A cell phone can be anything from a social
luxury to an emergency lifeline to a career necessity. No matter how important
it is, no one enjoys the experience of thinking his or her phone is charged and
then having it announce the end of its battery life at a critical moment. Poor quality
cell phone car chargers are a recipe for this disaster.
The quality of car chargers may seem incidental. On the surface, so many of
them look and function the same way. However, the devil is in the details. A
quality car charger is going to outlast and outperform a lower-quality
competitor time and time again, avoiding the disappointment or potential
disaster of a dying battery.
There are two varieties of cell phone car chargers. "Original equipment
manufacturer" chargers, or OEM chargers, are made by the company that
manufactures the cell phone. "Aftermarket chargers" are made by
third-party companies. While not all aftermarket chargers are poor quality,
using an aftermarket charger can void a cell phone's warranty.
Charging speed is the first tell-tale sign of charger quality. Charging speed
is directly correlated to the quality of the circuits within the charger and
the amps and voltage they can handle. The higher quality a charger is, the
faster a connected cell phone will charge.
High quality cell phone car chargers will protect the charger, the phone
and the DC adapter the charger plugs into. Cheap chargers do not know when a
cell phone's battery is full. They continue to run a full current to the phone
which can lead to overheating of the cell phone and short-circuit in either the
charger or the DC adapter. These shorts can break the charger or adapter and
even damage the cell phone.
In quality chargers, the chips are designed to recognize when a battery is
full. When the battery is full, the charger runs a lower current to the phone
to prevent potential problems. This feature is sometimes called "smart IP
However, even a fast charger can break easily. Quality will also affect the
life of a charger. Low-quality chargers have cords that can be easily damaged.
Flimsy wires can snap from normal use and render the charger useless. Quality
chargers have thicker cords that can withstand a little accidental tugging.
"Heavy duty" chargers are also available on the higher end of the
Both the metal contacts on the charger plugs and the phone connector are
another point of concern. The connectors and plugs on quality chargers are
sturdy and do not easily come loose. They stay firmly plugged in and do not
have to be fiddled with for the charger to work. On cheap chargers, repeated
use may make them finicky. If they are not plugged in a certain way or are
bumped during use, the charge stops entirely with no warning to the user.
Compatibility is another issue that hits users unexpectedly. Some lower-quality
chargers will not work with newer smartphones even if the plug itself fits. In
some cases, using a cheap charger can even interfere with a cell phone's
performance while it is plugged in. For instance, iPhone users have reported
that cheap chargers will disrupt the external speakers until the phone is
Finally, a quality car charger should have a good warranty. The warranty on the
charger should state that the charger will not damage phones, and the warranty
should be valid for at least one year. A good warranty can function as a ruler
for a car charger's quality. Never purchase a charger that does not have one.