Dash Charge is awesome.
OnePlus rolled out its Dash Charge fast charging option in the OnePlus 3, which allows the phone to go from 0 to a 60% charge in just 30 minutes. Dash Charge is licensed from OPPO, the parent company of OnePlus, and is different from the majority of quick charging options available today, most of which leverage Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology.
Here's what you need to know about Dash Charge.
A primer on fast charging
A standard LiPo battery (which is what's inside your phone) is highly reactive, which is why phone manufacturers have several safeguards built into the charging circuitry. Based on the depletion level, batteries can take in more power, and it is on this principle that fast charging works.
Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology relies on delivering a higher voltage to the battery to expedite charging time. With Quick Charge 3.0, Qualcomm introduced optimizations that allow devices to constantly adjust voltage over the course of the charging cycle. Quick Charge 3.0 certified chargers can deliver voltages ranging from 3V to 20V in 200mV increments.
Quick Charge 3.0 is widely used, with the likes of the HTC 10 and LG G5 offering the fast charging option. The chip vendor licenses the technology to third-party OEMs for free, which is how companies like Samsung can offer Adaptive Fast Charging on the Galaxy S7, and more recently the Galaxy Note 7 — though those models use the older, slightly less dynamic Quick Charge 2.0.
Qualcomm uses high voltages, whereas OPPO pushes more amperage.
Meanwhile, OPPO has its own fast charging solution called VOOC (Voltage Open Loop Multi-step Constant-Current Charging). The fast charging system is used in the Find 7, the F1 Plus, the R7, and other OPPO phones, and now on the OnePlus 3 as Dash Charge. OPPO uses dedicated circuity in the wall unit for heat management and dissipation, which is why you can only get Dash Charge speeds with the bundled wall charger (or the $30 Dash Charge car charger) on the OnePlus 3.
The key difference between the two fast charging technologies is that while Qualcomm uses higher voltages to charge batteries, VOOC relies on delivering a higher amperage. For instance, Quick Charge 3.0 goes up to 6.5V at 3A, creating 19.5W, whereas VOOC delivers 5V at 4A to attain 20W. And that has a few advantages.
It's all cool
One of the main benefits of VOOC (and Dash Charge) is its ability to keep temperatures low while charging. The fast charging option allows you to watch videos or play games while the phone is charging, with no net drop in charging speeds. That isn't the case with Quick Charge, as the higher voltages invariably lead to the phone reverting to normal speeds to prevent overheating.
With Dash Charge, you can play games or watch videos while charging your phone without worrying about overheating.
Even though the OnePlus 3 can charge up to 60% in 35 minutes, it takes slightly over 40 minutes to go from 65% to a full charge. That's to prevent damage to the battery (and in a way, to you), with the wall charger limiting output at 2A after hitting 75% and going even lower after reaching 85%. The microcontroller unit inside the phone constantly monitors the charge level to determine the desired amperage to be delivered.
The main disadvantage with Dash Charge is that you need to use the bundled wall unit to charge the OnePlus 3, as OPPO is yet to license the technology to third-party vendors. Also, as the technology pushes more amps to your phone, so you should probably stick to using the provided cable as well.
However, you can use your Dash Charge wall unit to charge other phones. I regularly use it to charge the LG G5, and it is just as fast as using Aukey's Quick Charge 3.0 charger.
What do you think of Dash Charge on the OnePlus 3? Let us know in the comments.
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