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Is fast charging actually bad for your battery?

MKBHD breaks it all down in his latest YouTube video.

oneplus charging cable
Image: KnowTechie

Fast charging tech for smartphones is insanely useful. I mean, who doesn’t want to be able to charge 50-percent of their battery in minutes? With speeds ever-increasing, you might have some questions about how a fast charger affects your battery health.

I mean, the next OnePlus device is going to have a 150W charger. That’s a full battery in less than 15 minutes and the company is working on an even faster 240W charger.

The Lithium-ion batteries in your smartphones are getting better all the time. Unlike NiCad, it’s not electrons that move between the positive and negative electrodes but ions.

In theory, this could work forever, but real-world usage means they start to degrade. The biggest killer? Heat.

So what do manufacturers do to mitigate fast charging issues?

Popular YouTuber MKBHD noticed that every video about advances in charging tech has the comments section littered with “I don’t want that on my phone, that’s definitely going to overheat,” to “good luck plugging that in for more than five minutes before it explodes.”

He decided to find out if that’s actually true, and it’s pretty cool what he discovered.

Video: MKBHD

The first thing he found is that the rated speed of any charger typically only hits that speed for the first few minutes after plugging in.

A 65W charger goes at full for maybe 20 minutes, before it drastically drops the power and trickle charges. That keeps the heat down, helping with battery longevity.

The other thing is that lithium-ion batteries don’t like being at 100-percent or 0-percent charge. They’re happier in the middle, which is why battery health algorithms stop the charge once they get to 80-percent.

check battery health on iphone
Image: KnowTechie

He also found that there’s an industry standard for what actually counts as “ruining your battery.” That’s a target of 80-percent battery health after 800 charges. If you charge once a day, that’s over two years before your battery degrades below this point.

The biggest thing to take away from MKBHD’s video is that speedy charging doesn’t have to destroy your battery. They’re a convenient way to keep your battery topped up. The best thing to do is to keep using your phones as normal and try not to let them get hot.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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