Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 vs USB Power Delivery: What's the Difference

Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 vs USB Power Delivery: What’s the Difference

Qualcomm’s Quick Charge has undergone several iterations, with Quick Charge 5 announced in mid-2020. This popular charging standard will bring massive charging prowess to the table, and it’s something to watch out for. Another fast growing charging standard is USB Power Delivery, or USB-PD, as it’s commonly known. This brings a variable voltage to the table and can go up to 20V. This brings us to an important question. How is charging technology different from each other?

That’s what we’ll find in this article today as we pit the new Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 against USB power delivery.

What is the Difference Between Qualcomm Quick Charge and USB Power Delivery

Before we get into the intricacies of the two charging standards, let’s first see what fast charging is.

Simply put, fast charging technology works by increasing the power and thereby increasing the charging speed. Therefore, any phone adapter that supplies more than 9W (5V x 1.8A) can be considered fast charging.

As you might have guessed, both charging standards deliver well above the 9W of power required for fast charging. If we are talking about QC, the first iteration provided a total power of 10V (5V x 2A). Since then, there have been several iterations, with Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 being the last. He passed the Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+.

Snapdragon Quickcharge4 5 for 5 Function 1

Qualcomm Quickcharge 4+

The limitation of Qualcomm Quick Charge is that it was available on smartphones with Qualcomm chipsets. For example, QC 4+ is available on the premium Snapdragon mobile platforms. From now on, QC 3.0 has made its way to budget devices.

Unlike this, USB Power Delivery was introduced by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), and it doesn’t need any special chips to work. It works over a standard USB-C connection, and this approach gives it a huge advantage. Power Delivery or PD power starts at 7.5W and can reach 100W.


Here the main variable is voltage and the increase in charging power is directly proportional to the voltage supplied. It starts at 5V and goes as far as 20V.

The maximum voltage of 100W is obtained by combining a voltage of 20V and a power of 5A. Although it works via USB, it still requires specialized connectors and cables for full support. The technology was released around 2012, and now PD 3.0, the third revision.

The current PD 3.0 allows for broader power negotiations or power rules. The power is divided into four categories: 7.5 W,> 15 W,> 27 W and> 45 W.

The operation of USB Power Delivery is quite simple. Each time you plug in a compatible phone, the adapter and the phone negotiate a power contract and determine how much power is needed to charge that phone. At the same time, the phone will only draw power according to its rated value to exclude any damage due to overheating or overloading.

Top 4 power strips with USB C and PD for fast charging anker1st

The Anker PowerStrip Pad has a 30W PD port

For example, if you connect a Google Pixel (rated at 18W) to a 45W wall adapter, the charger will only provide the 18W of power (this too for a fraction of the time) and not beyond. However, if you plug a Chromebook or MacBook Air into the same adapter and with compatible USB-C cables, said device would pull out the 45W needed.

Apple was one of the early adopters of this technology and you can find it on iPhones, iPads, and even MacBooks.

What does Quick Charge 5 offer

So what does Quick Charge 5 or QC 5 bring to the table? As stated earlier, it can provide up to four times more energy than today.

Unlike the generation prior to QC 4.0, the charging standard has now adopted the USB-PD Programmable Power Supply (PPS). If you should know, the old iterations used Qualcomm’s proprietary power negotiation protocol.

Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 vs USB Power Delivery 2

For Quick Charge 5, Qualcomm is also changing the phone’s charging architecture to quadruple charging speeds, allowing up to 100W of charging power. It will now support 2S battery systems or dual stack batteries to double the voltage and possibly the charging power. Using the voltage adjustment protocol, QC 5 will be able to bring up to 100W of power.

Similar to Power Delivery, Quick Charge 5 is also designed to support multiple variations in input voltages. The range of said voltage will vary between 3.3V and 20V, the current varying between 3A and 5A, depending on the capacity of the connected USB cable.

Interestingly, QC 5 will be compatible with USB Power Delivery and backward compatible with old Qc standards. Now that’s something.

Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 vs USB Power Delivery 3

If we talk about numbers, Qualcomm says the new charging technology is up to 10 degrees centigrade cooler and 70% more efficient than its predecessor. On paper, the QC 5 will be able to charge a 4,500mAh battery to 50% in just 5 minutes and fully charge it in about 15 minutes. Of course, these are theoretical numbers derived in a suitable laboratory test environment. Real world numbers may vary a bit.

We will see this charging technique on level 1 devices, at least initially.

What devices are eligible

As previously reported, Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 made its debut recently, and no phone yet supports this charging technique, although Xiaomi is one of the first manufacturers to adopt this fast charging technology.

When it comes to USB-PD, for most tablets and smartphones, the power reaches 30 W. Still, that’s pretty decent, especially when it comes to phones. Fortunately, many devices support USB-PD charging.

1. iPhone 11 Pro (USB-PD)

iPhone 11 Pro

Apple includes an 18W charger in the box with the new iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max and it can charge phones in no time. Apple’s new flagship packs a stellar mix of features. From the triple lens camera setup to the A13 Bionic processor, you just named it. The 5.8-inch display is not only bright and vivid, but it packs a punch too.

At the same time, he also shines in the camera department. It packs a tri-camera setup and is a video lover’s paradise, in short.

2. Google Pixel 4 (USB Power Delivery)

Google pixel 4

This flagship comes with an 18W power adapter and a USB-C cable in the box that charges the phone to around 47% of its capacity in around 30 minutes. In fact, the Google Pixel 4A is one of the more strict adherents of the USB C-PD charging technique and won’t charge at all if you use cables that do not meet the USB C specifications.

Other than that, this smartphone packs a punch when it comes to overall performance and camera performance. The OLED display supports a 90Hz refresh rate.

However, the battery is a bit on the lower end. While most phones use batteries, which weigh over 4000mAH, here it’s barely 2800mAh.

Other than the above, USB-PD can also be found in laptops such as MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

As fast as sound

With fast charging standards becoming the new normal, it was high time that Qualcomm improved its game. And with this new standard, it began its journey. The power of 100 W will most likely be seen on high-end products, smartphones and tablets will have to be content with less power.

Fortunately, with at least one of the charging technologies being cross-compatible, we’ll see less e-waste with a charger and adapter powering your gadgets and devices.


Looking to buy a power bank, but can’t decide which one? Read the buying guide below to find what you need to check to find the right power bank.

Last updated on August 6, 2020

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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