Samsung Galaxy S20 just put iPhone 12 on notice with new fast charging tech

Samsung Galaxy S20
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy S20 series can charge at 25W with the adapter included in the box, while the the S20 Ultra charges at at 25W or an optional 45W using with a separate Samsung adapter. 

This is fine if all you need is the one adapter, but if you wanted more, you’d have to buy another one of Samsung’s chargers, which cost $34.99 for the 25W version and $49.99 for the 45W version. Or, you could buy a third-party charger that's cheaper but won't let you charge at full speed.

But that’s all about to change. The S20 series, along with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, have been certified by the USB Implementers’ Forum, according to BusinessWire (via The Verge). The “Certified USB Fast Charger status” is a first for smartphones, and means that you will be able to charge your S20 or Note 10 Plus at their maximum wattage with any charger compatible with the same standard.

This not only means you can buy non-Samsung chargers and still get the full speed promised on the back of the box, but you can also reuse fast chargers you already own. You’ll also be doing the environment a favor if you’re reusing chargers rather than buying new ones.

This will also be helped by the EU’s recent ruling that all phones must use USB-C in order to prevent the production of unnecessary chargers. That’s not a problem for Samsung, since it already uses USB-C, but Apple will have to swap out its Lightning connector.

On the topic of Apple, the company is now two massive steps behind eternal rival Samsung in charging tech. Not only has Apple not got this USB certification on its chargers, but even its fastest chargers are slower than what Samsung offers as default on its latest phones. 

The iPhone 11 Pro comes bundled with an 18W fast charger, while the standard iPhone 11 is stuck with Apple’s reliable but sluggish 5W adapter. Let’s hope the iPhone 12 ups its charging game when we see it later this year.

So are you convinced that the Galaxy S20 is a great phone? We certainly are. We haven’t finished reviewing it, but for the time being we’re impressed by its compact frame, 120Hz display and highly competent triple-camera array.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.