Juice it up: How fast charging really works

Published: June 15, 2020 12:40 AM

What is the best fast charging phone? Let us demystify this concept and take a look at some of the best mobile phone options available today that offer this technology.

The basic building blocks for charging any electronic device comes in the form of amperage (current), voltage, and watts (power).

By Zia Askari

If you haven’t noticed, almost all the mobile brands nowadays tout fast charging capabilities in the new devices as a key value proposition. Whether you call it TurboPower, FlashCharge, Adaptive Fast Charging, or SuperCharge, it all does the same thing—packing more power in less time within your smartphone, a great convenience for the consumers. What does fast charging mean? Is it bad for your phone? What is the best fast charging phone? Let us demystify this concept and take a look at some of the best mobile phone options available today that offer this technology.

The basic building blocks for charging any electronic device comes in the form of amperage (current), voltage, and watts (power). In a fast charging scenario, charging of the smartphone happens in two phases. In the first phase, a higher voltage pushes the charging rate at a rapid pace – and different brands are trying to pack more charge in the first 20-30 minutes.

Once the battery has received most of its charge (about 80%), these fast chargers decrease voltage in a controlled manner to prevent overheating as well as overcharging of the device. This has also become a safe way to ensure that chargers as well as the battery inside the smartphone works smoothly and for a longer duration of time.

In order to get the best fast charging results, you need to have a compatible charger as well as cable that comply with the standards. And yes, if you are using a 25W charger with a smartphone that has a maximum charging speed of 20W, the device will charge only at 20W.

Some of the most popular types of fast charging standards are USB Power Delivery (or USB-PD) and Qualcomm Quick Charge. In addition to these, there are a number of brands such as Samsung, vivo, iQOO, which have introduced their own fast charging terminology such as TurboPower, FlashCharge, Adaptive Fast Charging, or SuperCharge.

A quick look at some of the latest smartphones that offer fast charging technology:
Samsung Galaxy S20+
This phone runs on the Samsung Exynos 9 Octa 990 chipset. It has 12 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage. It is supported by the USB Power Delivery 3.0 PPS (programmable power standard). This is the first smartphone lineup to receive USB fast-charger certification from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).

Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra’s Super Fast Charging capabilities deliver 25 watts of power when plugged in, this is ideal to charge your device in a jiffy. Galaxy S20+ comes packed with 4,500mAh battery, 25W charger in the box.

vivo V19
Vivo V19 comes packed with Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor which is paired with up to 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage. The device is backed by a 4,500mAh battery and carries a 33W vivo FlashCharge 2.0 fast charging support via USB Type-C. The company says that it delivers 0-70% charge in just 40 minutes.

iQOO 3
iQOO 3 comes with Snapdragon 865 mobile platform which is a 5G-ready SoC. This is coupled with upto 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM. It claims to be the world’s first smartphone to ship with UFS 3.1 storage that promises transfer speeds of 1.2Gbps. It also comes with the latest 55W Super FlashCharge technology that can charge 50% of battery in just 15 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Chipset. It has 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage. Galaxy S10 Lite carries a massive 4,500mAh battery that supports super-fast charging. This device supports up to 45W fast charging, which is among the best in the industry.

Askari writes on communications, technology and gadgets at TelecomDrive.com.

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