During MWC, Xiaomi showed off a 300W charging demo which could fully charge a phone in five minutes, thus setting a new record in the mobile industry.
RICHARD LAI: Here's a bit of exciting news. Your next phone may get a full charge in just five minutes. That's according to Xiaomi's demo of its upcoming 300-watt fast-charging technology. In recent years, smartphone brands have been trying to outpace each other when it comes to charging speeds. Last year was mainly about the 121 or 150-watt offerings from the likes of Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo, which brought the charging time down to as low as 15 minutes.
Then, in October, Xiaomi followed up with a 210-watt charging solution on the Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition, only to be beaten by Oppo with a 240-watt version on two Realme handsets just this February. Both these solutions can fully charge a phone in around 9 minutes, which is very fast, considering that even the latest Samsung handsets take around an hour, as they are capped at 45-watts.
Of course, Xiaomi wasn't going to let Oppo get all the glory at MWC. It retaliated with a 300-watt charging demo, which cut the charging time from 9 minutes down to just 5 minutes. The setup involved a Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus modified with a special 4,100 milliamp battery. Yes, this is a little smaller than the original version, but before you jump in to say that this is perhaps for meeting the 5-minute mark, the fact is there's now a layer of phase change material sandwiched between the two cells in each battery in order to better cope with the extra heat from all that 300 watts of charging power.
As you can see in the demo, the phone reached 20% charge in just a little over 1 minute, followed by the 50% mark in 2 minutes and 12 seconds, and eventually 100% in just a little under 5 minutes. In other words, by the time you're done watching this video of ours, the same phone would have already reached almost 80%. This kind of speed can come in very handy, obviously.
Xiaomi didn't share figures on this new battery's charging cycles, but it did add that this system has over 50 safety features to monitor the current voltage and temperature on each charging chip, not to mention the extra measures added to the battery's protection circuit module. If something goes wrong, the power should get cut off before it's too late.
Now, Xiaomi's 300-watt demo wasn't actually at MWC. It was literally just a video. Still, the timing suggests that this was a cheeky, last-minute surprise for the competition, especially Oppo, which stole the show last year with its 240-watt SUPERVOOC demo. So the question remains. When will we get to use this free 300-watt charging feature? And what's next? 360 watts? 2-minute charging? Who knows.
But if you ask me, I'd rather see similar advancements in battery density, because what's the use of fast charging if you don't have access to a power socket? And that's assuming you're always carrying a power adapter with you. Exactly. I didn't think so. If you enjoyed this video, feel free to hit Subscribe, and stay tuned to Engadget for more smartphone news.