How to choose a fast charger for your smartphone and not get confused by technology

by sogrow team

How to choose a fast charger for your smartphone and not get confused by technology

We chose an accessory to quickly charge a smartphone, and we tried not to make mistakes.

We came up with the idea for this material when we were creating a buying guide for high tech power banks, and we got confused about fast charging technologies. We had to spend several hours studying the topic and understanding which fast charging technologies are compatible with each other, why choosing a charger, portable battery, or car charger is realistic, and which technologies are still closed to third-party manufacturers. Once you find out, it's time to share this information with you.

Today let's talk about how to choose a charging accessory to charge your smartphone as fast as possible. The information is relevant for three main types of devices: conventional plug adapters, car cigarette lighter chargers, and external batteries.

Let's get started!


Apple USB Power Delivery 

The latest generations of iPhones, namely the 2017 and 2018 models, finally have the fast charging feature we've been waiting for several years. Unlike many of its competitors, Apple has not played with proprietary technologies or implemented support for USB Power Delivery. 

To quickly charge your iPhone, you need two things: the device itself or a power bank that supports USB Power Delivery and a proprietary USB-C to Lightning cable. 

The block specifications must state that it supports Power Delivery with a power of 18 W or higher. Keep this in mind, as We have come across accessories with a USBC connector multiple times that only supported 5V / 3A; that is, they produced a maximum of 15 watts. You definitely won't get fast charging with a power adapter like this one. 

We also highly recommend using only Apple's USBC to Lightning cable for two reasons. First, Apple has yet to certify such third-party cables, and second, We have not come across any third-party USBC to Lightning cables that take full advantage of the potential of fast charging via USB PD. Judging by reviews on different sites, Chinese cables only deliver 1012 watts of power, which is not the same as charging too fast. 

However, you don't need to buy a proprietary device as We mentioned above; any power supply that supports USB PD and is 18W or higher will do. 

What do you need? 

Power supply: All with support for 18W USB Power Delivery (USB PD). 

Cable: Apple brand USBC to Lightning. 

Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging 

Koreans were among the first to introduce fast charging technology in their flagship smartphones. However, in the last four years, from the Galaxy S6 to the Galaxy S10, Samsung's fast wired charging technology has not changed; it is still the same adaptive fast charging or AFC for short. 

The main advantage of this technology lies in the full AFC compatibility with the most popular Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0, which means that with any Samsung smartphone that supports fast charging, you don't need to be smart with a power supply that supports the most popular technologies. We look for QC 2.0 or QC 3.0 in the specifications and buy the accessories we need. Also, there are no nuances in the wires of almost all cables from a more or less high-quality manufacturer that allows a current of 2.4 A to pass 25W (as in the Galaxy S10 5G), but this function is still blocked by the software . . Official information on this is not yet available, so there is nothing to say about the accessories. 

What do you need? 

PSU - All with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 / 3.0 support.

Cable: any current 2.4 A.

HuaweWeFCP, SCP 22.5W and SCP 40W 

The saddest situation arises with HuaweWeFast Charging, as the company brings new and more advanced technology to users almost every year. Not only fans of the company but also third-party accessory manufacturers are not keeping up with this race. In addition, HuaweWemanages use different generations of charging, even on the same generation of devices. 

For example, the P30 Pro and Mate 20 Pro have equipped with the second generation SuperCharge (SCP) technology; that is, the latest devices of the flagship lines with the prefix Lite support the third technology of 18-watt fast charging ( FCP), which is analogous to QC 3.0, but not compatible with it.

What do we have today?

FCP (18 W). There are quite a few accessories that support FCP (18 W); under their properties, you have to look for the names FCP or HuaweWeFast Charge. Sometimes the manufacturer does not specify them; although the device supports FCP, it is better not to risk it and buy only those that claim support for this protocol. No special cables are required; any 2.4A will do. 

Power supply: with FCP support. 

Cable: Any current 2.4 A. 

SCP gene 1 (22.5 W). Few accessories support this technology, but you can find them. Among the properties, the SCP or HuaweWeSuperCharge designation is worth looking for, as well as support for 5V / 4.5A and 4.5V / 5A profiles. Note that SCP requires a dedicated USBA to USBC cable, and the original is better, although there are third-party ones. 

Power supply: 1 Gen SCP support (5V / 4.5A and 4.5V / 5A). 

Cable: Special cable with an amperage of 5 A. 

Gen SCP 2 (40 W). So far, only the company's branded accessories are available for sale, including a car charger and a 12,000 mAh power bank. Maybe something will show up shortly, but a tangible choice is not worth waiting for. 

Power Supply: Compatible with SCP 2 Gen (10V / 4.5A). 

cable: special 5 A. 

XiaomWeQC 3.0 and QC 4.0+ 

Another smartphone manufacturer that has not reinvented the wheel is Xiaomi. The flagships MWe8, MWe9, MWeMix 3 and Pocophone F1 support the latest Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ protocol (up to 27W), older Quick Charge 3.0 devices (up to 18W). 

There is no point talking about QC 3.0 as it is the most common fast charging protocol, and there is no problem finding an accessory with its holder. It is a bit more interesting with QC 4+ as it is backwards compatible with the USB Power Delivery protocol, which means that, in theory, you can charge smartphones with QC4 + sources with PD support and vice versa while doing about the same charging speed. In this case, the source of the USB-PD should be at least 27 watts. 

We found several reviews from XiaomWeowners who compared the charging speed of their smartphones with sources with QC 4+, QC 3.0 and USB PD. Interestingly, it is identical in all three cases, except that the device gets less hot when using the QC 4+ and USB PD. The point is probably how much charging power the smartphone can hold on its own, and the results may vary with other brands of devices. But since no one has done any large-scale testing with this score yet, we can only guess. The manufacturers have not yet made any clarification. 

Power Supply: Supports QC 3.0 or QC 4+ / USB PD depending on the smartphone. 

Cable: Any decent USBA to USBC or USBC to USBC cable, depending on the power source. 

OnePlus Dash Charge 

This Chinese company is right to award an award for the slimmest set of accessories with support for proprietary wireless charging technology; here, they even managed to elude Huawei. 

Good thing there is a proprietary adapter for a normal outlet and a car charger, but not a power bank. We were only able to find a few battery models with Dash Charge support. The rest of the comments are redundant; you have to be very confused to find and then buy something compatible with the OnePlus proprietary protocol first. 

Power supply: Dash Charge compatible. 

Cable: OnePlus proprietary 4A cable or equivalent. 

Conclusion 

The modern world of fast-charging technologies and the accessories that support them is rich and varied. We don't know about you, but We hope that one day we will come to the union. At least life and travel will be easier.