Finding the fastest wall charger for my cell phone
December 4, 2013 12:47 PM   Subscribe

What specs do I need to look at to find the fastest cell phone charger?

Full recharges on some chargers take the whole night, while others take an hour. I'm now looking to buy new chargers, hopefully with multiple ports, that would charge my phone as fast as possible.

I have an old HTC Vivid phone, but I'd like to know what specs I need to look at for any cell phone in the future.

Thanks for the help.
posted by n81acc to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Amps. You want sufficient voltage (almost always 5V) and enough amps. Your phone probably wants a 1A supply.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:53 PM on December 4, 2013

1A = 1000mA, so 1A > 750mA > 500mA
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:54 PM on December 4, 2013

Best answer: Many 7-inch tablets and large form factor phones can now charge significantly faster on 2.1 Amp (also sometimes marked 12 Watt) chargers - so while 1A is currently the "standard" in fast-charge chargers that you find listed online or in stores, you can also find some that are 1.5A, 1.7A, and 2.1A.

If you are buying generic, go for the largest capacity you can find for a single port, probably 2.1A.

There are multi-port chargers rated higher than 2.1A, but if you read the fine print they are only designed to deliver at most 2.1A to one or more ports, and the remainder of the ports at 1A only.
posted by trivia genius at 1:07 PM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, use the shortest, decent-quality cable you can find. Poor quality cables can cause a voltage drop below useful levels.
posted by scruss at 1:52 PM on December 4, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I should've read through this article [LINK] first.
posted by n81acc at 2:29 PM on December 4, 2013

And for added quickness, turn your phone onto airport before charging.
posted by Kerasia at 3:53 PM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

What no one has said, and what that article doesn't even mention is that this will be limited by the max charging rate of the charge controller in your phone. In addition to this, a lot of phones only play nice with their manufacturers fast chargers, or ones specifically made by brand names with those models of phones in mind. Don't trust the "2.1amp fast charger for EVERYTHING!!!" chargers.

For instance, the HP touchpad, iPad, and galaxy tabs all have their own weird fast charge standard that determines what is recognized as a fast charger. Some use a shorted pin, some use resistors on certain pins, some use an actual chip they handshake with in the charger. Some use a combination of the above.

Nearly every single brand has their own moronic standard, this is basically the new version of every single model from every single brand taking a slightly different sized and shaped charging port.

Irritatingly, with the exception of any apple device being plugged in a mac newer than like...2009 or 2010, the most reliable rapid charger between brands has been a computer supported by an app like this from the motherboard manufacturer(note: i've had that app work on dells and other brands, same with the similar MSI app) which will handshake with the device and send out more power if the port and motherboard can handle it.

Really though, you'll have to google around about your specific model. This kind of thing can vary from model to model and generation to generation even of just HTC devices.

It's a lot, lot, lot more complicated than just buying a 2.1amp or even 1amp charger and going "WOOHOO!". Ignoring the fact that the phone likely shipped with a compatible 1 amp charger, and it's quite rare for a phone to charge at more than 1 amp(it's nearly impossible to find specs on, but iPhones WILL charge faster than the standard 1 amp rate with an iPad charger. Not at 2.1, but at some in-between higher current rate)
posted by emptythought at 8:25 PM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

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