Not all chargers are created equal.

Charging your phone is not about finding a
cable and plug that fit. Some chargers take much longer to fill your battery. Others
damage your device. The fake charger that you purchased may actually be killing the battery that it was working to revive.

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Fortunately, there are precautions to take
when buying a charger.

Mobile phone chargers have a primary task to
supply your device with power. They do so by activating the charging circuitry,
which reinvigorates your drained battery. Because of this, chargers are better called adapters because their job isn’t
just to charge your device, but to
convert dc power to a level that your phone or tablet can safely handle.

While power adapters may
seem like transparent cords, the process behind them isn’t so clear-cut.
There are multiple parts inside the plug. For example, a regulator communicates
to the charger when your device is full
so that it doesn’t try to continue to provide power. If you continually overcharge
your device, you will shorten its lifespan.

Chargers protect your phone from power spikes
or drawing too little power. Corrupt ones can trick your phone into thinking
it’s charging, but an hour later, you find that all the adapter did was
keep the lights on.

It’s no secret that Apple’s chargers are
overly expensive, but the Chartered Trading Standards Institute performed a
test and found that 397 of the 400 chargers purchased online failed a basic
safety test.

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Most inexpensive
chargers do not meet certain regulatory standards and may contain harmful
materials that threaten you or the environment. Fake chargers can even be
physically defective, including prongs that come out when you attempt to unplug
them from the wall.

Thankfully, you’re less likely to find fake
chargers at regular stores. Here are tips so that you get the most out of your device’s
battery:

Have
your official charger with you at all times

While most of us have several microUSB
chargers, it’s definitely worth using the one that came with your phone or
tablet. Carry it around with you so that you can use the same adapter outside
of your home. If you keep the cable in satisfying condition, this step is the
simplest you can take without having to dive into how chargers work.

Check
input and output levels

The charger that comes with your device
supplies it with the ideal amount of power. If you need a second adapter, check
that the input and output levels match the one that your phone came with. 

An input level of 100 to 240 V displays an adequate
amount of voltage. If you plug it into an outlet or source above this range,
you risk destroying the charger. As for output levels, if your battery only
needs 4.2 V to fully charge, you’ll
need a power adapter that can reach that level. A charger that outputs 3 V
cannot properly charge a 4.2-V battery, which explains why your five-year-old adapter may not work with your
latest phone.

Lastly, you’ll need to check amperage. Most
smartphone chargers supply an output of 1 A; any device that requires less than
1 A will extract only what it needs. However, if your charger only provides 500 mA, a phone that needs more will
not only charge more slowly but also get
damaged. Some devices won’t even accept a charger that doesn’t provide enough
power.

Look
for certifications

Certifications like CE present a manufacturer’s
obligation to meet the standards of a given practice or area. For example, RoHS
certification shows that a product doesn’t contain hazardous materials. These
commitments indicate that a product is
less likely to damage your device, your home, and the environment.

If you are an iPhone owner, search for the
Made for iPod logo, Apple’s licensing program that creates parts and segments
for its products. Contrary to the name, this holds true for the iPhone and iPad
as well.

Compare
your chargers side by side

Another relatively
easy step that you can take is to compare your
secondary charger with the one that came with your phone. While some fake
chargers can be rather convincing, often including the same brand name and a
few certifications, they do not contain all of the ones that the real ones do.
Visually, the noticeable difference may come down to a few words.

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First, compare the weight of the two
chargers. Tap on them to inspect how they sound. Of course, these steps aren’t crucial
in comparing the official charger to the third-party one, but they can help if
you believe that you’ve purchased a fake.

It’s important to remember that smartphones
aren’t known for having the longest battery life, but if your device drains
fast and charges slowly, your adapters may be the culprit. 

Source: MakeUseOf