Fast charging technology is a really helpful feature for the heavy mobile user. Qualcomm recently announced its new Quick Charge 4.0 technology, promising a number of improvements over its previous generation speedy charging circuitry. So let’s break down exactly what’s new.
What is Quick Charge?
If you’re new to the concept of quick charging, the result is in the name: your smartphone charges up faster than it would without Quick Charge technology.
At its most simple level, Quick Charge allows for high levels of current to flow to the battery, in an attempt to maximise its charging efficiency. The latest Quick Charge products also tend to charge their batteries at higher voltages, allowing for a higher rate of power transfer through commonly found cables.
However, both the phone and the charger must be compatible with the same charging voltages and currents. Your phone may support charging at 9V/2A, but if you only have a 1A charger then the process will take longer. Likewise, plugging a 2A charger into a phone that can only accept 0.7A won’t make it charge any faster.
It is also possible to charge a compatible device quickly just by using a similarly high current charger, but non-certified products obviously aren’t guaranteed to work efficiency.
If your battery runs low, Quick Charge can help to juice up your smartphone faster than a lower current charger.
Quick Charge, like similar technologies from other companies, is designed to optimise power transfer in the early stages of charging, allowing users to unplug their devices with a suitable battery capacity after a short amount of time.
Qualcomm boasts that it can charge some devices up to 80 percent in just 35 minutes, but it’s very rare for the company to talk about total charge time, because it is simply less impressive. Power transfer in the latter stages of battery charging is much lower regardless of the charging tech used, hence why Quick Charge can boost your battery to 50 percent or more rather quickly, but will still take over an hour to fully charge your smartphone.
Quick Charge, or QC, is a technology found in Qualcomm SoCs, used in devices such as mobile phones for managing power delivered over USB. It offers more power and thus charges batteries in devices faster than standard USB rates allow. Compared with QC3.0, QC4.0 implements additional safety measures to protect against overcharging and overheating, and is compliant with both USB-C and USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) specifications.
We all love faster charging and batteries that live longer. But the last feature in our list is perhaps the most important. The latest Android Compatibility Definition Document, Google has strongly recommended manufacturers move away from non-standard USB-C charging solutions like Quick Charge and adhere to the USB-PD spec. With QC 4.0, you'll not only be able to extend your phone usage by up to five hours with just five minutes of charging, but won't have to worry as much about matching the charger to the thing being charged.
QC 4.0 also includes the latest iteration of Qualcomm's custom power management algorithm, Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage (INOV). Additions include real-time thermal management which will regulate the temperature during power delivery to keep things safer and more efficient. New power management ICs are also part of the picture and will come with QC 4-ready devices.