Batteries still suck, which means that any and all innovations regarding capacity and charging times will always be big news. At Mobile World Congress 2022, which gets underway in Barcelona this week, Oppo will be showing off its new speedy 150W SuperVOOC charging standard which the company promises will completely revive a nearly dead smartphone in just a quarter of an hour.
We’ve all just come to accept that the batteries on our smart devices either need to be carefully rationed throughout the day, bolstered through the use of portable chargers, or repeatedly topped off through an ongoing hunt for available power outlets—a pain that frequent flyers know only too well.
With 150W SuperVOOC, a feature that Oppo plans to introduce on a new OnePlus (a sub-brand of Oppo) smartphone sometime later this year, a device with a 4,500 mAh battery (larger than what Apple includes in the iPhone 13 Pro Max) can charge from 1% to 50% in just five minutes, while the last 50% to a full charge takes an additional 10 minutes. Impressive, but as The Verge points out, Oppo hasn’t shared what charging times are like if you’re charging a completely dead phone from 0%.
Charging a battery at high speeds isn’t necessarily a new innovation, but doing it safely, without significantly reducing that battery’s life span, is what makes the new 150W SuperVOOC standard particularly interesting. Through a feature that Oppo calls its “Battery Health Engine,” the charging process is optimized based on how much energy is needed and the battery’s chemistry. Oppo hasn’t said if full charging speeds will be reached every single time the charger is connected, but it has promised that after 1,600 charge cycles, batteries charged with the 150W SuperVOOC technology will still retain 80% of their original capacity.
The other potential drawback is that while the new 150W SuperVOOC power adapter is actually slightly smaller than the 140W adapter Apple created for its latest generation MacBook Pros, it’s significantly larger than the adapters that ship standard with most smartphones these days, and not the most convenient accessory to slip into a coat pocket when you head out the door.