Meizu unveiled a new fast-charging technology—called Super mCharge—at MWC 2017 that’s capable of fully charging a 3000 mAh battery in just 20 minutes. Rapid charging has grown from novelty to highly desirable feature in a short period of time, with it being particularly popular in China, Meizu’s home market.

Great Scott!

While not powerful enough to send a DeLorean back to the future, the 55W rating for Super mCharge (11V, 5A) is significantly higher than anything we’ve yet seen. For comparison, Motorola’s TurboPower is rated for 28.5W, and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 hits 18W.

Meizu is using a charge pump, a type of DC to DC converter that uses an external circuit to control the connection of capacitors to the input voltage. By disconnecting the capacitor from the source via a switch and reconfiguring the circuit with additional switches, the charge pump’s output voltage can be raised or lowered relative to the input. Keeping the capacitors small and the switching frequency high improves efficiency. Meizu is claiming 98% efficiency for its design, and while charge pumps are known for high efficiency, this seems a little high at first glance.

For Super mCharge, Meizu is dividing the input voltage in half, which doubles the output current. To accommodate the current increase, Meizu is pairing its new fast-charging circuit with a new lithium-based 3000 mAh battery made with “advanced manufacturing processes” that can handle 4x the current of previous batteries. This new battery is said to retain 80% of its original charge capacity after 800 complete charge cycles, where a charge cycle is defined as any possible sequence that ultimately goes from 100% to 0% to 100%. This rating is actually at the high end of the scale, with most fast-charging methods rated for 500 cycles or a little more. Battery life is likely improved by keeping temperature in check; Meizu claims that battery temperature does not exceed 38 °C (100 °F), a full 6 °C less than a competing solution in its testing.

Super mCharge includes voltage, current, and temperature monitoring for battery health and safety. Because the USB Type-C cable conducts more than 3A of current, it includes an E-mark IC (electronically marked safety chip) on one connector.

Meizu did not say when we’ll see Super mCharge in a shipping device, but I would not be surprised to see it later this year.

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  • grant3 - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    This is a website for tech, not a website for angry old men who think technology has gone too far and what happened to the good old days!

    No doubt it's satisfying to be the final arbiter on what what is acceptable and unacceptable use of our private devices, but you should open your mind to the notion that many people do other things with them besides "Twitter, Pokemon Go, and text messages about Television"

    Perhaps you can consider the possibility that some people have been so busy "looking up" outside of their home that they haven't had a chance to recharge for a long time. Or perhaps they simply forgot to plug in the phone over night. Or perhaps they are visiting a new city and have used their phone exhaustively for navigation. Or perhaps one of a zillion other reasons that fall outside your assumptions.

    If you truly think slow charging is a superior option, then please feel free to stick with USB-1 for as long as you want. No one will judge you as harshly for that as you do others for how they live their lives.
    Reply
  • UltraWide - Friday, March 3, 2017 - link

    Well said. :) Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, March 5, 2017 - link

    There's a difference between slow charging, normal charging, and 5000 gigawatts of battery-cooking power. They WANT your battery to start sucking after a year or so. Maybe *you're* stuck in the past but recent phones have so much horsepower it's harder to justify an upgrade every generation for "speed" reasons. Now the number one reason is "battery life isn't good anymore and it's not user-serviceable".

    Some of that is user-inflicted by using substantially higher than stock charging current. If your battery is easily swapped, no big deal. But otherwise... don't complain when your battery starts to sag.
    Reply
  • sc14s - Saturday, March 4, 2017 - link

    You must never use your cell phone for work? I use mine all the time, take pictures of things i need for later, play some Hearthstone on lunch, text/ emailing the boss / coworkers. I also listen to music / podcasts all day in between all of this. So yeah I'm doing my job on my phone and it burns the battery. Get with the times grandpa. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, March 6, 2017 - link

    I don't carry a phone at work. A cheap. prepaid flip phone goes with me on rare occasions when I take a long trip in the event I need to contact emergency services. I don't have trouble with navigation and finding my way around without the assistance of GPS services and I have no burning need for constant entertainment in my idle time because I'm capable of entertaining myself with my own mind if needed. I guess you wouldn't understand any of that if you've become accustomed to living with the assistance of a device to get by in daily life. Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Monday, March 6, 2017 - link

    If you were really happy with your self-limited life, you wouldn't need to attack people who are able to adapt to and take advantage of new technologies. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - link

    So what you're saying is that you feel threatened enough to accuse someone of attacking when you feel like your lifestyle choices are being threatened. Interesting. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, March 5, 2017 - link

    Get a phone that doesn't suck on battery life, or plug it in... to a lithium battery pack if you're constantly on the go. Charge during lunch. Etcetera. It's not rocket science. Reply
  • CMDMC12 - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    >I don't think anyone has their phone on during sleep, perfect time to charge.

    Right because I absolutely want to be totally unreachable by friends and family in the middle of the night. Also if my girlfriend starts having a heart attack, I definitely want to wait 2-3 minutes for my phone to start up or for me to get to a neighbor's house to get them to call an ambulance.

    And I ESPECIALLY don't use my phone as an alarm clock.
    Reply
  • Dizoja86 - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    Is that really how you chose to interpret that comment? Reply

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