Robert Triggs/Android Authority
Fast charging is a complex beast, and it is pushing boundaries with increasing power. Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 5 bundles more than 100W of power, battery and other sensor perception algorithms with backward compatibility of healthy doses to achieve its most powerful and intelligent fast charging standard to date. Importantly, Quick Charge 5 is compatible with the more commonly adopted USB Power Delivery and its PPS variant-which means it is a standard that should cover all modern gadgets.
We have seen a large number of extremely fast charging technologies appear on the market in 2021, although most of them run very hot, which is detrimental to battery life. So, can Quick Charge 5 do better? We have tested the 65W charger that comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Insiders smartphone to see how it compares with the competition’s standards.
Quick Charge 5: charging speed comparison
In order to understand how Quick Charge 5 compares with other standards, I first tested Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Insiders smartphone using various common standards. This is the outline:
- Fast charge 5: 42 minutes to full, 45W maximum, 38.7°C peak
- Fast charge 3: 67 minutes to full, 18W maximum, 34.5°C peak
- USB powered PPS: 51 minutes to full, 35W maximum, 34.2°C peak
- USB power supply: 65 minutes to full, 18W maximum, 32.5°C peak
As you might expect, Quick Charge 5 is much faster than Qualcomm’s older but very popular Quick Charge 3 standard. Compared with the old standard, it provides much more power for mobile phones-about 45 watts and 18 watts. The important thing is that the new standard is not hotter than the old standard, but it will be more in one minute. USB PD PPS is not far from Quick Charge 5, both of which are faster than the more basic USB Power Delivery standard, because the former can convey higher current requirements than the latter’s 3A limit.
It is also interesting that Quick Charge 5 uses USB PD PPS as its underlying communication protocol, but the phone negotiates a higher 17V for 45W power in Quick Charge 5 mode. The current of the USB PD PPS is 9V, but the current is 4A and the power is 35W. Despite this power difference, USB PD PPS is not much slower than Quick Charge 5-it is only 9 minutes, and sometimes even shorter than this. There must be additional proprietary negotiations running on top of the agreement, which means more than basic power negotiations.
Use and temperature sensing charging
Robert Triggs/Android Authority
The most interesting part of Quick Charge 5 is that smartphones that are suitable for implementation by Snapdragon Insiders have usage and temperature sensing capabilities. When charging with Quick Charge 5, as long as the screen is turned off and the temperature remains below about 38°C, the charger can provide up to 45W (16.7V, 2.67A) of power. Once this limit is exceeded or the phone is used while charging, the charger will reduce the power to 18W (15.8V, 1.16A) until the temperature drops to a lower level. Interestingly, once the battery power reaches 85%, the peak power will switch to 15W and a lower voltage (8.7V, 1.77A), and then drop to 5W when it is close to full. This is why it takes a long time to complete charging after reaching 99%.
related: The best mobile phone charging accessories
Temperature and usage-aware charging is obviously very beneficial for battery life, because it keeps the battery below the hot limit of 40°C and close to the less uncomfortable 35°C margin. We have always worried that other very fast charging technologies will cause the battery temperature to far exceed these limits, but the result is that competitors’ technologies charge faster. After the initial rapid burst, the charging power of the Yo-Yo, but in the end most of the time is 30W or less. This average value of charging power is why Quick Charge 5 is not much faster than USB PD PPS, in this example, despite providing a higher maximum power.
One disadvantage of this technique is that it causes slightly different charging power and speed. I fully charge the phone in 42 to 53 minutes, which is closer to the official Qualcomm figure. I found that the system is a bit too sensitive, because just waking up the phone to check the notification is enough to drastically reduce the charging power, and it will take some time to recover. I have drawn three QC5 charging cycles in the figure below to show how this affects the charging time and battery temperature. You can clearly see that the charging time is not smooth as the power is adjusted up and down.
Similar behavior can also be observed with Quick Charge 3.0 and USB Power Delivery, albeit to different degrees. When the screen is turned on, the power of both drops from 18W to 12W. But the standard is slower and colder at the beginning, so this seems unnecessary.
