When searching for a new charging brick and cable for your phone, tablet, or other devices, you’ll be bombarded by tons of options with different specifications among them. So how do you choose the best charger for your device? This guide will break it down to help you find what you’re looking for.
What to look for in a charger
When trying to charge your device, there are a few variables you need to look out for. With those in mind, you can decide as to what type of charger you need to choose.
The biggest factor here is the wattage amount or the amount of power that a charging brick can actually provide at once. Generally speaking, phone chargers have improved in that wattage number over the years, with the average today ranging around 20 watts or so for a middle-of-the-road charging speed.
Some phones with quick charging capabilities can make use of charging bricks with a rating of anywhere from 40W to 65W. So long as that device can handle that much power and make efficient use of it, a higher wattage amount would be preferable.
As mentioned, some phones can suck power from your wall like nobody’s business, pulling a full charge within an hour in many cases. Even the OnePlus Nord N300 can take advantage of super quick charging as a midrange device. Charging speed varies by device, and wattage alone does not determine charging time. Of course, a phone would have a smaller battery than a tablet or computer.
If you plan on using the brick for your phone, you need to choose one based on that amount of power. If you need to charge a tablet with that charging brick, choose one based on how much your tablet can handle. The same goes for laptops, which can suck anywhere from 100W to 250W for some heavy-duty gaming machines. Just know that the higher the wattage, the higher the price.
Some devices have specific proprietary standards as well. For instance, OnePlus uses SuperVOOC in some of its latest phones, which helps to increase charging speeds to incredible speeds, so long as it uses the correct charging setup. To take advantage of the highest charging speed, you’ll need to use a charger with that standard. Just any charger with high wattage from Amazon won’t charge that phone as fast.
Google and Samsung phones take advantage of the PD standard, which means you don’t need anything special. You’ll need to look up your specific device and make sure you don’t need special hardware. Even if you did, you’re only missing out on a little bit of charging speed since even the PD standard allows for pretty quick charging speeds.
Another big factor is the load you’re putting on the charger. Do you need a brick with only one USB-C port, or should you opt for a charger with multiple ports?
In both cases, the charging brick can only deliver a certain amount of power, no matter what. For instance, if you buy a 100W charging brick and want to plug in a phone and tablet, those devices will split the power, with one getting 40W and the other seeing around 60W in most cases.
You might also want to look into charging hubs if you need to charge more than three devices at one time. Those can handle a bit more power and split it between more devices during your charging time.
Once you take in all of these factors, you can make a precise decision as to what type of charger you need. Make sure you check your device’s specifications to see what max wattage amount is recommended for charging. From there, it’s much easier to find one that fits your needs.
Choosing a reliable brand
Among the hundreds of charging options out there, only a few good brands have stood the test of time for us at 9to5Google. With charging bricks not coming with devices as much as they used to, it’s important to find a solution that lasts as long as your device, if not longer. Below are some brands that we trust the most.
There are other ones out there, but when you find a few brands you trust, it’s generally a good idea to stick with them. Each of these has options that fit just about anyone. For instance, Anker’s 736 100W charger is great for laptops but has the option to accommodate two more devices at once. With that, you’re giving your other devices the best chance of charging as fast as they can.
If you need only a single device charging brick, UGREEN has a great charging brick with two USB-C ports that charge at 45W. The extra port can be a “just in case” option.
- Anker Nano 30W USB-C
- Anker 65W 735 Nano II
- Anker 100W 736 GaN USB-C and USB-A
What about cables?
Of course, you need a good cable for the charging brick to do its job. If you decide to use the cable that came with your device, you’re basically guaranteed the fastest charging your phone can handle, so long as you use the right wall charger.
If you need to grab a new charging cable as well, those same brands offer good options. You can choose one rated for the wattage you need. From there, you really can’t go wrong.
As long as you can determine exactly what your needs are in a charger, it’s easy to find one that’ll do exactly what you need it to do. While there is an absolute mountain of options out there, you really only need to focus on a couple of brands that you trust and choose the charger for you.
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Author: Andrew Romero