With the new standard in USB-C, we all thought we would have one plug to rule them all. Physically that is coming true with the fully reversible C plug, but there is even more confusion and fragmentation now that Google and other Android manufacturers use two different charging standards. I find the use of two different charging standards to be unfriendly to the consumer and hope Google standardizes this practice quickly. It might even help out Samsung to sort out its charging issues too.
The most popular charging standard you probably have heard of is Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. Instead of going with Qualcomm’s standard, Google implemented the actual USB-C Power Delivery Standard which is different than Qualcomm’s Quick Charge. While both charge faster than basic chargers, you will want to pick the right charger if you want to maximize the charging speed of your devices. You will also probably want a quality brand name that has a wide range reviews too. Some brands that I trust are Anker, Tronsmart, and Aukey.
It’s not exactly natural to think third party cables should matter as they all look and plug in the same. However, cable technology can be the difference between fast charging and frying your device as well.
Quick Charge 3.0
Quick Charge 3.0 employs Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage (INOV), an algorithm which allows your portable device to determine what power level to request at any point in time, enabling optimum power transfer while maximizing efficiency. It also supports wider voltage options, allowing a mobile device to dynamically adjust to the ideal voltage level supported by that specific device. Specifically, Quick Charge 3.0 offers a more granular range of voltages: 200mV increments, from 3.6V to 20V. That way your phone can target one of dozens of power levels. – Qualcomm
Popular Android that employ Quick Charge 3.0
- ASUS Zenfone 3
- HTC 10
- HTC One A9
- LG G5
- LG V20
- Xiaomi Mi5
- ZTE Axon 7 and 7 Max
- Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge use Quick Charge 2.0
USB Power Delivery
Rather than try to recapitulate a well thought out and written explanation of USB Power Delivery, I’ll point you to the famous Googler Benson Leung who explained it here. Basically the Nexus 5X, 6P, Pixel and Pixel Xl all use USB Power Delivery and you should pick the right charger for your phone as it will ensure 100% compatibility.
The USB Power Delivery Specification enables the maximum functionality of USB by providing more flexible power delivery along with data over a single cable. Its aim is to operate with and build on the existing USB ecosystem. – usb.org
You can use both for charging your devices
Just to be clear, you can use just about any charger for both charging methods. However, if you do not pick the specific charger for USB Power Delivery, you won’t be maximizing your charging speeds on your Nexus 5X, 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL.
For a list of USB Power Delivery specific chargers and cables, I’ve listed several options below.
AUKEY Amp Duo USB Wall Charger with Power Delivery – $26.99 at Amazon
- The Amp PD Duo is versatile, futureproof, compact Type-C wall charger + dual USB adapter that can charge all your USB-C or USB-A powered gear
- USB-C with 29W Power Delivery 2.0 efficiently charges compatible devices faster at higher voltages
- Detachable Type-C to dual USB adapter charges all 5V USB devices with up to 2.4A available per port
AUKEY Car Charger with USB C & Power Delivery – $19.99 at Amazon
- Charge your Type-C phone or larger USB-C devices with Power Delivery 2.0
- AiPower recognizes the charging requirements of your devices and matches power output for safe and efficient charging
- Compatible with all USB-C and USB-A powered devices including Android & Apple smartphones, notebooks, and tablets
- Built-in safeguards protect your devices against excessive current, overheating, and overcharging
Anker PowerLine USB-C to USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 Cable (3ft) with Power Delivery for USB Type-C Devices – $14.99 at Amazon
- USB Power Delivery: Charges any current or future USB-C device at high speed. Utilizes E-marker chip to safely deliver up to 60W of power.
- Multifunctional: Supports SuperSpeed 5Gbps data transfer (send or receive an HD movie in under 5 seconds) as well as audio and 4K video signal.
- Ultra-Durable: Lasts 5X longer than other USB cables. Aramid fiber reinforcement makes it stronger and more robust.
Anker Premium 5-Port 60W USB Wall Charger PowerPort+ 5 USB-C with Power Delivery – $39.99 at Amazon
- Fast-Charging Technology: USB-C Power Delivery charges USB-C devices, like the new MacBook, at full speed. In the other ports, PowerIQ intelligently recognizes your device and boosts its charging speed, up to 2.4A per port.*
- Five Ports: 1 USB-C port with Power Delivery and 4 standard USB ports with PowerIQ allow simultaneous multi-device charging at high speed.
- MultiProtect Safety System: Keeps your devices safe with surge protection, temperature control and more advanced safety features.
PD Type C Portable Charger RAVPower 26800mAh Battery Pack – $64.99 at Amazon
- The Only USB PD Portable Charger Up To 30W: Recharge the 26800mAh battery through the Type-C port in just 4-5 hours (compared to the standard 14 hours); also features 2A and 1A input recharging
- Massive 30W Type-C Output: The Type-C output reaches up to 30W that matches the original AC MacBook charger, so you can charge all devices including a MacBook in no time. Note: Type-C cable sold separately
- Large Capacity, Multiple Outputs: 26800mAh battery capacity charges an iPhone 6S 10 times, a Samsung S6 6times, or an iPad Air 2 times; contains two 2.4A iSmart ports for a combined 3.4A total
- Advanced iSmart 2.0 Technology: Upgraded iSmart 2.0 automatically detects and adjusts the charging current to obtain the fastest charging; advanced Panasonic IC for safer and better conductivity
- Safety First: A+ battery for over 500 charge / recharge cycles; includes overcharge, short circuit, and current surge protection; features a scratch resistant matte finish
Official Pixel 18W Power Adapter – $35 at the Google Store
Wait no more — or at least a lot less. Plug in the 18W Power Adapter designed with USB Power Delivery to charge your USB-C enabled devices quickly.