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The Truth About Fast-Charging Feature in our Smartphones

The Truth About Fast-Charging Feature in our Smartphones

Every now and then, along with the release of brand new phones, oftentimes it comes with a fast-charging feature. In retrospect, 5W charging speed was the standard. But as the technologies advance, so do the smartphones and their features.

Photo from PITAKA

From 5W, it turned to 18W, and now it seems the charging speed has nowhere to go but up. Nowadays, we now have the 45W, 65W, 80W and even it goes up to 125W. Before, it took about two and a half-hour to fully charge our phones. But now, in just 18 minutes or less, there are some phones which can go from 0 – 100%. Pretty cool and sounds convenient, I know. But some people, maybe even you, are concerned that this feature may ruin our phone’s battery in the long run.

Is the fast charging feature actually ruining our battery? Here are some things we know.

n-Watts Charging Revealed

Batteries are like sponges. They absorb the most energy when they have the least in them. And as they get closer to being full, they can not absorb as efficiently as before. It is safe to say that a single charging cycle happens on a curve.

Photo from Hardware Zone

So what about the number of Watts like 65W and such that we see phone companies endorse? Those numbers are not the constant rate of charging. But instead, those are the maximum rate they are capable of. As aforementioned, when batteries have the least in them, they absorb the most. This then reflects the number of watts in terms of charging. A 65W-supported device can only hit the 65W for the early part of the charging cycle. And after reaching a percentage that is near 100%, it then decreases the wattage and just trickle-charge the phone. They do that because, as said before, as they get closer to being full, they are not as efficient as before. Indeed, charging is like a curve.

Batteries degrade over time

Photo from 9to5Mac

Batteries naturally degrade over time, as they go through charging cycles. That is inevitable. The best example for visualization is the iPhone’s Battery Health. It is a feature only available on Apple where they can see the actual percentage of their battery health, with 100 being the highest. Batteries are meant to be consumed and charged again. And its degradation is normal, the more we plug our phones, the more our battery health decreases over time. It is normal.

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Though aside from the natural degradation, heat also ruins our battery. And charging the phone does generate heat, even in the slightest amount. So the more wattage and power we are pumping into the battery, the more heat it is going to generate. But this is handled by companies in various ways. Some of those included are the parallel charging and adding more cooling hardware to the phone itself, among others.

Battery Health: The Industry Standard

The generally accepted target goal of battery health is 80% after 800 charging cycles. So if we plug our phones once a day, it will last for about two years and several months. But with the new super-fast charging features that were just recently adapted by the industry, there is no long-term data yet.

Basically, fast charging does not have to ruin our phone’s battery. We just have to enjoy the feature while it lasted. Like everything else, batteries change over time. We just have to use our phones like normal, and we are all good.

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