How can I ensure my mobile device is charging as rapidly as possible?

To enable your mobile device to charge as quickly as possible, there are several factors to consider including which charging standards are supported by the charger, mobile device, and connecting cable. Confirm with the manufacturer which specification(s) your device supports. Here are the three major categories of charging related to USB, and how to get the highest charging performance with each one.

USB Battery Charging specification

By default, standard USB 2.0 ports can supply up to 2.5W of power. USB 3.0 bumped that up to a max of around 4.5W. The USB Battery Charging specification allows for 7.5W (BC 1.0) all the way up to 25W (BC 1.2), while still using USB-A or Micro-B cable connectors and the 5 volts common to those earlier versions of USB. Here, cable quality matters greatly and can drastically hamper charge rates if a low-quality cable or a cable with small gauge wire is used. Also, use the shortest cable that is practical, as the longer the cable the more chance charging speed will be reduced.

Look for USB cables designed specifically for charging, as they often have larger wires for the power connection, enabling a better rate of change. For example, our Micro-USB cable USBAUB1MRA features 24 AWG wire for the power connection to enable more robust charging, while using smaller 30 AWG wire on the data connection to help maintain a slim and flexible cable.

Manufacturer-specific standards

Mostly the domain of smartphone manufacturers, many proprietary and specialized fast-charging standards (or sub-standards) have been created over the years. For most of these to work as intended, both the charger (or USB port) and the mobile device need to support the same standard. Usually, but not always, a regular USB cable can be used, especially if it’s only USB-A on the charger side. Some of these are also based on USB-C Power Delivery (see below) but implemented in a specific way.

Keep in mind if not all the conditions are met the device will likely default to a standard USB charge which will be dramatically slower. Examples of these charge standards include:

· Qualcomm Quick Charge (QC)

· Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging & Super Fast Charging

· Motorola Rapid Charging

· OnePlus Warp Charge

· Huawei SuperCharge

If you have a device designed to use one of these, it’s best to consult the documentation from the manufacturer of your specific device to learn how to take advantage of the increased charging performance they offer.

USB-C Power Delivery (PD)

The Power Delivery (PD) standard was introduced with USB-C, enabling flexible power and charging up to 100 watts for a whole array of devices including smartphones, laptops, and monitors. Automatic negotiation allows devices to charge at the max speed supported by the source, target, and cable.

An in-depth discussion of PD is outside the scope of this article, but it’s worth noting not all USB-C cables are designed to support up to 100W, so it’s even more important to choose the right cable for power-intensive setups. Our USB31CCV1M is an example of a USB-IF Certified cable with support for up to 100W PD, in addition to DP Alt Mode for video and up to 10Gbps for data transfer.