As much as smartphone technology has advanced in the last decade, charging some Android phones can still feel glacial, especially when you’re about to leave for work, school, or travel and you forgot to charge them overnight.
When speed is of the essence, there are a number of tactics you can implement to make Android phones charge faster, although you may still want a hardware upgrade.
How to make your Android phone charge faster
In the same way that dieting and bulking is about consuming calories versus consuming them, charging faster is about consuming energy versus consuming it. In this main section, we’ll offer tips that don’t require buying anything new – it’s all about maximizing efficiency.
1. Use wired charging
Wired charging is inevitably faster than wireless charging. Most Android phones can only reach their maximum power over USB-C, which frequently exceeds 20W. Compare that to wireless charging, which often caps at 10 to 15W. Even Google’s Pixel Stand maxes out at 23W, and that’s only with compatible Pixel phones. Some Samsung phones can hit 45W over USB, and if you’re lucky enough to have access, the Realme GT 3 manages a colossal 240W. In theory, that can take you from 0 to 100% in under 10 minutes.
USB-C also tends to be more reliable. Wireless chargers require perfect coil alignment to be (reasonably) efficient, and there’s always the risk that a bump will knock your phone out of place or shut down the charger entirely. The magnetic locking technology in Qi2 promises to help, but USB-C still reigns supreme.
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2. Turn off your phone (if you can)
The best way to minimize power consumption is to turn off your phone completely. It should still charge at full speed, so when plugged into a suitable charger (see next section), there is no faster scenario.
The downside, of course, is that you give up the ability to check charging progress, let alone use apps or read notifications. For that reason, some people will want to skip this option, and we strongly recommend doing so when you are concerned about critical messages from work or family.
3. Use a wall outlet, not a power bank or computer
Simply put, this is the only way to guarantee wired charging speeds. While USB 3.x and 4.x connections support very high performance if equipped for USB-PD, up to 240W, you’re unlikely to get that intensity from the USB ports on a computer or from most power banks. portable power. There are exceptions, such as Anker Prime but that’s all: we wouldn’t count on it.
4. Switch your phone to low power mode
If you can’t afford to turn off your phone, or just don’t want to, the best thing to do is put it in low power mode. On many Android devices this option is called Battery Saver, but its label may be different in your case.
Depending on your phone, the option will do things like turn off the screen faster, reduce background sync activity, switch from 5G to 4G, and/or restrict power-hungry apps. There’s even an extreme battery saver mode on Pixel phones, which does things like speed up CPU performance and remove notifications from paused apps. You should avoid this most of the time, but it’s a way to keep essentials available while still prioritizing charging.
5. Disable unnecessary wireless radios
Although a phone’s screen and processor tend to consume the most power, wireless technology can also consume a lot of power, especially if your phone is constantly downloading files or scanning for available networks.
The easiest way to disable wireless radios is to activate airplane mode, but it is not always the best. By default, this disables not only cellular but also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which is obviously a problem if you’re using wireless headphones or need some type of Internet connection. You may need to reconfigure Airplane Mode or use Quick Settings to disable individual radios you’re not currently using. If you’re away from home, for example, you can probably turn off Wi-Fi unless you need it for hotspots or Android Auto.
6. Don’t use your phone while it’s charging
We’ve already hinted at this in many ways, but the more you run your phone, the more power it consumes. Find something else to occupy yourself unless you need to answer important calls and messages. The worst thing you can do is play a 3D game like Fortnite or PUBG Mobile.
7. Keep your phone cool, but not too cool
The ideal temperature range for charging is between 50 and 86F (10 and 30C). To keep your phone in that sweet spot, you may need to do things like move it out of sunlight, place it next to a fan, or even take it out of its case if it’s something like a leather wallet. Remember that your phone will also naturally heat up during charging, so a phone that’s already at 85F, for example, could leave the ideal zone.
Likewise, you may need to warm up your phone in some circumstances. A case that’s inconvenient in a Texas summer could be perfect for an Ontario winter.
Should you get a new charger for your Android phone?
Possibly. The important thing is to find a charging adapter that matches or exceeds the maximum power your phone is capable of. A 45W charger will be more than enough for current Google and Samsung phones, for example, but it will not allow you to exploit the 80W possible with a OnePlus 11, much less the 240W of the Realme GT 3. With those extreme capacities, it is possible that you have to rely on a custom cable and charger combo included in the box.
On that note, however, it’s increasingly rare for phone manufacturers to include a charger, and when they do, they may not meet specifications. Likewise, not all USB cables are created equal, so you may need to check if the one you’re using is rated for the power your charger can deliver. A substandard cable could hinder even the most powerful charger.
FAQs About Android Phone Charge
Why is my phone charging so slow?
There are many possible explanations, but it generally comes down to how powerful your charger is, what power your phone is capable of, and how much power it is actively consuming. A 100W USB-C charger, for example, won’t do anything extra if your phone is only capable of 25W, and will only slow things down further when watching videos or playing games. Wireless charging is also always slower than wired.
Why isn’t my charger charging my phone?
It’s hard to say without details, but you’ll need to double-check your charger, your cable, your power supply, and (if applicable) your phone’s USB port. Damage or debris could be interfering. If there is damage, you should stop using the affected component immediately.
For wireless chargers, you may just need to reposition your phone on the charging pad. With wired charging, try unplugging the USB cable and plugging it back in; Sometimes that is enough to solve temporary problems.
Is it bad to charge your phone overnight?
You are welcome. Modern phones strictly regulate the amount of power flowing, so when the phone recharges, there is little to no risk of overcharging or damage to the battery. However, you can extend your phone’s battery life by taking advantage of a feature like the Google Pixel’s adaptive charging, which keeps the battery at 80% until you’re about to wake up.
Why does my phone get so hot when charging?
A base amount of additional heat is to be expected as energy flows at full speed from one place to another, and anything that does not reach the battery will be emitted as waste. Because it’s inherently inefficient, wireless charging tends to generate even more heat than USB.
That said, your phone should be comfortable enough to touch. If it is too hot to hold, you should stop charging immediately and look for signs of damage or debris. If there is nothing, it should be safe to resume, but first we recommend looking for ways to cool down the phone.
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