- How to choose a charger for your phone: what to look for
- Types of chargers
- Main selection criteria
- How to choose an external charger
- Top Producers
How to choose a charger for your phone: what to look for
The main criteria for choosing a charger are:
- Type (standard adapter or external “power bank”);
- Electrical characteristics (voltage, charging current, power);
- Support for fast charging technologies (Quick Charge, Fast Charge, etc.);
- The number of connectors for the cable and the voltage of each of them.
- The manufacturer of the charger is also important.
Types of chargers
Structurally and according to the principle of operation, chargers are divided into two types – the adapters themselves, they are also power supplies; and external chargers, better known as powerbanks.
Adapters or power supplies
Adapters are structurally conventional electrical converters that rectify and step down the voltage. Such devices are intended for charging a phone or smartphone from a household network. According to the results of the conversion, an alternating current with a voltage of 220 V and a power of 5-6 A “turns” into a direct current, whose parameters are 5-18 V and 0.5-2.1 A, depending on the characteristics and purpose of the adapter.
Adapters are made in the form of small blocks that are installed in a household outlet. A power cable is connected to them, through which the converted electric current “passes” to the smartphone.
Structurally, adapters are divided into household ones, intended for installation in a regular socket, and automobile ones, powered by a cigarette lighter or a corresponding socket. Despite the similar principle of operation, they are not interchangeable.
The main criteria for choosing an adapter are the parameters input voltage, output voltage, current and support fast charging technology.
Separately, it is worth mentioning another type of power supply – wireless chargers. Such devices recharge the smartphone that comes into contact with them. Of course, the smartphone itself must support wireless charging.
External batteries or power banks
External batteries, which can also be called portable chargers, power banks, etc., have the same operational purpose as power supplies – they are used to charge a smartphone. However, the principles of operation of these devices are fundamentally different.
Powerbank is structurally a high-capacity battery. It is complemented by various functional elements – a charge controller, LED indicators, power connectors, buttons, etc. The principle of operation of the power bank is as follows:
- First, the external battery is charged from a power source (for example, from an adapter or a computer via a USB cable);
- Then he “holds” the accumulated energy for some time;
- When a smartphone is connected, the power bank transfers the accumulated energy to the connected device.
In fact, a power bank is designed for emergency recharging of a smartphone in conditions where it is impossible to get to the outlet or there is no time for this – on trips, for example.
When choosing a power bank, you should start from the following criteria: capacity, charge current, case material, support for fast charging technologies.
Main selection criteria
When choosing a charger, you should pay attention to the following parameters:
- Input current and socket standard (especially important when ordering in foreign online stores);
- charge current;
- charge voltage;
- Support for fast charging technologies.
All these parameters determine the compatibility of the charger and smartphone.
Input current and outlet standard
In Russian household electrical networks, a current with a voltage of 220 V, a power of 5-6 A is used (however, when high-power equipment like kitchen appliances is connected, this parameter increases significantly up to 18-19 A) and a frequency of 50-60 Hz. These parameters must be supported by the charger.
At the same time, in the United States, household networks are used in which the voltage is 110 V. An adapter intended for use in America can simply burn out in a Russian “socket”.
As a result, when ordering a charger in any online stores, you should first of all pay attention to the supported input voltage. Some adapters can work on any network.
It is also worth considering that sockets in different countries also differ. In Russia, type C connectors are used. Europlug, Schuko, CEE 7/7, CEE 7/16 or CEE 7/17 plugs can be installed in “our” sockets.
But types A and B (NEMA standards), used in the United States and Canada, are not suitable for use with Russian sockets without appropriate adapters.
The charging speed of the smartphone directly depends on the strength of the charge current. The higher it is, the faster the device will restore the energy reserve in the battery. At the same time, it is worth remembering that older smartphones are simply not designed for high charge currents.
But a low charge current can lead to the fact that the smartphone will not charge at all – it will simply be discharged, even when connected to the network. The standards for this setting are:
- 500 mA (0.5 A). Suitable for use with mobile phones or very old smartphones. Such a charging current is not able to cover the “fixed costs” of a modern high-power mobile device, but it is necessary and sufficient for devices manufactured, for example, before 2010-2011;
- 750 mA (0.75 A). Occurs very rarely. The scope of application is similar to chargers designed for 0.5 A;
- 1000 mA (1 A). The most common current standard in chargers today. It is quite versatile, suitable for use with most mobile devices – from mobile phones or portable players to smartphones in the budget or middle price segments;
- 2000-21000 mA (2-2.1 A). It is used for resource-intensive devices – for example, tablets or flagship smartphones with a high-resolution screen and a powerful processor. May be dangerous for older devices. Provides fast charging and stable power even when the connected device is actively used.
It is advisable to use power supplies that have the same amperage as those supplied with the smartphone. This, however, does not apply to adapters that support fast charging technology.
