What do you look for while buying a new smartphone? Is it the processor, RAM, storage capacity, camera quality or the screen size? There's another feature that an increasing number of people are looking for in a smartphone - FAST CHARGING. After all, no one likes to wait for hours for their phones to be charged.
On a side note, do you know what fast charging is apart from its literal meaning? Do you know how it works and why it's rapidly gaining momentum? Well, it's not as simple as it sounds. On the other hand, it's not rocket science either. Sit back, relax, and take a quick look at our guide to fast charging.
What's fast charging?
Fast charging makes use of the battery charging technology to charge the battery by increasing the power quickly. In simple terms, fast charging increases the current that is sent to the battery in order to charge it quicker. According to the basic USB specifications, the power sent to the battery is 0.5 amps (A) of current using 5 volts (V) for just 2.5 watts (W). Fast charging enhances these figures and enables smartphones to be fully charged in minutes rather than hours.
How fast charging works
The batteries of smartphones are charged when a current is passed through them. The greater the current and the higher the voltage, the quicker the battery will charge. However, this can be problematic for the battery itself. In order to offer protection against dangerous spikes in current, there's a charge controller (IC) present. The purpose of this chip is to regulate the overall electricity flowing into and out of the battery. The phone's software usually determines the amount of current drawn by the charge controller.
Usually, it's the lithium-ion controllers that determine the current (in amps) at which the battery should be charged by adjusting the current flowing into it according to its cell current and voltage. Many people rely on a DC to DC for the purpose of changing the input voltage. The resistance caused in between the charger input and the battery terminal is adjusted by fancier integrated circuits to regulate the flow of the current.
Fast charging vs Rapid charging
The most popular fast charging brand is the Qualcomm Quick Charge. All the smartphones powered by Snapdragon supports it. For fast charging to work, you must use the adapter that was provided with the handset or any other suitable adapter. Without that, you are not likely to witness fast charging.
Qualcomm's Quick Charge not only maximizes phone charging transfer but also is very efficient. Quick Charge 3.0 uses a voltage of 3.6-20 V to generate a maximum current of 2.5/4.6 A. However, the current drawn varies from device to device. But, with much higher current, the power being transmitted increases, resulting in quicker charging times.
Rapid charging, on the other hand, is nothing different. It's a licensed technology from Qualcomm and is being used by smartphone manufacturers as a marketing gimmick (for e.g. LG's rapid charging).
Can fast charging damage a smartphone battery?
Many people out there believe that fast charging and battery life do not go hand in hand. Well, they may be right but only to a certain extent.
Fast charging technology involves the transmission of higher currents to the smartphone battery, which in turn produces higher temperatures. All these lead to accelerated chemical reactions, which cause physical reactions in the electrolyte and materials that are partially irreversible. This is how fast charging can damage the battery life.
But wait, the story isn't over yet. All of the above will happen if you use a fast charger to charge a phone that does not support fast charging or use an adapter of higher power than what your phone's battery can take. Manufacturers these days, with the help of advanced technology, know how to compensate for these negative effects and would not have introduced fast charging technology (which is gaining rapid popularity) if it had such a significant disadvantage on its side.
Long story short, you do not need to worry about fast charging wearing out your smartphone's battery, at least not any faster than standard charging.
Congratulations! Now you know everything one should about fast charging and what to look for in a charger. If you have got your smartphone and your charger already or have planned to get them, you would also like to add this item to your list - the PTron Dynamo 10,000 mAh Power Bank. Made of environment-friendly material, this device is compatible with smartphones, pads, and other electronic devices and allows you to charge two devices at the same time. After all, even with fast charging and long battery life, you can't avoid situations where you might have to go a long time without a power source.