We’ve all had that moment when we turn on a faucet and get splashed because water rushes out a little too quickly.
In our metaphor, when users charge a phone, it’s a lot like turning on a faucet. Water flows from the tap to the sink. With phones, electricity flows from the charger to the battery.
Quick Charge technology charges phones faster by changing the rate that electricity flows into the battery. It doesn’t work with every phone – just those with Qualcomm’s proprietary Snapdragon chipset.
According to Qualcomm, Quick Charge 2.0 can charge a phone’s battery to 63 percent in 30 minutes. In just 35 minutes, Quick Charge 3.0 will get you to 80 percent.
The newest version clearly charges faster, but do you need it?
The real advantage of Quick Charge 3.0 brings us back to our kitchen sink metaphor.
You’ve probably noticed that your phone sometimes gets warm when you charge it. That’s because some energy leaks out during charging and converts to heat, much like water splashing up from a sink when it comes out of the faucet too fast.
Batteries pull less energy as they get closer to full charge. Quick Charge 2.0 charges at 5 volts, 9 volts, and 12 volts, depending on the phone and the chipset. As the battery gets fuller, the Quick Charge system steps down the voltage to appropriate levels, but there’s going to be some energy leaking out. It’s kind of like having a faucet that discharges water at three speeds, and only three speeds.
Quick Charge 3.0, on the other hand, features dynamic charging that matches the voltage to the demand in 200 mV increments. That allows it to be much more efficient – 38 percent more efficient than Quick Charge 2.0, to be exact. That means less leakage, less splashing, and less heat. It’s as if the faucet was turned to the correct rate every time. This is especially important to phone designers, because more phones will surely adopt 3.0.
So, as a consumer, do you need Quick Charge 3.0 vs 2.0? That’s up to you. The list of Quick Charge 3.0 compatible phones is growing, and includes the LG G5, as well as phones from HTC and Xiaomi. It charges faster, but not significantly so. In fact, with some Quick Charge 3.0 phones, the difference is only one minute. It will make your phone feel less warm while charging, and of course, it’s the latest and greatest. If these are important criteria for you, then go for it.