Every few months, a new smartphone comes out that charges the fastest. The iPhone, for example, charged at five watts, but soon other companies were charging at 18, 20, 30, 45, 65, and 80 watts.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro comes with a 120-watt charger that charges the phone from zero to 100 in 17 minutes. On the other hand, OPPO demonstrated a 240-watt charger that charges the phone from zero to 100 in 9 minutes.
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All phones use lithium-ion or lithium-polymer chemistry batteries, which release energy when lithium ions flow through a liquid electrolyte solution from negative to positive.
Batteries absorb the most energy when they are empty and cannot absorb as much energy as when they are full. So the charging process is on a curve, and the peak charge is just the peak.
Batteries are sensitive to heat. When the battery is not at its optimal state of charge, it is less efficient, which generates additional heat. Fast charging generates more heat, but companies are trying to figure out how to minimize that heat.
One recent development from OnePlus was the Warp Charge 30T charger. It provides the phone the same amount of power for a longer period without heating it up as much.
Parallel charging splits a battery into two adjacent cells. Then power management hardware is added to share the incoming power. This method generates less heat but results in a slightly lower overall battery capacity.
As long as the parts inside the phone don’t get too hot, adding more cooling hardware to the device doesn’t hurt. The industry standard for battery health is 80% charge after 800 charges, so this phone should be at 85% after two years.
We don’t have long-term data on super-fast charging
So we can only rely on the word of the companies, but it seems like they are beating their own claims.
The drawbacks of fast charging are very real, but they don’t have to affect the life of your battery. In fact, companies are actively working to make fast chargers even better.
Modern phones have hardware and sensors to measure temperature and regulate charging and software features that let you conserve battery life down to the last detail. For example, phones like the ROG Phone 5 have pass-through charging and learn to better charge the battery when you wake up.
The best thing we can do for our phones is to use them normally and not give them any reason to get hot. So if you can avoid your phone getting super hot, you’re doing the best thing for your battery that you can do.