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What is Eco charging mode?

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This support page explains there is an eco charging mode in FP3 that is used by default:

Another nifty feature of the FP3 is that when it charges, the default charging method is Eco charging mode. Eco charging handles charging more efficiently and is good for the quality of your battery. An efficient use of energy and a longer battery lifetime is also better for the environment!
Eco charging does not compromise charging time, your battery can still be fully charged in under 3 hours.

So when it does not take longer to charge, what exactly does it change/do (differently) then? What is the technology behind it?
And why is it more “ecologic”?

This is not explained anywhere, and I want this “marketing” claims baked by facts/a technical explanation of what it does.

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First of all, great question. Probably something we need to add to a FAQ at some point.

FP3 has QC3. QC3 stands for quickcharge 3. As the name implies, it works quick. More info at:

Eco mode works very slow. How slow? I do not know. If we assume USB-C is as efficient as microUSB, it would be as slow as FP2 charges except that FP2 has a smaller battery than FP3 (approx ~25% smaller). However this slower method, is totally OK if you charge overnight (assuming you sleep 8 hours).

Why is it ecologic? It is better for your battery. Hence your battery lasts longer. Which is good for the environment.

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But on the linked support page, you state:

Eco charging does not compromise charging time, your battery can still be fully charged in under 3 hours.

So this sounds as if that eco mode does not increase the charging time.


Another question: Is this a custom Android patch/addition, you’ve added to your model or a default Android feature?
In other words: May it work with Custom ROMs such as #lineageos?

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Online I found this on the Toshiba Eco Charging mode:
https://support.dynabook.com/support/viewContentDetail?contentId=4006655

The TOSHIBA Eco Charge Mode increases the battery life cycles by not charging to full capacity. This mode is recommended for users who most often use the PC with the AC adapter. The battery life per full charge is shorter in this mode. This mode is enabled/disabled through " Battery Manager ".

And I found a likewise explanation in a Google patent for “Plug-in vehicle eco charging mode” (if my understanding is correct).

So this explanation for eco-charging mode seems likely.
If the charging current is more effectively regulated and the charging therefore a bit slower, the charging will not take longer, since the battery is not charged up to 100%.
Something quite a few users in this forum already do, with the help of an app etc.

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Eco charging does not compromise charging time, your battery can still be fully charged in under 3 hours.

This sounds to me like neither is the case. The battery doesn’t charge slower and it also doesn’t stop charging at a certain point.
Of course it could just be an unlucky choice of words.

If it does only charge to a certain capacity I wonder if eco charging mode is better or worse than apps like battery charge limit. If it does something else I wonder if it makes sense to combine it with such an app.

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So all in all it seems the wording is really confusing and we still don’t know what exactly it does.

Could not someone (from Fairphone) clarify what it does?

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Correct.

Summoning @Monica.Ciovica

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Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 facilitates higher voltages (up to 20 V if I remember correctly) than USB’s typical 5 V which decreases either recharging time and current. Typically phones without QC or USB-PD (the industry standard which QC 4.0 is a subset of) negotiate charging currents up to 2 A or even more with capable chargers. High currents are very stressful for lithium polymer batteries.

Maybe this increased voltage is a part of this eco charging mode.

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I found an explanation of Qualcomm QuickCharge and it’s different versions on the belkin homepage:
:uk: https://www.belkin.com/us/resource-center/quick-charge/
:de: https://www.belkin.com/de/resource-center/quick-charge/

But there is no mentioning of an eco-mode or eco charging.

And no matter where I look searching for eco mode; it’s always the version of not charging up to 100% to extend the lifespan of the battery.
Integrating that feature into the system should (as I would guess) work better than an app, as it is more specific and closer to the core (so to speak).

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There’s a short description in this article:

They state the following:

Speaking of battery: this offers a capacity of 3000mAh, can be easily replaced by the user and can also be quickly charged via Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0. If desired, the user can also use a so-called “Eco-Charge Mode”. This charges the device more gently and thus helps to extend the service life.

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Well… the only thing they explain about that mode is:

This is still not at all useful and explains nothing. It is exactly the same as stated in the FAQ. No technical details.

