USB Power Delivery vs Qualcomm Quick Charge: what’s the difference

USB Power Delivery vs Qualcomm Quick Charge: what's the difference

We are in 2020, and the smartphone market is full of fast charging standards such as Qualcomm Quick Charge, USB Power Delivery, Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge and OnePlus Warp Charge. Except for the first two, the others are proprietary charging standards and are limited to particular brands. Unlike these two, fast charging and USB power distribution are not limited to brands. Instead, it’s universal and is available on multiple smartphones and tablets, be it the humble Redmi Note 9 Pro or the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Therefore, this brings us to an important question. Are the USB Power Delivery and Qualcomm Quick Charge modes the same? If not, what are the differences between these two charging technologies and what benefits do they bring to the table?

That’s what we’re going to explore more and more about Qualcomm’s USB power delivery and fast charging to find out what a difference and which one will keep your gadgets future-proof.

As it will be a long post, let’s go.

But before you do, check them out:

What is fast charging and how the two standards differ

Before we get into the intricacies of this technology, let’s first talk about fast charging.

Typically, a smartphone comes with a 7.5 W charger. Fast charging technology works by increasing the power, thereby increasing the charging speed. Thus, any smartphone providing more than 9 W (5 V x 1.8 A) can be considered as fast charging.

Cool Hd and 4K Flash Wallpapers for Desktop and Mobile 9

As you may have already guessed, both standards provide more power than said 9W.

Interestingly, these charging technologies focus on the charging speed and overall body temperature while charging and the efficiency of the battery cells.

What is fast charging

Fast charging is an exclusive fast charging technique developed by Qualcomm. Launched for the first time in 2013, this technology provided a total power of 10 V (5 V x 2 A). However, there have been many iterations of the same thing, Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ being the last.

So how much power does the Quick Charge compatible external battery or adapter charge?

For beginners, the old standard, Quick Charge 2.0 allows different voltage modes – 5V / 2A, 9V / 2A and 12V / 1.67A. Meanwhile, Quick Charge 3.0 allows charging between 3.6 V and 22 V with dynamic voltage increments of 200 mV.

Top 6 USB C power cables for fast final charge

The latter has promised a 40% increase in efficiency and has also brought INOV (Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage) technology, which smartphones can use to negotiate the amount of energy required.

Compared to the above, Quick Charge 4 is 20% faster and 30% more efficient. Being a newer technology, it is compatible with USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD). Interestingly, QC 4.0 went by the slogan of 5 for 5, which translates to 5 hours of autonomy with only 5 minutes of charge. Cool, right?

Snapdragon Quickcharge4 5 For 5 Feature 1

It should be noted that Qualcomm Quick Charge is only available on phones with Qualcomm chipsets under the hood. Fortunately, compatible devices are backward compatible with the old charging technique.

What is USB Power Delivery and how is it different

USB Power Delivery – more commonly known as USB PD, is gradually expanding to become a universal standard for multiple devices on the same charger. It works over a standard USB connection and you don’t need to have a special chip to operate it. Naturally, this universal approach gives it a certain advantage because there are compatible cables for iPhone and Android users.

It should be noted that the USB PD is not limited to smartphones. They are supported on a wide range of gadgets, including laptops like Chromebooks and tablets like iPad Pro. In addition, the universal approach means that these compatible gadgets will be able to share cables and charge adapters.

I Pad Pro new

It aims to reduce cables and the size of chargers for consumers and also for manufacturers of gadgets to group a charger with each gadget they sell. The idea is to have a universal charger at home that could charge all of your devices.

So how does this technology work?

Well, the operation of USB Power Delivery is quite simple. When you plug your phone into a compatible Power Delivery charger, the two systems establish a negotiation in which the amount of energy required to charge the phone is determined.

Top 6 USB C power cables for fast charging

The power in Power Delivery or PD starts at 7.5 W and can go up to 100 W. Here, the voltage is variable and starts at 5V and can go up to 20V. PD 2.0 allows for broader power negotiation, aptly named Power Rules. For the moment, the power is divided into four categories – 7.5 W,> 15 W,> 27 W and> 45 W.

The maximum voltage of 100W is obtained by painting the voltage of 20V and the power of 5A.

The best thing is that the connected device will only draw power according to its nominal power, since it is preprogrammed to detect the load capacity of a device and supply the power accordingly. Therefore, you can decide to put any damage due to overheating.

And there is more in history. There is no defined direction for the energy flow in Power Delivery, which means that it allows a reverse charge. So if you connect two compatible phones to each other via a USB-C cable, the phones will be able to charge each other, but at different speeds. That’s the basic idea. Pretty cool, right?

Like its counterpart above, there are many iterations of Power Delivery, PD 3.0 being the last in the range.

Fast charge 4+ and Power Delivery 3.0

As we noted earlier, Quick Charge 4+ is one of the latest iterations of Quick Charge and is present in most smartphones running the Snapdragon 800 chipset.

In addition to simply accelerating the charging time, QC 4+ considerably intensifies the reduction of the thermal footprint. It has three distinct advantages,

  • Double charge
  • Intelligent thermal balancing
  • Advanced security features

Double charging increases the charging time by dividing the current flowing in the device. This is further aided by intelligent thermal balancing which also keeps the temperature under control by moving the current through the coolest path and avoiding hot spots during charging.

Qualcoom Quick Charge 4 2

As stated earlier, all of these lead to a cooler body temperature and 15% faster and 40% more efficient charging.

Regarding Power Delivery 3.0, they offer the same set of power rules as PD 2.0 with improvements in power distribution. In short, devices can exchange detailed information such as system status, temperature, etc.

For example, if the body temperature of the phone or laptop increases during charging, the charger will push the order to let the gadget notify you. Of course, with the charger you also need a USB IF certified cable to get the most out of the charger. With the USB PD charger and a certified cable, you should be able to charge gadgets ranging from wireless headphones to laptops.

Which devices are eligible

Now comes the most important question – the number of compatible devices. Well, when it comes to Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 and Power Delivery, there are several compatible phones and power banks. We will list some popular options.

1. Apple iPhone 11 (Power Delivery)

Apple iPhone 11

The Apple iPhone 11 Pro brings an exciting array of features to the table. It has a stellar display and well, streaming HDR content is a delightful affair.

2. RAVPower 61W PD 3.0

RAVPower 61W PD 3.0

The RAVPower 61W PD 3.0 is a compatible device designed to charge anything from smartphones and USB-C laptops such as MacBook Pro and Chromebooks. It is small and compact and does not consume much real estate.

3. Nekteck USB Type-C Cigarette Lighter Charger

The Nekteck USB Type-C car charger brings the power of PD to the car. It combines a USB-C port and a USB-A port, and also includes a USB Type-C 60W cable certified IF.

As fast as the flash

So these are some of the fundamental differences between USB Power Delivery and Qualcomm Quick Charge. While Quick Charge focuses heavily on overall body temperature and fast charging. It is limited to only a few devices like the Xiaomi Mi 8, Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 and Black Shark 2.

Unless you have a compatible device, you need a dedicated charger and a phone to get the most out of it.

Power Delivery is the future of smartphone charging. If you have more than one compatible gadget, it reduces electronic waste. Well, it’s fast like Flash.


Did you know that USF 3.0 brings fast data transfer speeds to the table? But how fast is it? Read the article below to find out everything.

Last updated Jul 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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