Chinese mobile giant OPPO claims new 125W fast-charging spec will fully fuel your phone in 20 minutes

But competitors concerned about hits to battery capacity and longevity


The "charging wars" are in full swing, with vendors and chipmakers alike competing to replenish your phone's battery the fastest. Taking the lead is OPPO, which today touted 125W wired charging.

OPPO has claimed its new standard can fully recharge a 4,000mAh battery in just 20 minutes. Give it five minutes, and it can get that battery to 41 per cent.

The standard – which OPPO claims is backwards-compatible with the firm's previous fast-charging protocols – supports a charging scheme of up to 20V and 6.25A. It also comes with a spread of safety measures, including 10 new temperature sensors to ensure the charging brick doesn't go all "Samsung Galaxy Note 7".

OPPO currently holds the "fastest charging" crown with its incumbent 65W standard. While other firms – most notably Xiaomi – have brandished experimental charging protocols that push the wattage further north, none have made it into the market.

There's a reason for that, according to Xiaomi's Lu Weibing, GM for Redmi and president for China. In a Weibo post, Lu argued that 100W charging has too many downsides – particularly when it comes to battery capacity and longevity.

"According to preliminary estimates, the battery capacity of a 100W fast charge loses about 20 per cent of its capacity compared to a 30W PD fast charge," his (Google-translated) post reads. "Simply put, 5,000mAh becomes 4,000mAh."

Talk from OPPO suggests it has overcome those hurdles. Or perhaps it thinks ultra-fast charging can negate any performance hit. If you're able to charge your phone to capacity in 20 minutes, you might not notice the fact that it isn't holding as much charge as it used to.

Separately, the firm has also lifted the lid on its new Qi-compatible charging standard. The 65W AirVOOC wireless flash charge can purportedly fully recharge a 4,000mAh battery in 30 minutes. That's a meaningful step change, considering the current fastest charging speed is 40W on the Huawei P40 Pro+ and OPPO Reno Ace. Indeed, most phones (including the iPhone) hover between 5W and 15W.

Still, this announcement is indicative of the "sameness" of the phone market. There's very little distinction between devices and those blurred lines that exist across the entire mobile spectrum. With phones increasingly using the same camera sensors and processors, there are very few areas for differentiation. Charging is one of them. ®


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