Not all chargers are the same. Regular USB 2.0 ports on a PC put out 500 mA (that is half of 1A). Regular USB chargers put out 5 volts at 1A. That explains why charging your phone via your laptop is always a slower experience than using a wall charger. To speed up smartphone charging, various fast charge technologies and chargers have been developed. In this article, we explore how quick chargers work.
Quick Chargers To The Rescue
Qualcomm has come up with Quick Charge, while Mediatek has Pump Express. Different smartphone and accessories manufacturers have come up with their own branded quick charge solutions. Feel free to ignore the branding; the principles they work on are similar. They pass more current to the phone to speed up charging.
Let us have a look at Qualcomm’s quick charge technology as an example:
- Quick Charge 1.0 Charges your phone battery from 0 to 30% in 30 minutes, after which charging slows down. Puts out 10W (5 volts at 2 amp).
- Quick Charge 2.0 Charges your phone battery from 0 to 60% in 30 minutes and then slows down. Puts out 9 volts at 1.67 amp (9V/1.67A).
- Quick Charge 3.0 Charges a phone from 0 to 80% in 30 minutes, and then slows down. Delivers 18W of power.
- Quick Charge 4.0 Charges your phone from 0 to 50% in 15 minutes, and then slows down. It also charges up to 5° C cooler.
Pay Attention To Charger Rating
The point to note is that quick chargers are rated differently to enable different rates of charging. As such, it is important what kind of charger you use with your smartphone. Phones have different charging standards too.
For example, to get Quick Charge 2 charging speeds, both your phone and the charger must be Quick Charge 2.0 compatible. Same goes for all other standards. To get the appropriate fast charge speed, you need to use a compatible charger with your phone.
Is A Higher Rated Charger Dangerous For My Device?
If you use a higher rated charger with your smartphone, are you at any risk? Well, your phone will heat up a bit during charging, because more current is being passed into it. But modern phones have regulators built in and there is no risk of your phone being damaged by a higher rated charger. The built-in regulator will let in only the recommended amount of current.
Using a more powerful charger will speed up the charging process, depending on the charging standard your phone is compatible with. At worst, it will charge your phone like any ordinary charger would.
In summary, whichever charger you use, the smartphone decides how much current is drawn.
The summary of the whole matter is that if possible, get the most powerful charger that you can get your hands on. Whatever the charging standard your smartphone supports, you know you are covered. When you change phones, you can also relax knowing that it does not matter what type of charger is bundled with it. You have a quick charger that has you covered.
My default go-to quick charger is a Nokia 5V / 2A charger, but the most capable that I have used is Infinix’s CQ-18YX rated 5V-9V / 2A and 9V-12V / 1.5A. The CQ-18YX is bundled with the Infinix Note 3 and Infinix Zero 4 Plus.
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