Fast charge requires three things – a compatible device (phone, laptop, or tablet), a charger that supports USB fast charge, and a compatible cable.
The cable will feature USB-C at least on the charger and either USB-C or Apple Lighting on the device end.
In this post, we’ll cover the basics of fast charging and how USB-C 3.1 Power Delivery(PD) allows you to charge devices 2 to 4 times faster up to 240W.
By the tail end of this post, you’ll learn the following:
- The various USB connection types
- Which generation of USB-C charger delivers the highest speed and under what conditions.
- How to make the most of USB-C chargers.
Let’s get cracking.
How Does a USB-C Charger Work?
First, some basics. There are several USB iterations including 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, and USB4. You can read about these iterations in detail in our USB Basics blog post.
On top of that, there’s the USB-C, also known as Type-C – which is what we’ll talk about for the better part of this article.
The Principles of USB-C Chargers
The idea behind USB is pretty simple – having a standard cable and port across the board which you can use to charge and exchange data between your devices.
A USB-C cable features a physical connector, smaller than previous USB iterations. The connector is reversible and symmetrical, so there’s nothing like “right side up,” much like Apple’s Lightning connector.
Related article: USB-C vs Lightning: What’s the Difference?
A standard USB-C connector comes with 24 pins; 16 for data transfer, 4 ground pins, and 4 power pins. That’s a massive number of pins when compared with, for instance, micro-USB 2.0, which has a measly 5-pins.
USB-C Charging Speed Explained
The primary reason a USB-C cable can help supply power faster is its superior design when pitted against previous USB versions that maxed out at 7.5 Watts. On top of that, USB-C is compatible with USB power delivery, a new technology that boosts changing rates significantly.
For some time, USB power delivery could only increase a USB-C cable’s charging capability to 100W.
However, the new USB power delivery 3.1 can boost a USB-C cable charging capacity to 240W. While this reduces the time it takes to charge your devices, few cables can support the increased power supply definition.
Still, you can leverage the fast charging capabilities of the GaN Fast Charger to charge your devices from MacBook Pros to iPhones, Huawei devices, to mention but a few.
It is important to mention, though, that the charging and data transfer speeds depend on your device’s version of the USB specification.
For instance, you can charge certain iPhone models to about 30% in thirty minutes using a USB connector. On the flip side, you can charge a similar phone to 50% in thirty minutes with a USB-C charger.
According to most phone manufacturers, USB-C can charge compatible devices 20 times faster than other USB iterations.
How to Make the Most of a USB-C Fast Charging?
You now know how a USB-C charger works. The question then becomes, how can you leverage the capabilities of USB-C? Here’s a rundown of some suggestions.
Use a Device Compatible with a USB-C port
The first step toward leveraging USB-C’s charging and data transfer is to ensure that your device is compatible with a USB-C charge port.
What if your device doesn’t have a USB port?
Sure, not every device supports USB-C yet. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use a USB cable to charge or transfer data to and from such devices. All you need to do is buy at least three of these cables; USB-C to USB-C, USB-C to USB-B, and USB-C to USB-A.
Note – While you might get a single USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to USB-A, you’ll still need to buy at least two others.
Get a Charger That Supports Higher Wattages
All USB-C chargers aren’t created equal.
Sure, there are many USB-C charging iterations, but you can enjoy fast charging, and data exchange if you choose a charger that offers higher wattage, such as the 100 W 3C1A GaN charger.
Boasting a low profile, the 3GaN charger offers a whopping 65-watt fast charging. Further, it can charge up to 4 devices simultaneously.
Get a High-quality USB-C cable
The last piece of the puzzle to enjoying USB-C fast charging is investing in a high-quality USB-C cable. Again, depending on your charger, you’ll want to get a USB-C to USB-C or a USB-C to USB-A cable.
If your device requires more than 60 watts of charging power, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using an electronically marked or eMarked, USB-C Power Delivery cable.
Further, you can enjoy fast charging for iPhones by using an MFi certified USB-C to lighting cable.
Note – It is crucial to buy your USB cable from a manufacturer you can trust. All UGREEN USB-C cables offer five-star quality, complete with durable nylon braiding for flexible and tangle free-operation.
USB-C chargers together with the Power Delivery standard provide a faster, more affordable, and reliable way to charge your devices and transfer data. At UGREEN, we’re championing the use of USB-C accessories to enjoy the real magic of fast charging.
On top of that, USB Type-C connectors are reversible, making them more user-friendly and super convenient.
Moreover, because USB Power Delivery is an open and widely adopted standard, more chargers will continue to use this technology, so it’s a matter of time before USB-C becomes a universal charging standard.
With the ability to charge devices up to 700% faster than standard USB, it’s time to make the big switch.