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150W vs 120W vs 80W vs 65W: do you really need ultra-fast smartphone charging? | 91mobiles.com

It’s been an incredible few years for Android smartphones. There have been massive improvements in every department that constitutes the smartphone experience, but I believe that none have been so prominent as the charging speeds. We see some insane numbers on battery charging speeds these days, with the latest jump being to a mind-boggling 150W on the likes of the OnePlus 10R (review) and the Realme GT Neo3 (review).

OnePlus 10R design

Xiaomi and OPPO are currently working on 200W speeds and amongst all this, my question is do we really need so extravagant options to juice up our devices? Fast charging is definitely a good feature to have, but my contention is that one simply can’t base his/her choice on the basis of this one aspect alone. And secondly, there’s a nagging doubt as to the impact super-fast charging might have on the life of the battery itself, and the resultant heat it might generate… no matter what the brands themselves might say about this.

Super-fast charging speeds allow you to spend more time using your smartphone, decreasing the time it stays tethered to a power socket. Of course, there is nothing better to see your smartphone go from 0 to 100 in a matter of 15-20 minutes. It does save a bit of time when you are in a hurry to leave for work or college in the morning. 

OnePlus 10 Pro design

In this comparison, I’m trying to find out the difference better different charging speeds. I have the OnePlus 10R that can charge at 150W, the Mi 11i HyperCharge (review) that can juice up at 120W, the OnePlus 10 Pro (review) capable of 80W charging, and the POCO F3 GT (review) that can handle 66W.  Except for the Mi 11i, all phones have a 5,000mAh battery while the Xiaomi device has a 4,500mAh cell. I started charging up each phone from one percent battery with airplane mode on and these are the results. 

1 to 50 percent

Most phones prominently advertise the time taken to charge from 0 to 50 percent, since that is the period where charging speeds are the fastest. Having about half the battery full in most of today’s smartphones entails at least a near-complete day of regular usage. Let’s start with the fastest of the lot which is the OnePlus 10R. It just takes about 8 minutes for the phone to get juiced up to 50 percent, which understandably is the definition of super quick charging. Next up, the 120W Mi 11i HyperCharge, which has a lower capacity cell housed inside, takes 9 minutes for the phone to get to 50 percent battery. There is just a one-minute difference as compared to the 150W on the OnePlus 10R.

From L to R: OnePlus 10R, Xiaomi Mi 11i Hyper Charge, OnePlus 10 Pro, and POCO F3 GT
From L to R: OnePlus 10R, Xiaomi Mi 11i Hyper Charge, OnePlus 10 Pro, and POCO F3 GT

The OnePlus 10 Pro, with 80W charging, takes about 13 minutes to complete 50 percent while the 66W POCO F3 GT takes 18 minutes. The OnePlus 10R takes about half the time to get from 0 to 50 as compared to the F3 GT. However, since the difference is only nine minutes, I highly doubt it’ll make too much difference in the overall scheme of things. 

50 to 100 percent

Here the charging speeds tend to taper off slightly in order to preserve the battery health. If you already have a bit of charge left inside your phone and want to top it off completely, then it’ll take a bit more time than what it takes to reach 50 percent from 0. The OnePlus 10R fills up the rest of its battery in another 11 minutes. For the Mi 11i HyperCharge, that time was 14 minutes, and factoring in the lower capacity battery, my guess is that it would’ve taken 2-3 minutes more to juice up a standard 5,000mAh cell.

From L to R: OnePlus 10R, Xiaomi Mi 11i Hyper Charge, OnePlus 10 Pro, and POCO F3 GT
From L to R: OnePlus 10R, Xiaomi Mi 11i Hyper Charge, OnePlus 10 Pro, and POCO F3 GT

On the OnePlus 10 Pro, the time for 50 to 100 is 22 minutes and lastly, there is the POCO F3 GT, which takes 31 minutes to completely fill the phone’s battery from 50 percent. Here at least, you can see a sizeable gap between the fastest and the slowest charging phones. The OnePlus 10R’s 50 to 100 speeds are nearly thrice as fast as the POCO F3 GT. However, compared to the rest, especially the Mi 11i HyperCharge, the 10R is not miles ahead by any means.

1 to 100 percent

From L to R: OnePlus 10R, Xiaomi Mi 11i Hyper Charge, OnePlus 10 Pro, and POCO F3 GT
From L to R: OnePlus 10R, Xiaomi Mi 11i Hyper Charge, OnePlus 10 Pro, and POCO F3 GT

Based on the above figures we can calculate the total charging times of the four phones. The OnePlus 10R takes 19 minutes, the Mi 11i HyperCharge takes 23 minutes, the OnePlus 10 Pro takes 35 minutes, and the POCO F3 GT takes 49 minutes. If saving up to 30 minutes every day makes a lot of sense in your line of work, then I believe that the 150W charging speeds would make sense. However, you will notice that the 120W Mi 11i HyperCharge takes only 4 minutes more to juice up the phone, which is really a small amount of time. The OnePlus 10 Pro takes a little less than double the time of the OnePlus 10R at 16 minutes longer.

Verdict

The OnePlus 10R is surely the fastest charging phone currently in the market until Xiaomi or OPPO ousts it with their rumoured 200W offerings. But do you really need your phone’s battery to charge this quickly? From the above comparisons, it is clear to me that the justification for 150W charging is valid if you are looking to save 30 minutes over the variety of 66W charging options in the market… could come in useful if you forget to charge your phone and end up needing a quick top-up before rushing out. Or if you’re one of those who can’t afford to keep your phone tied up to a power socket for a few extra minutes.  All said and done, the ability to charge your phone quickly is great, but don’t let that be the only factor on which you base your decision on.

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