Guide to Qual­comm’s Quick Charge 3.0

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Quick Charge 3.0 is the lat­est re­vi­sion to Qual­comm’s fast-charg­ing tech­nol­ogy, and it fea­tures in new flag­ship phones and tablets launch­ing at this year’s MWC 2016, such as the LG G5 and Xiaomi Mi 5.

It has come on sig­nif­i­cantly over the years. The ini­tial stan­dard, Quick Charge 1.0, could charge up to 40 per­cent faster than a stan­dard

charge. When Quick Charge 2.0 was in­tro­duced it of­fered up to 75 per­cent faster charg­ing (you can see a list of com­pat­i­ble devices at tinyurl.com/ n64pua4), and it wasn’t long be­fore we be­gan to see com­pat­i­ble ac­ces­sories such as the Tron­s­mart Ti­tan desk­top charger and USB Rapid Car Charger and Anker Pow­erCore+ 20100 USB power bank come on to the mar­ket.

Such devices were able to speed up charg­ing enough to make a real dif­fer­ence, with less time spent wait­ing for a phone or tablet to charge be­fore you could walk out the door.

Qual­comm’s lat­est re­vi­sion, Quick Charge 3.0, can charge com­pat­i­ble devices up to four times faster than a con­ven­tional charger. It uses In­tel­li­gent Ne­go­ti­a­tion for Op­ti­mum Volt­age (INOV), which en­ables op­ti­mum power trans­fer while max­imis­ing ef­fi­ciency by al­low­ing a de­vice to de­ter­mine what power level to re­quest at any point in time. Once it has cal­cu­lated the op­ti­mum volt­age level to sup­ply to a de­vice, Quick Charge 3.0 can sup­port any­thing be­tween 3.6- to 20V in 200mV in­cre­ments.

Devices

The first devices to in­clude sup­port for Quick Charge 3.0 are the LG G5 (page 21), HTC One A9, LeTV Le MAX Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 5 (page 34).

A Sam­sung spokesper­son at MWC told An­droid Ad­vi­sor that the com­pany re­gards Quick Charge 2.0 as fast enough, and finds there isn’t enough value in it go­ing for Quick Charge 3.0 right now. It had the same ar­gu­ment with USB-C (the new S7 handsets use Mi­cro-USB), stat­ing that peo­ple gen­er­ally don’t have USB-C ac­ces­sories just yet.

Prod­ucts and ac­ces­sories

Al­though you won’t have a Quick Charge 3.0-com­pat­i­ble phone or tablet just yet (it will be sup­ported by var­i­ous devices run­ning the Snap­dragon 820, 620, 618, 617 and 430 pro­ces­sors), the stan­dard is back­ward-com­pat­i­ble with Quick Charge 1.0 and 2.0. If you’re look­ing to buy a new charg­ing ac­ces­sory, it makes sense to fu­ture-proof your pur­chase by opt­ing for a Quick Charge 3.0-com­pat­i­ble prod­uct.

Anker is one of the best-known USB charg­ing brands, and it al­ready has a cou­ple of Quick Charge 3.0-com­pat­i­ble prod­ucts on the mar­ket. It told An­droid Ad­vi­sor: “Rather than a lim­ited “ear­lier adopters only” first year, Anker ex­pects in­dus­try lead­ers to ag­gres­sively push QC 3.0 such that it will be the stan­dard quick-charg­ing tech­nol­ogy for mo­bile devices by the end of 2016.

“As the lead­ing USB charg­ing brand we’re meet­ing what will be a huge de­mand for QC 3.0 charg­ing prod­ucts by in­te­grat­ing this new tech­nol­ogy into af­ford­able, prac­ti­cal, high qual­ity prod­ucts - some­thing that has be­come syn­ony­mous with the Anker brand. We’re cov­er­ing the three an­gles of charg­ing – car-, wall- and mo­bile charg­ers – with a di­verse se­ries of prod­ucts de­signed to meet the di­verse needs of con­sumers.”

The Anker Pow­erPort+ 1 (pic­tured on page 83) is a compact (56x53x28mm, 70g) Quick Charge 3.0 wall plug that’s ideal for charg­ing a sin­gle phone or tablet from the mains – Anker says it will charge a com­pat­i­ble de­vice to 80 per­cent ca­pac­ity in just 35 min­utes. As well as QC 3.0 it sup­ports Pow­erIQ, of­fer­ing the fastest pos­si­ble charg­ing speed for any plugged in de­vice, and can of­fer a stan­dard 1A charge to non-Quick Charge devices, such as iPhones. We were sent a US two-pin ver­sion of the plug, al­though a three-pin UK plug is also avail­able. You can buy the Anker Pow­erPort+ 1 (A2010) from Ama­zon for £10 (tinyurl.com/zpaz7cj), with im­proved out­put is com­ing soon.

