When you got your phone, chances are you got a cheap and gaudy little charger that claims 1.2amp and delivers about 850mAh. On a 2000mA battery, this means you’re looking at about three hours from dead battery to fully charged.
If your phone supports it, however, you can use a Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 charger to charge about 75% faster, making that three hour charge time about two hours and 15 minutes.
My HTC One M8 is a device that can take the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 charging adapter, so I gave the Wallport q1200 Single USB Universal Charger a go. It’s a Qualcomm certified USB 2.0 Quick Charge device capable of delivering up to 2.1amps to any device, but shines with the Quick Charge specs.
A little about my phone – the best positive charge I’ve ever managed to sustain was a little over 1000mA, according to Battery Monitor Widget. This was with any device I’ve plugged it into. 2.3 amp chargers delivered 1 amp, 1.5 amp chargers delivered 1 amp, etc.
I plugged a half-dead M8 in and left it for about ten minutes. According to BMW I was positively charging at 2,272mA, or 87.38% of the battery capacity per hour. This was slightly over double the speed that I’ve come to expect with any chargers I’ve played with. Things looked pretty solid until about 12 minutes in, when the charge dropped to about 1250mA. Still a decent charging rate but not what I was expecting.
I cancelled test one and played a game for a bit to drain the battery back down and plugged my now-warm phone into it and left it screen off for about 15 minutes this time. Based on the Battery Monitor Widget info, it started at about 1700mA and started working its way up somewhere near 2000mA and then abruptly dropped to between 500 and 700 ma for a few minutes, then jumped to ~900ma and stayed around there for the duration of the charge.
This time I was monitoring the temperature as well as the battery level. As the temp reach 110 on the phone the charge dropped. My bet is the kernel process that monitors heat sensed a battery overheat and moved to shut things down, but I wanted to make sure it was my phone shutting things down and not a defective charger.
So I drained the battery and froze my phone. Well, not froze, but got the device well below room temperature. Then I slapped it on a cooling gel pack and plugged it in. The phone started charging at 1950mA and sustained that for 15 minutes as the temperature of the device went down from 76 to 55. When the temp reached 55 the charging kicked back down to that 500range for a second, then popped back up to the 1amp range.
At least on my phone there appears to be a battery temperature range of ~60-110f that the charging works well in, and beyond that range it switches to a safety. The Wallport q1200’s temperature never changed as far as I could tell. It sat at about room temperature nestled in a wiring mess.
My wife’s HTC One M7 seemed to charge as usual, which is terribly. Her issue, however, is the battery is failing, the camera has pinkout, the last update didn’t go so smoothly, and she needs a phone exorcism.
Ventev makes several variations on this, although the only one with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 is the single port one here. So if you’re on a product that requires Quick Charge 2.0 to work at above 1amp, this is it.
The construction is solid, although the design of the thing makes it feel a bit Radio-Shacky. The square of light that upglows to let you know it’s plugged in or charging is reminiscent of a nightlight and due to the way it sits it takes up either the end plug or two positions on the average power strip. Rather than put the USB port on top or on the side, they decided to point it directly at the next plug making this a waste of a power outlet. Seriously: USB on the side or on top.
It should also be noted that nearly every non-Quick Charge device out there these days can do more than an amp without proprietary Qualcomm charging tech. This appears to be just a different way to deliver the power than other devices use. Watching other phones charge at 2amps off of a charger that can only charge me at 1amp has jaded me a bit, but this charger’s purpose appears to be to correct Qualcomm-set limitations.
It will, however, charge your phone very fast even if I’m not a fan of its aesthetics or plug positioning. Also the one USB port taking up two outlet plugs is kind of over the top.
The dangers of fast charge
While it used to be that fast charging a battery burned it out faster, that’s not the case any more. Today’s batteries, I’m told, are designed to handle a shorter charge better than a long drawn out slow charge. Your phone, experience, and battery may vary, but that’s what they’re supposed to do now.
Do you need it?
That depends. In my case this is somewhat useful, but my phone reaches a temperature that it slows down pretty quickly. Putting it on ice really isn’t a viable solution. Part of this has to do with my case, the phone is significantly cooler without the case.
For me, I’m not going to take off my case to charge every time, or rig up a cooling system. I only get about 20% improvement on charge rates overall. Is this the fault of the Wallport q1200? No.
One thing when checking to see if your phone supports Quick Charge 2.0 is to also check that your firmware does. Quick Charge was introduced a while back, but if your phone kernel doesn’t support it you’ve just bought an expensive standard charger for your phone.
It’s a decent charger, make sure your phone supports it before purchase, be aware that if your phone heats up too much during the charge your phone will stop requesting so much juice from the charger and will function more along the lines of a standard wall charger.
The Wallport q120oo charger is available from the manufacturer for $34.99.