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Qualcomm: Don’t Worry, USB-C Charging Is Safe For Your Phone

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Chipmaker reassures Android users following overheating concerns caused by Quick Charge functions

Owners of some of the latest Android smartphones have been reassured that their devices are not at risk from damage caused by overheating during charging.

This followed concerns raised by Google engineer and USB-C expert Benson Leung surrounding whether USB-C charging can properly operate alongside Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which promises to power up devices in less time.

However, Qualcomm has said that this is not the case, and that devices such as the LG G5 and HTC 10 (pictured below), which features both functions, can operate safely.

Power up

htc 10Leung says that Quick Charge, which is bundled into devices powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets is technically inoperable with USB-C connectivity, as the software uses variable voltage charges to power up devices in super quick time.

This is forbidden by the official specifications governing USB-C, and had led to concerns that devices using both features would be in danger of overheating.

However, Qualcomm has said that it has received no reports of any such issue, and told Android Central that it is the responsibility of the phone manufacturers to “configure the voltage to fit within the specifications of the USB Type-C standard”.

It also advised users to only use official charging accessories provided by the manufacturer alongside their device.

USB-C technology, which was finalised back in August 2014, is still largely in its infancy, however a growing number of devices now come sporting the connections.

Most recently, laptop devices including Google’s Pixel C Chromebook and selected Apple MacBook models sport USB-C connectivity, as do smartphones and phablets including the Sony Xperia Z5, Google’s Nexus 5X and 6P, as well as HP’s Elite X3 device.

This had led to growing scrutiny over the technology, with Amazon revealing back in March that it is clamping down on sub-par cables and adapters sold on its site with new rules to stop the sale of potentially dangerous products.

Last month, new authentication protocols to help safeguard USB-C powered devices was also released, providing a free way for device owners to detect whether an approved cable or charger is being used, and will warn the user if this is not the case.

Has TechWeekEurope got a USB quiz for you? Of course we have!