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New Android gaming phone teases record-breaking charging speeds

Published Apr 14th, 2020 11:11PM EDT
Android Gaming Phone
Image: quietbits/Shutterstock

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  • Lenovo is about to launch a Legion-branded gaming phone that will support battery charging speeds of up to 90W, according to teasers.
  • At such speeds, laptop USB-C chargers could be used to recharge the phone, or the phone’s charger might be suitable for use on notebooks and other gadgets.
  • It’s unclear how long it would take the Legion’s battery to recharge at such speeds, however.
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Battery life is one of the most important features in a smartphone, and handset makers have to find a way to maximize battery life without hurting other components or the handset’s performance. Internal space is limited, and packing a high capacity battery into a slim device isn’t easy. That’s where stacked logic boards come in handy, and we’ve seen such designs on various devices in recent years. The elimination of the headphone jack also helped recycle space for battery use, just as multi-lens camera systems used up more space of their own.

But battery capacity shouldn’t be a going concern in this day and age, as smartphone makers have devised all sorts of proprietary charging technologies, including wired and wireless varieties, that support faster charging speeds than ever. The higher the wattage, the faster the battery will be replenished. Fast wired charging ranges from 25W on the Galaxy S20 to 65W on the Oppo Find X2. But Oppo’s record charging speed is about to be broken by a phone that might charge with the help of your laptop’s charger.

Oppo’s SuperVooc 65W wired charging tech is relatively new, and it’s a feature I envy as an iPhone user. In fact, any new Android flagship recharges faster than the iPhone. But Lenovo is about to launch a handset that will support 90W chargers. The Chinese smartphone maker will launch a gaming phone under the Legion brand soon. While the phone’s features are still a mystery, Legion teasers on social media in China indicate the handset will support 90W charging:

Image source: Weibo via GSMArena

If you own a 15-inch MacBook Pro, then you have an 87W USB-C charger. All new MacBook Air models rely on 30W power adapters, while the 13-inch Pro needs a 61W charger. All of these chargers might be able to recharge the Legion phone. To put it differently, any new USB-C laptop charger might work with the Legion. Given that the Legion Android handset isn’t official, and these are just teasers, we can only speculate for the time being.

Also, it’s unclear how large the phone’s battery will be, and how long it will take to fully charge. Smartphones do not use the maximum charging speeds throughout the charging process, throttling speeds to ensure battery safety. Still, a battery that supports rates of up to 90W would undoubtedly need a lot less time to go from 0 to 100%.

Image source: Weibo via GSMArena

However, Lenovo is hardly the only company looking to significantly increase the charging speed of phones. Two other Chinese smartphone makers are also studying tech that would dramatically increase charging rates. Samsung last year announced new chips that would let it create universal chargers that could recharge a variety of devices, from smartphones to laptops, supporting a maximum speed of 100W. Vivo demoed 120W chargers last summer, and Xiaomi came out with its theoretical 100W Super Charge Turbo tech a few months later.

Xiaomi’s 100W charger could replenish a 4,000 mAh battery in 17 minutes. Vivo’s 120W charger would be even faster than that, needing 13 minutes to reach a full charge on a 4,000 mAh phone.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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