Selecting a USB Car Charger
By Anan Sadh - It is always helpful to have a charging source for our electronics when one is on the move especially while driving. Most 4 wheelers these days & some two wheelers too offer a DC Socket or also called a Lighter Port. Some cars may offer a direct plug in USB port but the output of these would be limited to 1A/5W. Hence it is always recommended to use a dedicated USB Car Charger which gives our device the optimal charge it needs.
Automobile batteries generate a 12V output whereas our devices usually require 5V hence it’s the job of the USB Car Charger to convert this voltage without harming our device or hampering the car electronics. This Car Phone Charger also filters out any spikes that may be caused by the car battery. The vehicle USB charger safeguard's against these, so anything plugged in the USB port won't be harmed by this.
Today a lot car USB chargers offer multiple ports, each port catering to a different charging protocol & output example QC3.0, 18W or Power Delivery 20W, 22.5W going up as high as even 100W at times. Such chargers are great as they will support all personal electronics including laptops . When purchasing a car mobile charger, there are various points to be kept in mind so that the USB charger satisfies all the purposes.
Size & Fit: Since the lighter DC socket is standard across the industry the charger must fit snugly into it. It should not be too tight or too loose when inserted in the socket. It should be easy to insert & remove. Extremely small ones are at times difficult to remove as they get flushed in with the cabinet. The materials could be either plastic or metal to suit your car interiors. Once in the socket, it should lock in securely & not pop out on bumpy roads.
Multiple Ports: Most car phone chargers have two ports, & mostly this is enough, yet if a chance of more is required, car phone chargers with four outputs are also available. As the cigarette lighter ports are situated close to the gear lever in the vehicle, be mindful so as not to have many cables gathered around it. In certain cars, there are charging ports in the back seats as well.
High Power output: To future-proof yourself, Its always better to choose a higher output car charger than a lower one. Give preference to chargers which are capable of handling tablets & smartphones. Car Chargers which support laptops are on the higher price end. Lastly choose a device which comes with fast charging protocols like QC or Power Delivery (PD). The basic ones would have an output of 12W and are good for basic phones. If your phone supports any fast charging protocol the choose a QC-PD output of anything 18W & upwards.
Quick charging + Power Delivery: This is quickly becoming the norm since the latest mobile phones incorporate fast mobile charging. There is the Qualcomm Quick Charge which supports most phones, Samsung PPS & Apple Power Delivery. As the Qualcomm Quick Charge standard is there in many mobile phones, it is visible in some USB car chargers. One needs to check what your mobile phone supports if you want a fast charge capability.
Product Quality: After considering all of the above, good brands ensure their items are dependable by having inbuilt safety protocols. It is always worth spending a little more. Cheaper stuff available on traffic signals will damage both your device battery as well as your car electronics.
There is a wide variety of car chargers available. Luckily, many reasonably valued chargers are solid & deliver better output. It becomes essential that the points like accessibility, dependability & result ability come out of the product. Likewise, if you want extra functionality, don't go for those that are excessively modest.
The newer mobile phones & tablets can take more power to charge as the batteries are bigger. It is ideal to check the details on the wall charger provided with the phone & then make sure that the car phone charger has at least one port which matches the requirement.
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