OnePlus 10 Pro could have ridiculously fast charging — but is it an upgrade too far?

OnePlus 10 pro concept renders
(Image credit: LetsGoDigitsl)

When we review handsets, charging speeds with the bundled charger are one of the things we test. And on that metric, both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are two of the fastest charging phones around, going from flat to full in around half an hour thanks to the bundled 65W Warp charger.

But if one leaker is to be believed, the OnePlus 10 Pro is set to leave its predecessors firmly in the dust with a bump up to 125W charging.

The tipster Mukul Sharma, who has a history of OnePlus leaks, published a list of handsets that are supposedly set to feature 125W charging including handsets from Realme and Oppo alongside the OnePlus 10 Pro.  

To be clear, a charger of near double the wattage doesn’t equal double the charging speed. Indeed, OnePlus is likely to be using the 125W Flash Charge tech which Oppo unveiled last year, given the two companies officially joined forces in June. If that’s the case, Oppo promised that it would take 20 minutes to charge a 4,000 mAh battery. And if we assume the OnePlus 10 Pro will have the same 4,500 mAh cell as the OnePlus 9 Pro, you’re likely looking at a charging time of somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes.

In other words, there’s a law of diminishing returns going on here, and you may fairly wonder whether a saving of five-to-ten minutes is worth the upgrade — especially as speedier charging can also reduce a battery’s lifespan.

Oppo told Android Authority that with its 125W Flash Charge, battery capacity would be “maintained” at 80% after 800 full charge and discharge cycles, which is quite a drop from the 91% claimed of the 65W charger. That was a year ago, of course, and it’s possible that the technology has been refined and improved since then. But it’s still a concern given the limited improvement to real-world charging times. 

This isn’t to say that manufacturers should steer away from fast chargers, of course: anybody who has had to deal with the painfully slow charging of the otherwise brilliant Google Pixel 6 Pro will know that speedy charging can be an absolute godsend when you’re in a hurry. But the difference between 65W and 125W may prove to be an unnecessary step for most people. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.