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Tested: The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 45W charging is barely faster than 25W
Just like the last generation, Samsung’s latest smartphones don’t ship with a charger in the box, leaving customers to pick up their own. Of course, Samsung has its chargers to upsell you, but can you get away with using an existing charger for your new smartphone? After all, that will save you some pennies.
As a quick primer, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra boast improved 45W charging capabilities via Samsung’s Fast Charging 2.0 specification. That’s up from 25W charging last year. The regular Galaxy S22 supports the same 25W charging as the S21 series via the first-gen Samsung Fast Charge protocol. However, both protocols use the USB Power Delivery PPS specification, a universal standard that Samsung used for its Galaxy S21 series, meaning plenty of third-party chargers will work as well. It’s simply the power level that’s different this year.
The TLDR is that any USB PD PSS plug capable of supplying the required 45W of power will do the trick. This includes but certainly isn’t limited to Samsung’s official plug. But as these phones use more power than last year, an old Galaxy charger won’t quite charge the new models at their full speed potential. The exception is the regular Galaxy S22, which will still charge at maximum speed using a charger suitable for any Galaxy S21 series smartphone and any USB PD PPS compliant plug that can supply 25W of power. You can also power the phones with any USB Power Delivery plug at a lower 18W, as well as chargers that support Qualcomm Quick Charge and Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charge standards.
Read more: How to pick the right smartphone charger
How much faster is Samsung’s 45W charger?
The chances are that you already own a plug that will charge a Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphone at some speed. The real question is how quickly and whether it’s worth upgrading to a newer plug for faster speeds. To help you decide, we’ve grabbed plugs sporting the various supported standards and tracked how long it takes to charge up the big battery inside the Galaxy S22 Ultra. For clarity, we’re tracking the time until the phone says it’s at 100%, not the time until the phone completely stops charging (fast-charging doesn’t play a part in the trickle charge period anyway). Here are the results.
- 45W USB Power Delivery PPS — 62 minutes
- 25W USB Power Delivery PPS — 69 minutes
- 18W USB Power Delivery — 91 minutes
- Qualcomm Quick Charge — 92 minutes
- Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge — 98 minutes
- Standard 5V USB — 135 minutes
Compared to the regular USB Power Delivery and older Quick Charge standards, the newer PPS chargers offer a notable improvement to charging time, in the region of 20 to 30 minutes depending on the power. So either would be a decent upgrade if you were planning to use an existing charger. Likewise, either 25W or 45W PPS charging is a vast improvement on the old Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge standard and even more so compared to the fallback USB 5V charging supported by all plugs, laptops, etc. The bottom line? A USB PD PPS charger is the way to go.
A USB PD PPS charger is the fastest way to charge a Galaxy S22.
However, looking at the results from the 25W and 45W US PD PPS chargers, there isn’t a massive difference between them. In fact, we also clocked 2021’s Galaxy S21 Ultra to full in as fast as 66 minutes, so the results all seem to be in the same ballpark. There isn’t much point in upgrading to the more powerful model if you’re only gaining six minutes when charging with the 45W plug versus the 25W one.
We’ll have to take a closer look at just how these different models fast-charge to see if there’s anything more meaningful on offer for a quick top-up. The graph below allows us to examine the time to key milestones, such as 25%, 50%, and 75% charge.
Again, we see that charging with the 45W plug hits all the battery milestones faster than when using a 25W charger, but the margins are very slim. We’re talking a 3- to 4-minute difference to hit 50%, which almost boils down to a margin of error. This is because the 45W mode’s peak power is only sustained for a minute, if that. The phone spends most of the early cycle charging at 30W, which, while still more powerful than the 25W charger, is not as big of a gap as the marketing implies. In fact, you can essentially hit the same sustained charging power from a 30W PPS plug, resulting in practically the same charging time as a 45W model.
If you already own a 25W or 30W USB PD PPS charger, don't waste your money on the 45W model.
While we’re not disappointed in the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s charging times, we are a bit miffed that the move to 45W charging doesn’t offer more bang for your buck. It’s hard not to feel that the phone’s charging is virtually 45W in name only to appear more competitive with the increasingly ludicrous charging power levels offered by rival smartphones. That said, Samsung’s more conservative approach is better suited for long-term battery health over many years, something which many super-fast charging phones cannot guarantee.
While slightly faster charging is welcome, it’s not a game-changer for the Galaxy S22 Plus and Ultra. The move to 45W certainly doesn’t warrant upgrading your charging solution, unless it’s several years out of date. Check out our buyer’s guide below if you require a charger for your Galaxy S22 series phone.