back to article Chinese mobile giant OPPO claims new 125W fast-charging spec will fully fuel your phone in 20 minutes

The "charging wars" are in full swing, with vendors and chipmakers alike competing to replenish your phone's battery the fastest. Taking the lead is OPPO, which today touted 125W wired charging. OPPO has claimed its new standard can fully recharge a 4,000mAh battery in just 20 minutes. Give it five minutes, and it can get that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At 40W, you could use it for a laptop. Although, for the record, I strongly prefer cables for charging all devices, they're more efficient for power transfer.

  2. tony72

    "According to preliminary estimates, the battery capacity of a 100W fast charge loses about 20 per cent of its capacity compared to a 30W PD fast charge," his (Google-translated) post reads. "Simply put, 5,000mAh becomes 4,000mAh."

    No thanks. I bet there is accelerated long term degradation of the batteries too. Personally fast charging just isn't a selling point for me, I stick my phone on charge when I get home, it's charged when I need it, and there never seems to be a big rush if I need to top it up at desk or in car. I suppose there must be busy bees rushing around that would actually benefit from the few minutes saved, but personally I'd find the opposite a selling point; give me a slower charging phone that promises the minimum possible battery degradation over its lifespan, I'd take that. Dell offers a long-life battery option with its Precision laptops that does that, slower charge in exchange for longevity. I took that option, only time will tell if it actually delivers, but the previous machine's battery didn't make three years.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      My OnePlus does a reasonably fast charge, which is nice if you're about to leave the house and you realise you're on 1% battery - gets it to around 20% in 5 minutes.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        I haven't found charging quickly to be that important. My battery is showing its age and sometimes needs an odd time recharge, especially if I haven't plugged it in the night before, but my solution to this is easier. I have a collection of USB batteries. Some were given to me as presents, and they are large capacity and well-built. Some were given to me as methods to show the company's logo, and those are available if I am ever concerned about losing one. Either way, I can drop one into my backpack and be assured that I can charge my phone should it need it, assuming I haven't borrowed the cable I keep alongside it. These mean the battery doesn't die, extend the time I can be away from power if I ever need that, and can also be used to power other devices in a pinch.

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      I used to think that. I slow charge my phone overnight, but the convenience of having fast charging available when I need a boost is a definite improvement over slow-only charging.

      Getting a significant amount of battery life in the time it takes to make a cup of tea is something I'd miss if I didn't have it.

    3. ThatOne Silver badge

      I (mostly) slow charged my old (Samsung Note 2) phone and the battery is still working "well enough" after 8+ years (from 1.5 day at full use to 0.9 day).

      Yes, it takes some planning ahead and some discipline (such as not forgetting or postponing things till it's too late), but it's doable for most people.

      (Also, I guess there is less chances the battery will blow up in your face because of overheating or rogue chemical reactions.)

    4. DS999

      I care so little about fast charge that even though I bought an iPhone 11 max last fall I'm still using an old 5W charger for it and the faster (18W I think?) one it came with is still in the box. I just hook it up every other night when I go to bed and it charges while I sleep.

      I see no benefit to having my phone recharge in 20 minutes like Oppo's, because it takes around 5 hours to recharge ME!

  3. AMBxx Silver badge
    Coat

    Much heat?

    Mine's the one with the flaming pockets.

  4. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Cables...

    We're gonna need a bigger cable...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You may be surprised

      The USB-C charging cable for my Macbook Pro is thinner than some USB-2 cables.

      However, you do have to be careful. I tried to use a (much thinker) Belkin USB-C cable once and it got quite soft as it heated up - the Apple one doesn't even get warm.

      1. MarkET

        Re: You may be surprised

        If the cable is heating then that is another issue. Just check your home insurance for fire caused by blowing Li-on batteries. Or airplanes.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: You may be surprised

          If the fuselage of the plane catches fire, insurance is probably the least of your problems.

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Cables...

      Can USB-PD switch voltages or are they all 12v?

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Cables...

        Turns out the answer is it maxes out at 20v, so there is future scope for increasing that and keeping the cable size down.

  5. Sykowasp

    Yeah, I'll stick with the slow overnight charge whilst I'm asleep rather than burning the house down.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Yeah. The most important thing really is how long a charged battery lasts, rather than the charging time. So long as you can get a couple of days plus of 'normal' use and charge every night, it doesn't really matter if it takes 1 hr or 4 hrs to charge.

      And for emergencies, I always have a cigarette lighter adapter and a USB cable in the car.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "you might not notice the fact that it isn't holding as much charge as it used to"

    Um, if you have to recharge your phone twice a day instead of every evening, you're going to notice.

