Quick, Rapid and Fast Charging: Explained

Quick, Rapid and Fast Charging: Explained

Fast charging technology for smartphones is becoming increasingly popular and one of the most regularly used forms of charge. Why? Because it gets your phone charged very quickly in less time. Whether you know it as quick charging, fast charging or rapid charging, one thing we can confirm is that they all mean the same thing.

A quick or fast charging adapter is capable of charging your smartphone faster than a standard charging adapter as it uses a current larger than 5 Watts. Fast charging capabilities for each phone manufacturer is processed through different methods and separate standards. For example, an iPhone or Google smartphone will use Quick Charging (QC) processors whereas an Apple or Google phone will use the USB Power Delivery (PD) capability. Ultimately, they do the same thing but the protocols are different. 

What is Quick Charging (QC)?

Quick charge is a proprietary technology solution that has been created by Qualcomm to power android smartphones up to 50% in 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of charge. The fast charging technology supports many popular smartphone brands including Samsung Galaxy and Huawei P50 with built in processors that help to get your phone up and running efficiently. 

Quick charge once dominated fast charging technologies for Android phones however, many competing manufacturers offer their own charging protocols with the same benefits including heat management and battery life longevity. An example of this is the USB Power Delivery (PD) which also offers powerful charging capabilities that are greater than the standard cable. Most android phones are capable of charging with both processes however, most smartphones including those made by Apple and Google are only compatible with the PD 3.0 for fast charging. USB-PD standards are the rapid charging choice that can even charge laptops and reach 100W to fast charge devices.

Overall, Quick Charge by Qualcomm is usually faster for Android phones but USB-PD 3.0 has become more commonly used by a number of manufacturers with higher currents and voltages than QC. 

How does fast charging work?

The Formula: Amp x Volt = Watts

The 3 basic components of any charging device or adapter are the amperage, voltage and watts. The amperage, or current, determines the amount of electricity that flows from the battery to the smartphone where voltage looks at the speed or strength of the current. Multiply them together and voila, you are given the watts. 

A standard charger will charge your phone in 3 phases; a slow trickle, a constant current where the voltage progressively increases and a final constant voltage where the current is slowly reduced to prevent overheating and overcharging, which could cause potential damage to your phone. Unlike the standard chargers, a fast charger will work in 2 stages which doesn’t include the “slow trickle” but rather simply the constant current and the final constant voltage. 

For your smartphone to receive the full benefits of fast charging, it is imperative that you are using the right equipment or you may find that the phone charges at a standard or slow rate. We are here to let you know that the charging cable definitely matters, as does the charging adapter which is why it is important to be aware of the maximum charging speed for both. To break it down, your charging adapter will charge your phone at your phone’s maximum speed unless the charger is not capable. For example, if you have a charger of 27W but your smartphone is 18W, the charger will not charge your phone beyond 18W. 

Can fast chargers damage your phone?

To answer the question of whether fast chargers can damage your phone; we are here to tell you that is not true. Fast charging technology has been made to power your smartphone battery cell to a certain amount before reducing its current for a slower charge to avoid overloading and overheating. Fast charging adapters can be anywhere from 18 to 45 watts but with the 2 stage charging phase, these adapters do not cause any long term damage to your smartphone. 

A fast charger works in 2 stages of a constant current and a final constant voltage where the charger is reduced to a normal charge rate. The initial phase of charging is where we see the “fast charge” at work. During this phase, you can expect your iPhone to reach 50% in 30 minutes and a Samsung to reach 70% where the second phase prevents any potential harm by deploying a slower charge to give your phone time to absorb the charge at a standard rate. 

Overall, fast chargers are safe to use and have been mechanically created to prevent overheating in the second stage of charging. This means that your phone may automatically stop the fast charging feature once it exceeds a certain threshold in the first stage to stop overheating and any possible damage.

Check out our collection of fast chargers for your device!

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