Can You Use Any Charger With Any Cell Phone, Notebook, Camera, or Tablet?
Every cell phone, notebook, and tablet seem to come with their own charger. If you are like me, you’ve probably compiled quite a few chargers over the years. So the question becomes: is it safe to use a charger with your phone, notebook, camera, or tablet that isn’t the original manufacturer’s charger which came with the device?
Kinds of Chargers
In this article, we’ll concentrate on three types of chargers: notebook chargers, micro USB chargers (these are used with telephones, tablets, and cameras), and Apple Lightning Connectors. Although some devices have chargers using a slightly different head or charging cable, these are the most common.
Laptop chargers are fairly unique to the device they include. However, there can be some generic chargers which boast the capability to be interchanged between laptops. This always requires changing of the charger”head” and may not be the best charging amperage or voltage for your device.
Micro USBs are theoretically designed to be interchangeable, and are standard in many smartphones, Android devices, and tablets. Micro USB chargers typically have the exact same voltage, but may draw different amps. I’ll explain this further later and how to know if the charger is safe to use (based on its recorded amps and voltage).
For older devices using a 30-pin charge port, a connector can be used to charge with the Lightning Connector.
In order for a charger to be used on a different device, it’s essential that the plug of the charger (the”head”) fit securely into the charging port of the device. Micro USBs are the same across the board as far as charging heads, whilst laptop chargers are often specific to both make and model. However, the plug fitting firmly is only one part of this equation.
Determined by the power brick of the charger you’ll find a label with the charger’s voltage (V) and amperage (A). For notebook chargers, this charging brick is often halfway down the charger and appears exactly like it sounds — a brick. For other types of chargers, like a smartphone charger, this information is usually located at the bottom of the charger, in which it would meet up with the wall. For the device you’re attempting to charge, the voltage and amperage required will be found on the battery that came with the device or on the manufacturer’s website.
Voltage is how much power the charger will draw into the device, or how much is being”pushed” to the device by the charger. A phone will usually pull up to around 5V, while a notebook can pull up to 25V. A charger must equal the voltage needed by the device.
Amperage is how fast power is”pulled” to the apparatus, or how much electricity is used by the device. The quantity of volts will never change, but the quantity of amps that the system pulls may change based on how hard the device is working. The number that you find on the battery that came with your device will be the max amount of amps which may be pulled by the device. The amount found on the charger is how many amps can be pulled at once. To be able to swap chargers, the amp number on the charger must equal or exceed the amp number listed on the device’s battery. If a device is paired with a charger which can’t support the amp necessity, it can burn out the power source and kill the apparatus.
So for those who have a modern USB device (smart phone, tablet, or camera) you can plug into a high-amperage USB port and enjoy faster charging (as long as the voltage is equivalent ). *Site Note: if you have an older device, it might not work with USB interfaces that employ the new Battery Charging Specification.
If The Micro USB Charger’s Voltage Is Not 5v…
Some devices may have their voltage recorded using a plus/minus on it like this: 5v +- 5%. If this is the case, you may use a charger rated at 4.75 to 5.25v because that score is telling you is that the apparatus can take 5v minus 5 percent of 5v = 4.75 volts OR 5v plus 5 percent of 5v = 5.25 volts. So this means anything between 4.75 t0 5.25v is safe to use (as long as the amperage of the charger is equal to or higher than the device’s listed amperage).
An interesting thing to note is chargers supply a higher voltage than the batteries that they charge. That’s pretty much how they operate. There needs to be a voltage differential to generate the necessary current flow in the correct direction to charge the battery. If you look at your car, it has a 12V battery, but average alternators provide 13.8 to 14.4V charging voltage to the battery.
The issue with knockoffs, particularly cheap knockoffs, is they often don’t support the energy needs of the apparatus, or are not built to maintain a steady flow securely. This can result in damage to the device but can also pose a safety/fire hazard. Overall, it’s best to stick with the charger made for the device you’re using.
Now You Understand How to Safely & Effectively Swap Chargers
I hope this article was able to assist you. Now you know how to safely and effectively use a charger that did not come with your smart phone, laptop, camera, tabletcomputer, or other device. Make sure to follow what we said and you should be good to go!