When choosing a charger, you should pay attention first of all to the electrical characteristics of the power supply.
- How to choose a phone charger: what to look for
- Types of chargers
- Adapters or power supplies
- External batteries or power banks
- Main selection criteria
- Input current and socket standard
- Charge current
- Charge voltage
- Supports fast charging technologies
- How to choose an external charger
- Charge current
- Body material
- Top manufacturers
How to choose a phone charger: what to look for
The main criteria when choosing a charger are:
Type (standard adapter or external 'powerbank');
Electrical specifications (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 – adapters themselves, they are also power supplies; and external chargers, more commonly known as 'powerbanks'.
Adapters or power supplies
Adapters are structurally conventional electrical converters that rectify and lower the voltage. Such devices are intended for charging a phone or smartphone from a household network. According to the conversion results, an alternating current with a voltage of 220 V and a strength of 5-6 A 'turns' into a constant 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 small blocks that are installed in a household outlet. A power cable is connected to them, through which the converted electric current is 'transferred' to the smartphone.
Structurally, adapters are divided into household, intended for installation in a regular outlet, and automobile, powered by a cigarette lighter or the corresponding socket. Despite the similar principle of operation, they are not interchangeable.
The main criteria for choosing an adapter are input voltage parameters, output voltage, current strength and support for fast charging technologies.
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 radically different.
Powerbank is structurally a high-capacity battery. It is supplemented with various functional elements – a charge controller, LED indicators, power connectors, buttons, etc. The principle of operation of the powerbank is as follows:
First, the external battery is charged from a power source (for example, from an adapter or computer via a USB cable);
Then he 'holds' the accumulated energy for some time;
When the smartphone is connected, the powerbank transfers the stored energy to the connected device.
In fact, the powerbank is designed for emergency recharging of a smartphone in conditions when it is impossible to get to the outlet or there is no time for this – on trips, for example.
When choosing a powerbank, it is worth starting 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 standard of sockets (especially important when ordering in foreign online stores);
Support for fast charging technologies.
All these parameters determine the compatibility of the charger and the smartphone.
Input current and socket standard
In Russian household electrical networks, a current with a voltage of 220 V, a force of 5-6 A is used (however, when high-power equipment such as 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. The adapter, intended for use in America, in the Russian 'socket' may simply burn out.
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 the sockets in different countries also differ. In Russia, type C connectors are used. In 'our' sockets you can install Europlug, Schuko, CEE 7/7, CEE 7/16 or CEE 7/17 plugs.
But types A and B (NEMA standards), used in the United States and Canada, are not suitable for use with Russian sockets without the appropriate adapters.
The charging current directly depends on the charging current of the smartphone. 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 old 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 parameter 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 released, for example, before 2010-2011;
750 mA (0.75 A). Very rare. The scope of application is similar to that of 0.5 A chargers;
1000 mA (1 A). The most common current standard in chargers today. Versatile enough, suitable for use with most mobile devices – from mobile phones or portable players to smartphones of budget or mid-range 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 high speed charging and stable power even with active use of the connected device.
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 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 with a voltage of 5 V. This standard is used, for example, in the USB ports of a computer. As a consequence, for a smartphone to be compatible with a PC, it must receive a 5-volt current.
Therefore, it is definitely not worth purchasing 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.
Supports fast charging technologies
From 2014-2015, many manufacturers began to implement fast charging technologies. With such a connection, the power supply delivers high current and voltage values 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 standard of the fast charging technology, 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 implies the exchange between the smartphone and the power supply unit not only electricity, but also information. For example, the power controller in a smartphone sends a 'command' to the power supply to increase the current and voltage, and that, accordingly, executes. Or not, if it does not support fast charging technology.
It is clear that if you connect a smartphone that is not implemented to a power supply that supports fast charging technology, the latter will receive less current.
However, fast charging standards differ among themselves. The following are distinguished:
Quick Charge. A standard developed by Qualcomm and supported only by a limited number of SoCs from that manufacturer;
Pump Express. Standard developed by the company MediaTek. Similar to Quick Charge, supported only by a limited number of SoCs from this manufacturer (installed in most Chinese flagship smartphones);
TurboPower. The standard was developed by the company Lenovo specifically for some smartphones Motorola;
Adaptive Fast Charging. Proprietary charging standard from Samsung. It has been used since 2015 in smartphones of the flagship and upper middle price segments – in the S, Note, A and some others lines;
VOOC Fast Charging – developed by BBK specifically for OPPO smartphones;
Dash Charge – developed by OnePlus for branded smartphones;
Super Charge – standard Huawei;
Super mCharge – standard Meizu.
In most cases, standards are not cross-compatible. Therefore, if the smartphone supports Samsung Fast Charging technology, it is worth purchasing a power supply for it that supports the same technology. But the Quick Charge adapter will only 'give out' the standard 5V / 2A.
How to choose an external charger
When choosing a powerbank, you should pay attention to three parameters:
But the first two are most important.
The higher the capacity of the powerbank, 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;
Powerbank 10000 mAh will recharge it 2-2.5 times;
Powerbank 20,000 mAh 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, one should not hope that, for example, a 5000 mAh powerbank 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 deliberately overestimated parameters:
For mobile phones, old smartphones, music 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 it is planned to be used.
However, power banks that support fast charging technologies are not recommended for purchase. The accumulators built into them usually do not survive 20 V / 5 A 'squeezing out of them. Therefore, the capacity of the batteries drops, and after a few months you will have to change the power bank.
The strength, durability and some performance characteristics of the powerbank depend on the material of the case. Such devices can be made of plastic, metal, and also supplemented with rubberized inserts.
Plastic is a simple, inexpensive, but fairly reliable material. Powerbanks with such a case are cheaper than metal ones, but at the same time they do not survive falling to the floor. However, plastic has an important advantage – external chargers made in such a material better survive temperature changes in the cold season.
Metal survives any falls and other mechanical impacts better. However, power banks in such cases are slightly 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 – either protect the powerbank from shock, or simply make it look more beautiful.
The best smartphone power adapter manufacturers are:
The best powerbank manufacturers are:
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Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.