Fast charging has come on leaps and bounds in the past couple of years, as 30W, 40W, 50W, and even 65W solutions are touted by manufacturers around the world.
Most of these fast charging solutions are proprietary technologies, as the phones often revert to slower charging methods when using third-party cables and chargers. Nevertheless, many manufacturers are offering the fastest charger in the packaging too, so youâ€™re guaranteed to get the fastest charging speeds out of the box.
So with that in mind, we took a look at the fastest charging phones out there and put them through our own extensive battery testing to see which devices actually live up to the hype. Weâ€™ll also be looking at the fastest in terms of charging speed and the fastest to hit 100% capacity.
These are the fastest charging phones you can buy today.
Editorâ€™s note: In order to determine the fastest possible charging speeds, weâ€™re testing these phones with adaptive charging disabled where possible. Weâ€™ll update this list periodically when phones with new fast charging tech hit the market.
The fastest charging phones of 2020
When it comes to smartphones released in 2020, itâ€™s clear that the Realme X50 Pro 5G and its 65W charging solution is tops. Of course, battery size has a big part to play but the X50 Proâ€™s cell is virtually the same size as the Oppo Find X2 Proâ€˜s battery, and theyâ€™re both using 65W charging. Our Find X2 Pro testing shows the phone took 10 minutes to go from 99% to full capacity, suggesting trickle charging (although we couldnâ€™t find a toggle to disable this).
Xiaomiâ€™s Mi 10 Pro is in third place, packing 50W wired charging for its 4,500mAh battery. Itâ€™s also worth noting that the phone packs 30W fast wireless charging, so you donâ€™t necessarily need a cable if you want decent speeds.
Arguably the most impressive performer based on battery size is the Galaxy S20 Ultra, as Samsungâ€™s phone packs a 5,000mAh battery. Our testing found that using the included 25W charger (rather than the optional 45W accessory) delivered top-ups in roughly an hour. So thereâ€™s definitely time to shave here.
Past 18 months
When we take the latter half of 2019 into account as well, we can quickly see that phones by BBK-affiliated companies dominate the list. Itâ€™s also interesting to see that the fastest charging phone tops out at 50W versus 65W speeds on the second, third, and fourth-placed devices.
Only three out of the top 10 fastest charging phones are made by a brand that isnâ€™t related to BBK, namely the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, Xiaomi Mi 9, and Galaxy S20 Ultra. Speaking of the Mi 9, it doesnâ€™t exactly pack the fastest charging in terms of pure wattage (27W), but the small, 3,300mAh battery means it doesnâ€™t take long to top it up.
This chart also seems to illustrate just how little progress Huawei has been making on the wired charging front. The firm made a big splash back in late 2018 with the Mate 20 Pro and its 40W charging speed. But it doesnâ€™t seem like theyâ€™ve made major strides since then, being content to stick to the current standard. Still, a charging time of just over an hour is pretty speedy anyway.
Where to next for fast charging?
Fast charging has become a key feature on many phones today, especially as flagship devices offer bigger batteries in the 5G era. So weâ€™re expecting Android OEMs to continue offering faster charging speeds. In fact, weâ€™re in for major upgrades later this year â€” Oppo, Vivoâ€™s Iqoo, and Realme have all confirmed plans to launch 120W to 125W fast charging.
Weâ€™re also hoping to see more companies adopt the full USB-PD standards for fast charging, as one of the biggest problems with the fastest charging solutions is that theyâ€™re proprietary. Adopting industry standards not only ensures compatibility with different devices and chargers, but should also reduce waste. Thankfully, Oppo and Realme confirmed that their solutions will support USB-PD and Qualcomm Quick Charge.
See also: USB-C is a mess
A Xiaomi executive previously explained that 100W+ charging still represents a technical challenge in some ways, pointing to battery health as one issue. Oppo also told Android Authority that its charging tech degrades a phoneâ€™s battery to 80% capacity after 800 cycles, representing roughly two to three years. Meanwhile, the firmâ€™s 65W charging used on the Oppo Ace 2 reportedly degrades to 90% after 800 cycles. This suggests that you might want to wait for second-generation tech and beyond before splashing out on a phone with 100W+ charging.
Fast charging tech has generally been restricted to flagship phones and some upper mid-range devices then, but weâ€™ve also seen mid-range phones like the Huawei P40 Lite and Poco M2 Pro offering 40W and 33W charging respectively. So we definitely expect more budget devices to get fast charging, especially as 5G comes to ever cheaper phones.
2020 will see arguably the biggest leap in fast charging technology in years.
Another area where weâ€™ve seen major strides has been wireless charging, as Oppo just announced 65W wireless top-ups. Huawei, OnePlus, and Xiaomi also tout 30W to 40W wireless charging on certain devices, serving as more evidence of pad-based charging gaining improvements.
Either way, we expect fast charging in general to become increasingly important in the age of bigger batteries. After all, who wants to wait two hours for their phone to hit 100%?
Looking for more coverage of battery tech on Android Authority? Weâ€™ve got you covered with a few picks below.