We select an accessory for fast charging a smartphone and try not to be mistaken.
The idea for this material came to me at the moment when I was preparing a buyer's guide to high-tech power banks and … I myself got confused in fast charging technologies. I had to spend several hours to study the issue and understand which fast charging technologies are compatible with each other, for which it is realistic to choose a charger, portable battery or car charger, and which technologies are still closed to manufacturers of third-party accessories. Once you figured it out, then it's time to share this information with you.
By the way, the guide itself with functional portable batteries can be read here: Buyer's Guide: choosing a powerful and technologically advanced portable battery
So today, let's talk about how to choose a charging accessory so that it charges your smartphone as quickly as possible. The information will be relevant for three main types of devices: conventional plug adapters, car cigarette lighter chargers and power banks.
Let's get started!
Apple – USB Power Delivery
In the latest generations iPhone, namely in the 2017 and 2018 models, the fast charging has finally appeared, which has been waiting for several years. Unlike many competitors, Apple did not trick with any proprietary technologies and implemented support for USB Power Delivery
For fast charging iPhone, you need two things: the unit itself or a power bank with USB Power Delivery support and a proprietary USB-C to Lightning cable.
It must be written in the specifications of the block that it supports Power Delivery with a power of 18 W or higher. Keep this in mind, as I have come across accessories with a USB-C port on several occasions that only supported 5V / 3A, that is, they gave out a maximum of 15 watts. With a power source like this, you definitely won't get fast charging.
Also, I highly recommend using only a proprietary Apple USB-C to Lightning cable, for two reasons. Firstly, Apple does not yet certify third-party cables of this type, and secondly, I have not yet come across third-party USB-C to Lightning cables that fully unleash the potential of fast charging via USB PD. Judging by the reviews on various sites, the Chinese cables only deliver 10-12 watts of power, which is not nearly fast charging.
But it is not necessary to buy a proprietary unit, as I noted earlier, any power supply with USB PD support and a power of 18 W and higher will do.
What do you need?
Power supply: any with support for USB Power Delivery (USB PD) from 18 W.
Cable: proprietary Apple USB-C – Lightning.
Accessory availability: high.
Samsung – Adaptive Fast Charging
Koreans were among the first to introduce fast charging technology into their flagship smartphones. However, over the past four years, starting with the Galaxy S6 and up to the Galaxy S10, Samsung's fast wired charging technology has not undergone any changes, this is the same Adaptive Fast Charging, or AFC for short.
The main advantage of this technology lies in the full compatibility of AFC with the more common Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0, which means that in the case of any Samsung smartphone that supports fast charging, you don't have to be smart – you need a power supply that supports the most common technology. We look for QC 2.0 or QC 3.0 in the specifications and buy the desired accessory. Also, there are no nuances with wires – almost any cable from a more or less high-quality manufacturer, which passes a current of 2.4 A.
By the way, recently information appeared on the network that the Galaxy S10, in fact, supports fast charging with a power of 25 W (as in the Galaxy S10 5G), but this feature is still blocked by software. But no official information on this matter has been received, which means that there is nothing to say about accessories yet.
What do you need?
Power Supply: Any with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 / 3.0 support.
Cable: any passing current of 2.4 A.
Accessory availability: very high.
Huawei – FCP, SCP 22.5 W and SCP 40 W
The most sad situation arises with fast charging from Huawei, because the company offers users a new and more advanced technology almost every year. Not only fans of the company, but also manufacturers of third-party accessories are not keeping up with this race. Moreover, even in one generation of devices Huawei it manages to use different generations of its charging.
For example, the P30 Pro and Mate 20 Pro are equipped with the second generation SuperCharge (SCP) technology, that is, they support 40W charging, and their younger brothers P30 and Mate 20 are equipped with the first generation SCP and charge at 22.5W. The youngest devices of the flagship lines with the Lite prefix support the third technology – 18-watt Fast Charge (FCP), which is analogous to QC 3.0, but incompatible with it.
What do we have today?
FCP (18W). There are quite a lot of accessories on sale that support FCP (18 W), among their characteristics you need to look for the FCP or Huawei Fast Charge designations. Sometimes the manufacturer does not indicate them, although the device actually supports FCP, but it is better not to risk it and buy only those that support this protocol. No special cables are required, any 2.4 A will do.
Power supply: with FCP support.
Cable: any passing current of 2.4 A.
Accessory Availability: Medium.
SCP 1 gen (22.5 watts). There are few accessories that support this technology, but you can find them. Among the characteristics it is worth looking for the designation SCP or Huawei SuperCharge, as well as support for 5V / 4.5A and 4.5V / 5A profiles. Keep in mind that SCP will need a dedicated USB-A to USB-C cable, and the original is better, although there are third-party ones on sale.
Power supply: SCP 1 gen support (5V / 4.5A and 4.5V / 5A).
Cable: special, carrying a current of 5 A.
Accessory availability: low.
SCP 2 gen (40W). So far, only branded accessories of the company are available for sale, including an auto charger and a 12,000 mAh power bank. Perhaps, something will appear in the near future, but it is definitely not worth waiting for any tangible choice.
Power supply: with support for SCP 2 gen (10V / 4.5A).
Cable: special carrying current 5 A.
Accessory availability: branded models only.
Xiaomi – QC 3.0 and QC 4.0+
Another smartphone maker that hasn't reinvented the wheel is Xiaomi. The flagships Mi 8, Mi 9, Mi Mix 3 and Pocophone F1 support the latest protocol from Qualcomm – Quick Charge 4+ (up to 27W), older devices – Quick Charge 3.0 (up to 18W).
There is no point in talking about QC 3.0, since this is the most common fast charging protocol and finding an accessory with its support is not a problem. With QC 4+, things are a little more interesting, since it is backward compatible with the USB Power Delivery protocol, which means, in theory, you can charge smartphones with QC4 + sources with PD support and vice versa, while getting about the same charging speed. In this case, it is desirable that the source from the USB PD is at least 27 watts.
I found several owner reviews Xiaomi who compared the charging speed of their smartphones with sources with QC 4+, QC 3.0 and USB PD. Curiously, it is identical in all three cases, except that when using QC 4+ and USB PD, the device warmed up less. Probably, the whole point is how much charging power the smartphone itself can take, and with devices from other brands, the results may differ. But since no one has done large-scale tests on this score so far, we can only guess. Manufacturers also do not give any clarifications yet.
Power supply: Supports QC 3.0 or QC 4 + / USB PD depending on the smartphone.
Cable: Any decent USB-A to USB-C or USB-C to USB-C cable depending on the power source.
Accessory availability: very high for QC 3.0, high for USB PD and low for QC 4+.
OnePlus – Dash Charge
This Chinese company is just right to give an award for the most meager set of accessories with support for proprietary wireless charging technology, here they even managed to get around Huawei.
It's good that there is a proprietary adapter to a regular outlet and a car charger, but there is no power bank. I was able to find only a couple of battery models with claimed Dash Charge support, both from Sdoutech. The rest of the comments are superfluous, you will have to be very confused to first find and then buy something compatible with the OnePlus proprietary protocol.
Power Supply: Supports Dash Charge.
Cable: OnePlus proprietary 4A cable or equivalent.
Accessory availability: very low.
The modern world of fast charging technologies and accessories compatible with them is rich and diverse. I don’t know about you, but I hope that someday he will come to unification. At the very least, living and traveling will become easier.