In today’s hectic and fast-paced world, being able to charge your phone quickly can mean the difference between missing that important business call and securing the win for your company. It also means the difference between having a dead phone that is of no use to you and scrambling to the nearest coffee shop or fast-food restaurant in a bid to find an open power outlet. This has caused an upsurge in the desire to have fast charging, a popular feature that enables the user to charge their phone in a fraction of the time that it would normally take. In this article, we will take a look at what fast charging is, how to identify a cable that has it, and how it works.
What Is Fast Charging Exactly?
This is a term used by manufacturers on both smartphone devices and cables or chargers, that describes their ability to charge faster than the current standard wattage (5W). The basic premise behind what fast charging is, is that a cable with the fast charging technology can deliver more watts to your smartphone’s rechargeable battery in less time than standard cables. There are multiple types of technologies that enable this feature, but there is no industry standard around them, which makes it hard to identify whether you have a fast charging device or cable. Before we jump into how to identify a fast charging cable, let’s take a look at the technology behind the fast charging feature.
How Does Fast Charging Work?
When you charge a smartphone or other device, it requires three basic components. You need an amperage, a voltage, and watts which is the amount of energy that your device receives. Amperage is the electrical current that flows from your battery, through your cable, and into your device. The voltage is the strength or speed at which the current flows, and the wattage, is simply the amperage multiplied by the voltage. To give an easy to understand analogy of this, we will use a hose. The amperage or current is your hose’s width, the voltage is how much water pressure can be pushed through, and the wattage is how much water actually comes through the hose.
A fast charging cable has two phases associated with it, the first being a higher voltage rate to increase how quickly the phone charges, and a second phase that decreases the voltage once the battery has received the majority of its charge. The second phase prevents your phone from overheating and becoming damaged.
How to Identify a Fast Charging Cable?
- Take a look at the cable branding, label, and product description. Manufacturers will label their cables as “fast charging” or charges “fast” if it has the fast charging feature.
- Check to see if the cable carries a larger current. A fast charging cable will generally carry a current that is either 2A or 3A. For instance, the Mila Lifestyle Accessories Type-C cable comes with 3A fast charging.
- Shy away from extremely thin cables, as fast charging cables generally have thicker wires in them. While this isn’t the most effective way to identify whether or not the cable is fast charging, it is something you can look for.
- Look for a Quick Charge logo on the original packaging of the cable.
- Finally, make sure that you are buying your fast charging cables from a reputable and certified retailer. Companies that sell MFI certified cables and Type-C cables will generally have the majority of their cables with the fast charging feature.
When you go to use your cable, check to make sure that there is a small lightning symbol next to the battery or when your smartphone is locked, see if it states that it is fast charging on the lock screen. Please note that some smartphones will require you to enable fast cable charging in your advanced settings under the battery menu.