A relative newcomer to the ranks of sought-after smartphone features is quick charging. This technology allows for a rapid power boost in just a short amount of time to keep you up-and-running during a typical busy day.
So how does quick charging work? Here are the important basics.
When you plug your phone in, a certain amount of power flows in from the outlet through the charger to your phone. Your phone includes a built-in regulator to prevent pumping too much power into the battery. Quick charge devices allow more power to flow than typical chargers do, without damaging the battery. So, while an older device might only support a 5-volt, 1-amp charger, quick charge devices can use a 9-volt, 2-amp charger.
Chances are your smartphone recharges via USB cable. There’s a good reason for this: besides the fact that USB cables are relatively easy to find, USB has a robust, well-defined charging standard called the USB Power Delivery Specification. A typical USB 1.0 or 2.0 plug deliver the standard charging rate for a typical phone.
Newer phones that include quick charging technology contain internal hardware which allows the device’s internal power management circuitry to process the charge from your wall charger differently, safely accepting a higher voltage to deliver a faster charge. However, to do so, they need to connect to the power source with a higher capacity plug.
To check if you have a charger that will work for fast charging, take a look at the specifications on your wall charger. Among the various certifications and product info on, you should find something resembling the word “output” – and next to that you should see a voltage and an amperage. Quick charge compatible chargers generally have at least two ratings, one of which should be 15W or more (multiply the voltage by amperage to get your wattage if the number is not clearly spelled out).
Quick charging is available on most newer iPhones, as well as the latest Android models from Samsung and Motorola. Each uses slightly different forms of the technology, so your best bet is to refer to the specs or user manual for your specific device to determine if, and what type, of rapid charging capability your specific phone has.