Fast charging is no longer limited to premium smartphones. The smartphone makers have started adding fast charge support in the budget as well as mid-range phones. But due to fragmentation in fast charge standards as well as the confusion around the overall fast charging process, consumers often wonder whether their phone can be fast-charged or how they fast charge it. We’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll explain how you can figure out whether your phone supports fast charging, which fast chargers will work with your phone, and how you can verify if your phone is indeed being charged quicker.
There are a few ways to check if your phone supports fast charging. You can check the official product page for your phone on the manufacturer’s website. Typically, the brands will mention details about the fast charging support in the battery specifications. You’ll see a number in watts, like 15W, 18W, and 45W to show how fast a phone can be charged. The manufacturers will also note whether they are bundling a fast charger in the box.
Not all phone makers, like Apple, bundle fast chargers in the box. Others bundle a fast charger but it may not support the fastest charging speed available to your phone. So the phone specifications page on the company’s website can reveal all these details.
iPhone 12 product page on Apple website showing battery specifications
If you’re unable to access the phone manufacturer’s website, you can also check details about the fast charging support on the product packaging or in the official documentation. The brands often mention details about this on the product box and in the documentation provided within the box.
Another way to check fast charging support is by looking at the bundled charger itself; however, this isn’t the best way. As some smartphones bundle fast chargers in the box itself, you can read the details printed on it, like a fast charge standard’s branding or supported wattage (amperage multiplied by voltage). But if the bundled charger is not a fast charger or slower than the supported wattage, you won’t be able to confirm anything.
If you still aren’t able to find these details, you can contact the manufacturer itself to get the information.
Once you’ve figured out that your phone supports fast charging but hasn’t supplied a compatible charger in the box. You can buy one made by your phone’s manufacturer or a third-party brand; however, getting the right fast charger can be tricky and you’ll need a couple of details, including the maximum charging wattage supported.
You’ll also need to know the fast charging standard supported by your phone — it can be anything from Qualcomm Quick Charge 2/3/3+/4/4+/5 to USB PD. Several phone makers also have their own proprietary fast-charging standards, like Vivo Super Flash Charge, Oppo VOOC/ SuperVOOC, and Samsung Adaptive Charging. We have a very detailed piece explaining the various fast charging technologies and standards.
After you’ve figured out the fast charging standard and the maximum wattage supported by your phone, you can look for a compatible wall charger on the market. Make sure the charger is compatible with the fast charging standard as well as the fast charging wattage of your phone.
It’s important to note here that some fast charging standards are compatible with other standards as well. Like, the Qualcomm Quick Charge 4/4+/5 is also compliant with USB-PD. So you will be able to use any one of them with your phone in such cases. In most cases, you’ll be best served with the fast chargers that your phone manufacturer recommends. Below are some recommendations for USB PD chargers which see the widest compatibility in this fragmented market.
There are a few ways by which you can verify if your phone is indeed being fast-charged. Some phones make it easier than others and they will display “fast charging” or “charging rapidly” on the lock screen. This confirms that your phone is being fast-charged.
If your phone doesn’t show any visual cues for fast charging, you can install an app like Ampere. It can help you measure the rate of charge. Read the values shown by the app and simply multiply the voltage by the amperage to find the charging wattage. To get the correct amperage, you’ll have to add the mA (milliampere) numbers shown while charging and while not connected to a charger, and then divide it by 1,000. In the above example, the smartphone is drawing 3.77 Volts * ((320+420) Milli-Amps / 1,000) = 2.79 Watts. It’s clear that the phone is not getting the fastest charging.
Keep in mind that phones also limit their charging rates when the display is switched on, and charging rates are also not linear going from 0-100%, with a heavy dropoff towards the full mark — so use apps like Ampere for comparing chargers and not just pure numbers.Download QR-CodeAmpere Developer:Braintrapp Price:Free+
If you don’t trust software solutions, you can use something called a power meter to check the same thing. There are plenty of USB power meters on sale online that will show the voltage and amperage getting to your phone. Similar to the Ampere app, simply multiply the voltage by the amperage to find the charging wattage.
Hopefully, we were able to answer some of your fast charging questions. If you own a Samsung Galaxy S21, we’ve compiled the best fast chargers for the phone on the market. You can also check out our Best Qi Wireless Charger recommendations.