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Is “fast charging” a marketing ploy?

By Hayato Huseman July 21, 2015, 3:51 am
quick charge comparison

Fast charging is everywhere. It’s called out on the box of every phone it’s implemented in. It’s advertised online. It takes form in multiple variants. But does it really help drive sales?

We’ve seen fast charging take many identities. Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, Oppo’s VOOC, Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charge… Our own Joe Levi already took a look at the different fast charging options a few months ago, and his tests indicated a clear benefit to having the feature. As the name implies, with “fast charging,” your phone is able to take in more current at a time and, in turn, it charges significantly quicker than a phone would without the capability. I couldn’t tell you the last phone I’ve used without some form of fast charging built in, and I really don’t think I could ever go back to using a phone that didn’t have it — and that’s exactly what the OEMs are hoping you’ll say.

quick charge

Of course, I mean it; I adore fast charging. But when everybody that tries it is singing its praises, it’s hard not to. Just a year ago, it was hard to find many phones that even supported Quick Charge, and without version 2.0, it really didn’t make a huge difference in charge speeds. Once devices like the 2014 Moto X and Nexus 6 hit though, with the option to buy a Turbo Charger accessory with Quick Charge 2 support, it all hit like wildfire, and now nearly every high-end phone utilizes it. Phones these days can charge by up to 72% in just half an hour, and battery life is becoming less and less of an issue because of it (but make no mistake, OEMs — it’s still important). What’s not to like?

Maybe Quick Charge and other fast charging methods are just a marketing tactic. Something that manufacturers only include in the hopes that it’ll drive potential customers to buy their product. Maybe most of those customers still have no idea what fast charging even is, and it doesn’t actually help generate sales. But in the end, like wireless charging, top-notch specs, and high-resolution displays, it’s a feature that hugely benefits you, the user, and makes the smartphone experience that much more enjoyable. So go take advantage of your phone’s capabilities — strategy or not.

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