Can You Use Any Charger With Any Mobile Phone, Laptop, Camera, or Tablet?
Every cell phone, laptop, and tablet seem to come with their own charger. If you’re like me, you have 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 isn’t the original manufacturer’s charger that came with the device?
Types of Chargers
In this guide, 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 with a slightly different head or charging cable, these are the most frequent.
Laptop chargers are fairly specific to the device they come with. However, there may be some generic chargers which boast the capability to be interchanged between notebooks. This always requires changing of this charger”head” and may not be the best charging amperage or voltage to your device.
Micro USBs are theoretically 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’ll explain this further later and how to know if the charger is safe to use (depending on its recorded amps and voltage).
For older devices using a 30-pin charge port, a connector can be used to control the Lightning Connector.
For a charger to be used on a different device, it’s important 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 so far as charging heads, whilst laptop chargers are usually specific to both make and model. However, the plug fitting securely is only one part of this equation.
Determined by the power brick of the charger you will find a label with the charger’s voltage (V) and amperage (A). For laptop 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 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 how much is being”pushed” to the device by the charger. A phone will usually pull up to approximately 5V, though a notebook can pull up to 25V. A charger must equal the voltage required by the device.
Amperage is how quickly power is”pulled” to the device, or how much electricity is used by the device. The quantity of volts will never change, but the amount 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 are the maximum amount of amps that can be pulled from the device. If a unit is paired with a charger that cannot support the amp necessity, it may burn out the power source 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 (so long as the voltage is equivalent ). *Site Note: if you have an older device, it might not work with USB interfaces that employ the newest Battery Charging Specification.
If The Micro USB Charger’s Voltage Isn’t 5v…
Some devices might have their voltage recorded with a plus/minus on it like this: 5v +- 5%. If this is the case, you can use a charger rated at 4.75 to 5.25v because that rating 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. This means anything between 4.75 t0 5.25v is safe to use (so long as the amperage of the charger is equivalent to or higher than the device’s listed amperage).
An interesting thing to note is all chargers provide a higher voltage than the batteries they charge. That is pretty much how they operate. There needs to be a voltage differential to produce the necessary current flow in the proper way to charge the battery. If you look at your car, it’s a 12V battery, but average alternators provide 13.8 to 14.4V charging voltage to the battery.
The problem with knockoffs, especially cheap knockoffs, is they often don’t support the energy needs of the apparatus, or aren’t built to keep a steady flow securely. Overall, it’s best to stay 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 help you. Now you know how to safely and effectively use a charger that did not include your smart phone, laptop, camera, tablet, or other apparatus. Be sure to follow what we said and you should be good to go!