back to article Gone in 15 minutes: Qualcomm claims new chargers will fill your smartmobe in a flash

Qualcomm has unveiled the fifth generation of its Quick Charge battery-charging technology and boasts it can fully recharge a smartphone in 15 minutes. Quick Charge 5 is up to four times faster than its predecessor, up to 70 per cent more efficient, and runs 10 degrees Celsius cooler, the company says. Qualcomm says the new …

  1. wolfetone

    Imagine being that vapid that waiting an hour or two for your phone to charge is the worst thing in the world and you need a full charge after 15 minutes so you can carry on being vapid on Instagram.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      I've always been very aware of how long it takes my phone to DISCHARGE.

      As for charging - no idea how long it takes.

      We asked for:

      Longer battery life

      Removable battery

      SD Card support

      Stronger phones.

      (keyboard, but that's my wife asking!)

      We get:

      Smaller

      thinner

      shorter battery life

      faster charging

    2. juice Silver badge

      > Imagine being that vapid that waiting an hour or two for your phone to charge is the worst thing in the world and you need a full charge after 15 minutes so you can carry on being vapid on Instagram.

      The problem is that modern handsets can drain batteries like crazy if you're actively using them.

      E.g. if I'm lounging in bed on the weekend and spend a bit of time checking social media, emails, etc, it's not uncommon for my phone (S10+) to drop from a fresh 100% overnight charge to somewhere in the mid-80s.

      Which means that once I do haul my carcass out of bed, one of the first things I need to do is to plug it back in for a recharge.

      And I've tried various things, like downgrading the resolution, downclocking the CPU, tweaking the brightness down, etc. Sadly, none of the above really seem to make much of a difference to the battery life.

      Mind you, they also seem to make little difference to the actual user experience, either. So methinks my next phone will be a mid-range machine with a large battery, rather than a high-range device with all the bells and whistles!

      1. DS999

        Why would you need to charge your phone at 85%?

        1. juice Silver badge

          > Why would you need to charge your phone at 85%?

          Believe it or not, I used to leave my house! For hours at a time!

          And while I'm a great fan of living on the edge - I'll often buy a pint of a beer I've never tried before *without* a taste test - life is a lot easier when you're not trying to ration the electrons in your phone to make sure it lasts until you stagger back through the door.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            I would expect 85% to last well into the next day.

    3. DS999

      I wait all night for my phone to charge

      And I only charge it ever other night as it is, and had 51% when I plugged it in last night (I remember because I thought about letting it go one more day, but thought better of it since the last 50% always seems to account for less runtime than the first 50%) According to screen time I average about 3 hours a day of usage. Almost all apps (who TALKS on a phone anymore?) and almost all wifi, very little cellular usage (that drains batteries a lot faster than wifi)

      I haven't even taken the fast charger my 11 pro max came with out of the box, still using the old school 5W charger from several phones ago because it doesn't matter to me how fast it charges while I'm sleeping! No point in charging it faster and wearing the battery faster if I don't benefit from the faster charge.

      The only people who will want this even faster charge Qualcomm is pushing are those who are literally on their phone from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed so even the longest lasting batteries aren't enough for them, or I guess people who forget to plug their phone in at night.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I wait all night for my phone to charge

        You asked for things that will potentially extend the lifetime of the phone, so giving you those things would result in fewer sales. It also results in a heavier, more expensive phone, which is an issue for many users when they are using the phone and when they are carrying the phone in a pocket or bag.

        Using SD cards in phones isn't as smooth as one would wish - if a card is installed 'for keeps' then it can be encrypted and app data can be stored there without the risk of confusing the app by removing the card. However, it will still be slower than the phone's built in storage.

        If the card is not encrypted then the card can be swapped out and used to share data between different devices - say a dedicated digital camera. However, there are often easier ways of doing this (such as a USB OTG card reader, or camera with WiFi).

