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Does your battery lose charge over time quicker with Fast Charging?

Charging a phone in minutes instead of hours! Who wouldn’t want that?

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Does your battery lose charge overtime quicker with Fast Charging?

The rise of fast charging

Almost every current flagship phone on the market includes some form of fast charging.

It seems that every few months, a new fastest-charging smartphone is launched. Back in 2007 the first-gen iPhone charged at 5 watts and would take about two and a half hours to charge the phone from 0% to 100%. The Pixel One then debuted in 2016, with quick charging at 18 watts. Soon later, the iPhone 12 series reached the milestone of 20 watts. 

Following that, One Plus outperformed every other smartphone brand with 30 watts for a couple of years. Furthermore, fast charging was shortly followed by 45, 65, and 80 watts. Currently, the new Xiaomi 12 Pro comes with the latest 120 Watt fast charging technology. It takes 17 minutes to charge the full phone from 0% to 100%.

Fast charging is a new addition to the list of desirable characteristics. Thanks to advances in technology, which allow us to charge our devices amid our hectic daily lives. Charging a phone in minutes instead of hours! Who wouldn’t want that?

Smartphone Batteries And How They Are Charged?

Lithium-ion, commonly known as Li-ion batteries, is the most popular type of rechargeable battery found in smartphones and other electronic gadgets because of its high energy density.

They function by having a positive and a negative side, and the lithium ions move from the negative to the positive side through a liquid electrolyte solution. Thus, releasing energy into the circuit as they do so. As a result, the phone’s battery is kept charged. When that flow is finished, the battery has depleted to 0% and is dead. Charging the battery backup involves transporting those ions from the positive to the negative side of the electrolyte solution.

Fast Charging on Different Brands

The charging process of the lithium-ion battery takes place in three separate stages.

Before we begin, you need to be familiar with a simple formula. Wattage, often known as power, is computed by multiplying current (A, or amperes) by voltage (V, or volts). The amount of electric current conveyed is known as current, and the force that drives this current forward is known as voltage.

Constant Current: As voltage approaches its peak, current remains constant at a high level. This is the phase in which a large amount of electricity is rapidly given to the device.

Saturation: In this phase, the voltage reaches its maximum and the current starts to decrease.

Topping/Trickle: The battery is completely charged in this phase. When the battery ultimately reaches its maximum capacity, the voltage stops increasing while the current continues to decrease as the battery reaches its full capacity. 

Let’s Take A Closer Look At What Fast Charging Is And How It Works?

As high voltage can harm Li-ion batteries, manufacturers often rely on high current transfer rates to fast-charge a phone’s battery. Fast charging strives to optimize the usefulness of the constant current flow stage so that the maximum charge may be delivered to the battery before the voltage reaches its highest value.

Dedicated circuits within a smartphone are utilised to limit the voltage and current flow. Standard voltage regulators control voltage without affecting current flow, which is why older phones frequently overheat when charging. These circuits guarantee that the battery’s temperature remains within the allowable limit and that the battery’s health is protected.

Despite the restrictions of Li-ion batteries owing to voltage, chargers that offer high power output support use a mix of high voltage and low current. The circuits within cellphones increase the current and decrease the voltage. Smartphones with high voltage charging use “Buck Converters” to convert a high voltage to a low voltage while boosting the current.

In fast charging, the battery charges swiftly throughout the constant current and saturation stages before slowing down during the topping phase. Taking this into consideration, smartphone makers usually claim of charging 80% of the battery in under 10 minutes. As this is the zone where the quickest charging happens.

Impacts Of Fast Charging on Smartphone Batteries

Fast charging in smartphones is a delicate balancing act. It must ensure that the charging time is convenient for the user and that the gadget is not permanently damaged as a result of frequent fast charging. And to minimise battery damage, manufacturers often use smart charging technologies or methods such as splitting the battery into two halves. However, they also purposefully push the limits of what is healthy for a mobile phone battery.

Despite all of the gimmicks, greater currents put more strain on the batteries. This is because, even if the power is removed when the temperature is too high, the circuits and components of the battery are at their maximum for a limited time. However, the iFixit technician interviewed by Cnet, as well as a technician from the German repair service Kaputt.de, do not see this as a cause to forsake Quick-Charging.

According to the German specialist, Quick-Charging has no discernible effect on the lifespan within the two years that it is intended for. Following that, you may notice a higher reduction in battery health than you would with other usages.

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