flow of electricity into and out of the battery.

Standard USB 3.0 ports output at a level of 5V/1A for smaller devices like wearables. Most phones and other devices are capable of handling 5V/2.4A. For fast charging, you’re looking at something that bumps the voltage up 5V, 9V, 12V, and beyond, or increases amperage to 3A and above.

Keep in mind, your phone will only take in as much power as its charging circuit is designed for.
So even if you have it plugged into a 5V/3A adapter, if it’s only able to handle 5V/2.4A, that’s the rate at which it will charge. For fast charging to work, you need a phone or other device with a charging circuit capable of using one of the fast charging standards, and an adapter and cable enabled for that same standard.

In a nutshell, fast charging increases the current sent to the battery to fill up its capacity quicker. The basic USB specification only sends 0.5 amps (A) of current using 5 volts (V) for just 2.5 watts (W). Fast charging technologies boost these figures. Huawei’s 10V/4A SuperCharge2.0 produces 40W and Samsung’s 9V/1.7A Adaptive Fast Charging produces 15W of juice. All fast charging services share a common theme — more power.


Types of Fast Charging

Qualcomm Quick Charge

The most common fast-charging standard is Qualcomm’s proprietary Quick Charge because of the widespread nature of the company’s chipsets. It was once the default standard in the smartphone industry, as it popularized fast charging before USB Power Delivery(USB-PD). Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0 are the two types of fast charging you’re most likely to see now, with Quick Charge 4+ on the horizon. Each standard is backward compatible with the previous one, so older cables and adapters will still work.

It supports a wide range of phones boast Quick Charge support, including the LG V40, Xiaomi Mi 8, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, HTC U12 Plus, and many more.

Quick Charge 2.0 bumps up the voltage at intervals of 5V, 9V, and 12V. Quick Charge 3.0 can boost the voltage across a broader range, varying dynamically from 3.2V to 20V, though peak power for both standards is 18W.

 Charging Technology

Voltage

Current

Max Power

Quick Charge 1.0

5V

2A

10W

Quick Charge 2.0

5V/9V/12V

1.67A/2A

18W

Quick Charge 3.0

3.6V – 20V (200mV increments)

2.5A/4.6A

18W

Quick Charge 4.0

N/A

N/A

N/A

Quick Charge 4.0+

5V/9V (USB-PD), 3.6V – 20V (200mV increments)

3A (USB-PD), 2.5A/4.6A

27W (USB-PD)

Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging

Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging isn’t as common as it used to be but works in a similar manner to the above standards by bumping up voltage and/or amperage. As you might imagine, it only works with certain Samsung devices and with compatible adapters that push out 5V/2A for older micro USB phones and 5V/3A or 9V/2A for USB-C, along with compatibility for USB Power Delivery. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (which can charge to 50 percent in 40 minutes) support both Adaptive Fast Charging and Qualcomm Quick Charge, making it easier to find a compatible charger.

Charging Technology

Voltage

Current

Max Power

Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging

5V/9V

2A

18W

Motorola TurboPower

TurboPower’s thermal management hardware is designed to avoid charging slowdowns due to heat, Motorola says, and to maintain a steady and fast charging rate.

Motorola’s charging standard is compatible with any Quick Charge 2.0 (or newer) adapter. Motorola claims TurboPower  30  can deliver up to 15 hours of battery life in 15 minutes. Motorola’s optimized battery charging algorithm enables turbo charging when your battery is low while maintaining good battery cycle life.

TurboPower Technology

Voltage

Current

Max Power

TurboPower 15

9V/12V

1.2A/1.67A

15W

TurboPower 25

5V/9V/12V

2.15A/2.85A

25W

TurboPower 30

5V

5.7A

28.5W

One Plus Dash Charge(Fast Charge) and Oppo VOOC

Dash Charge is a new quick-charge technology from OnePlus. It promises to provide 63% of a full charge in just 30 minutes of charging. Dash Charge goes about its business slightly differently to some other quick charging systems. Like Quick Charge 3.0, it produces a larger electrical current (this time 5V/4A for 20W) rather than increasing the pressure, which results in a more stable and consistent charge.

This means that the charging process remains fast whilst you’re using your phone – even if it’s for high-intensity tasks like gaming.

The other advantage to Dash Charge is that it removes the kind of alarming heat build-up we’ve seen before in quick charging standards. One of the ways in which it does this is by moving all the heat management and dissipation process to the charger, rather than leaving it to the phone to handle as other quick charging standards tend to do.

The OPPO VOOC (Voltage Open Loop Multi-step Constant-Current Charging) Flash Charging system is a proprietary rapid-charge technology created by OPPO Electronics, which, at present, is able to charge certain OPPO devices from 0 to 75% in just 30 minutes.

 Charging Technology

Voltage

Current

Max Power

Dash Charge

5V

4A

20W

Oppo Vooc

5V

5A

25W

 VOOC is a fast-charging system and in terms of its basic quick charging abilities, it is one of the leaders. It is certainly quick, as shown by the charging times of both the OPPO R7s and the OPPO F1 Plus, two phones which use the VOOC system. However, there is more to VOOC then just charging times. Rather than using 9V or 12V to achieve higher charging rates, it uses 5V but with a higher current. The result is that VOOC compatible devices don’t heat up as much during re-charge. Also, VOOC is probably the only fast charging system on the market that can charge a smartphone at a reasonable rate even when the device is simultaneously being used to watch a movie.

Huawei SuperCharge

SuperCharge, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei’s proprietary charging standard, is built into phones like the HuaweiMate 20 Pro, Mate 9 and the HuaweiP10. It’s is somewhat akin to Quick Charge in that it uses higher-than-average voltages to achieve faster charging, but there’s slightly more to it than meets the eye.

Charging Technology 

Voltage

Current

Max Power

Huawei SuperCharge

4.5V/5V

4.5A/5A

25W