This guest post is written by Wong Sui Hong from tinyman.blog.
As we rely more on the smartphones to get things done, it’s common that people use their phones nearly the entire day. Manufacturers are using larger batteries with their smartphones, however, at the same time it brings longer charging time, a 3000mAh battery takes hours to fully charged with standard 10W power adapter.
To deal with this, manufacturers offer various fast charge protocols, such as Qualcomm Quick Charge, Mediatek Pump Express, OPPO SuperVOOC, Huawei SuperCharge, OnePlus Warp Charge and USB Power Delivery. Most of the proprietary fast-charging protocols aren’t established with compatibility in mind, which means the power adapter lost its fast-charge capability on smartphones from another brand, this leads to a lot of e-waste.
Among these fast charge protocols, USB Power Delivery (USB PD) is relatively new to consumers, but it’s almost everywhere when we are choosing for third-party power adapter or power banks. In additional to Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ compatibility, Google required new Android devices with USB-C ports not to break USB PD compatibility, and also iPhones in recent years work with USB PD! What makes USB PD stands out against these fast charge protocols? Let’s talk about USB PD before we started the hands-on review.
USB Type-C (USB-C) plays an important role in the USB PD protocol. Compare to Micro USB which widely adopted seen on Android phones, USB-C is best well known for its reversible design that able to plug in the cable in any direction. USB-C gradually becomes popular in the smartphone industry in recent years, replacing the Micro USB port, it can even be found on the mid-range phone Redmi Note 7.
In addition to charging and transferring data, USB-C also has several advantages such as transfer data at very high speeds (10Gbps), and can carry audio and video streams, and so on. It will soon replace USB Type-A and become the most popular USB connector.
USB Type-A, Micro USB, USB-C, Apple Lightning
USB PD is a fast charge protocol introduced by USB IF, which using USB-C port for power output. However, please keep in mind that devices with USB-C port not necessarily support USB PD, but power adapter support USB PD comes with USB-C output ports.
USB PD is versatile with its max output up to 100W, it can be used for charging various devices, for charging smartphones, or power up the monitors and other devices.
With embedded controller chips, a standard USB PD power adapter can recognize the connected devices and deliver the power the devices required. For example, a 45W USB PD power adapter only delivers 18W power while charging an iPhone, without damage to the phone’s battery.
Compare to proprietary fast charge protocols which only available for smartphones, USB PD is versatile, it can be used on laptops, monitors, printer or even handheld game console.
iPhone Fast Charge
According to Apple, the phones launched in 2017 onwards that support USB PD protocol, which included iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 support USB PD fast charge. Prior Apple approving third-party MFi-certified USB-C to Lightning cable license, the only way to fast charge your iPhone is by using first-party accessories, let’s check how much it cost for Apple’s 18W PD charging set:
Well, you have to spend at least RM238 (“RM“ = Malaysian ringgit) for fast charging your iPhone, that’s a lot for some people. Except iPhone 11 Pro series launched earlier this year, iPhones come with 5W power adapter. It’s costly for fast charging your USB PD compatible iPhone or, spend hours to get your phone fully charged. Fortunately, there are many third-party MFi-certified fast charge accessories now, some of them are made by well-known brands and more affordable.
UGREEN 18W PD Power Adapter + USB-C to Lightning Cable
UGREEN offers a wide range of computer accessories and cables. I’ve bought AUX cable, USB hubs, external hard drive enclosure from UGREEN, all these accessories not only affordable but good quality, it leaves a good impression. I found this 18W PD power adapter during 11.11 Grand Sales. In addition to the good reputation of UGREEN, the biggest selling point of this Power Adapter + USB-C to Lightning cable set is it cost much much cheaper, which is around ¼ of Apple’s charging set. Without a doubt, I get UGREEN 18W PD set and see how fast charging works on iPhone.
I purchased the UGREEN 18W PD power adapter and USB-C to Lightning cable with less than RM52, also I got some USB-C to USB-C cables. Wondering why I do so? Let’s check it out!
Both UGREEN 18W charger and the USB-C to Lightning cable are packed in the clean-designed package, and there’s an eye-catching MFi-certified logo on the PD to Lightning cable package, which means you won’t see “Accessory may not be supported” alert on your iOS devices. Additionally, UGREEN has introduced new branding, thus the new and previous logo will be available on the market for a period of time, so don’t worry when you received a box with the old logo, it’s not a counterfeit product.
The information about the power adapter can be found in the rear side. Besides various safety certification markings, you can find that the mode of this adapter is CD137, which supports 5V⎓3A/ 9V⎓2A/ 12V⎓1.5A, with a maximum 18W power output.
The power adapter is in white color, with UGREEN logo in front, and a USB-C port.
Again, there’s a safety certification and the product specifications on the back. This power adapter comes with UK plug, it would be better if the pin can be folded, which prevents scratches to other items carry with it. But it is understandable in order to have more affordable and competitive pricing.
A multi-language manual can be found in the box. For optimum operation, it recommends that read this manual carefully before use.
You can find the information of customer support and also social media accounts on the Thank You card. Besides that, UGREEN Malaysia has a Facebook page and group, which share a lot of promotions from time to time, you can follow them if you are interested in their products.
WeChat QR code for the official account.
The introduction and specifications are printed on the back of the box, the max current is 3A, and the length of cable that I bought is 1.5m.
USB-C to Lightning connectors, check.
This is how UGREEN 18W PD power adapter compares to the iPhone standard 5W power adapter side by side. The size is similar, while UGREEN’s is thicker (and much powerful).
iPhone XR Charging Test
Charging an iPhone XR from 0% using UGREEN 18W PD fast charge set, the phone charged up to 52% in 30 minutes, which complies with the data from UGREEN. In an hour, the phone charged up to 80%, and the iPhone XR gets fully charged within two hours.
Under the same condition, the 5W power adapter comes with iPhone XR only charge 18% in half an hour, and 39% battery for one hour. It takes 3 hours and 10 minutes to get fully charged.
In the charging process, UGREEN 18W PD charger has no obvious heating phenomenon. This product also adopts multiple safety protection measures such as overheating protection, overvoltage protection, overcurrent protection, and short circuit protection.
According to Chongdiantou website, in addition to supporting the USB PD fast charging protocol, this UGREEN charger also has a built-in USB PD control chip with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ certification. In other words, with a USB-C to USB-C cable, you can use the same charger to achieve fast charging on iPhone and Android phones, provided that your Android phones support Qualcomm Quick Charge protocol.
Though iPhone delivers long battery life with small battery capacity, it takes hours to get fully charged. UGREEN USB PD power adapter can charge up to 50% in half an hour and fully charged within 2 hours. Not only it greatly decreases charging time, also it provides sufficient battery life in the event of an emergency.
In addition to the affordable price, the size of UGREEN 18W PD charger is similar compare to the iPhone’s 5W power adapter. It’s easy to carry around with you. However, I hope they include a folding pin design in their next version, which greatly improves the portability.
You can use the UGREEN81 (Lazada) / UGREPD (Shopee) promo code to get 5% discount during Black Friday & Cyber Monday period. For those who have been fed up with the long charging time of the Apple 5W charger, I highly recommend starting with this 18W PD charging combination.