Charging technology isn’t on the fastest change but it’s changing just fast enough. It all started with just 1 Amp of charging and then that slowly grew into 1.5 Amps and the current standard of charging is 2.0 Amps. That’s because technology doesn’t change with us, we change, then the charging technology follows. Our needs within the modern day are to have fast charging technology. Think about it, when you’re downloading something you want it to be done quickly so you can experience what you have downloaded. The same goes for gaining or losing weight if you’re exercising. People want to see their body change as fast as possible and want results.
All of this want to see results goes into something that is actually very pertinent. Charging devices. Nearly every device that we use in our daily lives that’s electronic and portable requires charging. Since a portable and wireless device is so free to use, it also comes with a drawback of charging it. Charging is a hassle. No matter when or how you’re doing it, if there was a choice to banish charging and have devices run on an unlimited energy source then we’d do it. Alas, that’s not possible and won’t be for a long time. Instead, we have to rely on larger battery capacities and faster chargers to keep us going as fast as possible.
Sure, the battery capacities are going into the higher capacity range but there’s always going to be the need of charging. That’s when charging tech becomes better and the way we charge changes. The two main charging technologies that are paving the way to charging our devices as quickly as possible is Quick Charge and USB Type-C. I’m sure you may have heard of one or the other but if you haven’t that’s perfectly fine, because we’ll get you in the know of what makes these charging technologies so important for the future of charging.
Quick charge technology is fast charging technology that is available with select devices. Quick Charge charging enables devices to charge at 3.0 Amps. That’s some fast charging because it’s about 50% faster than your 2.0 Amps of charging. This fast charging tech has some requirements to actually take advantage of though.
You see, to take advantage of Quick Charge there must be two main components for you to get 3.0 Amps of charging. The charger that you’re using must feature Quick Charge technology. Whether it’s a Car charger, Wall charger or power bank charger; If one of the ports has a Quick Charge USB port output then it can be used for Quick Charge charging. Then the other component is the device that you need to charge must have a compatible processor to work with the Quick Charge technology that’s in the charger. Compatible processors are made by Qualcomm, the company that created Quick Charge. The compatible processors are called Snapdragon processors. Different Processors are compatible with different versions of Quick Charge.
There are processors that are compatible with only Quick Charge 1.0, which is the oldest version of Quick Charge. Then there are devices that have Snapdragon processors that can charge with Quick Charge 2.0 and are backwards compatible with QC 1.0. Lastly, the latest and very few devices are compatible with Quick Charge. 3.0. Devices like smartphones or tablets that are compatible with Quick Charge 3.0 are compatible with all versions Quick Charge.
Main components to use Quick Charge:
- Compatible Device With Snapdragon Processor. Example: Smartphone, tablet, etc…
- Quick Charge charger
And on the bright side, if you don’t have a compatible device with Quick Charge at all, the charger automatically charges your device at 2.4 Amps, which is the max standard charging speed.
Quick Charge charging offers fast charging, and there’s no doubt about that but there’s one main flaw. The need of having to match technologies to actually get the fast charge. Not everyone is going to own a Quick Charge charger and a compatible device. These kind of devices, although used quite a lot, are not something that easily scales. There has to be a standard with fast charging because fast charging can’t be something that will always be a premium since charging will always be a need.
Although Quick Charge is fast, the needs of compatibility is simply a setback. How much higher can they go with the versions of Quick Charge until the devices and charging electronics infrastructure becomes less stable and more widespread? With 2 main versions of Quick Charge, it’s alright because there’s a focus of fast charging for just those technologies. However, if more Quick Charge versions were to come out, there would be more questions about what devices are compatible with what versions of Quick Charge. Fast charging is great but Qualcomm should be careful to not confuse their customers in the future.
UBS Type-C is the new charging cable that is compatible with very few smartphone and other devices. Okay, so there are new smartphones that are being created with new charging input ports and they’re charged using the Type-C cable. Now you’re probably thinking, wait that’s the same thing with Quick Charge charging with having compatibility! Well that’s actually not what’s going on. You see, Type-C charging is just as fast as Quick Charge with a charging speed of 3.0 Amps.
Type-C is a standard of charging that actually scales to match charging within a variety of phones. If all smartphones (Expect for iPhones) were made with Type-C inputs, then that would standardize the type of charging cable that the majority of portable devices would need; Which would be Type-C. Then Type-C would automatically be the standard charging cable to use which would overall provide 3.0 Amps of charging speeds to most devices. There doesn’t have to be some special type of charging technology if Type-C grows.
At least for now Type-C is a type of charging cable that very few devices are compatible with. However, there will most likely be a rise with devices that use Type-C because of the overall charging experience. The Type-C cable provides fast charging, it has reversible charging head, faster sync for sharing files and best of all the charging components of the cable are within charging cable. With the components in the charging head, they’re protected by the head of the cable. When you look at either the Micro-USB or Lightning charging cable, you’ll notice that the charging features are directly out in the open and that can cause damage. The Type-C has a smarter design with everything covered.
Not only the does Type-C offer fast charging but it brings what the other two main charging cables have done correctly, and brings it all together. What you’re left with is a new way charging that can truly become universal.
Lastly, Type-C can not only bring a standardization to smartphone or tablet charging. It can bridge the charging gaps between laptops and smartphones. The MacBook uses a USB Type-C charging cable. It’s an amazing thing because someone that uses a smartphone that uses a Type-C charging cable, can also use the Type-C cable to charge their laptop. If everything uses the charging cable, then it won’t matter what kind of cable someone has because we’ll be able to charge any of our devices with a universal cable. To make this, even more, clearer, this could even mean that the future iPhone may use a Type-C cable to charge because of all the benefits that the Type-C cable brings and seeing that the MacBook now uses a Type-C to charge, the chances can only be higher.
After analyzing the two new types of charging, let’s take look at their pros and cons more closely.
- 3.0 Amps of charging (Fast charging)
- Available with select chargers
- Compatible with Many Android devices
- Two main components needed: Phone and Charger that are Quick Charge
- Scale-ability will be a problem
- A premium outlook on charging, rather than an overall improvement
- A Type-C Cable for fast charging
- Smartphones and other devices already have the output
- It’s a charging cable that takes the best of charging cables and put it into one
- Very scaleable if future devices follow the same path
- Many devices will be able to use Type-C. The MacBook even uses Type-C.
- Not many devices are using the Type-C Input
What the Future of charging will bring:
People want their devices charged fast and that’s the kind of charging technology we can expect. We can expect that 2.4A charging to eventually become obsolete and we can expect 3.0 Amps of charging to possibly become the norm. All of these expectations can very well lead us to instant charge. What does that mean? It could mean that charging devices may just take an instant of 5 minutes to be fully charged. The most certain thing about the future of charging is that our habits of charging will begin to change. Currently, if we’re going somewhere, we want our devices charged well enough beforehand, but that won’t be the case in the future.
The future of charging will have us simply charge our devices while we’re getting ready to go somewhere. We’ll be living on the edge of having a device dying, to it being near fully charged in a matter of minutes. Although batteries for smartphones and tablets may not change so much, there’s the constant improvement of charging that we have to look forward to.
Since 2016, Usman has flourished as an independent tech journalist, reveling in the evaluation of diverse tech gadgets, with a particular fondness for charging technology to ascertain product performance. Besides his journalistic endeavors, he helms the Charger Harbor YouTube channel, where he extends his tech insights to a broader audience.