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Change in Power with Portable Devices and the Rise of Power Delivery

Phones have gotten a lot more powerful and they have done so in a very short period of time. Sure, it has taken quite a few years to get where we are now, but if we wind the clock back tens years ago, where phones had such small batteries, weak processors and low-resolution screens, a lot has changed. I still remember my first phone, it was called the Samsung Impression. It was one of those phones that had a sliding keyboard that had a backlight. I thought I was the coolest kid around.

How Far We've Come

The Samsung Impression has had a screen where you could still see the pixels, a single camera that had a few megapixels and of course, the touch technology was terrible. Here I am now with a Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and everything has changed. Phones these days have larger batteries, and the norm is becoming for them to have 4,000mAh batteries, while my old Impression had a 1,000mAh battery. That said, the reason to have a larger battery is the most significant part and that’s because our phones are capable of doing so much.

Of course, phones are using more powerful processors and RAM, and we’re to the point where phones are using 12GB of RAM. That’s more RAM than most people have on their computers. Smartphone screens are a lot better now and the standard has become for most phones is to use an OLED panel rather an LCD panel, as OLED panels are brighter and have more color accuracy. We’re also at the point with phones using many types of cameras, with some phones even using four cameras lenses. Combining all this power and features, the power required to run all this easily burns into the battery if you’re using it heavily. That’s the reason for the use of larger batteries.

Is Fast Charging a Need?

A big battery is always welcomed, at least, when it’s at full power, but what about when it reaches empty? Charging a 4,000mAh battery or bigger back to its full power can take a while and that’s why you’re going to have to make use of fast charging. Quick Charge is perhaps the most common fast charging way that most phones tend to use. Quick Charge is fast, but it’s only compatible with a few select phones. Other phones also have their very own fast charging method such as how OnePlus phones use Dash Charge, but that is truly only compatible with OnePlus phones, you even need a certain cable to be able to use Dash Charge.

One of the best solutions for fast charging our portable devices whether it’s a smartphone or a laptop, as even laptops have gotten larger batteries and better specs over the years, is to use USB-C Power Delivery. The USB-C port is now a common port among smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other devices, such as mouses, keyboards, headphones, and Bluetooth speakers. When paired with Power Delivery, a USB-C port can output tons more power, with phones being able to fast charge at 18W, and the better part of PD is that it can be used with iPhones. The iPhone 11 Pro Max now comes with a PD wall charger right out of the box, which is a first from Apple.

Power Delivery is making it Everywhere

The other great part is that it’s now heavily used with most moderns laptops, most notably MacBooks, Chromebooks and a bunch of other laptops such as Microsoft, Asus, Dell, and HP laptops, too. These laptops usually require that you use a 30W PD charger or higher, but even if you’re using a high Watt Power Delivery charger, the same charger can still be used to charge your smartphone.

The implementation of USB-C Power Delivery is also another bright side. It has now been easily placed into power banks, wall chargers, and car chargers. So you can take this universal fast charging tech with you anywhere that you go. Even portable power stations that make use of AC outlets have USB-C Power Delivery ports, The above MAXOAK portable power station has two AC outlets, and yet it still has a 45W Power Delivery port. At the same time, you could still connect two PD wall chargers to the AC Outlets.

The other two highlights of PD is its ability to have small chargers and still maintain high power output. This is done by using a Gallium Nitride chip, with the chip having the ability to transfer more power and making the form factor of the charger smaller. The other highlights is having a Power Delivery dynamic charger and this is where a PD wall charger has two USB-C PD ports. If you’re charging two devices, the ports may output 18W, but if you opt to charge only from a single PD port, then the output will be 36W. With dynamic charging, you can have more power whenever you need it.