One of the features that Android users like to boast about to their iPhone-toting friends is “quick charging,” and it’s certainly a boast-worthy trait.
As you might have guessed from its name, the quick charging feature is, indeed, quick. There are several YouTube videos and articles showcasing how much faster an Android phone like the Galaxy S8 can charge versus the iPhone 7. In one video, an iPhone 7 Plus took an entire hour longer to charge from zero to 100% than a Galaxy S8+.
So, quick charging is a worthwhile feature. It means you can get more charge in less charging time, which is incredibly meaningful for a device that’s always turned on and that’s used on a regular basis.
Check out how and why some Android phones can charge so much faster than iPhones:
You might see the words 'Quick Charge' or some other variation in an Android phone's marketing material or inscribed on its charger.
'Quick Charge' is a technology that was developed by chip maker Qualcomm, which the company adds to certain models of its chips.
Qualcomm's Quick Charge tech is different from regular charging in that it uses a different combination of voltage and amps to provide a higher wattage -- and therefore faster charging.
Whereas the iPhone's regular charger outputs 5 volts at 1 amp for a total of 5 amps, a Quick Charger can output 9 volts at 1.67 amps, making for 15 amps. Some quick chargers even go up to 12 volts at 1.67 amps, making for a fast 20 watts that's incredibly fast for a mobile device.
Where Qualcomm's chips come into the equation is the management of that charge to keep within a battery's safety threshold.
And a lot of Android smartphone makers use Qualcomm chips in their phones, so they can benefit from Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology.
Only certain models of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors support Quick Charge, and those processors are usually the higher-end chips that you'd find on premium flagship devices. Qualcomm has a list of phones that come with Quick Charge chips, which you can find here.
Apple's iPhones don't have Qualcomm's Quick Charge feature because they don't run on Qualcomm chips. They run on Apple's own 'A' chips, like the iPhone 7's A10 chip.
Assuming that Apple will continue to use its own 'A' chips in future iPhones, Apple would have to develop its own quick charging technology. So far, it hasn't added any special quick charging feature to its chips or iPhones.
It's possible to charge an iPhone faster with an iPad charger than using the included iPhone charger, but it's still not as fast as Qualcomm's Quick Charge.
An iPad charger outputs 5.1 volts at 2.1 amps, which makes for a 10 watt output that's faster than the iPhone charger's 5 watts. Still, it's not as fast as a Quick Charger's 15-20 watts.
There's hope that Apple's upcoming iPhones will feature quick charging, as rumours suggest that Apple will be adding it.
According to a report from May from the KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo (who often accurately predicts new iPhone features before they're released), all of Apple's upcoming iPhones will come with quick charging.
That's great, but it does mean that you'd have to buy Apple's upcoming iPhones if you want to benefit from quick charging on an iPhone. And again, that's if Apple implements quick charging into its upcoming iPhones, which hasn't yet been officially confirmed.
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