        The chief sensible use case for SD cards is for storing offline music - it doesn't need encrypting (unless you have horrendous taste in music!) and should the SD card or interface fail then it's an inconvenience and not a disaster. For many people, the 100+ GB of storage on their phone is ample for this.

  2. Dale 3

    Imagine being that vapid that waiting an hour or two for your car to fill up with petrol is the worst thing in the world and you need a full tank after 15 minutes so you can carry on driving and being productive.

    Some people's use cases may be different from your own.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not sure about you, but I can't fill my car with petrol while I sleep. Or while I'm actively using it (i.e. driving).

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Not sure about you, but I can't fill my car with petrol while I sleep.

        Somebody else could fill it up while you sleep.

  3. Tony W

    Is this still true?

    "Bad news from science land: Fast-charging li-ion batteries may be quick to top up, but they're also quick to die."

    https://www.theregister.com/2019/06/05/liion_battery_scan_charging/

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Is this still true?

      No, it's not that simple. Bottom line is that fast chargers don't damage batteries. However, the phase of charging in which fast chargers are actually faster - 0% to 50% - is most useful if the user has a fairly flat battery. It is this act of deep cycling - draining the battery below 50% - that will shorten a battery life.

      After 50 % charge is achieved, fast chargers slow down to a rate similar to a conventional charger, with the phone's circuitry keeping tabs on things.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    How

    Have they addressed the problems of reduced battery capacity and overall lifetime, that are caused by fast charging? (https://www.theregister.com/2019/06/05/liion_battery_scan_charging/)

    Or perhaps they don't care if your phone needs replacing sooner because it doesn't have a removable battery and the one it has no longer holds a charge for more than a few minutes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How

      Of the phones I've used over the past 20 years, the iPhone batteries have been the cheapest (cost/year of use). Nokia and Motorola phones with replaceable batteries needed new ones after 3/4 years use; iPhone batteries have lasted at least as long; replacement costs about the same (iPhone replacements from local repair shops, not Apple, of course - £15-20 each). I've never had a phone in the past 20 years that hasn't lasted me at least a couple of days. The complaint that modern phones don't last as long doesn't hold up - a) smartphones tend to be used for a lot more than the older feature phones and b) my first mobile phone needed 2 batteries to get through a day.

      To me, I've not missed user replaceable batteries, nor found the need for a bigger one. Others hammer their phones playing games, leave GPS running so they know everywhere they've been, etc., so have different needs. That's fine by me - but if you need something different, don't complain that what you've chosen doesn't do what you knew it wouldn't do.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: so they know everywhere they've been

        I'm sure that the likes of Google, Fartbook and Amazon will be kept well informed as to your whereabouts as well.

        But some people obviously don't care who gets all that lovely data that their devices phone home every few minutes.

      2. toejam

        Re: How

        My problem with integrated batteries is that when they do die, they're often very difficult to replace. I have an older phone that needs a battery swap and that battery is sandwiched between the screen and motherboard, so replacing it will require careful prying of several connectors. I half expect to destroy the phone in the process.

        I used dislike integrated batteries for a number of other reasons, but faster charging standards and the proliferation of inexpensive external battery packs has negated most of them. Now it is mostly just about battery EoL issues.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How

          Just had to pay someone to replace the battery on my SO's old iPhone. I'd MUCH rather have one that I can replace in 5 minutes at home, rather than making an appointment in the next town two weeks in advance.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: How

            5 minutes is about how long it takes me to replace an iPhone battery at home.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How

              For me, simply getting the case on the iPhone open would take over 5 minutes. And a hair dryer. And some guitar picks or similar. And I'd be worried about breaking something the whole time. Versus my Android phone, where I can pop the back off, replace the battery, and put the back on again in less time than it takes the phone to boot, with no tools.

  5. osmarks

    Personally, I'd get more use out of a less thin phone with more battery capacity, and batteries which can actually be replaced. Do people not charge phones overnight or something?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      People who live in an area of weaker cellular signal will see faster battery drain. People who have GPS turned on will see faster battery drain.

