A company you may not have heard of says it will bring 180W wired fast charging speeds to its next flagship phones in 2022.
Infinix, a Hong Kong smartphone brand formed in 2013, is slowly bringing its phones to the West. We were impressed with the value offered by the Infinix Note 12 G96 when we reviewed it recently, but it looks like Infinix’s next phones will boast the fastest charging speeds in the world when they debut later this year.
In a press release, Infinix said its 180W Thunder Charge can charge a 4500mAh battery to 50% in four minutes. For context, the fastest charging phone we’ve reviewed at Tech Advisor is the 150W Realme GT Neo 3, which charged to 88% in 15 minutes.
The 80W OnePlus Nord 2T charged to 65% in the same time, while the iPhone 13 only managed 20%.
Infinix isn’t claiming Thunder Charge is the fastest charging in the world, and both Xiaomi and Oppo have teased faster, with 200W and 240W respectively, the latter of which can reportedly deliver a full charge in just nine minutes. Neither have packed that tech into an actual product yet though.
Infinix said it worked with “the world’s leading battery manufacturers”, but confirmed to Tech Advisor it cannot disclose who they are.
The technology uses a charging rate of 8C, what Infinix says is the highest charging rate for a rechargeable lithium-ion battery possible in the smartphone industry today.
180W Thunder Charge can be used in ‘Standard’ or ‘Furious mode’ – we hope it doesn’t get too lairy, as fast charging is potentially dangerous and can sometimes cause phones to overheat. Furious mode is triggered with the click of a button, as demonstrated in the below video:
“The 180W Thunder Charge cable has a built-in Infinix special encryption chip, which outputs 180W power transmission for an ultra-fast charge,” Infinix said in a press release.
“180W Thunder Charge can intelligently identify the cable’s power transmission capacity and adjust accordingly. If a different cable without Infinix’s special encryption chip is plugged into the device, it identifies the cable and limit power to 60W/100W to ensure a safe charge.”
The Infinix Zero 8 and aforementioned Note 12 G96 both had great battery life for all their flaws, so the company clearly knows a thing or two about power consumption.
Wait and C
Infinix also said most smartphones with fast charging use a charging rate of between 1C and 3C but claimed using 8C for Thunder Charge is still safe.
A C-rate is the rate at which a battery is charged or discharged, with a battery of 1C charging from 0% to 100% in one hour. A 2C battery halves that to 30 minutes, a 3C is at 20 minutes, and a 4C at 15 minutes. It means Infinix’s 8C battery should fully charge in about 10 minutes.
“The 8C cell has lower internal resistance when compared with the conventional single electrode lug structure, the 8C cell has a multi-electrode lug, which reduces more than 50% of the internal resistance and produces less heat,” the company said.
“Furthermore, the 180W Thunder Charge uses two 8C-rated batteries in series, so the charging power of each battery is only 90W while being charged, reducing heat and increasing longevity.”
We’ve seen the split-cell method for fast charging used to great effect in several phones including the gaming-focussed Poco F4 GT. But sometimes phones with the fastest charging do not have the best battery life, a trade-off for the fast-charging speeds.
Personally, I enjoy being able to plug in a phone like the 80W OnePlus 10 Pro when I get up and it’s hovering around 30% charged, and it be fully charged within 25 minutes or less.
If Infinix can safely deliver 180W fast charging in a commercial phone, we will be very impressed. But it’s not the only brand with super-fast charging, and it has some work to do to gain market share from leaders in the tech such as Oppo and Xiaomi.