Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is charging ahead with an intriguing new battery technology that can fully charge a phone in just 15 minutes.

Oppo took the stage at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 to demonstrate the new technology, showing off the "Super VOOC" prototype. The technology is still in the experimental stage, but it already shows great promise.

The company says it could pack the new battery technology into its upcoming smartphones once it completes its work, but research and development is currently in the reliability testing phase for now. Should this pan out, Oppo could gain a significant edge over rivals in an increasingly crowded smartphone market.

Oppo may not be as well-known as popular brands such as Apple and Samsung, but it did manage to turn some heads over the years. Its Oppo Find 5, for instance, was among the first smartphones to boast a 1,080p display, at a time when full HD was just starting to grace high-end flagships.

The company also launched the original VOOC back in March 2014, after three years of R&D, and it's now taking things to the next level with the new Super VOOC technology.

"There have been two major improvements on the original VOOC technology," says Oppo. "Firstly, Super VOOC Flash Charge uses an all-new low-voltage pulse-charge system. Secondly, it uses a customized battery. Combining them, a battery of 2,500 mAh can be fully charged with Super VOOC Flash Charge in just 15 minutes."

If a full charge in just 15 minutes sounds impressive, know that Oppo actually achieved it in even less time. On stage at the MWC in Barcelona, the reference device featuring a 2,500 mAh battery went from zero to full in roughly 10 minutes.

To achieve such amazing results, Oppo controls the chips, software and battery of the device, which means that Super VOOC will only work on Oppo smartphones. Nevertheless, the innovation could inspire other technology companies to implement similar solutions for a wider range of devices.

Oppo further explains that fast-charging technologies such as Qualcomm's Quick Charge and MTK's Pump Express have different underlying principles compared to Super VOOC. While Quick Charge and Pump Express rely on high-voltage fast charging, VOOC Flash Charge employs a low-voltage approach.

This, in turn, brings other benefits. First, a low voltage of 5 volts allows VOOC to remain within the standard voltage levels for phone charging, thus ensuring stability, safety and sustainability.

Secondly, a smartphone has a lower temperature while charging through VOOC than it would with high-voltage charging systems.

"High-voltage systems rely on a voltage converter to decrease voltage before power is supplied to the battery. This process, however, is relatively inefficient, and it gives off lost energy in the form of heat, which is the enemy of electronic devices," Oppo further explains. "VOOC Flash Charge however, offers an alternative. By keeping voltage at 5 volts, VOOC eliminates the need for a converter, effectively cutting out the middle man, and making for a more efficient and much lower temperature charging process."

Lastly, VOOC maintains fast-charging speeds even while using the smartphone to make calls or perform other tasks. With other fast-charging technologies, the device returns to normal charging speeds when used for other tasks.

Oppo insists that its Super VOOC fast charging technology is completely safe and will not damage the smartphone's battery in any way. Damaging the battery can be generally attributed either to excessively high voltage or overheating, and Super VOOC eliminates both of these risks with its low-voltage fast-charging solution.

It remains to be seen when the technology will actually be ready for use in smartphones, but it's worth keeping an eye on. In today's mobile-driven world, fast-charging is rapidly becoming a must-have.

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