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What is fast charging?

A graphic of a phone on charge plugged with the wire plugged into the wall

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve invested in a top-of-the-range Samsung Galaxy or the latest iPhone from Apple, a dying phone battery is an all-too-common headache in modern life.

It can feel like your mobile phone is always running out of juice when you need it most. While keeping your phone well charged is the obvious answer, sometimes this just isn’t possible or particularly speedy.

Watching the power bars slowly creep up can be a nightmare when you should have been on the road 10 minutes ago!

Protecting your communication lifeline with phone insurance for your mobile is only one step an owner can take to cover themselves from a range of eventualities.

After all, your mobile phone will be useless if it has no power or won't charge at all. With that in mind, the big manufacturers have been focusing on fast charging recently as a way of differentiating themselves from the competition.

This guide will answer some of your basic questions about fast charging and how to do it.

What is fast charging and how does it work?

Fast charging is a term frequently used to market both phones and chargers capable of charging faster.

Nearly every flagship phone launch will feature claims like “from 0-100% in 30 minutes” or “fastest charging smartphone in the world” to tempt customers.

This is a response to the increased usage of mobile phones, which means users often have to charge-up more than once a day. With use rising, the manufacturers are putting in more powerful batteries to keep up with the increased power consumption.

Without fast charging you might have to wait hours for a full charge – not always an attractive option for the discerning tech lover.

The basic components of charging are current, voltage and watts. Current is the amount of electricity flowing to your phone’s battery. Voltage is the speed or strength of the current. Watts is the measure of total power.

A common comparison used is a garden hose pipe. If current is the hose width, voltage is the water pressure, and watts is how much water is coming from the hose.

At its most simple level, fast charging increases the current and/or voltage so that more watts are delivered to your phone’s battery from the charger, thereby filling up your battery quicker.

A person plugging their mobile phone in to charge

How to fast charge

Before launching on a fast charging journey, be aware that if you don’t have the right equipment you won’t be able to charge any faster through fast charging.

After all, your mobile phone will only take in as much power as it’s designed for.

For fast charging to work, you need a phone that’s capable of fast charging. You then need to make sure that your fast charger and cable are also compatible with your phone.

Unfortunately, different manufacturers and different models of phone have different requirements for fast charging. You’ll need to check to find out if your equipment is compatible.

Remember even if your phone supports fast charging, the supplied charger might not deliver that. You might still need to purchase a separate fast charger and cable to reach the marketed speeds.

To ensure you’re always charging safely, use high-quality chargers and cables approved by your mobile phone’s manufacturer.

You don’t want to have to make a costly call on your mobile phone insurance as a result of damaged equipment.


How to increase your charging speed

Purchasing a compatible charger and cable to achieve faster charging is only one way to cut the time spent on this necessary activity.

Owners of even older models that don’t support fast charging can still speed up the amount of time it takes to charge by doing the following:

  • Switch to Airplane Mode while charging – shut off your mobile phone’s connections to cellular, Bluetooth, radio and Wi-Fi services. This will stop your device from sneakily using power while charging. While this means you won’t be able to make or receive calls or texts it will help your phone charge faster.
  • Use a wall charger instead of charging from your computer or laptop – wall chargers have a stronger output than the USB ports on your computer or laptop so will charge your phone quicker.
  • Turn it off or stop using it while charging – maybe not the most popular choice but similar to using Airplane Mode. This will help your phone charge faster as the battery won’t be being used to run other processes. Check out what is airplane mode and why else you should use it elsewhere on our blog.
  • Turn off unnecessary features – reducing the number of features running will also cut down on charge time.
  • Invest in a battery pack, battery case or power bank – this won’t increase the speed of charge. However, it does mean that you’ll be less likely to run out of power in the first place. Having one of these available means you’ll be able to charge your phone wherever you are.

A red phone charger about to be plugged into an iPhone

A word of warning

While fast chargers are a great way to help you get some extra power when you’re against the clock, some manufacturers don’t recommend using them every day.

This is because a slow and steady charge is considered to be better for the long-term life of your phone’s battery. Quickly pumping it full of power every time it needs a top-up may reduce your battery’s life.


Mobile phone insurance with Gadget Cover

Having more powerful batteries and more reliable power sources means we can carry our phones with us more of the time. This is great for social media addicts but it means your device is more at risk.

Gadget Cover has a range of award-winning mobile phone insurance policies that include protection for accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, breakdown and unauthorised usage.

For an additional cost, policies can also cover your phone against loss.

If your nearest and dearest sometimes use your cherished gadgets then cover can also be extended to them.

As an additional advantage, policies can now cover any accessories (up to £150) if they’re lost, stolen or damaged at the same time as your phone.

Get a quick quote from Gadget Cover today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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