Last updated on September 1st, 2020 at 10:44 am
Almost every smartphone has fast charging capabilities. But, what does that mean for your smartphone battery?
Before fast charging, there was normal charging or what others will call slow charging.
What advantages does fast charging bring to the smartphone user? Fast charging is definitely not normal charging.
And that means your battery is going to be affected. Here’s what you need to know about fast charging vs normal charging.
Difference Between Fast Charging And Normal Charging
Fast charging is normal or slow charging on steroids or red bull. Normal charging uses a certain amount of voltage to charge your battery.
The voltage is great enough to allow constant electricity to flow into your battery. Fast charging uses more than the required amount to charge your battery.
For example, if a normal charger uses 3V to charge your phone. A fast charger is going to output more than 3V which results in more electricity flowing into your battery. And the battery being charged at a faster rate.
For fast charging to work your phone or device must support fast charging. Connecting a fast charger to a phone that doesn’t support fast charge is not going to charge it fast.
To put it simply, fast charging pumps more electricity than normal to charge your phone. Normal charging just pumps the required amount of electricity to charge your phone. That’s the difference between fast charging and normal charging.
Fast charging becomes similar to normal charging when the charging reaches the later stages.
In the later stages, the voltage or current drops and achieves a constant value. Your device then charges slowly until it reaches full capacity.
You can verify this yourself. If you use a device with fast charging capabilities. You will notice that getting it to 60 or 80 per cent doesn’t take a lot of time. But getting it to 100 per cent takes quite some time.
That’s the charger achieving its constant voltage. It serves as a safety mechanism. Too much current and your battery will get damaged.
Does Fast Charging Affect or Reduce Battery Life?
Fast charging itself doesn’t affect battery life. But, it is the heat produced during fast charging that affects battery life. When the heat becomes too much the battery will slowly get damaged over time.
Fortunately, current smartphones have safety mechanisms in place to protect the battery. The mechanism works in such a way when the upper limit of appreciable temperature is reached.
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The voltage or current during the fast charging process is reduced. This results in a drop in temperature.
So the answer is yes. But even with the safety mechanisms, your battery will run hot during a fast charge session.
This will over time will slowly affect your battery life. Also, frequently charging your phone, completely discharging your phone regularly and old age will reduce battery life. It’s the heat generated from fast charging that damages, reduces and affects battery life.
Advantages Of Fast Charging
Less Time Charging
This is a great benefit to have. Being able to charge your phone battery to more than 50 per cent in 30 mins or less is beneficial.
In a fast-paced world, every second count. Smartphone batteries also have larger capacities. Charging them the normal way is going to take quite some time.
Even if the smartphone device has been switched off. Since you spend less time charging you will evidently free up some of your time. And pursue more important goals.
Better Hardware and Software Mechanisms
Because fast charging produces a lot of heat in a short time. Smartphone manufacturers have put mechanisms in place to protect the smartphone.
The mechanisms reduce the amount of current or voltage when a high temperature has been reached. Also, when your smartphone battery reaches a certain percentage fast charging becomes slow charging.
This prevents overheating, swelling of your battery and internal damage to your smartphone. You can even disable fast-charging capabilities in your smartphone.
Prolongs Smartphone Use
Because smartphones have higher battery capacities and support fast charging. You are able to get more time out of your smartphone use. Less time spent charging results in more time savings.
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It even becomes more important when you doing something important on your phone. With fast charging when your smartphone battery runs low.
Plugging it in for about 10 – 15 minutes will give you enough juice to finish the task or for the rest of the day if you are not a heavy user.
Disadvantages Of Fast Charging
Not Every Smartphone Supports Fast Charging
Even though fast charging is a great thing. Not all smartphones support it. In addition to that, some smartphones require their own charger for fast charging to be activated.
This leads to compatibility issues. A fast charger from Samsung will not necessarily activate fast charging in Oneplus smartphones.
And so to truly enjoy fast charging capabilities. You must use the charger and cable that came with your smartphone device.
Slowly Damages Your Smartphone Battery
Yes, even with hardware and software mechanisms in place. Because heat is always going to accompany fast charging. This heat although not damaging will overtime reduce your battery life.
This is because while charging your smartphone your battery will be quite hot. Constant exposure to this heat will add up and slowly damage your phone battery.
It doesn’t need to be exposed to high temperatures before it will get damaged. Sometimes being subjected to temperatures slightly above the norm constantly is enough to cause damage.
You Unconsciously Shorten Your Battery Lifespan
As an owner of a smartphone that supports fast charging. My smartphone comes under heavy usage quite a lot.
It’s because I know that I can get my battery to 80 per cent in 40 minutes or less.
Every lithium-ion battery has a number of charge and discharge cycles before it becomes useless.
This quickly eats through my lithium battery cycles because I am charging it frequently. This then reduces my battery lifespan. If I had been using it and charging it normally. My battery would have lasted longer.
Advantages Of Normal Or Slow Charging
Your Battery Lasts Longer
Charging your phone normally doesn’t cause any heat. As mentioned earlier, fast charging produces heat which slowly destroys your battery over time.
For normal charging, it’s the opposite. Since little to no heat is produced, your battery will remain healthy including the lithium ions that hold the charge.
You are Conscious On How You Use Your Smartphone
Because you know charging your smartphone normally is going to take some time. You don’t subject the smartphone to heavy use.
Especially in the case of high capacity batteries. Without the use of fast charging, you going to wait a long time for it to reach full capacity.
This allows you to go through the lithium-ion battery’s charge and discharge cycle at a normal rate. This makes the battery lasts longer.
Disadvantages Of Normal Charging
Takes Forever To Charge
The larger the capacity of your battery the more time is going to take for it to charge. And it’s going to take longer if you use your phone whiles charging.
You become conscious of how to use your phone. Because you don’t want to run out of battery power anytime soon.
How To Disable Fast Charging
OK, so you have read the advantages and disadvantages of fast charging. And you think you prefer normal charging. Here’s how to disable fast charging.
- Go To Settings
- Look for Battery under Others
- Once in Battery, you can disable the Quick Charge or Fast Charge option. This then allows you to charge your phone normally.
Fast Charging Vs Normal Charging, Which Is Better For Battery Life?
Fast charging carries a lot of benefits but that does not mean they have their disadvantages. Fast charging is more of luxury you can’t do away with. Because of the time savings, it brings with.
You are able to quickly get your battery power to 80 per cent in less than 40 minutes. And even though your battery deteriorates. It happens at a slow rate for you to notice.
It is a nice benefit to have especially if your smartphone has a large battery capacity. The only time normal charging becomes better than fast charging is when you plan to use your smartphone for a long time.
Smartphones today have non-removable batteries and so replacing them is another problem on its own.
So if you plan on long term use better to disable the fast charge option. You will get more time out of your phone battery. But at the cost of waiting a bit longer to charge it to full capacity.