BARCELONA, Spain — A relatively unknown Chinese smartphone maker has shown off battery charging technology which would revolutionize how people use their devices, allowing them to fully charge the battery in under 15 minutes.
At Mobile World Congress on Tuesday, Oppo unveiled its proprietary technology called “Super VOOC,” which is still in the experimental phase of development, but which the company said could be featured in new smartphones from the company in the near future. Oppo also said that research and development has already reached the reliability testing phase.
On stage in Barcelona on Tuesday, Oppo showed off a reference device featuring a 2,500mAh battery. During the course of the presentation, the company also showed it charging from empty to full in the space of about 10 minutes. Oppo is capable of achieving such results as it controls the software, chips and battery, which means that unlike Qualcomm’s Quickcharge technology, Super VOOC won’t be available on other smartphones.
The company said that it can achieve the results with either microUSB or USB-C charging ports. However, the company also stated that the feature won’t work with a competitor’s fast charger and it will revert to regular slow charging “due to the temperature spikes caused by quick charging and screen brightening simultaneously.”
With the pace of battery development plateauing in the last three years, companies have looked to wireless and fast charging as ways to help consumers stay charged. However, there have been concerns raised over what damage fast charging does to the live of a battery pack, with a research published last year claiming that “charging lithium-ion batteries too quickly can permanently reduce the battery capacity.”
Oppo said that using a low voltage of 5 volts, its VOOC technology stays within standard voltage levels for smartphone charging, ensuring “the utmost safety, stability and device sustainability.”
Oppo is relatively unknown in Western markets but in 2015 it sold 50 million smartphones, representing 67 percent year-on-year growth for the company. Oppo is now the eight biggest smartphone maker in the world, according to figures from Gartner, and is among a wave of Chinese companies dominating the smartphone market.