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To fast charge or not: OnePlus could be working on a cool solution

The upcoming "Charging boost" feature could let you select apps during which superfast charging would be enabled.

Published onAugust 31, 2023

oneplus 11 with charger
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • The newest Oxygen OS 14 Closed Beta references a new “Charging boost” feature.
  • This feature would let you allowlist certain apps.
  • When these apps are being used, and your phone is being charged, the phone could take advantage of its superfast charging speeds that are usually toggled off during regular use.

OnePlus smartphones come chock full of top specifications, and it’s no surprise that many find their way to the best smartphone lists year after year. One consistent spec highlight on these phones is the fast charging solution, which is usually amongst the fastest solutions found in the industry. But these superfast charging solutions also generate heat, so there’s a balance to be found. OnePlus has some new ideas on how this balance between fast charging and heat generation can be achieved.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

OnePlus has rolled out a new Closed Beta build of Oxygen OS 14 based on Android 14 for the OnePlus 11. Since Oxygen OS shares its codebase with Color OS, the features that we have spotted could make their way to future OPPO, Realme, and OnePlus devices.

Reliable tipster @1NormalUsername spotted strings related to a new “Charging boost” feature within this build. The feature is not yet live on our OnePlus 11 unit, but we have a fair understanding of how this feature could work based on these newly added strings.

<string name="customize_charge_mode_no_game_title">Charging boost</string>
<string name="customize_charge_mode_describe_content">Your device will charge faster when you are using specific apps, but it may heat up a little during charging.</string>
<string name="customize_charge_apps_title">Manage apps</string>

According to these strings, the new Charging boost feature could let you allowlist certain apps. When these apps are being used and you are connected to a charger, your phone will charge faster than it usually does.

To appreciate this upcoming feature, some context is needed. Recent OnePlus smartphones, like the OnePlus 10T, can charge as quickly as 150W. Even devices like the OnePlus 11 can charge up to 100W (international)/80W (USA), getting you a full charge in under half an hour.

However, the fastest of these charging speeds is usually gated behind a setting. Out of the box, the phones generally have this superfast charging speed toggled off. These superfast charging speeds generate a fair amount of heat, and most users do not need superfast charging all the time, so it makes sense. The tradeoff is a few minutes in charging time with lower heat generation.

As you can see, this setting is surprisingly binary. We presume the new “Charging boost” mode could give you more control over superfast charging. For example, if you usually play Spotify while charging, you could set the Spotify app as allowed within this Charging boost feature. If your phone is connected to a compatible charger (the one that ships in the box), you could get superfast charging while the app is running in the foreground.

While it may seem obvious to allowlist games with such a feature, the central premise behind gating superfast charging behind a toggle is heat management. Games generate their own heat, and enabling superfast charging in such scenarios would not be advisable. There are also built-in protection mechanisms that control the charging speed based on the ambient heat, so you wouldn’t be getting the fastest charging speeds in such situations anyway.

OnePlus has also added a new “Stop charging at 80%” feature in the first closed beta. This should help slow down battery aging.

OnePlus Oxygen OS 14 Battery app
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

We’re not sure if these two features can be used simultaneously, but remember that superfast charging also slows down on its own after reaching 80%. What would have been even more helpful is bypass charging functionality, though that would need specialized hardware.

We’ll keep an eye out for when this feature goes live on OnePlus smartphones and how the company ultimately markets this feature.

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