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Juice up your smartphones with these fast-charging technologies
Published on: Thursday, December 01, 2022
By: Edwin Kee, FMT
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Gone are the days when it would take a whole night to recharge your smartphone. (Envato Elements pic)
Mobile phones used to have battery capacities that lasted for days. But as smartphones took over on the evolutionary ladder, battery life has whittled down to a day’s use – sometimes even shorter.

Thankfully, taking a whole night to recharge your phone has become a thing of the past, as today’s fast-paced world requires people to remain connected all the time. This is where fast-charging technologies come in.

However, one could easily get lost with terms such as Pump Express, Rapid Charging, TurboPower, SuperVooc, and Quick Charge being bandied about by manufacturers. To help you out, here’s a rundown on the various charging standards and what they really mean.

1. Apple Fast Charging

It doesn’t get any simpler than this: Apple relies on USB Power Delivery that rapidly juices up your iPhone. Touting the ability to deliver 50% of battery life in a mere 30 minutes, all you need is a compatible 18W adapter mated to a USB-C-to-Lightning cable.

Do note that 18W is archaic by today’s standards – although if you were to use a more powerful adapter, the result would remain the same.

2. Qualcomm Quick Charge

Qualcomm’s Quick Charge is the most common fast-charging standard for now, simply because its chipset can be found across a wide range of devices.

Quick Charge 3.0 is its main flag bearer, while Quick Charge 4+ is the global gold standard for flagship handsets that are not reliant on proprietary fast-charging technologies.

One good thing about Quick Charge is that the standard is backward compatible with older generations, allowing you to make full use of older cables and adapters without having to buy a new one.

There is also the Quick Charge 5 standard that supports rapid charging at 100W, providing a full charge in less than 20 minutes for most batteries.

3. Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging

Samsung also approaches quick charging cautiously with its Super Fast Charging standard. Working similarly to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, it rapidly fills your smartphone’s battery through an increase in voltage and/or amperage.

While it is no slouch, it is not the fastest kid on the block with speeds of up to 45W, although many of Samsung’s smartphones are juiced at the slower 25W standard anyway.

4. Xiaomi HyperCharge

Xiaomi, having overtaken Apple as the world’s No. 2 smartphone manufacturer in July last year, offers its impressive HyperCharge standard that simply blows the mind.

The current-generation Xiaomi 12 series allows for extremely fast 120W charging, going from empty to 100% in 17 minutes. Now that’s impressive – imagine having your smartphone fully charged in the same amount of time it takes for you to finish a meal!

If you think that’s amazing, Xiaomi already showcased a 200W charger last year, and it will not be long before it is released commercially in their new generation of flagship smartphones.

5. Oppo SuperVooc Flash Charge

Oppo’s proprietary fast-charging standard, Vooc, set a world record with its 240W SuperVooc technology. This allows a 4,500mAh battery to be fully charged in just nine minutes, but the 240W charger is not on sale yet.

What you can find on the market is the 65W SuperVooc Flash Charge, which – working in tandem with a compatible USB-C cable and power adapter – will be able to fully pump a 4,500mAh battery in a mere 15 minutes.

6. OnePlus Dash Charge/Warp Charge

OnePlus’ claim to fame was its Warp Charge technology, which is basically similar to Oppo’s Vooc thanks to its licensing, not to mention that OnePlus is now a subsidiary of Oppo.

With Warp Charge, you get up to 65W of power output, letting you fully charge your new smartphone within 45 minutes. There are also slower 30W charging speeds that take about an hour to fully juice up your phone.

The older OnePlus smartphones rely on the 20W Dash Charge standard that is still dependable and does not take too long to top up an empty battery.

7. Motorola Rapid Charging/TurboPower

Motorola smartphones are not that popular here, but if you are loyal to the brand, you can still rely on the company’s Rapid Charging standard that offers speeds of 10W – which is slow by today’s standards.

If you move up from its entry-level handsets and purchase a mid-range or flagship smartphone, then the TurboPower technology comes into play. The good news is, all Motorola smartphones with TurboPower also play nice with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3 standard.

8. MediaTek Pump Express

Pump Express remains a minority standard in the smartphone world, since very few manufacturers embraced the MediaTek range of chipsets that rely on the Pump Express charging standard.

Pump Express 2.0+, for example, tends to see action in the low-end system-on-chip from MediaTek, charging at a maximum of 15W while being compatible with micro-USB and USB-C charging ports.

Falling on the USB Power Delivery 3.0 standard are Pump Express 3.0 and Pump Express 4.0, with the latter supporting not only Qi wireless charging but its own proprietary wireless-charging technology.

The bottom line

In most cases, you would not go wrong with a 65W power adapter that supports the USB Power Delivery standard, as it can also power a laptop via USB-C when called upon to do so. Costing anywhere upward of RM100, these have become highly affordable as the adoption rate increases.

After all, who wants to wait more than an hour to fully charge their phones these days?

Edwin Kee dreamt of being a pro-gamer only to have circumstances mould him into a programmer in a past life. He has since moved on to write about consumer electronics and other topics. Check out his blog at manatau.com.