Ask AC: Can I use one company's quick charger with another's phone?

If you're one of the few whose shiny new phone has come with a Quick Charge 2.0 power supply in the box (here's a list if you're not sure, and even then some of then come with legacy chargers), you've come to a terrible realization. All of your other power supplies are woefully inadequate in comparison, and it's time to replace a few of your other chargers. This raises a few interesting questions, as you'll quickly notice that both smartphone manufacturers and third party suppliers have tech that claims to work with Quick Charge 2.0.

It turns out this isn't particularly complicated, but understanding the difference between the different Quick Charge 2.0 power supplies out there and how you can use them will likely make shopping for your next charger a little easier.

Want to know more about what Quick Charge 2.0 is and how it works? Check out our primer right here.

Turbo Charger

Because Quick Charge 2.0 is a licensed technology from Qualcomm, there are lots of third-party companies making accessories that support the technology already. All you really need to look for if you're searching for a supported third-party accessory is the Quick Charge 2.0 logo, the circle with a lightning bolt and typically "Quick Charge 2.0" in great big font on the packaging. You may see just the circular logo on the accessory if you've already taken everything out of the box, but it's usually pretty easy to identify these chargers without hunting for the voltage and amperage outputs.

Equipment made by smartphone manufacturers is a little different, as not all of them are required to use the same branding. Motorola's Turbo Charger, for example, has none of the Qualcomm Quick Charge markings anywhere on the power supply itself. You will see reference to Quick Charge 2.0 on the Motorola website when ordering, however, so it's unlikely you'll order the wrong thing accidentally. While it's less obvious on smartphone OEM accessories, a lot of this hardware is packaged with supported hardware when you make the purchase so it's likely this is a feature the OEM has taken time to brag about.

Quick Charge Droid Turbo

As for cross-compatibility between manufacturer accessories and third-party accessories, you'll find that everything works just about the same and there's no problem with using either. Just to be on the safe side, we asked Qualcomm for an official statement on the matter, and it was confirmed that Quick Charge 2.0 is a platform built for cross-compatibility.

The Quick Charge icon can be used only by those that pass UL compliancy. The icon signifies adapter compatibility with any Quick Charge enabled device, whether it be in the device box or purchased afterwards. This also means a certified adapter provided in the box can be used to charge other devices.

So there you have it. Whether you're looking forward to checking out Quick Charge 2.0 on your next device or you're ready to replace all of the existing chargers in your house now that you've seen what charging a phone from dead to 50% in minutes is like, Qualcomm's partners already have you covered.

If you'd like to know more about the different kinds of Quick Charge 2.0 power supplies that exist today, for your home or for your car, we've got everything you need to know right here.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

