About a month ago we talked about the Realme GT 5 Neo. Okay, we didn’t talk much about the phone itself but about its impressive charging tech. It charges at a mind-bending 240W which can charge its 4600mAh battery in just under 10 minutes.
That’s a real phone that’s on sale right there. It was only a year ago that Realme’s parent company showed off the 240W charging concept. It took just a year to get to market with the concept. Impressive stuff from the OPPO group there.
The only problem with that was that Xiaomi had shown off a 210W fast-charging concept and brought it to market in Q4 2022. In less than 4 months, Xiaomi’s 210W speeds were old news. 240 was where it was at. Of course, Xiaomi was not going to take that lying down.
300W fast charging
We are getting into ridiculous territory now. Xiaomi showed off a 300W fast-charging concept at the recently held Mobile World Congress. With them on stage, Xiaomi had a Redmi Note 12 Pro+ which had a 4100mAh battery and this is how the charging went:
- 1 minute, 5 seconds to get to 20%
- 2 minutes, 12 seconds to get to 50%
- 4 minutes, 55 seconds to fully charge to 100%
If you thought the Realme fully charging in about 10 minutes was bonkers what are you going to say to this phone charging up in half the time? A full charge in 5 minutes is wild to even think about, let alone see in a demonstration.
Let’s mention though that the Realme has a battery that’s 500mAh (12%) larger. So, it’s an Oranges to Naartjies comparison.
These Chinese phone manufacturers are not messing about and I am more than confident that we will see this 300W charging in a phone that’s on sale in Q1 2024, if not Q4 2023. They are taking this fast-charging race a little too seriously. Not that I’m complaining.
My only complaint is that no manufacturer outside China has really joined this race. Apple seems happy with its 27W charging filling up a 14 Pro Max in 2 hours and Samsung is patting itself on the back for getting to 45W.
How they achieved it
When we are talking about such a wattage, we start worrying about heat and explosions. Xiaomi says the battery has new cells that have carbon materials in place of some conventional graphite parts which allowed them to reduce the electrodes’ thickness by 35%.
They were also able to come up with an improved electrolyte formula. What those two improvements mean is that Xiaomi was able to improve power density allowing for faster charge and discharge. Somehow they were able to reduce the amount of heat produced in the process.
Is 300W safe?
Higher wattage, less heat if you can believe it. Xiaomi really is working magic with those thinner cells we talked about above, arranging them in some sandwich design which optimises heat dissipation whilst taking less space in the process.
Apparently, there are also 50 features built into the system to keep track of voltage, current and temperature on each charging chip. Which Xiaomi says should lead to safe 300W charging.
It’s not just safety that we are worried about when talking about crazy fast charging. We also worry about the battery life span. How many times can you charge a Lithium-ion battery at 300W? Here is the first hurdle that 300W charging may not have scaled yet.
Xiaomi did not talk about the charging cycles we can expect at 300W. That means it’s probably still bad at this moment. This explains why they also didn’t mention if they will even mass-produce the tech at all in the future. So maybe my confidence is misplaced, maybe 300W is still years away.
Even so, it looks like Chinese phones will be plugging into electric vehicle charging stations in a few years if this race continues.
Tell us what you think about all this in the comments section below. I personally think we should end this race right here at 300W. Let’s start improving electrode sizes and arrangements to improve on the 240W and 300W standards.
I mean, my laptop takes 150W and that’s enough to power a GTX 1650 GPU. We really can’t have a 500W charging smartphone in the future. That would be insane, in the membrane kind of way.