I took a look at the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Fast Charging details and all I could ask was, What were the engineers thinking?
Why do all the phones on the Galaxy 21 range – Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra – have only 25W fast charging? The Galaxy S20 Ultra from last year has 45W quick charging, so the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra fast charging is a downgrade as far as quick battery top-ups is concerned.
If we move away from specs on paper, real life tests and usage show that the Galaxy S20 Ultra charges faster than the S21 Ultra. So, again, what was Samsung thinking?
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Fast Charging vs The Competition
Some of Samsung’s top contenders in the premium flagship space have done much better. Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ has a respectable 66W fast charging standard that tops up the phone’s battery in 45 minutes. Xiaomi Mi 11 has 55W, which tops up the battery in 45 minutes. OPPO Reno5 Pro+ has 65W, which can top up the battery in 38 minutes.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra fast charging solution tops up the phone’s battery in about 1 hours 10 minutes. For a device that is designed to rule the smartphone jungle, and for the price, this is not a minor shortcoming.
Meanwhile, brands like OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo already have blazing fast charging speeds. Take the Vivo iQOO 7, with 120W quick charging that tops up the battery from zero in just 15 minutes flat. OPPO has a 125W Fast Charging solution which goes from 0-100 in 10 minutes.
But Samsung is not alone in going low on fast charging speeds. It has a bed-fellow in Sony, Motorola, and Apple. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max has just 20W fast charging. Sony Xperia 5 II is equipped with 21W quick charging, and Motorola Edge S has 20W.
Do these brands really expect me to upgrade from the 33W fast charging on my current mid-ranger to a flagship with 25W?
Battery charging speed is one of those features that impact your daily smartphone usage. It is one experience that you can immediately feel the value it adds to your life.
I’d feel cheated if I were to drop a smartphone with 33W fast charging for one that costs twice as much and has a slower charging speed. But then, that is me. I want the fastest charging speed possible if I am spending on a flagship.
Heck, I want the fastest charging speed possible regardless of what price range I am shopping in. If I were buying a flagship, I would certainly want a device that I can plug in and have it fully charged in 45 minutes at the most. But that is just me.
I know that someone could argue that the difference in charging speeds between the Galaxy S21 ultra and its competition isn’t that much. But then, I would argue that the difference between the areas it shines in and those of the competitors isn’t that much either. So, why bother?
The downgrade of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra fast charging speed to 25E from the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 45W leaves a slightly sour taste in the mouth. My mouth, of course. It might not mean anything to many others.