How often do you find yourself needing to charge your mobile phone while driving? Use the best car charger and you are never too far from a power source.
A car charger must be able to ‘fast charge’ while keeping a constant applicable current. It definitely has to be durable and with two USB-ports to be truly universal.
Car Charger Reviews
Anglink 200W Power Inverter
This slim power inverter, converter and charger packs two AC outlets (115V), two USB ports, and one cigarette lighter socket. It can charge a laptop and mobile phones simultaneously without overheating or overloading.
Lizone QC 3-Ports Car Charger
The Lizone 3-Ports car charger has two USB ports with 3amps charging speeds, and one DC port with 4.5amps charging speed. It is compatible with Apple and Android phones and tablets, Macbook, Chromebook, and Surface Pro tablet and laptop.
Encust 5.2A/26W Three USB Port Rapid Portable Car Charger
The Encust 26W Rapid Portable Charger has three USB ports capable of simultaneous cellphone charging. It is compatible with most smartphone and tablet brands like Apple, Samsung, LG and Motorola. The charger will automatically stop once your device is fully-charged.
ETvalley Car Charger
The ETvalley car charger can simultaneously charge three USB-connecting gadgets like phones, e-readers and tablets. The low output voltage (5V) plus fireproof materials prevent overheating and hardware damage. TheLED indicator will tell if the charger is plugged properly.
Travel Inspira Dual USB Car Charger Adapter
Travel Inspira Dual USB car charger can charge two devices at the same time. It is a portable charger and adapter. Simply extend the foldable plugs, and you can continue charging straight from the socket using the same charger.
DreamSky Dual Port USB Car Charger
The DreamSky Dual Port USB car charger can simultaneously charge two smartphones at full-speed. Its intelligent circuit design prevents overheating and overcharging. Extend the foldable plug, and you can use this charger at home.
Maxboost 24W/4.8A Car Charger
This compact car charger is useful if you own other gadgets aside from iPhones or iPads. The 2.4A/12W USB port charges Apple products real fast, while the 2.0A/10W is great for Android and other devices.
Nexcon Apple MFi Certified 3.4A Lightning Car Charger
The Nexcon Apple MFI certified car charger is the best match for Apple fans. You get 100% compatibility assurance, plus a 3-foot cable that plugs to your Apple devices. There’s one extra USB port, too, for charging non-Apple gadgets.
Lycas 2-Port Car Charger
The Lycas 2-Port car charger is also an AC/DC adapter with a foldable plug for indoor use. The 2.1A ports can charge iPhones and most smartphones. Android users will appreciate the micro USB cord that comes with the charger.
Nulaxy Bluetooth FM Transmitter
There’s only one 2.1A USB port charger (compatible with most smartphones) in the Nulaxy Bluetooth FM Transmitter, but you’ll enjoy its other features: LCD display, excellent sound quality, built-in microphone and a microSD memory card slot.
Types of Car Chargers
There are three main types of car chargers, all of which allow you to continue using the phone while it is being charged. The main difference is how fast they can charge.
Fast chargers – These offer the shortest charging time. However, you must not leave them unmonitored, since there is a risk for the battery to overheat if you do not unplug it once it is fully charged.
Rapid chargers – While these devices also provide quick charging, they come with a sensor light, which tells you when the battery is fully charged so you can unplug it.
Trickle chargers – These charges are safe to leave unsupervised since there is no risk of the battery overheating even if left plugged once there is a full charge.
While the above chargers work by being plugged into the car’s cigarette lighter, there are alternative portable chargers you can bring along to charge your phone in case of emergencies.
One example is a hand-cranked charger, which can give you a few minutes charge on the battery so that you can make an emergency call.
How to Select a Car Charger
Choosing the right car charger can be challenging. Here are some features you may want to look out for when you go shopping for a charger.
Multiple sockets – Having a charger with several USB sockets allows you and your passengers to charge more than one phone simultaneously or charge multiple devices.
Higher output chargers – Since mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, have higher power requirements, you need to buy a charger that has the required output to charge them.
Sensor light – To avoid overcharging, look for a charger with an indicator light, which tells you when the battery is fully charged so you can unplug it.
Genuine charger – Avoid units that do not have the CE logo that indicates compliance with international standards and those that have no manufacturer label.
Physical size – You may want to avoid buying a charger, which is too big since you may accidentally bump or knock it while it is plugged in.
Car Charger Usage Tips
In order to help you get the most out of your car charger, here are some handy tips on the best ways to use them.
If applicable, use a universal charger. Most recent devices are compatible with universal USB specifications, thus, you can save money by buying a universal charger.
However, you may still need to carry device-specific chargers for older devices. Older devices that were manufactured before universal standards were adopted may still need chargers that are specific to them.
Unplug the charger when not in use. The charger draws its power from the car battery so continuous use may drain it, particularly when the engine is off.
It is also important to remember that your device’s battery will degrade if continuously plugged into the charger, so unplug it when charged or near full.
Turn off the device when charging. This will help to increase the charging rate of the battery since the device is not consuming any power.
How to Use Chargers Safely
When you buy a charger, make sure that it comes from a reputable manufacturer since poorly made chargers can damage your device and its battery through overcharging.
One important thing to look for is a worldwide certification. These certifications ensure that the charger will work as it is supposed to and meet quality standards.
The CE marking is a universally accepted standard. It means that the product is compliant with the relevant European safety, health and environmental protection standards.
Another certification to look for is RoHS. This mark means that hazardous substances, such as lead and mercury were not used in the charger’s manufacture.
If you own an Apple device, you should look for an MFI certification. This mark ensures that the charger is compatible with Apple iPads and iPhones.
Using non-MFI certified chargers can damage your Apple device since their cables can become extremely hot and even fry the circuitry, causing it to become useless.