Anker also sells the Pow­erDrive+ 1, which is cur­rently one of the fastest in-car charg­ers you’ll get your hands on. It’s good-look­ing in black with a red trim and un­ob­tru­sive, just 48x36x71mm and 60g. The Pow­erDrive+ 1 has a sin­gle USB port for charg­ing your mo­bile de­vice, but you’ll need to sup­ply your own ca­ble. Quick Charge 3.0 will work with USB Type-A, USB mi­cro, USB Type-C and pro­pri­etary con­nec­tors – it’s the de­vice it­self that must be sup­ported. You can buy the Anker Pow­erDrive+ 1 for £10 from Ama­zon UK (tinyurl.com/zp9t­b7a).

Tron­s­mart is an­other big name in the charg­ing world and has also been touch with An­droid Ad­vi­sor to draw our at­ten­tion to some of its first Quick Charge 3.0-com­pat­i­ble ac­ces­sories.

The Tron­s­mart C3PTA (pic­tured) is a three-port car charger with one port com­pat­i­ble with QC 3.0 and an ad­di­tional pair of fast-charg­ing ports that op­er­ate at 5V/2.4A (12W). Th­ese also use VoltIQ tech­nol­ogy, which is in­tended to recog­nise your

de­vice type and de­liver the op­ti­mum amount of power. With 42W of avail­able power, the Tron­s­mart C3PTA can si­mul­ta­ne­ously sup­port all three USB ports at max speed. It’s avail­able from Ama­zon for £13.99 (tinyurl.com/z4dwtzr).

If you have just the one de­vice to top up on the move, the Tron­s­mart CC1T is a much more compact de­vice with just a sin­gle QC 3.0 USB out­put. It’s just two-thirds of the price as well – £8.99 from Ama­zon (tinyurl.com/zalb­hck).

The Tron­s­mart C2PTU car charger has a sin­gle QC 3.0 USB port that can out­put 18W, plus a 5V/3A (15W) USB-C con­nec­tion that’s ideal for fast-charg­ing the likes of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. You can pick up the C2PTU from Ama­zon for £11.99 (tinyurl.com/zd3scs7).

If you have a USB-C phone or tablet that also sup­ports Quick Charge 3.0, such as the LG G5,

in­stead look to the Tron­s­mart C2PTE. It looks al­most iden­ti­cal to the C2PTU, but this time it’s the USB-C port that sup­ports QC 3.0, while the stan­dard USB out­put uses VoltIQ tech to out­put the op­ti­mum amount of power up to 5V/3A (15W). It’s just a bit more ex­pen­sive, at £12.99 from Ama­zon (tinyurl.com/zeve33q).

Some­thing we love is a good power bank, so we’re re­ally pleased to find this fu­ture-proof RAVPower Turbo+ 20100mAH Ex­ter­nal Bat­tery Pack/Mo­bile Charger, which has sup­port for both Quick Charge 3.0 and USB-C. It’s also huge in ca­pac­ity, at 20100mAh. The RAVPower is cur­rently on sale at Ama­zon in the US for $65.99 and will be com­ing to Ama­zon UK soon.

Aukey is an­other well-known brand for its af­ford­able charg­ing ac­ces­sories. Its CC-T7 Quick Charge 3.0 Dual Port USB Car Charger is a strong ri­val to the Tron­s­mart and Anker ver­sions above, here of­fer­ing two su­per-fast USB out­puts (one Quick Charge 3.0 and the other rated at 5V/3A or 15W). It’s compact, well made, and comes at a great price. You can buy the Aukey QC 3.0 car charger from Ama­zon for just £8.99 (tinyurl.com/go­sur88).

Also from Aukey is this speedy USB mains charger for your phone or tablet with a UK three­pin plug. The Aukey USB Turbo Charger PA-T9 will sit un­ob­tru­sively in any room of the house, and is a great buy if you have (or are buy­ing) a QC 3.0-com­pat­i­ble phone or tablet. The Mains adap­tor pric­ing matches that of the com­pany’s car charger, mean­ing for a score you can get su­per-fast charg­ing wher­ever you are. The Aukey costs £11.99 from Ama­zon (tinyurl.com/zn8dmfa). Marie Brewis

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