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This article was published on April 22, 2021


Fast charging changed my sad little life

I hope it makes you very happy

Fast charging changed my sad little life
Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Editor of Plugged by TNW

Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He w Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He writes about gear, gadgets, and apps — with a particular focus on Apple — and also makes the occasional odd video. Basically, he's halfway between an abrasive gadget nerd and thinky art boy.

This is adapted from Plugged In, TNW’s bi-weekly newsletter on gear and gadgets. Subscribe to it here.

There are plenty of times in life that we need to slow down, sit back, and appreciate. And, considering the speed the tech industry moves at, I think this applies even more to our world.

Friends, please join me. I’d like us to imagine ourselves as swine on a sunny day and fling our bodies into the mud pit of power transference — because it’s time to wallow in the magnificence of fast charging.

Amidst all the crazy advances we’ve seen in the past decade, it’s easy for stuff like juicing up your phone quicker to fall by the wayside. What chance does fast charging have against a games console you can use both handheld and on your TV? Or a gorgeous new computer? Or rolling and folding phones? To be frank, little.

But I’m here to break that mold. Fast charging is the best — and we all need to appreciate it.

So what is fast charging?

It’s pretty self explanatory: it charges things… fast?

Okay, but how does it actually work?

I’m not gonna get bogged down in details (there’s a great guide on the standard here), but basically fast charging increases the number of watts a battery receives. Technically, it’s complex, but in laypersons terms it’s about transferring power, uh, faster.

It’s become pretty widespread over the past few years. In fact, if you’ve bought a flagship phone recently, it’s very likely it supports fast charging. And if I’m describing you, I hope you recognize it as one of the crown jewels of the modern world.

Before we go any further, I have a confession: I was a slow adopter of fast charging. Yes, I’m aware of the irony.

I tested plenty of phones with the feature, but it wasn’t until I got an iPhone 11 Pro as my daily driver that fast charging illuminated the dark recesses of my swamp life. It might sound strange, but fast charging has completely changed my relationship with my phone.

pig mud
A artist’s representation of the author and fast charging.

In the dark days before fast charging, I had to plan when I juiced up my phone, like an… accountant or something. This meant I’d leave my device charging up overnight, always have a battery pack on me, or create complex schemes on when to juice up my device.

How times have changed.

These days I’m free-and-easy, relaxed — a renegade motorcyclist journeying across the USA in search of the American dream. I plug my phone in for 30 minutes and that gets it to 50% power.

Long story short, fast charging takes some weight off my mind — and that’s no mean feat. In fact, the importance of small things is something that’s regularly cropped up in this newsletter, and for good reason: little improvements to your life make a big difference.

The best way to understand the impact of fast charging is comparing it to something like contactless payments. On paper, the improvements don’t seem that marked. Yet, the idea of returning to typing in my pin like some sort of godforsaken, non-swine animal makes me shudder in disgust.

If you have a spare moment now, reflect. Take a breath and appreciate the extra freedom that fast charging has delivered you. And if you haven’t entered the world yet? Well, friend, come on in — the water is lovely.

All that’s left to say is this: thank you, fast charging, you make me happy as a pig in shit.

Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.

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