Oppo is one of the largest smartphone makers in the world, but you’d never know it if you buy all your phones in the US. Oppo is part of the Chinese megacorporation BBK Electronics, which also runs Vivo, Realme, and OnePlus among others. Smartphones in this family are about to get a faster charging standard, according to Oppo’s Mobile World Congress preview. The new SuperVOOC standard supports up to 150W, guaranteeing a full charge in just 15 minutes.
For years, smartphones have demanded more powerful hardware, but battery capacity has stagnated. Most flagship Android phones still only have 4500-5000mAh of battery power, so most OEMs have worked to make charging faster. Even if your phone dies in a day, it’s not so bad if a few minutes on the charger will get you enough juice to hit the town without range anxiety. Oppo has been leading the way with VOOC, which is how OnePlus phones charge at 65W. While the company previously branded this technology as Dash Charge, it’s always been VOOC.
SuperVOOC is an enhancement of previous VOOC standards, and that means it works a bit differently than the more common USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) standard. Oppo’s fast charging requires specific hardware that offloads a lot of the work to the wall plug, which outputs much higher current (amps) than USB-PD. For example, a USB Power Delivery charger might hit 60W using 20V and 3A, but VOOC uses 10V and 6.5A for 65W. The lower voltage reduces heat in the phone, but it makes the charging hardware more expensive. That’s an advantage for 150W charging, which would be challenging to implement in a smartphone’s power control IC.
According to Oppo, SuperVOOC will be able to take a phone from zero to a 50 percent charge in five minutes. It will slow down as the battery gets closer to full, as does every fast-charging system, but it will only take an additional 10 minutes to finish the 50 to 100 percent block. This example assumes a 4,500mAh battery, which would take an hour or more to charge with other standards.
That’s still so fast that I would worry about the long-term impact on batteries. Yet, Oppo says its “Battery Health Engine” takes into account power level and battery chemistry to ensure that the battery doesn’t wear down too much. After 1,600 charge cycles, Oppo says it should still have 80 percent of its original capacity, which is similar to claims made for slower charging standards.
SuperVOOC will begin appearing in Oppo devices this coming year. OnePlus will get SuperVOOC, but the OnePlus 10 Pro that launched recently in China and will come soon to other markets does not have it.
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