Most people these days own several electronic devices that require charging. Because we’re creatures of habit, we don’t bother going to the other room to grab the charger that came with the device we want to charge. Instead, we use the one that’s nearest, which usually leads to a surprising discovery: not all chargers are made equal.
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Some take just a few minutes to give you an hour of battery life, while others take half a day just to get past 50 percent. Understanding what makes some chargers so much better than others can save you a lot of time and prevent you from purchasing products that aren’t worth your money.
The Key to Faster Charging
Take a look at just about any USB charger you have lying around your house, and you’ll see something like 5V/1A or 5V/2A written on it. The first number tells you how much voltage the charger delivers, and the second number tells you how many amps it can safely supply.
If you don’t know anything about volts and amps, imagine a hose with water flowing through it. The charger you use to charge your device is the hose, and electricity is the water. To push more water through the hose, you can either increase the diameter of the hose or make the water flow at a higher pressure. Volts do the former, and amps do the latter.
Most smartphone and tablet charger operate at 5V. USB ports are also designed to supply a constant voltage of 5V. Laptop chargers operate at higher voltages (usually 12V or 19V), and they can’t be used to charge devices that weren’t designed for these voltages. An attempt to do so would either trigger a surge protector or fry the device.
You can safely use just about any 5V USB charger, no matter how many amps it can deliver, because your smartphone or tablet dictates how many amps it draws from the charger—instead of the charger telling the smartphone or tablet how many amps it should take. So, when you charge your iPhone with an older USB charger rated at 500mA, that’s exactly how much it will take. But give it a charger rated at 2.1A, and you’ll see the battery indicator turn green much faster.
Throw Away Your Old Chargers—It’s Time to Upgrade
Good USB chargers aren’t exactly cheap, and even high-end manufacturers such as Apple try to save money whenever they can. As such, the iPhone 7 ships only with a charger that supports 5V/1A, instead of a faster charger that would allow the iPhone to charge at its maximum charging power. If you want something better, you must pay extra.
Instead of buying a new charger for each device you own, it’s much smarter to purchase a charger with multiple USB ports and at least 2 Quick Charger 3.0 ports—such as the AUKEY USB Charger. This popular charger from one of the most trusted manufacturers of USB accessories has 6 USB charging ports, two of which support Quick Charge 3.0 and charging at up to 2.4A. Built-in safeguards protect your devices against excessive current, overheating, and overcharging, while AUKEY’s 24-month warranty protects your investment.
You can also take your iPhone charging to the next level and get the iGank Ultra Slim Wireless Charging Pad. This product consists of two separate devices—a charging receiver and a charging pad—that work together to deliver power wirelessly whenever you place your iPhone onto the charging pad. And according to the manufacturer, it should charge 40% faster compared to the regular charger that ships with the iPhone 7 and all older Apple smartphones and tablets.
Use an iPad charger or similar high amperage chargers such as the iClever BoostCube+ 36W Dual USB Wall Charger. This smart charger supports Qualcomm Quick Charge and SmartID technologies for maximum charging efficiency and universal compatibility. It should pump out more than 2 amps and works on AC100-240V, 50/60Hz, making it compatible with electrical outlets around the world. The charger also features a foldable plug and a lightweight construction for daily use.
Bonus tip (or two):
- Avoid charging phone using USB on PC, typical USB port on computer only charges at 0.5 amps.
- Consider charging your phone with power off or in airplane mode for even faster charging. Always charge using Apple’s original or Apple MFi certified lighting cable to protect your devices from damage.