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Qualcomm's Quick Charge 5 promises more power and super fast speeds

The company claims it can get phones 50 percent charged in five minutes.
Cherlynn Low, @cherlynnlow
July 27, 2020
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Qualcomm Quick Charge 5
Qualcomm

It’s been three years since Qualcomm last announced a new generation of its Quick Charge technology, and the company has updates today that might make juicing up your phones even breezier than before. Quick Charge 5 promises to charge devices to 50 percent in just 5 minutes, and supports more than 100W of charging power in a smartphone, which the company says is the first time for a “commercially viable fast charging platform.”

Of course, 50 percent on a small battery isn’t the same as 50 percent on a far larger one. While Qualcomm didn’t specify a battery size in its claim, footnotes in the company’s press release state that it ran tests on a 4,500mAh cell. Based on those internal tests, Qualcomm said Quick Charge 5 is 70 percent faster than Quick Charge 4 and “offers 10 times the power delivery of Quick Charge 1.”

We’ve all learned from the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco that messing around with battery tech is a bit like playing with fire. Qualcomm also highlighted Quick Charge 5’s safety features, saying it uses 12 separate voltage, current and temperature protections and runs 10 degrees Celsius cooler than Quick Charge 4. The latest standard will include USB-input overvoltage protection at 25V and for external power controls beyond 30V. Also, a new tool called “Qualcomm Smart Identification of Adapter Capabilities” will help to “maximize power transfer efficiency, increase safety and help extend the battery life cycle.”

For those still holding on to older devices, Qualcomm said Quick Charge 5 will also be backward compatible, so you can use a Quick Charge 5 cable for your Quick Charge 3 or 4 phone and still see the speeds you’re used to on the older standard.

Qualcomm Quick Charge 5
Qualcomm

Quick Charge 5 will also support USB Power Delivery and Type-C, which means we might be able to see it on compatible laptops in future. Together with the backward compatibility, this might lead to a world where you just need one cable to quickly power all your devices.

Not too many phones supported Quick Charge 4+, but with the promised benefits the new standard might see more adoption. It’s supported on Qualcomm’s premium Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus chipsets that power popular high-end phones. The company said Quick Charge 5 is already sampling with its customers and is expected to show up “in commercial devices in Q3 2020.” Plus, Xiaomi also announced today that it will be making future devices with the new charging standard.

It may be a bit dry to consider the workings and specifications behind new fast-charging standards, but if it can help us spend less time waiting for our phones to be recharged, it’ll make an impact on our lives.

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