In this ‘Smartphone Charging Guide’, we’ll explain; What is fast charging? What are the different types of fast charge? and why it matters!
In the world of smartphones, no topic is more confusing than fast charging. Whether you call it fast charging, quick charging, dash charging or super charging, it all means the same thing. Getting that little battery icon on your phone to fill up faster.
In the good ol’ days, you used to plug your phone it at night, and if you were lucky, it’d be charged by the morning. Now we have a fast charging phone market that’s, quite frankly, bloody confusing. Which sucks for you and me. Currently, there are just too many charging solutions with none of them being cross-compatible. So what are we to do?
Well since the smartphone overlords won’t make your life simple, I’ll do my best in this article to equip you with all the information you’ll ever need about fast charging.
What the heck is ‘Fast Charging’?
Simply put, it’s sending more energy into your smartphone in less time. Not exactly revolutionary, but squeezing a boat-load more energy into your mobile phone comes with its own set of problems… the main one being heat.
After the melting Samsung phone fiasco of 2017, keeping your smartphone cool when charging has become the number one concern. So how are smartphones managing to charge faster without exploding or melting?
Well you guessed it, it’s obviously some form of archaic magic gained from praying to dark spirits. Just kidding, if you can remember back to your school science lessons you might remember Alessandro Volta and André-Marie Ampère, no they’re not Eurovision winners there the inventor of Volts & Amps.
Now I’m going to avoid getting all nerdy and simplify this a lot. If you want to get your ‘nerd on’ check out this awesome article explaining electricity measurements in detail.
A standard phone charger outputs Volts & Amps. You can multiple ‘Volts’ x ‘Amps’ to get ‘Watts’. Increasing the Volts can be described as increasing the speed that the power flows through the wire. Increasing the Amps is like sending more units of power through the cable at once.
More ‘Volts & Amps’ means ‘More Power’ going into your smartphone. Simple. But like I said earlier, more Volts equals more heat & more Amps means thicker cables.
So that brings us nicely onto Fast Charging Standards.
Let’s explain a little more about the ‘Big 4’ fast charging cowboys
In the wild west of fast charge, we have 4 main innovators. These different types of fast charging come with their own pros & cons.
- Qualcomm (Quick Charge)
- OnePlus (Dash Charge)
- Huawei’s (Super Charge)
- MediaTek (Pump Express or PE)
Qualcomm Quick Charge
The leading fast charge standard is made by Qualcomm and the latest version is called Quick Charge 4+, although most production phones are still using the Quick Charge 3 standard. Quick Charge works by mainly by raising the voltage and then the amps slightly. This results in your smartphone heating up but charging a lot faster.
Qualcomm Quick Charge ready devices have a special power regulator that allows them to receive the higher Volts and Amps without overheating. The secret sauce.
OnePlus & OPPO Dash Charge
If you’ve ever owned a OnePlus phone, you’ll know that they charge faster than any other smartphone and this is thanks to Dash Charge technology which was originally created by OPPO.
Rather than raising the voltage which creates a lot of heat, Dash Charge raises the Amps. To do this, they’ve created a unique charging cable that is a lot thicker than normal so that it can push through more Amps at once. The benefit to this method is that the phone can be used while charging as it stays cool.
Huawei’s (Super Charge)
Huawei’s SuperCharge works by alternating the Voltage & Amps optimally during the charging process. This keeps the smartphone cool while still fast charging. This charging is only compatible with Huawei & Honor smartphones as it needs a bespoke power regulator chip inside the phone to work.
MediaTek Pump Express
MediaTek’s fast charging solution is called Pump Express or PE. The latest version is 4.0 and works by increasing the Amps and Volts.
Hope this article helped shed some light on the mysterious world of smartphones fast charge. As always, comment below and feel free to share.