Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 tops up thirsty phones faster


— 10:30 AM on November 17, 2016

Qualcomm's just-announced Snapdragon 835 SoC promises all sorts of performance and battery life improvements compared to its predecessors. The new chip also brings the newest version of the company's Quick Charge proprietary charging technology. Qualcomm claims phones supporting Quick Charge 4.0 will be able to extend running time by five hours by spending as little as five minutes on a compatible charger. Furthermore, the company says a phone's battery can be charged from zero to 50% capacity in "about 15 minutes or less."

Five appears to be a key number in this fourth revision of the Quick Charge standard. Besides the aforementioned "5 for 5" capability, the manufacturer says the new charging technology is up to one-fifth (20%) faster and that devices should be up to 5° cooler while juicing up.

The announcement of the Snapdragon 835 and its Quick Charge 4.0 technology comes just days after Google's Android 7.0 Compatibility Definition got strong wording about proprietary charging standards like Qualcomm's Quick Charge or OnePlus' Dash Charge, first introduced in the company's OnePlus 3 handset:

Type-C devices are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to not support proprietary charging methods that modify Vbus voltage beyond default levels, or alter sink/source roles as such may result in interoperability issues with the chargers or devices that support the standard USB Power Delivery methods. While this is called out as "STRONGLY RECOMMENDED", in future Android versions we might REQUIRE all type-C devices to support full interoperability with standard type-C chargers.

Qualcomm's press release about Quick Charge 4.0 appears to specifically address Google's edict with the note:

USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) compliant. By incorporating these technologies, Qualcomm Technologies standardizes the capabilities of Quick Charge 4 adapters, to help ensure that a single accessory supports multiple charging implementations and mobile devices, and that there is consistent performance when faced with the myriad of available charging solutions.

Although the Snapdragon 835 SoC was just announced, it seems its production is well under way. Phones with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 and Quick Charge 4.0 functionality should start appearing on store shelves in the first half of 2017.

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