It is worth remembering that manufacturers of budget power supplies often deliberately overestimate the output current. For example, a device that is labeled as 1 A can actually deliver 0.5 A. Therefore, the quality of the power supply is also very important.
Almost all modern smartphones, unless otherwise indicated, are designed to be powered by a charge current of 5 V. This standard is used, for example, in computer USB ports. As a result, for a smartphone to be compatible with a PC, it must receive 5-volt current.
Therefore, it is definitely not worth buying chargers or power supplies that have a supply voltage of more or less than 5 volts. Such accessories may well “burn” the delicate electronics inside the smartphone or damage the built-in battery.
Similarly, this rule does not apply to adapters that support one or another fast charging technology.
Support for fast charging technologies
Since 2014-2015, many manufacturers have begun to introduce fast charging technologies. With such a connection, the power supply unit produces high values of current and voltage in order to restore the battery capacity in the smartphone even faster. The specific value of these electrical parameters is determined by the manufacturer and the fast charging technology standard, but in general it is up to 5 A and up to 20 V, respectively.
Fast charging technology is implemented at a low software and hardware level and involves the exchange between a smartphone and a power supply not only of electricity, but also of information. For example, the power controller in a smartphone sends a “command” to the power supply to increase the current and voltage, and it, accordingly, performs. Or not, if it does not support fast charging technology.
It is clear that if you connect a smartphone in which it is not implemented to a power supply that supports fast charging technology, the latter will receive less current.
However, fast charging standards vary. The following are distinguished:
- Quick charge. A standard developed by Qualcomm and only supported by a limited number of SoC processors from that manufacturer;
- Pump Express. A standard developed by MediaTek. Similar to Quick Charge, only supported by a limited number of SoC processors from this manufacturer (installed in most Chinese flagship smartphones);
- TurboPower. The standard was developed by Lenovo specifically for some Motorola smartphones;
- Adaptive Fast Charging. Samsung’s proprietary charging standard. It has been used since 2015 in smartphones of the flagship and “upper-middle” price segments – in the S, Note, A and some other lines;
- VOOC Fast Charging – developed by BBK specifically for OPPO smartphones;
- Dash Charge – developed by OnePlus for branded smartphones;
- Super Charge – Huawei standard;
- Super mCharge is Meizu’s standard.
The standards are in most cases not cross-compatible. Therefore, if your smartphone supports Samsung Fast Charging technology, you should purchase a power supply for it that supports the same technology. But the Quick Charge adapter will “give out” only the standard 5V / 2A.
How to choose an external charger
When choosing a power bank, you should pay attention to three parameters:
- charge current;
- Body material.
But the first two are the most important.
The higher the capacity of the power bank, the more times it is able to recharge a dead smartphone. However, the actual value of this number is determined by the battery capacity of the smartphone.
For example, if the smartphone is equipped with a 3000 mAh battery:
- Powerbank 5000 mAh will recharge it 1 time;
- A 10000 mAh power bank will recharge it 2-2.5 times;
- A 20000 mAh power bank will recharge it 5-6 times.
However, the exact number depends on a number of other parameters, including the charge current, the resistance of the connected cable, the weather outside the window, the time elapsed since charging, and many others. Therefore, you should not hope that, for example, a 5000 mAh power bank will be able to recharge a smartphone with a 2500 mAh battery twice.
It is worth choosing the value of the charge current based on the same parameters as for conventional network adapters (power supplies). Considering that the stability of the current strength in power banks is not too high, it is worth choosing obviously overestimated parameters:
- For mobile phones, old smartphones, players, smart watches, wireless headphones and other gadgets that do not consume high power during operation – 1 A;
- For modern smartphones, tablets, low-power laptops – 2-2.5 A.
There are several models of power banks that support fast charging technologies. As a result, it is worth considering the compatibility of the charger and the smartphone with which you plan to use it.
However, power banks that support fast charging technologies are not recommended for purchase. The batteries built into them usually “do not survive” “squeezing” 20 V / 5 A out of them. Therefore, the battery capacity drops, and in a few months you will have to change the power bank.
The strength, durability and some performance characteristics of the power bank depend on the case material. Such devices can be made of plastic, metal, and also supplemented with rubberized inserts.
- Plastic is a simple, inexpensive, but fairly reliable material. Power banks with such a case are cheaper than metal ones, but at the same time they do not survive falls on the floor. However, plastic has an important advantage – external chargers made in such material are better able to withstand temperature changes in the cold season.
- Metal survives any falls and other mechanical influences better. However, power banks in such cases are a little more expensive. In addition, due to the fact that the metal “accumulates” low temperatures, in the cold season, such devices self-discharge faster.
Additional inserts – for example, rubber ones – either protect the power bank from shock, or simply make it more beautiful.
The best power adapter manufacturers for smartphones are:
The best power bank manufacturers are:
In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose headphones for your phone and the secrets of choosing a memory card for your smartphone.