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As I said:

I said nothing about technical details… :yum:

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I just found some more infos about Eco-Charge Mode here:

https://www.androidauthority.com/fairphone-3-review-1023112/

Update: I asked Fairphone about “ecocharge”, a term the team used without a full explanation regarding extending battery life. Here’s Fairphone’s response in clarifying what ecocharge actually is:

“Fairphone created a charging mechanism that charges the Fairphone 3 to 85 % in 90 mins and then completes the full charge. This mechanism will help keep the Fairphone 3 battery in service for longer – typical fast charging systems can reduce the battery capacity by up to 60-70 % after 500 cycles (approximately 18 months of usage) Fairphone 3’s charging methods will extend the life of the battery well beyond the expected capacity. A FP3 battery will still be over 90% using the same 500 cycles – 18 month timescales.”

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This still does not explain the technical details, i.e. how they do so, but these are very interesting details anyway. Thanks.

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I read it like charge fast until 85%, the switch to slower and less stressful charging until 100%.

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I noticed that the linked support page doesn’t mention the eco charging mode any more - and can’t find any settings for it on my FP3, either. So does anyone know if this “nifty feature” has been dumped?

I was quite happy that I wouldn’t have to use an extra app like AccuBattery anymore to keep my battery alive for a longer time. But now I think, I should…

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Quite an interesting observation.
There seem to have been some modifications to the specs.
This eco charging-mode like the FM-radio, that initially was announced are really sad to see gone.
I really wish, that FP would be clear and open when dropping such features of the phone.
Even more so, since the homepages of some resellers don’t seem to reflect those new developments.
E.g.
Vireo states in the features list:

Qualcomm Quick Charge support: No

while the FP-support page (already mentioned above) features a parapgraph:

Quick charge

The FP3 supports Quick Charge. This means you can supply your battery with new energy quicker than before using a Quick Charge compliant USB Type-C cable. For quick charging, you will need charging equipment that enables this. It must be QC 3.0 with a maximum output of 3 Ampere and must be a USB certified brand.

Plus they sell the USB-charger stating this:

Fairphone 3 supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 to allow you to get the most out of your device.

@Monica.Ciovica
Maybe you could help to lift some of the fog around the FP3 feature list and make a final statement of what is and is not included as a blogpost or on the specs page.
Some explanation regarding changes to the feature list would be a most welcome extra. :wink:

Plus: FP should really check the homepages of the resellers for accuracy, since they happened to change the features list.

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Hi Bert, thank you for pointing this out! I’ll make sure to share this with the team so we are aligned on the information provided to customers. :slight_smile:

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Hello @Monica.Ciovica,
I asked a few questions similar to this before there was no clear answer (that I found, anyway) - and yes, I know these are off topic, but they are relevant to general point that @BertG made:

The Wifi certification (https://www.wi-fi.org/product-finder-results?sort_by=default&sort_order=desc&keywords=fairphone) does not list Miracast support but your website does. Which is correct?

Your press conference and many of the online articles say that the FP3 only supports Bluetooth 4.2, but your website and the certification (https://launchstudio.bluetooth.com/ListingDetails/91763) say that it supports Bluetooth 5.0. Which is correct?

Your website says the phone only supports USB 2.0 over USB-C, which is quite unusual. Please can you confirm if the FP3 supports USB 3.x?

Does the FP3 support any kind of TV-out over USB via an alternate mode? E.g. Displayport, HDMI or MHL?

Please can you provide full detail on which USB and NFC functions the FP3 supports?

Thanks.

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I got an answer from the Fairphone support - and it seems eco charging mode still exists:

About the eco charging mode, it is an FP3 feature. It is designed to handle the phone charging more efficiently and assures the quality of the battery. To reduce the impact batteries have on the environment, the Eco charging feature on Fairphone 3 offers customers an efficient use of energy and a longer battery lifetime, and it’s enabled on the phone by default.

Also, about an app, we don’t recommend to use apps to improve battery life because they can interfere with the normal functionality of the phone.

Good to hear.

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