The advantage of fast charging is pretty obvious - in our fast-paced world, the ability to get your smartphone fully recharged in an hour or less can be quite beneficial. However, this "less time in the socket, more time in the pocket" approach does come with a couple of drawbacks that aren't that apparent to the average user.
Let's start by explaining how fast charging works. Until recently, manufacturers produced chargers that didn't allow too much current flow into your phone or tablet. This was done to prevent the potential risk of battery damage which could render your devices useless or, in rare cases, even make them a fire hazard.
Although fast charging delivers an increased limit of voltage or amperage to allow for smaller charging times, the technology won't cause any sudden or major damage to your phone. Still, fast charging your device all the time isn't beneficial in the long run.
First off, the Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery inside your phone will degrade faster if you're always supercharging it. This especially important for those of you planning to use your daily driver for more than 18-24 months.
Then, there's always the issue of overheating. As fast charging puts a lot of power into your device in a decreased time window, there are certain instances where this could lead to hardware damage. You shouldn't expect anything bad to happen if you leave your phone to recharge in a cool, air-conditioned place. However, imagine doing this while running an intensive game or app, or while you're in a hotter environment.
Besides, most of the times we leave our phones to charge overnight, so what difference would it make if the battery gets to 100% two hours quicker than usual while you're sleeping? If you are keen on preserving the longevity of your gadget, let's check out how we could disable fast charging when it's not needed.
The most hassle-free method of disabling fast charging is from the Settings menu. Some manufacturers have a toggle to enable or disable the feature. These can most often be found in the Battery subsection of settings.
If you have a Samsung phone, for example, you need to head over to Settings -> Device Maintenance -> Battery. Then, tap the 3-dot menu at the top right, click on Advanced Settings, and you should see toggles for fast cable and wireless charging. In other cases, you could try using the search bar in settings for looking up "fast charging", "quick charge", or something similar.
If there are no options to disable fast charging from within your phone, fret not! As they say - "there's more than one way to skin a cat".
If you have a regular charger from an older device lying around, just make sure to have it nearby for the times you top up your phone overnight. Of course, you also have to make sure that your cable is USB-C to standard USB to be compatible. Otherwise, you might have to buy one online, but these usually cost between $5-$8, so it might be a worthy investment.
Wondering if your old charger has fast charging? Well, usually you should see "quick charge", "fast charge", "dash charge", or "adaptive fast charging" plainly written on such items, so if these terms are omitted, it's a pretty safe bet that you have a regular charger. Still, just to make sure, you can have a closer look by looking at the voltage and amperage - generally, everything that's at or below 5 volts and 2 amps is considered standard charging.
Alternatively, you can plug your phone to any gadget capable of charging it through USB ports. Again, the only thing that's required here is a compatible cable and you're good to go. A laptop, desktop computer, Xbox, or PlayStation are perfect candidates for the task, as they don't generally feature any high-power ports.