Fast charging has become a coveted feature in mid-range and high-end smartphones, so much so that even Apple reluctantly added it to the iPhone. With Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 5.0, upcoming phones will be able to get from an empty battery to 50 percent in just five minutes, which is ten times faster than the first generation of Quick Charge technology.
If you’ve experienced the convenience of wireless charging before, it’s easy to see why it’s becoming more popular with each passing year. And while the market for wireless chargers is expected to reach $25.6 billion by 2026, a lot of consumers still prefer wired charging for its faster speed and the added benefit of being able to use the phone while charging.
Today, Qualcomm announced the latest iteration of its fast charging tech called Quick Charge 5, offering the most significant improvements ever achieved in one generation since Quick Charge 1.0 in 2013.
The new implementation is 70 percent more efficient than Quick Charge 4 and supports a wide range of input voltages between 3.3V to 20V, and currents of up to 5A. Qualcomm says that using the right cable with a phone that supports Quick Charge 5.0 will allow more than 100W of power to be delivered to the charging circuitry inside your device.
To get an idea of how overkill that is, the company explained that Quick Charge 5.0 can bring a 4,500 mAh battery from 0 to 50 percent in just five minutes, while topping it up will take 15 minutes. That’s four times faster than the previous generation, all while keeping temperatures up to 10 degrees Celsius lower.
The magic that makes this possible comes in the form of two power management ICs, the SMB1396 and SMB1398. These support both 1SnP (single cell) and 2SnP (stacked) batteries, and come with 17 different voltage, current, and temperature protections. These are part of a new Smart Identification feature that’s designed to choose the right charging mode even for some power adapters that negotiate a higher power output than they can deliver safely.
Qualcomm says Quick Charge 5.0-supporting phones are on the horizon, powered by the Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus mobile platforms. The new standard is cross-compatible with USB power delivery, retains backward-compatibility with older Quick Charge implementations, and you can fast charge any iPhone 7 or newer through a QC5 charging brick.
Others like Vivo and Oppo have also introduced their own 100W+ fast charging solutions in recent months, but Qualcomm’s tech will likely see higher adoption rates in markets outside of China. It will be interesting to see how these technologies affect battery longevity, but at least with Qualcomm’s QC5 you get an added layer of protection against chargers that can turn your phone into expensive popcorn.