Wireless recharging has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to its convenience — just drop your phone on a pad and pick it up later — but wired charging is faster, and some ultra-high-speed options have emerged this month to power next-generation phones. Today, Qualcomm is adding its latest innovations to the mix under the name Quick Charge 5, a wired platform that promises to fully recharge upcoming phones in 15 minutes or go from zero to 50% in only five minutes.
Earlier this month, Chinese phone vendor Vivo unveiled Super FlashCharge 120W, using a custom USB-C cable and charger to deliver similar recharge times — a 4,000mAh battery could go from zero to 50% in five minutes, or zero to 100% in 13 minutes. The real-world value of such a solution could be fantastic, enabling phone users to quickly refuel their devices at public charging stations before flights or at other times when they’ll be away from outlets, assuming special cables are available. By comparison, Quick Charge 5 uses a standard 3-Amp USB-C cable and promises the aforementioned speeds when recharging the larger 4,500mAh batteries found in plus-sized phones. Moreover, unlike Vivo’s proprietary and yet to be commercialized solution, Quick Charge 5 is widely available to Android OEMs now and should start showing up in phones over the next two months.
That’s why Qualcomm is billing Quick Charge 5 as the “first commercially viable fast charging platform to support more than 100W charging power in a smartphone.” The chipmaker is obliquely referencing both Vivo’s solution and a Xiaomi-developed 100-watt alternative that was announced in 2019 but never released, which Xiaomi blamed on thermal issues and rapid battery degradation. Interestingly, Qualcomm says Xiaomi is one of Quick Charge 5’s first customers and suggests it has solved the thermal issues, delivering 70% greater charging efficiency than Quick Charge 4 while running cooler by a full 10 degrees Celsius.