Fast chargers juice up your phone quick, but pose risks for some older devices

SINGAPORE – Charging speeds for mobile phones have hit a new milestone: A phone can be juiced from zero to 100 per cent in 25 minutes.

The breakthrough, achieved by a slate of new smartphones from Chinese makers, places their charging speeds well ahead of the offerings of big boys such as Samsung, Google and Apple.

Specifically, flagship models from Chinese smartphone makers Oppo, Honor and OnePlus come with the latest ultra-fast 100-Watt (W) chargers, which takes just 25 minutes to achieve a full charge to last for a day’s use.

Wattage indicates the amount of electrical current pushed towards the phone; the higher the wattage, the higher the amount of energy and the faster the charge.

Comparatively, the latest flagship models like the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, the Google Pixel 7 and Apple’s iPhone 14 generally use 20W to 45W chargers and can take more than an hour to achieve the same full charge. For instance, the standard power brick for iPhones charges at 20W will fill up the device in around 1.5 hours.

The latest of these fast-charging phones is the Oppo Reno10 Pro+, the first in the Chinese manufacturer’s line-up in Singapore to come with its 100W SuperVOOC Flash Charge technology that can fully charge the phone in around 20 minutes.

Released in July, it follows other recent devices that also come with proprietary 100W fast chargers, like the Oppo Find X6, Honor Magic4 Pro and the OnePlus 11.

Oppo said its breakthrough comes from software upgrades in its latest in-house SuperVOOC chipset that protects the battery from the high influx of electrical current.

Developed by Oppo, the new SuperVooc S chip and accompanying software allow lithium-ion batteries to safely receive high amounts of electrical current that is typically used for much bigger batteries, said the Oppo Reno series senior product manager Joe Lin.

OnePlus, which shares the same supply chain and manufacturing facilities as Oppo, also uses similar software for regulating electrical current flow when the battery is almost full to prevent overcharging and overheating.

Similar to Oppo, it’s latest fast-charging phones use a dual battery system, with each battery receiving half the wattage from the 100W charger to fast-charge safely, said a spokesman for OnePlus.

Honor said it also uses software to regulate the influx of electrical current, but declined to comment on whether it built its own fast-charging technology and on its development, citing internal policies.

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