Snapdragon 845 phones like Galaxy S9 may sport Quick Charge 4+, here's what it means


Last week, Qualcomm announced the eventual Galaxy S9 chipset for the US models, Snapdragon 845. Previously, Samsung had given some details about its new Exynos 9810 processor, which, however, will most likely find its way into the global versions of the phone, as usual. What piqued our interest with the 845, however, was the promise for upgraded fast charging abilities, as the silicon has Quick Charge 4+ tech built in.

Samsung calls its own technology for pumping the Galaxy handsets full of electrons quickly Adaptive Fast Charge, which is probably what the S9 will use, too, even the US-bound Snapdragon version. One possible reason why Samsung doesn't go with Qualcomm's standard are the licensing fees it eventually have to pay (we know Qualcomm is big on royalties). Still, if Quick Charge 4+ in Snapdragon 845 offers a much better performance compared to Quick Charge 4, Samsung will have to leverage its own Adaptive Charge tech to match those abilities, or there will be drama in the forums and Reddit threads.

Qualcomm has rounded up what Quick Charge 4+ would mean for handsets equipped with Snapdragon 845, so we can gauge what might be in store when it comes to fast charging our flagships next year. The thing is that, to be Quick Charge 4+ certified, a handset has to fulfill all three of the newly updated specifications below, and, needless to say, come with the respective charger in the box:

  • Dual Charge: already an option in earlier versions, but now more powerful, Dual Charge includes a second power management IC in the device. Charging a device via Dual Charge divides the charge current, allowing for lower thermal dissipation and reduced charge time

  • Intelligent Thermal Balancing: a further enhancement to Dual Charge, intelligent thermal balancing is engineered to move current via the coolest path autonomously, eliminating hot spots for optimized power delivery

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  • Advanced Safety Features: Quick Charge 4 already includes rigorous built-in safety protocols. Quick Charge 4+ goes one step further and is designed to monitor both the case and connector temperature levels simultaneously. This extra layer of protection helps ward against overheating and short-circuit or damage to the Type-C connector.

The combination of these requirements brings about 30% more efficient charging to the table, compared to Quick Charge 4, or about 15% faster charging speeds. These are significant boosts, but what's more important is that the whole setup stays much cooler, and thus safer, than before. The first device that has licensed Quick Charge 4+ for retail use is the ZTE subsidiary's Nubia Z17 which, however, sports a Snapdragon 835 chipset, so licensing the newest fast-charging tech from Qualcomm doesn't apparently require the newest chipset, too, as the chip maker announced 4+ after it outed the 835. 

Still, with faster, safer charging potential, Snapdragon 845-equipped phones will likely raise the bar for next year's flagships to charge even quicker and/or remain cooler in the process. The best of today's Android flagships require only 1.5-2 hours to go from zero to a 100% charge, and next year we could encounter phones encroaching on the one hour mark needed for getting to full, though we wouldn't mind if they take the same amount of time as the current crop, but sport larger batteries. If you want to see what a difference a fast-charging adapter included in your phone's package makes, have a look at our battery benchmark chart below.

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