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Oppo unveils 125W Flash Charge and a new range of chargers
We all knew it was coming. Today, Oppo lifted the lid on its eye-watering 125W Flash Charge technology. Building on six years of VOOC charging experience, Oppo’s 125W option promises to power up your 4,000mAh smartphone from empty to full in just 20 minutes. Oppo already boasts the fastest charging tech in the business but the company keen to push the boundaries even further.
In addition, Oppo unveiled a speedy 65W wireless charging AirVOOC dock, a notable upgrade from the company’s already fast 40W option. There are also new 110W and 50W compact GaN chargers on the way if you’re looking for a high-power plug with a little less bulk.
A closer look at 125W Flash Charge
Let’s start with the really big deal here: 125W wired charging. That’s crazy fast, virtually doubling Oppo’s already incredibly fast 65W SuperVOOC standard. Oppo’s 125W standard claims to power up a 4,000mAh battery to full in 20 minutes and will hit 41% capacity in just five minutes. This is all achieved while keeping the phone’s battery under 40°C, which will help offset some battery degradation.
Higher power charging puts a lot of strain on the battery, leading Oppo to make key changes to its smartphone batteries. The dual-cell structure remains but the battery C-rating has doubled from 3C to 6C. The C-rating is essentially how much continuous current a battery can withstand and a general indicator of quality and resistance to overheating at high charge rates. Oppo’s 125W solution pushes a whopping 12.5A of current into these batteries at its peak, requiring higher quality batteries. Faster charging is also supplied by three charging pumps, boasting up to 98% efficiency, and a six-way multiple-tab battery setup.
Oppo's 125W charger supports USB Power Delivery and Quick Charge, too.
If like me, you’re not a fan of proprietary charging standards. Oppo appears to have heard us. The 125W charger is compatible with USB Power Delivery (PD) at 65W, USB Power Delivery Programmable Power Supply (PPS) at 125W, and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge at 36W. This makes Oppo’s new charger a one-size-fits-all solution for virtually all your gadgets. Pretty awesome.
There is a drawback to this fast charging tech though. Oppo makes efforts to keep temperatures reasonable, but operating as such a high C-rating is bound to cause batteries to degrade faster than slower charging methods. The company states that its batteries are rated to retain 80% of their capacity after 800 charge cycles. That could produce a noticeable hit to screen-on time within two years of buying such a smartphone.
65W AirVOOC for wireless power
Wireless power is notoriously slow compared to wired charging, but that’s gradually changing. We’ve seen 30W wireless charging from OnePlus this year, but Oppo’s 65W AirVOOC is faster than pretty much every wired smartphone solution on the market right now. For a 4,000mAh battery, Oppo promises just 30 minutes to full, down from 56 minutes with its previous 40W technology.
To bring this feat to market, the 65W AirVOOC charger relies on dual charging coils with an impressive 88% efficiency. So you’ll need a device with the same arrangement on the inside to actually use these speeds. Oppo is working on a method to deliver 65W over a single charging coil, too.
The wireless charging stand keeps your device under 40°C thanks to a bottom-mounted fan blowing air across your handset. The dock and coils are kept cool with the addition of semiconductor cooling materials that are apparently popular in the esports industry. If all that wasn’t enough, Oppo’s stand also works with devices sporting the Qi standard, albeit at much slower 10W and 5W speeds.
More about batteries: Lithium-ion vs lithium-polymer: What’s the difference?
Two mini GaN chargers too
Gallium nitride (GaN) is powering smaller, more portable, high-power chargers and Oppo has leveraged the material for its high-frequency switching power supply inside its 50W and 110W mini-chargers. The 50W model is just 10.5mm thick and weighs a tiny 60 grams. Oppo says the 100W model is comparable in size to a typical 18W charger. Two good options for travelers looking to ditch bulky wall plugs.
The 50W and 110W mini-chargers also support USB PD and USB PPS standards. The former maxes out at 27W PD, 50W PPS, and 18W QC. The 110W model supports 110W PPS, 65W PD, and 36W QC. They should be able to serve as the only charger you’ll need for the majority of your gadgets, including higher-power laptops.
As impressive as Oppo’s latest charging lineup appears, we’re still missing a few pieces of the puzzle: Pricing and availability for one, and how long we’ll have to wait before we see our first smartphone that charges up at 125W. But we do know that Oppo plans to ship the 125W charger with a future device as well as selling it as a standalone accessory. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for when Oppo’s super-fast charging technology hits the market, presumably later in the year.