      What works for someone living and working in a city may not work for someone in the countryside. Your milage may vary.

    2. D@v3

      overnight

      I tend not to charge mine overnight as it only takes an hour or so from near dead, and i could be wrong, but i feel that leaving a fully charged phone, on charge for several hours is likely to do it less good than just charging it for half an hour or so in the car to and from work.

  6. Hubert Cumberdale

    Apple is reportedly considering plans to sell a new 20W fast charger separately.

    Now there's a surprise. I wonder how much it will cost.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Some users may already have one that has come with their MacBook.

      Anyway, it doesn't matter how much Apple might charge for it, since USB C PD (Power Delivery) is an open standard, and 3rd party chargers will are available.

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    In a 'flash' charging

    has its downsides. You gotta be careful about too much really fast charging you subject any Lithium Ion battery to.

    ask any old Nissan Leaf owner if you want to know the pitfalls of rapid charging on battery capacity.

    Slow and steady is the name of the game for me with batteries unless I really, really need fast charging then I tend towards 50kW chargers in my EV rather than the 350kW ones that are becoming quite common these days.

    1. toejam

      Re: In a 'flash' charging

      Didn't the Nissan Leaf have terrible battery longevity because they had no active cooling of the battery pack? There supposedly weren't even fans to keep the pack cool, let alone more advanced systems that channel coolant from the AC compressor. That's why vehicles in cool climates like Seattle and Glasgow kept their charge capacity much longer than those in hot climates like Phoenix or Cairo.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: In a 'flash' charging

      > You gotta be careful about too much really fast charging you subject any Lithium Ion battery to.

      Strangely enough, the charging circuitry takes this care for you. First part of charge is fast, later parts are slower, with the circuitry keeping tabs on battery parameters.

  8. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Li-on batteries are a massive improvement over what we have had before, but their power density is still way off what you can achieve by burning a fossil fuel. I'd much rather the phone companies develop better batteries for their phones which could last a week on one charge than phones which produces marginally better photos due to putting in another camera or a slightly fast CPU than the previous generation.

    1. osakajin Bronze badge
      Flame

      It's obvious. We need fossil fuel powered phones

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Faster CPUs mean tasks are completed more quickly, so that the screen is on for less time. Modern CPUs have some smaller cores as well as the big ones, so that the faster, thirstier cores are only used when required. Faster CPUs are usually the newer CPUs, and are usually built on a smaller process, which makes them more power efficient.

      C'mon, you know this!

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Why are we talking about cars ?

    The article is about phones. Phones and cars are not at all the same subject. An EV is something you use to get to work, leave it to charge for the day, then go back home and leave it to charge for the night. A phone is something that is on all the time, that you likely need to have available all the time, and might need recharging during the day, following your usage.

    Nobody driving an EV is planning a road trip - the infrastructure is not there. Phones are basically on one long road trip. When was the last time you turned yours off ?

    The needs are not the same is what I'm saying. Comparing the two simply because they both have batteries is a mistake.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Why are we talking about cars ?

      Nobody driving an EV is planning a road trip - the infrastructure is not there.

      This is not completely true, there is infrastructure for a road trip and you have to plan EV road trips to make sure you can use it.

  10. Uplink

    Dual battery technology

    Well, I was wondering why they're not making battery packs of smaller batteries, and charge them at regular speed but in parallel. 10 cells of normal batteries, charged at regular speed, but with a result of 10 times less total charging time?

    I can imagine that 10 cells that heat up at regular speed produce 10 times the heat too, and give you the Galaxy Note 7 experience. Yeah, that could be a problem.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "no longer include chargers"

    "But rumours are also circulating that Apple and Samsung will not longer include chargers with their new phones given that there are so many in circulation already."

    So my 250 mA charger from my old phone is "good enough" for these new fast-chargeable phones? Hmm. Maybe I'll go with a different brand.

    On a related note, I wish I could get a Qi add-on for my phone that also allows me to plug in a USB cable without removing the Qi. Not finding one, though.

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