Qualcomm has announced its next generation of proprietary charging standard QuickCharge 5.0 that uses standard USB Power Delivery to support up to 100W charging speeds.
Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 4.0 was the first version that embraced USB PD, but the 4x increase this year should motivate more OEMs to bundled proper Type-C to Type-C cables that are mandatory for USB PD charging on phones.
The good thing is that you will be able to realize these fast charging speeds using any certified USB PD charger or any laptop (imagine a future of being able to fast charge your phone with any charger you can get your hands on).
QuickCharge 5.0 VS QuickCharge 4.0: What has Changed?
While QuickCharge 4.0 was compliant with USB PD, it’s only now that Qualcomm is fully embracing the fast charge technology.
- Voltage regulation now moves from the phone to the Charger and there is support for better conversion hardware inside the phone (switched capacitors), leading to QC 5.0 being 10°C cooler and 70% more efficient than QC 4.0
- QuickCharge 5.0 supports 2S battery systems where 2 batteries are connected in series (the kind many OEMs use these days). Connecting 2 batteries helps double charging voltage and allows faster speeds with standard cables that can handle only 3-5A current.
- You will still need cables that can support more than 5A to achieve 100W. A 3W cable will be able to handle 53W for phones with 2S battery
- Phones with a single battery will be able to achieve up to 45W peak charging speeds.
Samsung was the first to announced 100W charging support using USB PD for its flagship phones last year, but that required a separate, compatible adaptor and cable. The box chargers from the brand are limited to 25W.
This year, OPPO also introduced 125W fast charging technology that’s also based on USB PD. This fast charging solution has already been passed on to Realme and will soon make it to OnePlus phones.
It remains to be seen how much adverse effect these super-fast charging adaptors have on battery health.
Why Qualcomm Quickcharge switches to USB PD instead of its own charge negotiation protocol?
Until around 5 years back, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge standards were dominant on smartphones (since most phones use Qualcomm chipsets). On the other hand, laptops don’t have Qualcomm Chips and thus universally adopted to USB PD fast charging.
This fragmentation meant slow charging speeds when you charge your phone using your laptop’s USB port.
Google took to resolve the situation. Android 7.0 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) ‘strongly recommended’ OEMs to not use proprietary charging solutions that used proprietary charging protocols or methods that modified Vbus voltage.
This is also why fast charging standards today including Vivo’s Flashcharge, OPPO’s VOOC, OnePlus’s Warpcharge, Samsung’s Fast Charge, etc. – all now have USB PD support (even though the phones don’t ship with proper PD chargers and cables).
Qualcomm QuickCharge 5.0 Phones
Details are still scarce, but phones that support Qualcomm QuickCharge 5.0 should be available as soon as early next year.