Does Fast Charging work “out of the box”?

Spoiler alert... The answer is no! We explain fast charging and show you how to get the most out of it.
Fast charging

There is nothing worse than receiving a low battery alert when you really need your phone. Battery anxiety is real, and it can stop you using your phone to take pictures, listen to music or other fun things in case you run down the battery completely.

One way phone manufacturers help alleviate battery anxiety is by making them faster to recharge. With fast charging you can boost your energy reserves quickly – just plug in for half an hour or so to

There is one thing that most phone consumers don’t know. Even if your phone supports fast charging, it probably doesn’t come with a suitable charger when you buy it.

To enjoy fast charging 

Wait... What?

That’s right. We don’t think it’s very fair either, but most manufacturers sell their fast chargers as an additional accessory.

Even on iPhones?

‘fraid so! Rapid charging for iPhones requires a USB-C connection. However, most recent iPhones don’t have a USB-C connector so you need two accessories:

  • A USB-C to Lightning connection converter. If you have an iPhone 12 or later then you’re in luck – you already have one!
  • A USB-C charging block. The official 20-watt USB-C power adapter is ideal, and it is reasonably priced (for an Apple accessory)

What is the difference?

Fast charging can boost your battery to 50% or more in as little as half an hour. To protect your battery the speed changes throughout the charge.If you need a boost during the day a fast charger could be ideal.

So how does it work?

There is a lot of hardware and software behind the scenes, but essentially fast charging works by increasing the watts that the charger sends to your phone. Older phones charged at 5 watts, but newer fast chargers output 20, 30 or even 50 watts to charge batteries super fast.

A standard charger produces 5 to 10 watts of power. A quicker charger may increase this by up to eight times fold. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max come with an 18-watt fast charger, while Samsung sell an ultra-fast 45-watt charger.

It isn’t as simple as simply increasing the power – fast chargers need complicated software and safety circuits to make sure all that delicious electricity doesn’t damage your battery.

Can I get a fast wireless charger?

Fast wireless chargers do exist, but they aren’t as fast as their wired counterparts. A product like this – Belkin FastBoost Wireless charger is rated at 15 watts, which is a little pedestrian by todays standards. It can also be fiddly to line your phone up on the charging pad.

Will fast charging damage my battery?

Don’t worry, fast charging will not harm your phone battery. Unless there is a mechanical problem with your battery, charger or cable, fast charging will not cause long-term harm to your phone’s battery.

Fast-charging batteries function in two stages.  Batteries may absorb a charge very quickly during the initial phase of charging without causing long-term harm to their health so the first stage delivers a high-voltage burst to an empty or almost empty battery. This provides a scorching increase of 50 to 70 percent in the first 10, 15, or 30 minutes. 

Samsung claims that their 45-watt charger can charge a compatible phone from zero to 70% in half an hour. Apple state that the iPhone 11 Pro fast charger can charge it to 50% in 30 minutes.

Can I use any fast charger with any phone?

Mixing and matching cords and chargers will not harm your battery unless you use counterfeit or very cheap accessories. However, fast charging may not work depending on the manufacturer. 

Some phone brands like Huawei and OnePlus use unique technology with a lot of the circuitry integrated into the charger as well as the phone. That means you have to use a use a compatible charger to fully use the device’s unique fast charging

Other phone manufacturers like Samsung and Apple use industry standards and their phones will charge with a wider range of accessories. The safest bet is to use the chargers and cords that came with the phone. When you buy a fast charger check the specs to make sure it is compatible with your phone.