While we marvel at the battery life gains
that are coming fast and furious with flagship handsets this season, thanks to a combination of larger battery capacities, more frugal display package designs, and software tweaks, there are advancements on the flip side of the coin - charging time - too. The amount of time it takes your phone to go from zero to hero with the stock charger is a metric that is often overlooked while we curse or praise the amount of screen-on time that the phone is able to last.
Still, charging times vary considerably from one device to another, and, especially with the ever-growing battery capacities these days, it is important that manufacturers include a powerful charger in the box, and make the battery management electronics intelligent enough to let all that juice in as quick as possible, without affecting the overall charging cycles lifespan.
The undisputed champion here is Oppo, whose monster chargers are a sight unseen in the smartphone industry, and managed to catapult Oppo's flagships at the top of our shortest charging times list. Here are the top fastest-charging brand name handsets according to our database, where we log all times to get the phone from a completely depleted battery to a 100% with the charging unit that the manufacturer itself has supplied in the box.
Top 10 phones with the fastest charging times
Top 10 phones with the fastest charging times
This bad boy features a monstrous charger that is capable to output the whopping 4.5A of current (instead of the typical 1A-2A). Keeping the lights on is a 2800 mAh Li-Po battery, which offers over the usual day of heavy usage, but the charger is capable of topping the phone off extremely quickly, for the puny 82 minutes in the 0-100% discipline. From our own testing, the Find 7a gains 1% of charge every 30 seconds at the beginning. In fact, in one instance, we managed to replenish the whopping 56% of charge in just 23 minutes, which is really impressive.
The Find 7 differs from the 7a with a slightly larger, 3000 mAh battery, and a Quad HD display resolution. While the crazy pixel density panel makes for very unimpressive screen-on times, the Find 7a charges almost as quickly as its 1080p display version - for less than an hour and a half.
LG G Pro 2 flaunts a large, 3200 mAh juicer, worthy of its 6" premium phablet status. In addition, its rapid 2A charger is able to pump it full of electrons for less than two hours, which puts it in the top 3 of our fastest-charging handsets list.
The LG G3 sports a 1.8A charger, which is capable of filling it up from 0-100% for exactly two hours time, which is a really good result, and you are going to need that fast charging time, as the Quad HD panel is a battery hog that makes the G3 last as long as a 2013 flagship, despite all the power-saving tech it has, and the generous 3000 mAh battery pack. Well, at least the battery is very easy to swap out and replace with a fresh one when you run out.
While Samsung's hybrid phone/camera K zoom contraption lasted about the average in our screen-on duration battery test, its charging times are very, very good, with only two hours needed to top it off completely to 100% from a dead status. This might come in handy when you are on vacation, snapping all day with the 10x optical zoom, and need to recharge the phone for the evening photo session, too.
The Galaxy S5 is a great all-around handset, offering not only one of the best battery endurance results in our test, it also can be charged completely for just a little over two hours, and sports a removable juicer, making it perhaps the best flagship handset in the battery department.
Motorola's unassuming Moto E is one of the best value-for-money handsets you can get in the Android world, as it costs just $120, offers the latest version of Google's mobile OS, and a pretty decent specs sheet for the price. Now add to these virtues more than 8 hours of screen-on time in our gruelling battery test, and just about two hours of charging time for the 1980 mAh juicer, and the Moto E quickly becomes the most well-rounded of them budget Android handsets.
Notice a trend? Yep, this year's flagships and even midrangers from Samsung are all in the game when it comes to fast charging, due to a combination of powerful wall chargers, and battery electronics management optimizations. The Galaxy Note 3 Neo is another prime example here, as with its 3100 mAh unit it not only lasted more than 8 hours of screen-on time during our battery test, but also charged from 0-100% for just two hours and 13 minutes with the 2A charger, so kudos to Samsung here.
This dual SIM handset might not be with the all-metal design we are accustomed to see in HTC's flagships and even midragners now, but its looks are very pleasant nonetheless, it offers HTC's BoomSound stereo speakers set, and comes with a replaceable 2100 mAh battery that is good for almost six and a half hours of screen-on time. In addition, it takes shy of three hours to charge it completely, so the handset comes as a pretty well-rounded dual SIM device
We skipped the S5 Active as a version of the S5, and the Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ as a less popular brand to arrive to the Huawei Ascend P7 being in the top 10 of our fastest-charging handsets, but the inclusion is thoroughly warranted. Premium unibody design? Check. Great pictures and videos? Check. Decent battery life? Check. Add to these a fairly rapid charging time of less than three hours, and the Ascend P7 becomes a potential joy of an everyday runner.