    Of course, I'm exaggerating, but the point remains. I'm not criticizing the efforts either ; I think it is useful to research how to improve charging times, but not for phones, for cars. And it is also obvious that, as some people have already remarked, the best charging time must also not degrade the battery in a significant fashion. A 20% loss in charging capacity is very much significant.

    So we are going to need more research on this subject, because when have all transitioned to battery-operated vehicles, it is imperative that the recharge does not take more than a few hours. Ideally, if you're on the move, a recharge in ten minutes would be grand, but again, what of the impact on battery life ?

    It's no use telling me that I can recharge in ten seconds if I have to replace the battery every year. Especially with all the models that do not allow you to do that on your own.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: "you might not notice the fact that it isn't holding as much charge as it used to"

      > I can recharge in ten seconds if I have to replace the battery every year

      But you are supposed to change your phone every year...

      The phone industry is certainly counting on this, now specifications have reached a plateau and new phones have barely any improvements over the older ones. That's why batteries are more and more often glued in. If your battery can't hold a charge anymore, your only option is to throw your phone away and buy a new one. Fortunately environmental considerations have gone out of fashion, mindless waste and pollution is the new cool.

    2. james 68

      Re: "you might not notice the fact that it isn't holding as much charge as it used to"

      Ideally this would be accomplished by moving away from batteries entirely and instead using capacitors. Fast charging and long life.

    3. DS999

      Re: "you might not notice the fact that it isn't holding as much charge as it used to"

      It isn't as much of an issue for vehicles because the charging power is divided across so many cells. You'll hit the limit of "cable too thick to supply that many amps" before you'll significantly curtail battery life.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: "you might not notice the fact that it isn't holding as much charge as it used to"

        > "cable too thick to supply that many amps"

        Well, you can use several cables... It's not like you have to hold them in place, so why not plug several cables simultaneously?

        I think the limit will be the capacity of the local grid once electric cars become commonplace and millions of cars try recharging every evening at the same time, off the same grid... Everybody seems to say electricity is the solution, but it's not like we produce enough of it. Brown/blackouts will become commonplace, as will electrocutions and fires caused by tampered-with power lines...

        1. DS999

          Re: "you might not notice the fact that it isn't holding as much charge as it used to"

          If we can make enough batteries for all those cars, we can make enough batteries to store charge in garages for those cars so the grid can charge them up whenever is convenient. During the middle of the day when the sun is powering solar panels, or during the middle of the night before when household/business usage is at a minimum.

          The only time you need 'fast charge' is if you are in the middle of a long trip. Otherwise you will plug your car in every night and won't need to figure out how to provide a megawatt of power to make that charging happen in 10 minutes.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: "you might not notice the fact that it isn't holding as much charge as it used to"

            > we can make enough batteries to store charge in garages for those cars

            Only assuming a) everyone has a private parking space (as opposed to parking in the streets), and that b) everyone has enough money to buy a car's worth of additional batteries.

            Personally I doubt many people check both boxes: Remember, I'm not talking about a handful of high-earning Tesla owners, I'm talking about millions of average Joes coming home from their second minimum wage job. They won't be able to afford your solution, and yet, they still have a car that needs to be charged overnight so they can get back to work tomorrow morning. There will be millions in that situation once all cars have switched to electric. Our power grid simply can't handle that, and there is no serious reason to assume that it will be miraculously extended and improved by then.

            Note I don't say it's technically impossible, I just say our infrastructure is currently not ready for it, and there is no reason we'll fix that, because fixing it would mean spending big money on infrastructure with no clear return on investment. Most power providers rather just sell what they have (no expenses, all profit), than spend billions to increase their capacity to cater to some new, uncharted demand.

        2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: "you might not notice the fact that it isn't holding as much charge as it used to"

          Current electricity industry estimate for switching to electric cars is a minimum tripling of the retail grid capacity.

          Plus also the actual electricity supplied.

  7. JDPower

    The world spends years asking for bigger capacity batteries... phone companies get into battery damaging charge speed wars instead. FFS

  8. TheInstigator

    The thing I really want to know is whether or not Oppo are a security risk ! (I'm being facetious - I'm pretty sure if they get too big for their boots, all Chinese companies will get flagged as being a security risk at some point)

  9. DrXym Silver badge

    If only there were some way to replace worn battery

    Phone manufacturers should put their top scientists on developing a solution. Some sort of hatch or cover on the back of the phone that would allow a worn battery to be replaced.

    1. TheInstigator

      Re: If only there were some way to replace worn battery

      It'll never catch on - not enough money to be made ;)

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