The fast chargers that come with your phone are responsible for one thing, and one thing only: to charge your phone fast. ‘Thanks captain obvious’, I hear you say. Well, it may seem obvious, but unless you’ve made the comparison with older traditional chargers, you haven’t realised how fast a fast charger can do its job.
Although the technology behind this feature is for the most part the same despite the brand that builds it, each company comes up with a different name for their own product. At this point it is worth noting that Apple doesn’t include a fast charger in the iPhone XS’ original package, so if you’re going for one you’ll have to get that privilege for some extra bucks.
Back to our issue though, sometimes it’s hard and frustrating to wrap your head around the differences between Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charge technology, Apple’s Fast Charge, OnePlus’ DashCharge, Huawei’s Super Charge, Oppo’s VOOC etc. That list is remarkably bigger but we’re going to stop here for your own shake. Besides, the vast majority of the companies that were not mentioned are either using one of the patents you read above, or they don’t have such a feature to offer yet.
In addition, newer generations of the afore mentioned fast charging technologies come up with every new device model. According to what we read on the box, fast chargers can charge up to 70% of your phone’s full battery capacity in 30 minutes, or alternatively charge 40% in 10 minutes. But how can that be done?
The answer lies in increasing voltage while at the same time making sure that the new charging circuits can support such an increase. One would also have to take under consideration the additional security checks that need to be run both in the lab and when the device is operating in the user’s hands. So basically, when you’re a using a fast charger, you’re actually allowing more power to go through to your device in the same amount of time.
The one thing though that most people don’t pay attention to, is the remaining percentage that always needs more to be charged. Remember the stats provided above? It’s up to 70% in 30 minutes, or 40% in 10 minutes. The rest of the battery can need more than an hour to be charged.
That’s because the regulator needs to find new cells to place power and avoid overcharging the cells; pretty much like a balloon that you’re trying to fill with water. You can go full blast at the beginning but as the balloon is getting bigger, you need to slow down, or it will burst.
Now that we’ve established a basic understanding of how fast chargers work and what’s the industry’s average, it’s natural to wonder what’s the top performer in this field. According to phonearena, Oppo’s Super VOOC Fast-Charging Technology needs only 35 minutes to charge the company’s flagship, the Find X. Given the information we analysed above, that seems a tad over the top. Admittedly, the company achieved that by altering the technology that customers can purchase, increasing the voltage rating from 5V to 10V. Still, if we use the water balloon analogy, it’s like those guys managed to fill the balloon having the hose turned on full blast the whole way through.
Still, phonearena touts Huawei’s Super Charge as the winner of its list, on the grounds that it charged 47mAh/minute when used on the P20 Pro. We can’t help but wonder if Oppo’s solution could do a better job on the same device. Unfortunately, we probably won’t find out any time soon.
Stay tuned however to read all the latest news in this and many more technology topics!