Can You Use Any Charger With Any Mobile Phone, Laptop, Camera, or Tablet?
Every cell phone, laptop, and tablet appear to come with their own charger. If you’re 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 computer that is not the original manufacturer’s charger that came with the device?
Types of Chargers
In this article, we’ll focus on three types of chargers: notebook chargers, micro USB chargers (these are used with phones, tablets, and cameras), and Apple Lightning Connectors. While some devices have chargers with a slightly different head or charging cable, these are the most frequent.
Laptop chargers are rather unique to the device they include. However, there can be some generic chargers that boast the capability to be interchanged between notebooks. This always requires changing of this charger”head” and might not be the best charging amperage or voltage for your device.
Micro USBs are designed to be interchangeable, and are standard in many smartphones, Android apparatus, and tablets. Micro USB chargers typically have the same voltage, but may draw different amps. I will explain this further later and how to know whether the charger is safe to use (based on its listed amps and voltage).
Apple Lightning Connectors are standard on all new Apple devices, including iPads and iPods. For older devices with a 30-pin charge interface, a connector can be used to control the Lightning Connector.
The Plugs Must Be The Same
In order for a charger for use on a different device, it’s important that the plug of the charger (the”head”) fit securely into the charging port of the unit. 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 securely is just one part of this equation.
Determined by the power brick of the charger you’ll find a tag with the charger’s voltage (V) and amperage (A). For other types of chargers, like a smartphone charger, this information is usually located at the base of the charger, where it would meet up with the wall. For the device you are trying to charge, the voltage and amperage required will be found on the battery that came with the device or on the company’s website.
Voltage is how much power the charger will draw in the apparatus, or how much is being”pushed” into the apparatus by the charger. A phone will usually pull up to around 5V, though a laptop can pull up to 25V. A charger must equal the voltage required by the device.
Amperage is how quickly power is”pulled” into the device, or how much power is used by the device. The quantity of volts will never change, but the quantity of amps that the device pulls may change based on how hard the unit is working. The number that you locate on the battery that came with your device will be the max amount of amps that may be pulled by the device. The amount found on the charger is how many amps can be pulled simultaneously. If a device is paired with a charger which can’t support the amp necessity, it may burn out the power supply and kill the device.
So if you have a modern USB device (smart phone, tabletcomputer, or camera) you can plug into a high-amperage USB port and enjoy faster charging (so long as the voltage is equal). *Website Note: if you have an older device, it might not work with USB interfaces that use the newest Battery Charging Specification.
If The Micro USB Charger’s Voltage Isn’t 5v…
Some devices might have their voltage listed with a plus/minus on it like that: 5v +- 5%. If this is true, you may use a charger rated at 4.75 to 5.25v because that score is telling you is that the device can take 5v minus 5% of 5v = 4.75 volts OR 5v and 5 percent of 5v = 5.25 volts.
An interesting thing to note is all chargers supply a higher voltage than the batteries that they charge. That’s pretty much how they work. There needs to be a voltage differential to produce the necessary current flow in the proper direction to charge the battery. If you look at your car, it has a 12V battery, but typical alternators provide 13.8 to 14.4V charging voltage to the battery.
The issue with knockoffs, especially cheap knockoffs, is that they frequently don’t support the energy needs of the apparatus, or are not built to keep a steady flow securely. This can result in damage to the device but can also pose a safety/fire hazard. Overall, it’s better to stay with the charger made for the device you are 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 efficiently use a charger that did not come with your smart phone, laptop, camera, tablet, or other device. Be sure you follow exactly what we said and you should be good to go!