October 3, 2016

What charges your phone faster: Quick Charge or Rapid Charge?

By Team Ventev Topic:

With so many new charging specs in the market, it can feel like a research project to find the mobile accessory that’ll power you up the fastest – and “ain’t nobody got time for that.” So to help, here’s a straightforward explanation of the differences among the top two contenders for fastest battery refill: Quick Charge and Rapid Charge.

Take a look at the text and table below to find the perfect charger to pair with your device.

Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0: Android’s best friend

Think back to Physics 101. You learned Current (amps) x Voltage (volts) = Power (watts). To increase watts and get more power, you need to increase either current (amps) or volts.

The wire used in most USB cables is rated to about 2 to 3 amps. Most devices with a Micro B connector charge at 1.8 amps or less.

Even though the batteries in our devices are getting larger, we still want to decrease our charging times. For the past couple years, the only way we’ve been able to do this is by increasing the charging current.

So after manufacturers hit the maximum charging current for a wire, Qualcomm figured out how to bump up the voltage on a charging cable and then decrease the voltage once the energy is inside the phone (a phone’s battery can only accept a certain voltage to charge it.)

Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 hikes up voltage from a typical 5 volts to 9 volts during a charging cycle. Keeping the current at 1.67 amps gets you 15 watts of power. Qualcomm translates that to 75 percent faster charging. In a Qualcomm lab test, a Quick Charge device went from 0 to 60 percent in 30 minutes, while a conventionally charged (5 volts, 1 amp) device could only go from 0 to 12 percent in the same amount of time.

This method squeezes more power out of your old cable. But this is only possible when the Quick Charge chipset is embedded and active in both phone and charger. And that’s currently only available in some Android devices. (Qualcomm maintains a list of Quick Charge devices on its website.)

Ventev Rapid Charge: Plays nicely with everyone

Keeping our science lesson in mind, Ventev designed our circuit to charge at the highest current that various phones could accept. It will allow for faster charging for phones that don’t have the Quick Charge chipset.

Our Rapid Charge wires are rated to handle the 2.1A max for Micro USB cables and the 2.4A max for lightning cables. When paired with a typical 5 volt charger, that gets you a 10-12 watt charge – almost the same wattage as Quick Charge, but you’re getting there a different way.

Originally, we started making Rapid Charge wallports to power iPads, which came with chargers rated at 2.1 amps even though the device could accept a little more. But soon after, we realized that Rapid Charge could be used with more devices to give our customers a better charging experience. That proved to be a smart move, as more products have since come out with charging capability above what their standard in-box charger can provide (like the iPhone 6 Plus).

When connected to phones and tablets capable of charging over 1.5 amps (including iPad, iPhone 6 Plus, and others), Rapid Charge gets you a 20-30 percent faster charge than the typical accessory.

Can Quick Charge and Rapid Charge work together?

Kind of. When you connect a Rapid Charge charger to a phone with a Quick Charge chipset, you’ll get more power (via increased current) than with a standard Micro USB charger – the 10-12 watts we described earlier.

To increase voltage via the Quick Charge chipset, you’ll still need a Quick Charge charger. Without it, the “fast charging” alert on the phone won’t appear, since there’s no increased voltage.

  Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0
Samsung Fast Charge
Motorola Turbo Charge
Rapid Charge
Rapid Charge
Voltage 5, 9, 12 variable rate 5 volts
Power 15 watts 10-12 watts
Port Micro USB Micro USB or Lightning
OEM Compatibility Android Android, Apple
Requirements Snapdragon or Proprietary Chipset None
Optimal Ventev Chargers usb charginghub rq600
wallport q1200
dashport rq1240 mini
wall charginghub 200
usb charginghub 400
usb charginghub rq600
desktop charginghub s500
wallport r2240
wallport r1240
dashport r2400c
dashport r2340c
dashport r2240
dashport r1240 mini
dashport rq1240 mini
powercell 10000+
powercell 6000+
powercell 6000c
powercell 6000

Up until this point, charging schemes have been clear. But now manufacturers are getting creative with how they improve charging speeds.

There are lots of rumors about new phones coming to the market – some with USB Type C, some with Quick Charge, and some that might blur the lines between charging functions. So we have to wait and see how things play out. We’ll keep you updated on how this information evolves.

For now, your best bet is to buy a Quick Charge charger if your phone has the chipset. For any other devices (phablets, phones, and tablets) that can accept more than a 1 amp charge, you’ll get more bang for your buck out of a Rapid Charge charger. And Ventev makes that easy for you to find – the Rapid Charge logo is right on the packaging.

*Editor’s note: This blog post applies to the U.S. only. There are few Chinese domestic manufacturers with products that contain multiple charging functions, but they are not available in the U.S.

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