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Oppo's 125w Flash Charge fully fills a phone battery in 20 minutes

Anything 18w and up is considered fast charging. Oppo's new charging tech offers 125w.

Ian Knighton/CNET

Oppo is a hugely popular phone maker in China, but it's far from well known in the US. A sister company to OnePlus, Oppo is hoping to change that with a stream of futuristic features, which it announces with the same amount of hoopla usually attached to the unveiling of a new phone. Last year, it was an in-screen selfie camera, and now Oppo is moving on to battery life,

On Wednesday, the company announced its new 125w Fast Charge, which it said can charge a 4,000mAh battery up to 41% in just five minutes and 100% in 20 minutes. (Most flagship phones have batteries sized from 3,000mAh, like the iPhone 11 Pro, to 5,000mAh, like Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra.) Oppo also revealed AirVOOC, a 65w wireless charger that it said can fully revitalize a battery in 30 minutes.

The advent of 5G, which promises blazing-fast download speeds, puts phone makers in something of a bind. The tech will add a further drain on battery lives that are already sucked by music, gaming and video streaming, but it's difficult to cram bigger batteries into phones without making the devices too big, thick or weighty. The solution, as Oppo sees it, is to keep the same battery size but improve battery charging. 


Oppo's family of fast chargers. 


Oppo isn't the only one. Apple's fast charge powers an iPhone up to 50% in around 30 minutes, while Samsung earlier this year introduced its 45w Super Charge 2.0. However, it's Chinese brands that have led the... charge. Oppo had been the industry leader throughout most of last year, offering 65w charging that fully powered a device in a half hour. Xiaomi in November introduced Super Charge Turbo, 100w charging that it claimed could get a 4,000mAh battery from flat to 100% in 17 minutes. With 125w Flash Charge, Oppo hopes to reclaim its No. 1 spot. 

Oppo phones don't sell with US carriers, but you won't need an Oppo phone to take advantage of Flash Charge. Any Android phone that supports 125w charging can take advantage of Oppo's Flash Charge. The bad news? No phone currently supports 125w charging. Oppo didn't reveal a new flagship to go along with the futuristic tech. 

This was the same routine with the aforementioned in-screen selfie camera, which so far has only been seen on prototype Oppo devices. The company's most recent flagship is the X2 Pro, a phone for those who want a luxe Android device not made by Samsung.