As smartphones get more powerful, they consume more battery as well. While smartphone processors are getting more advanced, battery technology has mostly stayed in the same spot for years now. To ensure an optimal mobile experience, mobile chip makers are also dipping their toes into battery tech, especially fast charging features. Last year Qualcomm revealed its Quick Charge 3.0. Now it’s rival MediaTek‘s turn to this version 3. Its Pump Express 3.0 promises you won’t waste time hugging walls by charging your smartphone from 0 to 70% in just 20 minutes. That’s equivalent to 5 minutes of charging for 4 hours of talking.
It’s definitely a bold claim to make in the face of competiting fast charging technologies, each of which promise the moon and the stars. Technology-wise, MediaTek does seem to have and advantage. Pump Express 3.0 features what the chip maker calls “Direct Charging”, which basically means it routes powewr directly to the battery and bypasses any integrated circuit that usually manages charging. This has two effects. The first is that Pump Express 3.0 is able to deliver greater than 5 amp directly to the battery, speeding up the charging process. The second, and equally important, benefit is that charging won’t heat up that IC, which is often the cause of phones overheating while charging.
While bypassing the charging IC might sound a tad dangerous, MediaTek swears by its more than 20 safety mechanisms to minimize heating and protect from surges. One interesting tidbit about Direct Charging is that MediaTek implements this through USB Power Delivery, the standard implemented in USB Type C. This would be in contrast to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0, which doesn’t gel well with USB PD, at least not without some OEM intervention.
While this is undoubtedly good news for smartphone users, at least those who buy products powered by MediaTek’s chips, Pump Express 3.0 doesn’t really remove the need to plug into wall sockets. It only mitigates it and lessens the time required. That part is mostly because portable power packs don’t usually deliver enough power at the right rates to trigger those fast charging features. You stil The first one to solve that problem would effectively be the first to really make wall huggers an endangered specie.