Samsung is splitting its annual Note refresh into a pair of devices for the first time this year. The company has announced the Note 10 and a larger Note 10+. While these phones are mostly the same aside from their size, the Note 10+ has a few features the smaller phone doesn’t. For example, 45W fast charging. However, it turns out that Samsung employed an unusual power requirement that will make finding a compatible charger a real pain.
When you buy one of Samsung’s new stylus-packing flagships, you’ll get a 25W fast charger in the box. It’s no 45W charger, but 25W is still a solid improvement over previous Samsung phones and most Android devices from other OEMs. 18W charging is still common, but some companies like OnePlus (30W) and Huawei (40W) offer faster options. Unlike those phones, the Galaxy Note 10 and 10+ use USB-PD, which is a widely available standard. However, the 45W charging requires a very specific version of USB-PD.
USB-PD (or power delivery) supports many different modes, some of the most common being 3A 5V (15W) and 9v 2A (18W). Some laptops like the Pixelbook and MacBook Pro also use high-power USB-C charging with the power delivery standard to hit 45-60 watts. What most of these devices have in common is they used fixed voltages to reach the specified power levels. The Note 10+ doesn’t do that.
Samsung has opted to design the Note 10+ to use a technology called Programmable Power Supply or PPS. PPS uses variable voltage and static current to reach the desired number of watts. Unlike most parts of the USB-PD standard, support for PPS is optional. Thus, many chargers that look like they’ll work with the Note 10+ will not be able to reach the claimed 45W speed.
Noted Samsung leaker IceUniverse suggests people buy the official 45W charger from Samsung, but that’s a $50 accessory. There are a few chargers floating around that list PPS support, but they’re not cheap, either. It’s odd that Samsung would use PPS when there are plenty of high-wattage USB-PD devices that don’t use it. It really just serves to limit your charger options and push you toward Samsung’s expensive version. Actually, that may be the point. If you don’t need super-fast charging for the Note 10+ right away, you might want to wait and see what third-parties have to offer in the coming weeks.