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What is Fast charging and why would you want it

By Aleks Pavlovic,

One of the biggest fears with owning a smartphone is running out of battery power. Yet, one of the most common mistakes we make with our smartphones is charging them. Most of us give very little thought when it comes to charging our phone every day. When we purchase a smartphone, we tend to accept the included wall charger and cable is the best charging solution. What we don’t realise, is the reason why your smartphone takes so long to charge is because of the limited charge power being pushed to your smartphone by your choice wall charger and cable.


So what is fast charging and how do you unlock it on your smartphone?

 

Fast charging explained

 

Every smartphone, tablet and laptop has a rechargeable battery that keeps it powered, and every battery delivers power in more or less the same way. In simple terms, fast charging is where power is delivered to charge an electronic device at a faster speed than standard chargers are capable of. Fast charging involves two key steps
1. Understanding the maximum charging speed your smartphone will accept
2. Charging the smartphone with the correct power source (wall charger + cable) or (power bank + cable) capable of delivering that fast charge.
Every smartphone has a battery, which will accept a maximum charge speed which is often described in watts (W). Watts are a rate of energy transfer, which simply means the higher the watt the faster the charging speed. This charge speed will differ depending on the smartphone. For example, the latest iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S series smartphones will both accept 18W fast charging, whilst the Huawei P30 Pro will accept 40W fast charging and the Galaxy Note 10+ accepts 45W fast charging. The maximum charging speed of 18W is determined by the iPhone and cannot be exceeded. Even if you were to charge the iPhone using a 60W wall charger; the iPhone will only accept 18W max.

 

Fast Charging Comparisons

Like smartphones, every cable, wall charger and power bank is capable of delivering a maximum charge speed. It’s critical to match the right cable with wall charger or power bank. For example, to fast charge the latest iPhones capable of 18W fast charging, you would need to pair an 18W wall charger or power bank with a cable capable of 18W charging speed.


Recommendations


For phone charging we advise purchasing a USB-C 18W Power Delivery wall charger. For iPhones, you can charge 0-50% in just 30 minutes - but bear in mind you'll also require a USB-C to Lightning cable to achieve this. It is also important to understand that the same charge speed will not be maintained all the way to 100% battery charge. Fast charging is most effective on a smartphone between 0- 50% battery life. After that, the phone will purposely slowly accept a lower charge speed as it closes on 100%. This is a safety precaution to prevent any chance of overheating or overcharging. These USB-C power delivery chargers also support fast charging for Samsung Galaxy S8/9/10, Google Pixels, the Nintendo Switch and many more.
Most USB-C power delivery chargers for mobile devices sit around the 18W mark. However, if you want to fast charge your laptop or a large power bank, you'll need something with greater specifications. For example, to charge a tablet or our 27,000mAh USB-C power bank, it's best to use a 30W or higher USB-C power delivery wall charger. Or if you're trying to charge your MacBook or USB-C compatible laptop, you'll want something 45W or higher.


Safety


Fast charging is just as safe as normal charging when you use the right products. To ensure you are always charging safely, it is important that you only use quality, certified fast chargers. It is also important to note that even if you are using quality products your devices may become warm while they are fast charging. This is due to the extra power being exerted on the battery and not something to worry about unless it becomes hot, this could signify a deeper issue and in this case, you should unplug your device and consult a professional before leaving your device charging unattended.

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