26 Comments
  • I love turbo charging. Can't live without it now. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What if you used a turbo charger on an older phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sadly, the entire article didn't even mention this. I just googled it, and it seem that it's the newer qualcomm chips, as well as the charger.
  • There was a link in big letters after the 2nd paragraph, "Want to know more about what Quick Charge 2.0 is and how it works? Check out our primer right here."
  • What does a link to "know more about quick charge work" has to do with anything. I don't want to know about quick charge, I wanted to know if older phones worked with QC. Going by what you are saying, there was no need for an article at all, he should have posted a link for QC.
  • It will act like a regular charger. My Nexus 6 charger for instance lists 3 outputs on the back. Standard Output 5V, 1.6 Amps. This is what it will charge at if your device isn't turbo charge compatible. Then there are two other outputs. Turbo 1 output 9V, 1.6Amps and Turbo 2 output 12V, 1.2Amps. I am not sure how it decides which of those to use but I assume somehow the chip/software decides which one to use. Probably starts out at 12V when the battery is really low then moves to 9V and finally to 5V as the phone gets closer to 100%. A 5V, 2.0Amp charger would be faster for incompatible phones and probably much cheaper too.
  • Funny thing about the 9V and 12V options, both deliver the same wattage to the phone (which is what directly affects the charge time of your phone). 12V*1.2A=14.4W=9V*1.6A so technically the user shouldn't see a difference in charging behavior between these two options.
  • This is true, but "total current" is not necessarily the only deciding factor in how a battery charges. Here's an interesting article (read: very technical) on how a battery turns "electrical current" into "charge". http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_lithium_ion_batteries
  • Honestly, just took that for granted because it's not unique to QC2.0. But it's still a good thing to do, and we'll do it tomorrow. Thanks for pointing it out! :)
  • How quick charge 2.0 works is both the charger and phone communicate on how much juice is left in the battery and how many volts of current at how many amps is required for the initial boost and slow down at certain percentage of battery. So in your case if you use a turbo charger on an old phone, since there would be no communication between charger and phone it'll just charge at normal 5v 1.6amp depending on which quick charger you use but it'll never burn your phone by sending 9v or 12v. Hope this clears. Posted via the Android Central App
  • How does a quick charger work on older phones? Could I use one of these on an older G2?
  • It won't work with the Quick Charging, it should however, depending on the power supply, work as a regular USB charger, in the case of the Nexus 6 it's a 5V/1.6A powersupply, when not turbo charging. There's likely some kind of signaling going on in the USB connection that tells the power supply whether or not it can go into turbo charging mode.
  • Thanks, I did a search and found that it won't do the quick charge thing. Oh well, guess I'll jump on that when I upgrade again.
  • It will charge like the original charger since the old phone does not have the new qualcom QC2.0 compatible chip in it. You can use any quick charge 2.0 charger with any micro usb device. Don't expect old phones to charge quicker though.
  • Yes you can charge older phones with quick charge 2.0 certified charger. But like others said It'll just charge at normal speed rather(5v) than initial quick bursts you'd see in quick charge 2.0 certified devices. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Isn't this just a simple yes or no answer? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have an idea for your next Ask AC Post. How about "Are SUPER AMOLEDs more sensitive than LCD screens?" Why I'm asking this is because I got an A3 and the screen broke in literally 2 hours. http://forums.androidcentral.com/ask-question/494134-galaxy-a3-broken-li...
  • The the guys in your forum thread told you, that's not normal.  Definitely sounds like there was some kind of defect in your device.  Sadly, with any mass-produced product, there is expected to be some level of defects that pass through QC and make it to consumers.  Hopefully Samsung gets you fixed up quickly.
  • I like to keep my phones in pristine condition cuz i sell em after about a year so i dont even touch the included charger. Am i missing something really big or it is not THAT serious.? rockin a N6 beeteedubs
  • I charged my Nexus 6 from 4% to 100% in 1hr and minutes. I like it when I know I need a full charge and it doesn't take that long to charge. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The speed is great when topping off after a heavy use day and you don't want your phone dying that night. For overnight charging it is probably overkill. However, one night I forgot to plug my phone in and it was down to 4% when I woke up. I plugged it in, showered, dressed and got ready to leave the house and it was over 50% charged. So yes you may want to check it out.
  • That's awesome!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I tried to use the charger that came with the Nexus 6 on the HTC One M8 ... no difference. Charged like any other charger. I have not actually bought a HTC Quick Charger.
  • Charging my nexus 5 using a portapow 4 port charger, it can go from warning below 15% to full in about an hour. That's because it can deliver 2A if the device asks for it.
    I'd always thought that one of the main features of USB was the 5V power supply. Changing that to allow 12V seems wrong.
  • You would be correct, if the charger just started pumping 12 volts down the wire.  The would be bad.  Very bad.  Probably explosively bad ;) But the reason for the QC2.0 *chip* in the phone is that it can tell the charger whether or not it is "allowed" to send that much voltage, and the chip keeps the charger from doing anything dangerous in terms of the amount of current it's sending. So long as the charger only ever sends 5V unless *specifically* told that it can send more, everything will be just fine.
  • Android Central (and all of it's predecessor / sister sites) have always been the best reference sites on the web for mobile devices. I searched Google to better understand Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 Technology and was not getting the answers I needed. Then, I did one search on AC and find all the answers. Thanks AC and all of the AC community!