China’s Oppo announces a smartphone battery that fully charges in 15 minutes

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo has announced that its latest technology, due to hit handsets this year, will fully charge a phone in 15 minutes.

The company’s Voltage Open Loop Multi-step Constant-Current Charging – what it calls VOOC – technology, which launched in 2014, mirrored technology from Qualcomm and others that allowed smartphones to charge up to 80% in under an hour.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Oppo announced its new Super VOOC would charge a 2,500 milliampere-hour (mAh) battery within 15 minutes using a low-voltage pulse-charge system, operating at 5 volts (V), which the company claims maintains a lower battery temperature than competing higher-voltage systems.

Qualcomm’s latest version of its Quick Charge technology, used in the majority of fast-charging smartphones available in the UK, can charge a smartphone with a 2,750 mAh battery to 80% in 35 minutes using up to 12V, according to the company.

For comparison, an iPhone 6S has a battery with a capacity of 1,715 mAh, an iPhone 6S Plus 2,750 mAh, a Samsung Galaxy S6 2,550 mAh and the new Galaxy S7 3,000 mAh.

Oppo, which sold 50m smartphones in 2015 and also operates the OnePlus brand, is one of the larger Chinese smartphone manufacturers behind Huawei and Xiaomi.

It says that its technology is safer and better for battery longevity because it maintains the voltage at 5V and dynamically adjusts the current to keep the fastest possible charging rate while not damaging the battery.

Three different fast-charging standards

The difference between Qualcomm’s Quick Charge and Oppo’s VOOC Flash Charge is that the circuitry to enable the faster charging is stored with the phone for Qualcomm’s system, and within the charger for Oppo’s system. Having the fast-charge circuits within the phone introduces heat into the handset, but also means that the technology is not reliant on one wall charger.

Oppo’s system moves a source of heat, which is hazardous to battery health and causes phones to heat up during charging, to the wall.

Quick-charging technology has recently diversified with the introduction of USB-C, which has its own higher-voltage charging standard not linked to either Qualcomm or Oppo’s systems. Any device using the USB-C specification can use the rapid charging feature without having to have special chips from Qualcomm or Oppo to work.

At any rate, fully charging a decent-sized smartphone battery in 15 minutes will help with the current hindrance of smartphone battery lives being insufficient and always needing to be recharged, even if it doesn’t solve the underlying issue.

comments powered by Disqus