Charging your phone used to mean plugging it in and walking away for a long, long time as power slowly leached into the battery. In just the last few years, charging speeds have improved dramatically thanks to USB-C and associated technologies. Chinese smartphone giant Oppo continues to push the envelope with its industry-leading charging speeds. Oppo just announced a 125W power system, which can charge a 4,000mAh battery in just 20 minutes. On the wireless side, it has a 65W charger. The catch: You can’t buy any phones that support these systems yet.
For several years, Oppo has been developing its VOOC-branded charging solution — this is the basis for OnePlus’ Dash Charge, which operates at up to 30W. Oppo’s SuperVOOC system supported 65W charging via its USB-A adapter and A-to-C cable. The new 125W “Flash Charge” platform has a USB-C port on the adapter, but phones will only get the maximum speed with the correct C-to-C cable and an internal battery that has been engineered to support Flash Charge (it runs at 12.5 A and 10 V). Flash Charge is on a completely different level compared with most smartphone charging systems. For example, the iPhone 11 maxes out at 18W, almost seven times slower than Flash Charge.
Heat generation is a major obstacle to increasing charge speeds because of the detrimental effect it has on batteries. Oppo says Flash Charge is different because it can maintain battery temperatures under 40 degrees Celsius even at the maximum speed. If it’s anything like VOOC, that’s because the electronics that control charging are in the adapter rather than the phone.
Flash Charge is a proprietary system, but this smart adapter can do more. It’s capable of USB-PD at 65W and USB-PD Programmable Power Supply (PPS) at 125W. There’s even Qualcomm Quick Charge support at 36W. That means almost all USB-C smartphones should be able to charge at their maximum speed with this adapter.
For those who don’t care for wires, there’s the new 65W AirVOOC charger. Wireless chargers are traditionally slower than plugging in, but the convenience is worth something. A 65W wireless charger is several times faster than most wired charging options. However, this is another proprietary standard, and Oppo doesn’t have any phones available with support yet.
This wireless charger uses two coils to intelligently supply a theoretical 4,000mAh phone with a full charge in just 30 minutes. The stand will also keep your phone under 40 degrees Celsius thanks to a built-in fan and semiconductor cooling materials.
Oppo tends to announce technologies like this in advance of the devices that will bring them to the masses. Phones with Flash Charge might arrive his year, but Oppo doesn’t focus on the US market currently.