If you have looked into getting a new smartphone in the past 6 months there is a very good chance that you have seen phones with “Quick Charge 2.0” as a feature. While the name itself pretty much tells you what it does do you know how it works and what is needed to use it?
Quick Charge 2.0 is a standard that was developed by a company called Qualcomm, they make the majority of the CPU’s and other chips in today’s smartphones. The bottom line is that phones that are equipped with the Quick Charge 2.0 are able to charge up their batteries at a quicker rate than phones without it, however, there is a catch.
In order for Quick Charge 2.0 to actually work there are a few things that you need. Your phone itself must support the Quick Charge 2.0 feature, your charger must be a Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 charger, and a good quality USB cable.
I have the LG G4 and my girlfriend has the Samsung Galaxy S6. Now my LG G4 (Verizon variant) does support Quick Charge 2.0 (QC 2.0) but it does NOT come with a QC 2.0 compatible charger, however, the Samsung S6 charger is a QC 2.0 charger.
Now there is spotty information on whether the LG G4 supports quick charging or not but after running the LG G4 on a QC 2.0 charger with a USB voltmeter in between the charger and phone I can see it negotiate the higher power for quick charging. It will however not tell you that it is quick charging like some other phone models.
I mentioned a “good quality” USB cable. I mention this because we all have MicroUSB cables laying around that work but may be finicky when getting them to work with charging. This is because the wires inside are either worn down and partially broken or they are thin gauge wires. I recommend getting new cables that are the 20AWG wire inside for the power wires, I use the TronSmart ones on Amazon (Link: TronSmart 6 Pack 20AWG). However do NOT use the power cables that are for power only as these are NOT compatible with the QC 2.0 chargers, I will explain why.
So you have a QC 2.0 charger, QC 2.0 phone and a good USB cable right? You are all good to go. But how does this charge the phone faster? Let me explain.
In each USB 2.0 cable, you have 4 wires, 2 data and 2 power. The Quick Charge 2.0 specification uses the 2 data wires to allow your phone to “talk” to the QC 2.0 charger to tell it that it is QC 2.0 enabled and what the maximum input voltage it can handle is. The QC 2.0 standard allows for 5V, 9V, 12V, and 20V on the power wires, however, MOST USB QC 2.0 chargers will stick with a 9V power output and not offer the last 2. This is why you need a standard USB cable and not ones that are “power only” cables. The “power only” cables do not have the data lines connected so the QC 2.0 devices will not be able to talk to one another, but it will still charge with the standard 5V rate.
It is important to note that phones that are QC 2.0 enabled and connected to more traditional “high amp” USB AC adapters will pull the additional power/amps to charge quicker, but to do this reliably you must have good quality/undamaged USB cables. Anker, Aukey, and Orinoco have some solid high-amperage USB chargers that I use at home and in the car that charge up my QC 2.0 devices fast. I have verified this using the little USB volt/amp meter inline with the USB cables and high amp chargers. My LG G4 will pull up to 2.0 amps from a 5V source if it can put that much out.
But wait Tim! You said for QC 2.0 to work you need a QC 2.0 charger. You technically do but only if you want to charge at high voltage (9-20V) instead of the standard USB 5V. If you have a high amp 5V AC adapter this will not use the QC 2.0 standard but because it is higher amps it will use the additional amps to charge the battery quick. There are 2 ways to get more power (aka quicker charged battery) – More amps and/or More volts. This has only been true with the newer Smartphones as most of the older ones limited them to the USB 2.0 specification of 0.5 amps maximum.
So there you have it. If you have any comments or suggestions please drop me a line with the contact form on my site.