Can I Charge My Phone Faster?

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on May 12, 2017, How To Guides

There’s nothing worse than getting that low power notification from your phone, especially when it happens in the middle of the day. With apps growing more and more power hungry, though phone batteries are getting bigger, they just can’t keep up with the demands that we place on them. Which means that phone charging is a regular part of life for most of us. New USB Type C chargers and ports have increased charging speeds for some, but there are still some ways that you can make that annoying charging process go faster. If you’re stuck in a constant charge cycle and need to speed things up, then here are our top secret fast charging tips!

Switch Off

Alright, it’s obvious, but we have to mention it for the sake of completeness, and because surprisingly some people often forget this. The absolute fastest way that you’re going to get a charge on that phone is by switching the phone off before you plug it in. Your phone is always using power as long as it’s switched on, but switched off nothing can drain away that juice. This isn’t always convenient, or even possible, since switching off means you might miss important messages or calls. But if you’re dead serious about getting the most charge in the least time, then switching off is the only way to go.

Go into Airplane Mode

If you can’t switch your phone off completely, then as a compromise going into airplane mode will get you a faster charge (though not as fast as if you switched off). With data switched on, particularly WiFi data, your phone is constantly searching for a data signal. Going into airplane mode means there’s no data, so no battery-draining searching for a signal. Simple. Of course, this does mean that you won’t get emails and the like, but you’ll still get regular SMS messages and calls. If you truly can’t stand going into airplane mode and missing that all important Facebook status update, then as a further compromise you might want to switch off your WiFi only for the charging period…

Wait, Are You in Charge Mode?!

Now here’s something that not a lot of people know. Your phone has different modes for that USB cable that you plug in. Basically this ensures that the cable is being used efficiently, so there’s a mode for data transfer, for example, that makes sure that the cable is optimised to transfer data properly. Since most of us only use that USB cable for charging, it’s important to check that you’re in charge mode so that charging can be done more efficiently. Charge mode isn’t always default, so it’s worth checking on this.

The first thing you’ll need to do is enable developer options on your phone. So head into your setting menu, choose About Phone, then hit Build Number seven times (yes, seven, really). This unlocks developer options. When you’re done, go back to the regular Settings Menu, choose Developer Options, then hit Select USB Configuration, and make sure that Charging is selected on the menu you get. And bingo, your USB cable is optimised for charging.

Consider Your Charging Options

If you’re serious about getting the fastest charge then there’s only one way to go, and that’s a wall socket charger. We get it, there are other charging options, some of them way more convenient than plugging into a wall, but wall is still best.

Transferring energy using a cable is far faster than transferring energy through contact, and that means that wireless charging is slower than wired charging. In fact, wireless charging can be as much as 50% slower than wired charging. What about other USB ports, like in your car or on your computer? The problem with these is that USB connections such as those on your PC or in your vehicle only give 0.5 Amps of power, whilst a wall socket gives you 1 Amp of power. Which means, rather obviously, that a wall socket is going to give you more power more quickly…

Consider the Little Things…

There are a couple of small points you might want to think about to get the fastest charge time. The first of these is using a top quality cable, preferably one made by the same manufacturer that made your phone (rather than a cheap third party charger). Whilst cable may look identical externally, internally they can differ a lot. High quality cables generally contain 28 gauge wires inside, whilst low quality cables only contain 24 gauge wires. And those 28 gauge wires are going to get more power to your phone more quickly…

You might also want to think about removing the case from your phone when it’s charging. Smart phones these days use Li-Ion batteries, and science says that these batteries charge faster at lower temperatures (okay, there are complex chemical reasons for this, but we don’t understand them, so this is the basic point!). Taking the case off your phone means a cooler phone which means a faster charge. Don’t go overboard though, since temperatures that are too cold makes charging less efficient again, so no putting your mobile in the fridge or out on a window ledge to charge…

Break Down and Get that Power Bank

Okay, it’s not exactly a tip to make charging faster. But if you’re constantly needing to charge your phone, then a power bank might be a good investment for you. They’re relatively cheap these days, and most carry at least two full charges for your phone before they themselves need recharging (which, of course, you should do with a wall socket and high quality cable). If you’re going this route then make sure you check the amperage of the bank you’re considering. Most will give you 1 Amp (the same as a wall socket) which is what you want, though lower quality ones will only give you 0.5 Amps (like the USB on your computer). Some will even offer 2 Amps, which gives an even faster charge, but make sure that you have a top end USB cable that’s capable of handling 2 Amps of power before plugging in.