Saturday, March 11, 2017

Nintendo Switch Charging on the go

I got a Nintendo Switch! Yey! And the first thing I did was slap a screen protector on that gorgeous screen, cause there's enough reviews prior to release to say that it's made of plastic and not scratch resistant.

Prior to release, I've been reading and trying to figure some things about the Switch, particularly the portable aspect of it and how to keep it running while away from a wall socket. Most information on the net mentions that it can be charged with almost anything that out there but there are things that made me second guess this. First off, there is not true hardware information on the switch, even after it's release, we don't know what kind of charging method it specifically uses (qualcom  or maybe some proprietary fast charging method) and there's more than enough not so good information on the net regarding the charger.


If you notice, there are 2 ratings on the adapter that came with the Switch, 5 volts at 1.5 amperes and 15 volts at 2.6 amperes. Now just to clarify, the wall adapter switches to one or the other, depending on what it's connected to. If its connected directly to the Switch, then it uses 5v 1.5A and if it's connected to the dock (which needs a lot more power) it'll 'switch' to 15v 2.6A.

So the simplest thought here is keep the wall adapter at home (maybe in the dock if you use it frequently enough) and bring a power bank with you for out of the house charging. Now some of the posts I've seen online say we would need 2.6 amps to be able to charge on the go, and that there are Type-C (a small second issue in itself) 'batteries' that are needed to be able to make full use of the switch. Again, to clarify, if you're charging the Switch directly off the wall adapter, it will receive 5v at 1.5A so a powerbank that can provide a minimum of 5V at 1.5A is as good as the wall adapter. Another is that there is no 'Type-C battery/powerbank' there IS however a standard for Type-C, which is that it can take/transfer up to 3.0A (literature here) and that there are Type-C cables that are 2.0 compliant (which I consider as workable but not the most efficient) and the 'real' ones are 3.0 compliant (which if you are used to mobiles with fast charging, has the effect of actually fast charging your device, the 2.0 compliant ones do not fast charge) and should be the ones you use for charging your Switch away from the adapter.

Also, if you plan on getting another wall adapter, stay away from those that have quick/fast charge technologies, they are reliant on the charging architecture of a device, now most adapters and devices are 'smart' enough to know how much it can take and dish out in terms of voltage and amperes, but considering the price point of a Switch, I personally would not risk it. Use the official charger for now till better literature comes out on it's actual specs.

At 74% 6:20pm while playing Zelda (Romoss Sense 6 20,000mah - using the 2.1A slot with a Huawei P9 Type-C cable)

At 76% 6:29pm while playing Zelda (Romoss Sense 6 20,000mah - using the 2.1A slot with a Huawei P9 Type-C cable)
So the take away here is that, to safely charge on the go (or away from the official wall adapter) one should use a standard, non special power source that can provide 5v with at least 1.5A so you can charge and play at the same time, most available good powerbanks in the Philippines are like that since those special quick charge compliant ones are far more expensive and are not readily available. Take note that using the Switch and charging at the same time will yield slower charging results, specially with Zelda Breath of the Wild.

Potscript Notes:
Use a powerbank with at least 1.5amps 2.1 is fine, the device will still receive a max of 1.5amps
Use a good usb Type-C cable, cheap ones will not charge as well.
Using a micro usb to Type-C adapter does not work on my end, the same setup that quick charges my mobile does not charge the Switch at all, your mileage may vary but that's my experience.

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