Oppo's new charger can fully fuel a smartphone in just 15 minutes

Posted Feb 23, 2016 by James Walker
Chinese smartphone brand Oppo has unveiled a new system to fast charge a smartphone battery. It demonstrated the technology at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, fully charging a phone in 15 minutes.
The Oppo R5
The Oppo R5
Oppo has been experimenting with fast charging for a while. The latest incarnation of Oppo VOOC demonstrates what the company has achieved with its efforts, outperforming its better known rivals.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, the processor inside many of this year's flagship phones, features Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, the latest version of the company's own work in fast charging and the one that consumers are probably the most familiar with. Quick Charge 3.0 is capable of charging most phones to 80 percent in around half an hour, an impressive statistic but one that has now been dwarfed by emerging Chinese brand Oppo.
Super VOOC can fully charge a 2,500mAh battery in 15 minutes, putting an end to low battery woes as a result of having no time to plug a phone in. Oppo hasn't revealed details of how the system works, instead confirming it follows the same principles as earlier versions of VOOC.
Qualcomm Quick Charge boosts charging speeds by increasing the voltage supplied to the phone. Oppo's solution takes a very different approach, keeping to a low 5 volts to reduce temperature and make the process safer and more stable. This lets consumers use their phone while it is charging without the power supply lowering its output to prevent overheating.
VOOC dynamically regulates the current supplied to the phone using an algorithm. This ensures the battery always operates within its safe limits. The adapter, cable and connector have been redesigned for Super VOOC to include premium military-grade materials.
"With its low-voltage pulse-charge system, VOOC Flash Charge avoids the most critical obstacles to safe and efficient charging, which are rooted in charging at an excessively high voltage," said Oppo. "Secondly, the low-voltage pulse-charge system uses a new algorithm to dynamically regulate the current. In this way, VOOC can ensure the fastest possible charging time while also maintaining the current within the safe range for the battery."
There are a few problems with the current implementation of Super VOOC. The actual charging time may vary depending on the phone, processor, power usage, temperature and power supply. The 2,500mAh battery that Oppo demonstrated is about average by today's standards but premium phones can be as much as 1,000mAh larger, increasing charging time.
Additionally, it's currently hard to buy an Oppo in many markets outside of its native Asia. The company will need to expand its reach - or begin licensing Super VOOC to rivals - before the name becomes as commonplace in the Western world as Qualcomm and its Quick Charge technology is.
Oppo says Super VOOC isn’t going to disappear like other emerging technologies that claim the headlines and then never end up in a phone. The company's MWC demo relied on custom-built hardware but Oppo says it is close to finishing a production version.
Super VOOC is currently in the final stages of reliability testing and integration with Micro-USB and USB Type-C charging ports. Oppo says it will start using the technology in commercial smartphones "in the near future," a promise Qualcomm may have cause to be concerned about.