Qualcomm, the engineering powerhouse behind the Snapdragon chips in billions of devices, makes more than just processors. Take its Quick Charge platform, for example — it juices phones and tablets much quicker than a standard charger. Qualcomm announced Quick Charge’s newest iteration — Quick Charge 4 — six months ago, and on Thursday took the wraps off a revision — Quick Charge 4 Plus — with a few extras.
“When Quick Charge 4 was announced, it promised to bring even faster charging than its predecessor, allowing a device to go from empty to 50 percent in just 15 minutes,” Qualcomm said. “But we haven’t been resting on our accomplishments since then. In fact, since that time we developed new enhancements and created a special program for those device and accessory manufacturers who design their products with these new features included.”
A few of those Quick Charge 4 Plus features include Dual Charge, which leverages a second power-management chip to divide the current charge and reduce charge time. Qualcomm’s intelligent thermal balancing moves current via the coolest path, and new advanced safety features monitor the case and connector temperature levels simultaneously to prevent overheating, short-circuiting, and damage to the USB-C connector.
It is a step up from Quick Charge 4.0, which featured a 20 percent improvement in charging speed and a 30 percent improvement in energy efficiency. That translated to about five hours of extra battery in five minutes of charging, or 50 percent of a battery’s capacity in 15 minutes.
Qualcomm said the rapid charging tech is fully compatible with both the USB Type-C and USB Power delivery specifications ratified by the USB-Implementers Forum, the industry body that standardizes USB technologies. Previous implementations of Qualcomm’s tech ran afoul of spec by manipulating voltage to reduce recharge times and employing workarounds to set charging speed. Qualcomm said that Quick Charge 4.0, in contrast, is fully compliant.
Devices that incorporate all three features of Quick Charge 4.0 Plus have the potential to charge up to 15 percent faster, or 30 percent more efficiently when compared to Quick Charge 4. The Nubia Z17, a Snapdragon 835 phone with a 3,200mAh battery, will be the first smartphone to include it.
Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4 Plus technology isn’t limited to phones. Accessories such as wall adapters, car chargers, portable battery banks, and USB hubs can qualify for Quick Charge 4, and they’ll be backward compatible with Quick Charge 3.0 and Quick Charge 2.0.
“With Quick Charge 4+, Qualcomm Technologies once again shows our leadership in charging technology,” Qualcomm said. “Quick Charge 4+ continues the fast charging innovation, providing design flexibility for manufacturers, and a diverse ecosystem of certified products for consumers.”