Qualcomm can charge your phone faster than you can read this story

Devices with Quick Charge 4 technology can get up to 5 hours of battery life on a 5-minute charge, says Qualcomm.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
2 min read
Watch this: Wait, how fast can Qualcomm charge a phone?

Qualcomm says its Quick Charge 4 tech can charge a phone for up to five hours in five minutes.

Courtesy of Qualcomm

You'll soon be able to get 5 hours of battery life faster than you can make popcorn.

Qualcomm debuted the fourth generation of its super-fast charging technology, dubbed Quick Charge 4, on Thursday. It's set for release in the first half of 2017 with the debut of its next flagship processor, the Snapdragon 835.

Quick Charge 4 will provide up to 5 hours of battery life on a 5-minute charge, Everett Roach, Qualcomm's senior director of product management, said at the Snapdragon Tech Summit on Wednesday.

"We put a lot of hard work and engineering into new products, and we're gonna deliver what we hope is a much better charging experience from 2016," Roach said.

Because Quick Charge is built into Snapdragon, this isn't a feature you can just buy. You'll have to look out for phones powered by the Snapdragon 835 (Qualcomm hasn't said which companies will use this chip).

Battery life has always been a thorn in the side for device owners, and that pain has only gotten sharper as phones and tablets grew larger and more powerful. Fast charging has become a top priority for 61 percent of phone buyers, Qualcomm found in a study.

Quick Charge uses an algorithm that Qualcomm calls Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage (INOV), which manages how much power your devices request through charging cables. The Quick Charge 4 update also includes heat management to make sure your phone or tablet doesn't overheat while charging, an issue that effectively killed off Samsung's Galaxy Note 7.

Roach said safety was a major concern for Qualcomm. On the outlet end, wall chargers and other devices using Quick Charge 4 will have protections to prevent overcharging and overheating. Phones using the Snapdragon 835 will get three levels of current and voltage protection, as well as four levels of protection to stop overheating. The processor will also help manage battery life, pushing for longer usage.

Qualcomm is boasting a 20 percent faster charge time with 30 percent more battery efficiency compared the previous generation of Quick Charge. That means saving 2 to 3 minutes for charging while getting an extra hour or two before having to plug your phone back in.

Quick Charge 4 also will keep your phone cooler by up to 5 degrees Celsius compared with the last generation.

The company doesn't want to limit its super-fast charging tech to phones. Roach sees Quick Charge 4 being able to fully power tablets, VR headsets and drones within minutes. Currently, more than 600 million devices support Quick Charge, with a rising demand for faster battery charging.

"Quick Charge 4 addresses that need by providing up to 50 percent battery charge in roughly 15 minutes or less, so you don't have to spend all day chained to your charging cable," Alex Katouzian, Qualcomm's vice president of product management, said in a statement.