How to Charge Your Cellphone Faster
Whatever type of phone you carry, there’s one one thing smartphone owners can agree on: we’d like the batteries to stay charged longer. And since we rely on our smartphones for so much — from keeping in touch with family to navigating around town — a dead battery can be quite a hassle.
Fortunately, a few minutes of charge time can deliver a lot of power, as many smartphones support speedy charging standards with names like Quick Charge, Fast Charge or Turbo Charge. If your phone supports one of these standards, you can cut your charge time significantly. Even if your phone doesn’t have that capability, the right accessories may shorten your charging time.
Here’s what you need to know to give your phone a boost when you don’t have a ton of time.
Chargers With More Amps Offer More Power
Not all phone chargers are the same. Each one produces a specific amount of power (amps) at a specific speed (volts). A charger with higher amperage and voltage delivers power to your phone more quickly. The cable matters, too. USB 2.0 cables can carry 0.5 amps while USB 3.0 cables can carry 0.9 amps. Using an older USB cable may slow down your charging speed. Typically, if you see a piece of blue plastic inside the end of your USB cable, it is USB 3.0.
Ideally, you want to find a charger that supports the maximum amperage and voltage your smartphone can handle, as noted by the manufacturer in the user manual. If your phone’s power adapter doesn’t meet that mark, check to see what else you have at home: sometimes a tablet power adapter is perfect. Just check the amps and volts listed on the adapter itself. As long as your phone supports it, those extra amps mean a faster charge.
Please note, however, that there may be issues with power surges if you use a charger that’s not well made. To avoid this issue, use an MFi certified cable for an iPhone, and, for an Android phone, use a cable or charger from the manufacturer or a reputable brand.
Phones With Fast Charging Tech
Quick charging isn’t as simple as buying a charger with the most amps, though. Your smartphone has to support quick charging, too. According to XDA Developers, charging speeds range from 46.57 milliampere hours per minute (mAh/min) to 21.73 mAh/min. Depending on your charger, a phone with a 3,000 mAh battery would typically take from just over an hour to just over two hours to quick charge, while standard charging would typically take around three hours.
Typically, quick charging means pushing a lot of power until the battery is about half full, then slowing down to help prevent overheating. So even if a phone takes two hours to charge to full, a lot of that power comes through in the first few minutes. There are even smartphones that can gain five hours of run time with just five minutes of charge time, which is perfect for when your phone needs a quick top-off.
With so many quick charging standards, the first step to faster charging is to check the manufacturer’s specifications. Manufacturers typically specify amps and volts and direct you to the charger and cable you need for quick charging. Often smartphones that advertise their quick charging capabilities aren’t packaged with chargers that are capable of it — so even if quick charge is listed on the packaging, check the requirements and buy a new charger if you need one.
What About Wireless Charging?
While wireless charging may be tremendously convenient, it’s not tremendously fast. Like wired charging, different wireless chargers will charge at different speeds — and also like wired charging, there’s wireless quick charging. You’ll see that listed as amps and volts. The higher the number, the quicker the charge, as long as your phone supports it. If you’re comparing wired quick charging to wireless quick charging, though, wired typically wins.
Help Your Smartphone Zoom Towards a Full Battery
Beyond using a charger that supports as much power as your phone can handle, try these tips to help maximize your charging time:
- Turn off your phone. While your phone is on, it’s using power to stay connected to networks, send you notifications, and do everything else a phone does — and that means burning battery power. Speed things up by turning off your phone to stop battery drain.
- If you can’t turn your phone off entirely, turn on airplane mode, low power mode, or at least leave your phone alone so you aren’t using more power than necessary.
- Plug your phone into the wall outlet instead of your computer. A wall outlet or car outlet will provide more power than most computers’ USB ports, unless your computer has a USB 3.0 port that supports quick charging. (Consult your computer manual to find out why type of USB port it has.)
While a phone battery losing its charge may make you anxious, getting it charged again doesn’t have to be a big deal. Knowing how to make the charging process efficient and having the appropriate technology on hand can help you get the battery back to full power quickly.