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Meizu throws its hat into the quick-charging ring at MWC

The Chinese manufacturer says it can get you from zero to full in 20 minutes.

César Salza/CNET
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Aloysius Low/CNET

In the future you won't have to wait hours for your phone to fully charge.

That's the plan at least, according to Chinese manufacturer Meizu, which announced it can charge a phone from zero to full in just 20 minutes at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona.

Meizu's Super mCharge appears to be a lot faster than Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which is currently the most common charging tech and can juice a phone from zero to 80 percent in about 35 minutes. Phone and chipset manufacturers are turning to these fast-charging solutions as battery technology still limits a phone's working time to barely a day.

Meizu, which is famous in China for producing devices that look an awful lot like iPhones, has designed the Super mCharge using a charge pump principle. It says this "applies two groups of conversion circuits to directly output half of the voltage."

This process increases charging efficiency from 9 to 98 percent. Meizu says the battery temperature only hits a high point of 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius), which should hopefully keep phones from exploding.

You'll need a special upgraded data cable that can support more wattage, Meizu warns. You can't get the super-fast charging speeds with a normal cable.

Meizu isn't the first to announce its own proprietary charging tech. Last year at MWC, rival manufacturer Oppo showed off its Super Vooc technology, which goes from zero to full in a mere 15 minutes but has yet to be made available as part of a commercial product.

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During Meizu's Super mCharge demo at MWC, it boosted this phone's battery by a percentage point about every ten seconds.

CNET

A Meizu spokesperson told CNET that while Oppo's solution is faster, Meizu's own solution is safer as it "uses a significantly lower current," about one-third of the charging current which helps to prolong the service life of the components.

There's no word yet on when the tech will show up on phones, and Meizu was not able to confirm whether the company plans to license its tech to other vendors.