Recently, even fairly inexpensive smartphones began to support the function of fast charging. Moreover, flagships increase speed. Some of the latest models already support a charging power of 150 W, which allows you to replenish energy reserves in 15 minutes.
This was the subject of a short conversation between TechRadar editor Tom Bedford and the head of Oppo’s Charging Technology Lab, Edward Tian.
One of the main topics of discussion is whether fast charging really has a bad effect on battery life. Tian confirmed that this is not helpful, as exposure to high temperatures actually drains the battery faster.
He also noted that fast charging is justified if the smartphone can provide good battery life. That is, if the user can quickly charge the device, say, from 20% to 80%, and after that, they will not look for a new outlet in two hours, then this is a good result.
He also said that the appearance of fast charging affected the habits of users, who more often stopped charging the device during the night, and more quickly recharged at other times. But for those who have not changed their usual pattern of behavior, smartphones are getting better at studying users and calculating different charging options depending on the circumstances. This should also help the battery last longer for the smartphone owner.
As for the future, the company plans to develop the technology to the point where a smartphone will be charged in one second. Of course, 15 minutes is already quite fast, but in this case, the engineers do not plan to stop at the current results.
“As a technical engineer in the fast-charging field, for me, my work is to break limits. We will continue to explore until one day phones can be fully charged in one second,” commented Tian.
But, of course, at the moment these are ambitious plans without specific deadlines. Technology requires effort and time, and there are also many challenges. Therefore, it is not worth counting on the fact that in the next couple of years it will be possible to connect a flagship smartphone to a charger and immediately get a battery supply for the whole day.
“Increasing the charging speed is not the most challenging part [of this one-second goal]. To bring a good fast charging experience to users, we have to take more aspects into consideration, such as safety, charging temperature, the energy density of the battery cell, the size of the charger, battery lifespan, etc.,” says Tian.
Also, on the way to such a goal, it is necessary to develop software, chips, and the batteries themselves, because otherwise, after a second charge, the smartphone will not last long without re-connecting the power supply.
Taking the opportunity, Tian was also asked about the best way to charge his devices. There is nothing new here yet: if the smartphone is discharged, it is better to connect it to charging as soon as possible; do not keep the battery fully charged all the time; try not to overheat the device, and if this happened, then let it cool down.
According to the engineer, the new charging model, when the user quickly recharges the station for 10-15 minutes several times a day, is currently a good option. But it should be borne in mind that for this you need to have a suitable charger at hand, otherwise charging will take hours, not minutes (for example, the old 5-watt power supply unit iPhone 13 Pro Max is fully charged in almost 5 hours).