Hybrid Battery Repair Canada

Can You Use Any Charger With Any Mobile Phone, Notebook, Camera, or Tablet? 

Every mobile phone, notebook, and tablet appear to come with their own charger.  If you’re like me, you have probably compiled a number of chargers through the years.  So the question becomes: is it safe to use a charger with your phone, laptop, camera, or tablet that is not the original manufacturer’s charger which came with the device?

Kinds of Chargers

In this article, we will focus on three types of chargers: notebook chargers, micro USB chargers (these are used with telephones, tablet computers, and cameras), and Apple Lightning Connectors.  Although some devices have chargers using a slightly different head or charging cable, these are the most frequent.

Laptop chargers are fairly specific to the device they include.  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 might not be the best charging amperage or voltage for your device.

Micro USBs are 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 various amps.  I will explain this further later and how to know if the charger is safe to use (depending on its recorded 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 port, a connector can be used to control the Lightning Connector.

The Plugs Must Be The Same

For a charger for use on another device, it’s essential that the plug  of the charger (the”head”) fit snugly to the charging port of the device.  Micro USBs are the same across the board as far as charging heads, whilst notebook chargers are often specific to both make and model.  However, the plug fitting firmly is only 1 part of this equation.

Somewhere on the power brick of the charger you will get a label with the charger’s voltage (V) and amperage (A).  For laptop chargers, this charging brick is often halfway down the charger and typically looks 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 the wall.  For the device you are attempting to charge, the voltage and amperage required will be seen 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 apparatus, or how much is being”pushed” to the device by the charger.  A phone will usually pull up to approximately 5V, while a laptop can pull up to 25V.  A charger must equal the voltage needed by the device. 

Amperage is how fast power is”pulled” into the device, or how much power is used by the device.  The amount of volts won’t ever change, but the quantity of amps that the system pulls may change depending 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 that may be pulled by the device.  In order to exchange chargers, the amp number on the charger must equal or exceed the amp number recorded on the device’s battery. If a device is paired with a charger which can’t 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 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 employ the new Battery Charging Specification.

If The Micro USB  Charger’s Voltage Is Not 5v…

Some devices might have their voltage recorded using a plus/minus on it like this: 5v +- 5%.  If this is true, you can 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 and 5 percent of 5v = 5.25 volts. 

An interesting point to note is chargers provide a higher voltage than the batteries that they charge.  That’s pretty much how they work.  There has to be a voltage differential to generate the necessary current flow in the correct direction to charge the battery.  If you look at your vehicle, it’s a 12V battery, but typical alternators provide 13.8 to 14.4V charging voltage to the battery.

The issue with knockoffs, particularly cheap knockoffs, is that they often don’t support the energy needs of the device, or are not 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 best to stick with the charger designed 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 effectively use a charger that did not include your smart phone, laptop, camera, tabletcomputer, or other device.  Be certain you follow exactly what we said and you should be ready to go!