The same behavior is not observed when charging via USB Power Delivery PSS. The power peaks at the lower 35W (8.7V, 4.0A) and decreases as the phone is charged, so there is much less heat at the beginning. The charging temperature only reaches 34.2°C. Interestingly, the power provided by USB PD PPS is almost twice that of Quick Charge 3, but it is the largest at approximately the same temperature.
Quick Charge 5 vs. other charging standards
it’s here Android Authority, We have tested some ultra-fast charging standards and are a little worried that many of them will push the battery temperature above 40°C for a long time. This includes OnePlus’ 65W Warp Charge, Xiaomi’s 120W proprietary technology, and Infinix’s 160W concept phone. Generally speaking, the faster you want to charge your phone, the more power you need to generate more heat.
As can be seen from the above results, Qualcomm’s 65W Quick Charge 5 is obviously cooler than other fast charging technologies, but it takes longer to fully charge the battery, at least 50% of 65W Warp Charge. Although this obviously does not take into account the different battery capacity, so the temperature measurement is more interesting. Compared with the hottest competing products, the maximum and average temperature of Quick Charge 5 is 5°C lower. In addition to temperature-sensing charging capabilities, Quick Charge 5 also uses a new and efficient power management IC that can be used in dual mode to help dissipate heat, but it is not clear whether smartphones suitable for Snapdragon Insiders use this configuration.
65W Warp Charge is faster and hotter than 65W Quick Charge 5.
I also performed mathematical calculations on the average charging speed of these devices per minute to show how fast these technologies perform under similar battery capacities.
- Fast charge 5 65W: 95mAh/min, 38.7°C peak, 34.7°C average
- USB PD PPS 35W: 78mAh/min, 34.2°C peak, 31.7°C average
- OnePlus 65W: 155mAh/min, 43.2°C peak, 39.7°C average
- Millet 120W: 214mAh/min, peak value 43.8°C, average 39.2°C
- Infineon 160W: 363mAh/min, 41.9°C peak, 37.9°C average
One caveat of this fast math is that battery composition has an impact on current handling and peak temperature and discharge characteristics. For example, the expensive 8C battery in the Infinix concept phone helps it produce fast charging speeds at a slightly lower temperature than the competition.
Even so, no matter the size of the mobile phone battery, Quick Charge 5 is slower, and so is USB Power Delivery. However, the average operating temperature of these two standards is much lower than the fast proprietary technology we have tested, which will ensure longer peak battery performance. When it comes down to a difference in charging time of only a few minutes, it is better to make a mistake on the colder battery side.
Fast charge 5: verdict
Robert Triggs/Android Authority
Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 5 is by far the fastest Quick Charge implementation, but compared to other ultra-fast charging technologies entering the market, it is still a more conservative standard-although this is not necessarily a bad thing. It enhances the USB Power Delivery PPS standard and has the potential for faster charging speeds, at least in the smartphones that I have tested for Snapdragon Insiders. More importantly, the temperature and usage sensing function can ensure that the battery stays below 40°C during fast charging, which is an important sign that other standards are eager to ignore when pursuing faster charging times.
Quick Charge 5 is fast and cool-exactly what you want for fast charging.
Today’s test really sums up the crossroads of the current fast charging market. On the one hand, the brand is pursuing faster charging times through ultra-high power solutions. But to do this safely requires expensive batteries and circuit components, more powerful chargers, and proprietary standards that are frequently used. Even the best standards are beyond the limits of ideal battery temperature. On the other hand are slower but more versatile standards, such as USB Power Delivery. Their versatility prevents them from using the latest and greatest solutions for fast charging, but they are very safe and operate at lower temperatures than competitors.
Quick Charge 5 is somewhere in between, retaining compatibility with popular standards, while adding additional features to its partners to achieve lower temperatures and/or faster speeds. So, is Quick Charge 5 easy to use? Absolutely. In fact, it is currently one of the better fast charging standards in mobile phones.