In what can only be described as another enormous technological win for Qualcomm, quick charging solutions are finally taking another significant step forward. Or, to be more specific: the bar is at last rising above meaningless PR stunts. The San Diego-based chipmaker today announced its long-awaited Quick Charge 5 specification, the first such upgrade in over three years.
The highlights of the new feature set include support for dual and triple charging, USB Type-C compatibility, and AI-enabled automation comprising adaptive input voltage and thermal management. Qualcomm’s formula yields a solution that’s up to 70% more efficient, four times faster, and 10°C (50°F) cooler than the previous standard. In simpler terms, Quick Charge 5 can have a fully depleted 4,500mAh battery back up to 50% in approximately 5 minutes.
The Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 865 Plus chips both support Quick Charge 5, Qualcomm confirmed, adding that the standard will be commercialized within two months, i.e. by the end of the current quarter. Of course, Qualcomm doesn’t intend to discontinue the older Quick Charge 4+ standard anytime soon. Therefore, don’t expect Quick Charge 5 implementations in anything but the most premium (Android) mobile devices for the foreseeable future.
Qualcomm’s deliberate R&D strategy once again outpaces Chinese rivals
Qualcomm is far from the first innovator to demonstrate such lighting-fast charging speeds but every supposedly seminal technology preceding Quick Charge 5 has remained purely conceptual to this date.
Perhaps the most high-profile example of such rivals is the only slightly ridiculously named Super FlashCharge developed by BBK Electronics. Over the course of this year, the entirety of the Chinese firm’s brand portfolio – OPPO, Vivo, OnePlus, and Realme – has individually announced this 125W charging solution under various names, vowing to have it commercialized by the end of the year.
Not only are those promises yet to amount to anything other than dramatically composed social media posts, but the touted performance of the underlying experimental system is actually worse than Qualcomm’s newly standardized specification. More accurately, the last claims about the tech were that it allows a 4,000mAh battery to go from zero to 50% in about 5 minutes, while taking only 13 minutes to hit double that capacity.