How to Buy a Good Charger for Your Android Device

You’ve got a spiffy little Android device, and you like it, maybe even too much. That’s why that little battery keeps on draining. It needs some charger love! If you want to maximize the life of your battery, you’ll either have to stick with the expensive OEM manufacturer-brand charger, or learn the basics of buying from the cheaper third-party competitors.

Finding a Good Charger for your Android DeviceStep 1 – Figure out what type of USB socket you need

This step is relatively straightforward. Most Android gadgets use a micro-b USB socket, also known as plain old micro-USB. But, some snarky manufacturers out there decided that they wanted to be like Apple and create their special proprietary adapter, so be sure to check.

If you aren’t sure which type of USB socket your phone has, check the specifications on the product website or within the owner’s manual. And if all else fails, I’m happy to help you figure it out if you leave a comment.

usb charger adapters

Step 2 – Voltage and mAh

When buying a battery charger you want to be sure to get one that matches the voltage of the phone. If the voltage is too low, the phone will charge too slowly and may not even be able to reach a full charge. If the voltage is too high, it could ruin the battery and possibly the device. Most phones are rated for 5.0 volts, and most chargers have the same rating. You won’t likely have to worry too much about this but if you want to play it safe then check the manufacturer’s specifications!

Milliampere-hour (mAh) is both the capacity of the battery and energy transfer rate of the charger. Most chargers are rated at 1 amp per hour (1000 mAh). A higher ampere per hour rating on the charger shouldn’t hurt anything unless it exceeds the battery’s maximum limit which varies greatly per battery and manufacturer and is usually quite high. Usually higher is better. The simple formula for finding out how long it will take a battery to recharge based don the mAh is:

  • Recharge time = (Discharged-Percent * Capacity) / Charger-Rate

One last note about voltage. If you are going to be charging the battery separately from the phone, be sure to find a battery-only charger that matches the voltage of whatever is posted on the battery.

Related Article:  Android Tip: Prevent Apps from Automatically Updating

battery voltage

Step 3 – What type of charger do you need?

Generally speaking, there are four different types of chargers.

  • Wall Chargers
    • A wall charger is usually the default charger that comes with your device. Nowadays it is usually a small little box with a USB port on one end. These things are great!
  • Car Socket Chargers
    • Car chargers are built to go into the 12-volt cigarette lighter socket found in most vehicles. These suckers tend to have very high aH (amps per hour) ratings to provide a rapid charge, but be careful that the battery can handle the high amps!
  • Mobile Boost / Portable Chargers
    • Portable chargers, I mean “Yo dawg I heard you like batteries, so I made a bigger battery that charges your little batteries.”
  • Battery-only Chargers
    • Spare battery chargers are suitable for charging the extra battery while you have the other one in use. You do have multiple batteries for your device, right?

Step 4 – Reviews

A++ Would Charge AgainReviews are everything. The problem with a lot of chargers is that they are made using cheap components and in that case they tend to short-circuit. If the third-party brand has an excellent reputation and the product itself has good reviews, you usually don’t have anything to worry about. But even with OEM manufacturer-brand chargers, you have to be careful because cheap counterfeit copy-cats tend to propagate sites like eBay and even Amazon. Be wary of sellers with a low reputation score.

Conclusion

Buying a charger for your Android device isn’t difficult, but it does require a little bit of research. You have to watch out for voltage, amperage, and lousy quality. If you can do all of that you’ll have your Android humming all day on a happy, full battery.

9 replies
  1. Steve Krause
    Steve Krause says:

    Austin, what do you think of the chargers that allow you to just drop the phone on them and walk away with no cords? Have you been able to play with one of those yet?

    Reply
  2. Rick
    Rick says:

    Austin:

    Although I love the phone, I have a Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus that I have not only struggled with the battery life, but the re-charge-ability in my car, specifically if I use Navigation. I currently have two 3800mAh Extended Batteries that I carry with me, but have tried 2100mAh as well. I cannot make it more than 1/2 to 3/4 day with one battery, and even if I charge it in my vehicle while navigating, the battery still drains faster than it can be recharged.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Dan
      Dan says:

      Check your sub cables arent busted. I use a 15600mAh anker charger with screen always on and the block will do a day and a half. I go through a lot of cables tho, always know it’s on its way out when it won’t charge faster than its discharging

      Reply
  3. John K
    John K says:

    Hey,

    I am switching from an iPhone 4 to an LG G3. I know I need new USB to micro cables, but can I use my old Apple Wall adapters with the Android USB cables?

    I also have a plug in my car that has the iPhone 4 interface (kind of like an iPod doc) that plays through my cars stereo system. Is there an adapter that might work for this too? Not just for charging but to hear my music and map directions etc?

    Reply
  4. Amanda Bishop
    Amanda Bishop says:

    Hi there! Ive been going thru charges left and right lately with my Lg G Stylo phones and my Nexus 7 tablet. I cannot find one that lasts longer than a month. Any ideas on where i can find some good quality chargers? Also are there wireless chargers that are compatible? Maybe 10 ft cords that are great quality? Thanks for any help!

    Reply

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