Can You Use Any Charger With Any Mobile Phone, Laptop, Camera, or Tablet?
Every mobile phone, laptop, and tablet appear to come with their own charger. If you’re like me, you’ve probably compiled quite a few chargers through the years. So the question becomes: is it safe to use a charger with your phone, notebook, camera, or tablet that is not the original manufacturer’s charger which came with the device?
Kinds of Chargers
In this article, we’ll focus on three types of chargers: notebook chargers, micro USB chargers (these are used with telephones, tablets, and cameras), and Apple Lightning Connectors. While some devices have chargers using a slightly different head or charging cable, these are the most common.
Laptop chargers are rather unique to the device they come with. However, there can be some generic chargers which boast the ability to be interchanged between laptops. This always requires changing of this charger”head” and may not be the optimal charging amperage or voltage to your device.
Micro USBs are theoretically designed to be interchangeable, and are standard in most 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 if the charger is safe to use (based on its listed amps and voltage).
For older devices with a 30-pin charge interface, a connector can be used to charge with the Lightning Connector.
For a charger for use on a different device, it’s important that the plug of the charger (the”head”) fit snugly to the charging port of the unit. Micro USBs are the same across the board as far as charging heads, while notebook chargers are usually specific to both make and model. However, the plug fitting firmly is just one part of the equation.
How Voltage and Amperage Matter
Determined by the power brick of the charger you will find a label 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 bottom of the charger, in which it would meet the wall. For the device you are attempting to control, 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 into the apparatus, or just how much is being”pushed” to the device by the charger. A phone will usually pull up to approximately 5V, while a notebook can pull up to 25V. A charger must equal the voltage required by the device.
Amperage is how fast power is”pulled” into the device, or how much electricity is used by the device. The quantity of volts won’t ever change, but the amount of amps that the system pulls may change based on how hard the device 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. If a unit is paired with a charger that cannot support the amp requirement, it can burn out the power supply and kill the device.
So if you have a modern USB device (smart phone, tablet, or camera) you can plug into a high-amperage USB port and enjoy quicker charging (as long as the voltage is equal). *Site Note: if you have an older device, it might not work with USB ports that use the new Battery Charging Specification.
If The Micro USB Charger’s Voltage Is Not 5v…
Some devices may have their voltage recorded with 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% of 5v = 4.75 volts OR 5v and 5 percent of 5v = 5.25 volts.
An interesting thing to note is chargers provide a higher voltage than the batteries they charge. That’s pretty much how they operate. There has to be a voltage differential to generate the necessary current flow in the proper way 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.
Stay Away From Cheap Knockoff Chargers
The problem with knockoffs, particularly cheap knockoffs, is that they often don’t support the power requirements of the apparatus, or aren’t built to keep a steady flow safely. This can result in damage to the device but can also pose a safety/fire hazard. Overall, it’s better to stick with the charger made for the device you are using.
Now You Know How To Safely & Effectively Swap Chargers
I hope this article was able to help you. Now you know how to safely and efficiently use a charger that did not include your smart phone, notebook, camera, tabletcomputer, or other apparatus. Make sure to follow exactly what we said and you should be ready to go!