Is your Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S6 charging slowly? Your iPhone 6 or Note 5 doesn't charge up as fast as it used to? The truth is, whether you have Sasmung or an LG, Huawei or a Xiaomi, this problem affects every smartphone after some time, and usually for the same reasons. In this article, we'll show you why your smartphone charges slowly, and what you can do about it.
You know the deal: hot date lined up for tonight, got home late from work, no chance of your battery lasting all night and only 15 minutes to charge. Yet, your battery always seems to take so much longer to charge than everyone else's, so you know that won't be enough. What's the deal? Why is your battery always slow to charge? Here are the main culprits and what you can do about them.
Suspect number one - your cable
The first offender in any case of slow charging should always be your USB cable. Just take a look at it: guilty as hell. Considering the awful treatment my USB cables undergo, it's no wonder that it is usually why my phone won't charge faster.
USB cables get bent, twisted, coiled, run over with chair wheels and generally abused: all of these are not very good for maintaining a solid connection and flow-through of power. Be sure to check the ends too: they can very easily get full of fluff.
Cables aren't immune to physical wear and tear and the USB connector itself also gets worn and can feel loose when you plug in your phone. If the cable that came packaged with your device isn't reliable anymore or you've simply lost it, beware of buying the cheapest charging options online. Higher quality cables have copper wire (some cheapos use aluminum and other substitutes that don't hold up as well) and thicker rubber enamel around the wire, making it more resistant to damage.
Suspect 2: the power source
The next obvious question is where are you getting your power from? If you have a USB cable plugged into your laptop then your phone is going to charge insanely slowly and you'll deserve it. Likewise with Qi wireless charging, which we know from newer flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S9, Sony Xperia XZ2, Pixel 3, and LG G7. While Qi is a brilliant technology, that brilliance comes at the cost of speed.
Your best bet is to have your phone plugged directly into mains power at the wall socket. However, even this can be problematic, especially if you're in an old building where the wiring might be a little sketchy. If you think this could be the problem, move to another outlet (and then call an electrician).
Suspect 3: the charger may not be right
To complete the trifecta, if it's not your power source or your cable, chances are that it's the actual adapter you're using that is causing your battery to charge slowly. There's a reason every manufacturer provides a specific USB adapter for each phone they ship.
Switching adapters between phones can mix-match voltage, wattage, amperage and so on. This is why it's best to stick with the adapter that came with your phone or at the very least take a look at the fine print and replace it with another adapter of the same type.
Suspect 4: your phone itself
Sorry, but it's true. If you're sitting there wondering why your Galaxy S2 takes so long to charge it's probably because the old-timer is getting worn out after many years of use. Newer processors not only support fast charging, but newer phones even come with turbo charging chargers. The Galaxy S6, for example, can get your four hours' worth of usage after just ten minutes plugged in.
Other phones that support fast charging will have a lightning bolt icon on the charger itself, possibly along with turbo charging output figures. Your phone can also become a pocket lint cave too, so check your microUSB port and make sure the little flap in the port isn't bent while you're looking in there. Your battery might just be kaput too, so ask yourself how old it is. At least one advantage of older phones is the removable battery, so if you can pop it out, consider replacing it if it can never seem to charge normally.
At the end of the day, entropy bring a slow but sure end to all things. If your phone is ancient, it's time to accept that it's past its prime.
Suspect 5: it's...you?
It's true - you're the worst thing preventing your phone charging quickly when you can't keep your hands off it. Seriously, if time is of the essence, your best bet is to leave it alone. Mindlessly scrolling through your Insta feed while watching your battery percentage go nowhere is no one's fault but your own.
So leave your phone alone when you charge it, turn your Wi-Fi/data/Bluetooth off or better yet, turn it off entirely. That's actually the absolute best way to charge a phone quickly: turn it off, plug it into a wall with the original charger and take a little break from your digital life (or go to your computer, if you must). Even after as little as 15 minutes.
How long does your phone take to charge? How do you usually charge your phone? Let us know in the comments.