Poll of the Week: Does fast charging really matter to you?

As a regular at NextPit, you may have already noticed in our reviews that the charging time of the smartphones we reviewed plays an important role in our final assessment. This ranges from the wattage of the adapters that were shipped with the handset to the charging speed of the devices.

To charge it fully, it will take approximately 90 minutes from empty, which is slower than other smartphones. However, that is nitpicking at a very high level.

Carsten Drees, Xiaomi Note 10 Pr0 review

However, before we delve into that topic, I would like to know if you’re happy with your smartphone’s charging time at the moment.

What fast charging speed is good enough for you?

A month ago, Xiaomi demonstrated their HyperCharge technology, a new 200W wired charging system that is capable of charging a smartphone from 0 to 100% in just 8 minutes. In this demonstration, the manufacturer used a specially modified Mi 11 Pro and a 4,000mAh battery. During the very same demonstration, we also saw the device fully charge in just 15 minutes using a 120W wireless charging setting.

Xiaomi fast charge technology video
Xiaomi’s Hypercharge goes from 0-100% in just 8 minutes / © Xiaomi

However, a week later, the company disclosed the  side effect of charging smartphones at 200 watts. According to Xiaomi, after 800 charge cycles, the battery still offers an 80% battery capacity which amounts to approximately two years of use. So, after two years, the demonstration model would offer a capacity of 3,200 mAh instead of 4,000 mAh.

With a remaining battery life of 13 percent, I plugged the Realme 8 5G into the nearest power outlet. The battery was half full within 35 minutes and hit 100 percent after 1 hour and 20 minutes. This was rather slow compared to the rest of the competition and also with Realme’s very own Dart Charge.

Benjamin Lucks, Realme 8 5G review

In 2021, Oppo also successfully demonstrated a charge time of 20 minutes on a 4,000 mAh battery using a 125 W (wired) charger. By the way, the Oppo Find X3 Pro already managed to deliver a very surprising charge time: in just 10 minutes, the smartphone charged from 0 to 40% using a 65 watt charger.

As you may have noticed, it’s no wonder that these quick charge times are often associated with the manufacturers’ names as they rely almost exclusively on proprietary charging systems. Thus, Realme, for instance, uses the SuperDart system (65 W); Oppo and their Super VOOC (65 W); while OnePlus has the Warp Charge 30T (30 W) or 65T (65 W). Samsung, Apple and Google use the USB-PD standard, for example, which ends up varying between 18 and 45 W.

The Samsung Galaxy A51 offers an average battery life and nothing else […] But the real problem is its ‘fast charging’, which is not fast at all.

Antoine Engles, review of the Galaxy A51 (Samsung’s best-selling smartphone of 2020)

Finally, in terms of charging power as mentioned above, charging speed can also deliver the advantage of shorter waiting times, but it also impacts battery life directly as permanent fast charging can cause long-term battery wear issues.

In this sense, charging a device like the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G using a USB-PD charger of just 25W may take longer, but it has its advantages when compared to the Realme 8 Pro’s 50W SuperDart charge, for example.

Now I want to know your opinion on this matter: At the end of the day, what is considered as good and fast enough for you when it comes to charging?

How long should a smartphone take to charge from 0 to 100% in 2021?

By now, you might have also noticed that fast charging times are an important part of the portfolio of leading Chinese smartphone manufacturers, right? Hence, I need to inform you that according to industry standards in China, after 400 charge cycles, a battery should be able to retain at least 60% of its original capacity.

This would amount to basically one year of use compared to the previous example we gave concerning Xiaomi’s handset. And, let’s face it, it’s really not a high standard to adhere to. In addition, prices charged by Chinese smartphone manufacturers are normally lower compared to those we see among Apple, Google, Samsung, and Motorola, which makes it possible to change smartphones more often – like on an annual basis, for instance.

I also miss any kind of quick-charging feature that is normally found in competitors to Apple’s smartphones. It also hurts that for the very first time in history, Apple has decided to exclude a charging adapter with each purchase of the iPhone 12. 

Julia Froolyks, iPhone 12 Pro review

Now, considering factors such as the price of smartphones, the length of ownership time with the same device, and the demand of modern smartphones as a daily driver, how long do you think should a smartphone take to charge from 0 to 100% in 2021?

Is fast charging really that important to you?

Two months ago, I reviewed the Motorola Moto G30, a mid-range smartphone that offers a 5,000 mAh battery with 20 W TurboPower technology. The total charging time of the device, that is, from 0 to 100%, is about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

At that point in time, considering the device’s battery life — depending on your usage pattern, it’s actually possible to use the Moto G30 for up to two days (or longer) without having to plug the handset into a power outlet. I could even overlook the longer-than-usual (relatively speaking) time required to charge it to the maximum. 

5 minutes of charging was enough to jumpstart a completely drained battery to 15%, while hitting the 50% mark in just 20 minutes without exhibiting any signs of abnormal heating.

Rubens Eishima, Realme 8 Pro review

On the other hand, just a few weeks ago as I reviewed the OnePlus Nord CE (which is limited in its distribution based on geographical regions), my experience with the Warp Charge 30T Plus fast charging technology on a 4,500 mAh battery proved to be far superior. In less than an hour of charging, the Nord CE was already loaded to the maximum.

If I had to choose today between one model and the other solely based on battery capacity and fast charging technology, I would vote for the OnePlus device. That’s because at the end of the day, you know it wouldn’t be a problem to quickly charge it with little time in hand just in case you forgot to charge your smartphone at night and have to leave the house in a hurry.

So I realized that yes, fast charging is really important to me as I don’t mind having to charge my smartphone more times during the week. Also, I usually change my smartphone within a 18- to 24-month window. One of the reasons for this is a noticeable decline in battery capacity.

But what about you: is fast charging a really important point? Is it something that makes you choose one device or brand over another? As our survey is not interactive, I invite you to justify your answer in the comments section below, so that we can better understand the results of this survey.

So, did you arrive at the end of this poll happy or sad with the performance of your smartphone’s charging technology? As always, I would like to thank everyone in advance who will participate in this survey and share their recommendations in the comments. I wish you all an excellent weekend and, on Monday, my colleague Rubens Eishima will analyze and reveal the final results, as I will be enjoying a well-deserved vacation!

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