Charge Test: Battle Of The Fast Chargers

By 10:14 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments


Smartphone batteries piggybacked on the growing classy screen size to go up in power to support both the classy screen and faster chipsets. Slower to deplete, the recent batteries also proved slower to charge so manufacturers tackled the issue with recent standards.

Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0, the most popular charger at the moment typically puts out 500mA. Gradually manufacturers started bundling more powerful chargers, going over 2A in some cases. Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.0 offers a bit more power than the older standard, but its wide adoption in smartphones is not happening anytime soon.

Both manufacturers and chipset makers were not content with this and developed their own standards. We'll be testing solutions from Qualcomm, Oppo, Samsung and Intel (the last two seem to utilize Qualcomm's tech). We also have two iPhones in the mix even though Apple doesn't have an official quick charge solution.

There's a common standard on the horizon too - while Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.0 failed to hold hrecent on mobiles, the Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C connector might prove more successful. Reversible and capable of carrying more power - up to 3A at 5V for 15W total it looks to have what it takes. It's still larger than 2.0 connectors though, so we'll see if it will play nice with the ongoing struggle to create smartphones as slim as possible.

This matches the power from the Quick Charge 2.0 standard, though the latest Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard also has an optional Power Delivery profile that can push up to 100W. That's intended for laptops and monitors, but the profile also has a number of lower steps which may one day land on phones and tablets.

We may or may not see Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C mobiles this year, but it's clear that the current chargers will survive. Some of them fundamentally change the battery, Oppo for example splits it into multiple cells that are charged separately.

Since these charging standards work best when the battery is close to empty, we started with a fully depleted battery and wrote down the charge every five minutes. The phones were off initially and we powered them on after the first five minutes.

We'll compare all the phones together, but we'll also cover each phone's performance individually.

If you're recent to charging tech, we researched each one we are testing and summarized our findings on the next page. You can quickly acquire acquainted or skim it and go to the following page for the showdown.



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