Is It Safe to Charge Your Smartphone/Tablet with a Different Charger?
Let’s admit it’s quite common to hear questions about charging our precious gadgets. In fact, most of them ultimately boil down to the following: "What will happen to my phone (tablet) if I use another charger?". In our article, we’ll answer this popular question and will tell you about:
- charger characteristics
- difference in chargers and their use
- popular myth about the danger of recharging gadgets with non-original chargers
Let’s consider the main characteristics present in all chargers. In fact, there are two major characteristics: InPut and OutPut with a number of inscriptions. Let’s see what all these signs and symbols on the charger mean.
InPut indicates characteristics of the electric mains where the unit can be used.
- 100-240V means that the device will operate within the voltage range from 100 V to 240 V. Such a charger is universal, since you can use it both with a 110 V electric grid (American standard) and with a 220 V mains (European standard).
- ~ 50-60HZ shows allowable frequencies. The tilde symbol (~) indicates that the power supply needs alternating current (AC). Please note that all devices that can be connected to the mains use alternating current, since only rechargeable batteries produce direct current. 50-60 Hz is data about alternating current supported by the unit. In fact, we get reconfirmed that the charger is universal, because the allowable frequency for the American standard is 60 Hz at 110 V voltage, and for the European standard – 50 Hz at 220 V voltage.
- 0,35A (left) / 0,3A MAX (right) indicate the maximum value of the current used. The higher the rate at the input, the higher it can be at the output.
OutPut indicates all output characteristics of the device.
- 5V is the output compliance voltage (the output voltage of the power supply). In fact, such a unit converts the voltage to 100-240 V at the input to 5 V at the output. This symbol (⎓) carries two pieces of information. The sign in the form of a straight line (–) means that the output current isn’t alternating anymore; it’s direct (DC). And the dash-dotted line (---) indicates a single-directional current, i.e., current with the constant direction from points with higher potential to points with lower potential. Such an electrical circuit has polarity, i.e., out of the two contacts used, one is positive (+) and the other is negative (–).
- 2A (left)/2,1A MAX (right) are indicators of the output current. The first mains charger has one output with 2 A current, while the second one has two outputs with amperage of 1 A and 2 A respectively. Thus, with one charger you can simultaneously charge 2 accessories, e.g., a phone (charging port with the output amperage of 2 A) and a smart watch or headset (charging port with the output amperage of 1 A), but the total current at two outputs cannot exceed 2.1 A.
Choosing a Charger: How and Why do Chargers Differ?
Imagine you are choosing a new charger for your beloved gadget. What characteristics would you need to focus on? The point is that almost all mobile phones, as well as smart watches, MP3 players and some tablets are now charged from the 5 V power supply unit. So essentially, you’ll only need to consider the optimal charger current.
What is the charger current and what do you eat it with 😊? This value shows us the amount of charge that passed through the cross sectional area of the conductor per time unit, or more precisely, the amount of current the device consumed. In fact, we need much more current to use our gadget’s features.
The capabilities of our parts/accessories increase in direct ratio to the new technology developments, and the current consumption rises accordingly. For example, a few years ago, a mobile phone was used only to make calls or write text messages, and today a small gadget in your pocket can almost hold the entire world: a phone, a GPS navigator, a music player, a calculator, Internet access, and many other critical things. They all need energy.
An increasing energy consumption has forced manufacturers to increase battery capacity. Previously, 600 mA was quite enough for the phone, while now the average battery capacity ranges from 3000 to 5000 mA. Accordingly, for a 600 mA battery, 500 mA was enough, while it will take ages to fully charge a modern 5000 mA battery phone using such a charger. Believe us – it will last forever. So the charger current is crucial.
And now the most intriguing question: "What will happen to my phone if I use a 2 A charger while the charger in the package had 1 A amperage?". The answer is obvious – your phone will be OK. In all modern devices there is, so to speak, appropriate protection, i.e., a charge controller allowing your phone to consume just as much current as it needs. So do not be fooled by high amperage signs on the power supply; a 2 A mark only shows the maximum amperage this unit can deliver.
Thus, if you need 1.42 A of current to recharge your phone, it will consume just that much, not more, even when you use a charger with a nominal 2 A. If you connect such a phone to a unit with the nominal current of 0.5 A, it will then take the maximum possible, i.e., 0.5 A, and will charge much longer.
Myth about the "Wrong Charger"
Do you know a popular superstition about the danger of charging phones using a "wrong" charger? How did it come into the picture? Let us give you a little history. The fact is that initially, when mobile phones were just entering our life, all batteries had low capacity, so there was no need for high-current power supplies, and the phones were not protected against extra current. Back then chargers did not exceed the nominal 0.5 A, and usually had different connectors.
In the transition period, when powerful chargers came into existence, there were often problems when charging old devices with new units. Due to the lack of protection, a phone received the maximum current, and phones simply burned down or blew up. Since such a problem was quite common, it required a quick solution, and the solution came in the form of protection – charge controller.
So, if you need a 2 A power supply for the tablet and a 1 A unit for the phone, go to the Accessories section on our website, buy chargers with the nominal current of 2 A and safely charge two devices with a single charger.
Keep your devices charged and stay connected!