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Fastest car charger & how to measure charging rate?


SWMich4G

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I'm having trouble finding a definitive answer to getting a car charger that will actually charge my phone.  I just have an old iGo charger, but even with the screen off and every application stopped, my phone actually loses charge while plugged in.  I have a GS4 and every app I've tried that measures charging rate tells me it's getting the same charging current as when it's plugged into the wall (it clearly is not).  So I have a couple questions:

 

1) Has anyone found a car charger that actually charges their Galaxy device about as fast as the Samsung wall charger?  Anything notably cheaper than the official Samsung one?

 

2) Has anyone found a charge monitoring app that works on the GS4 and reports the ACTUAL charging current, or an accurate charging time estimation?

 

Any researched or anecdotal findings would be appreciated.  Thanks. 

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I've loved my Motorola Rapid Rate charger and it works very well on my HTC EVO 4G LTE, so I can't speak for Samsung devices, but I would hope it would provide enough current to charge quickly. http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Vehicle-Adapter-micro-USB-Charger/dp/B000S5Q9CA

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I've got the same problem. I picked up some cheap, generic car charger on a Groupon deal and my phone barely maintains a charge level with the charger connected.  No more generic chargers for me!

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I love this topic.. It came up in an argument the other day... Her: "my phone is no longer charger as fast as it used to" me:" which charger are you using...? " her" the one I use for my bluetooth.. That's not it it works just fine. " me:" where's the one that came with your note ii? " her:" I left it at mom's. I just told you its not the charger my charger works fine on my bluetooth! I know you think I'm dumb over phone stuff but I'm smart enough to check that! " me:" mumbled something I probably shouldn't have... Then explained to her bluetooth charger uses a different amperage and charges at half the rate she's needs one rated for her phone. At least 2amps.. " her:" it's the same type charger the chargers fit.. That's the dumbest thing I've heard.. I'm going to beat buy.. "

 

Two hours later....

 

Her:" see dummy I just needed a new charger.. This one is timed.. To slow.. I needed a rapid charger... It only cost me 60 dollars.. "

 

Me:" 60 dollars? I just ordered u one on ebay for 10! "

Her:" it's not a rapid charger.. "

Me" Wtf does that mean? It's the oem charger.. And it's rated the same amperage.. Take that one back! "

Her:" why can't you admit you don't know what you are talking about this one has a timer that makes it go faster! The guy at best buy said it was the best...

Me:" said something about a bridge... She could buy...

 

We compared the actual charging rate of the two chargers I used a multimeter showed her they were actually the exact same in every way except one said rapid.. The other said Samsung she swears it's faster because it has a timer.. I said Wtf does that mean?

 

Yeah it didn't end well.. I said I could never work at best buy... I couldn't take advantage of ignorant people.. She says what's that mean? I said a fool and their money is soon parted... I can't post the response here lol I'm glad I have good reflexes lol

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I'm having trouble finding a definitive answer to getting a car charger that will actually charge my phone.  I just have an old iGo charger, but even with the screen off and every application stopped, my phone actually loses charge while plugged in.  I have a GS4 and every app I've tried that measures charging rate tells me it's getting the same charging current as when it's plugged into the wall (it clearly is not).  So I have a couple questions:

 

1) Has anyone found a car charger that actually charges their Galaxy device about as fast as the Samsung wall charger?  Anything notably cheaper than the official Samsung one?

 

2) Has anyone found a charge monitoring app that works on the GS4 and reports the ACTUAL charging current, or an accurate charging time estimation?

 

Any researched or anecdotal findings would be appreciated.  Thanks. 

Does any packaging have a milli-amp capacity specified?  I would think buying the charger with the highest capacity might help, but I am not sure that is easy to determine. I am not sure any of them tell you their capacity. 

If this is happening in the same car all the time, could you have  slightly low battery voltage in the whole car??

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I love this topic.. It came up in an argument the other day... Her: "my phone is no longer charger as fast as it used to" me:" which charger are you using...? " her" the one I use for my bluetooth.. That's not it it works just fine. " me:" where's the one that came with your note ii? " her:" I left it at mom's. I just told you its not the charger my charger works fine on my bluetooth! I know you think I'm dumb over phone stuff but I'm smart enough to check that! " me:" mumbled something I probably shouldn't have... Then explained to her bluetooth charger uses a different amperage and charges at half the rate she's needs one rated for her phone. At least 2amps.. " her:" it's the same type charger the chargers fit.. That's the dumbest thing I've heard.. I'm going to beat buy.. "

 

Two hours later....

 

Her:" see dummy I just needed a new charger.. This one is timed.. To slow.. I needed a rapid charger... It only cost me 60 dollars.. "

 

Me:" 60 dollars? I just ordered u one on ebay for 10! "

Her:" it's not a rapid charger.. "

Me" Wtf does that mean? It's the oem charger.. And it's rated the same amperage.. Take that one back! "

Her:" why can't you admit you don't know what you are talking about this one has a timer that makes it go faster! The guy at best buy said it was the best...

Me:" said something about a bridge... She could buy...

 

We compared the actual charging rate of the two chargers I used a multimeter showed her they were actually the exact same in every way except one said rapid.. The other said Samsung she swears it's faster because it has a timer.. I said Wtf does that mean?

 

Yeah it didn't end well.. I said I could never work at best buy... I couldn't take advantage of ignorant people.. She says what's that mean? I said a fool and their money is soon parted... I can't post the response here lol I'm glad I have good reflexes lol

This person you were having the argument with, was it your significant other?

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I have not had any luck except bad with car chargers. This goes back to 2002 when I purchased my first cell phone. Just recently on a family trip I needed to charge my laptop while traveling and stopped in a local truck stop. I purchased a inverter for $20. Best $20 I have ever spent. The phones charge just as fast as at my house and the battery does not get anywhere near as hot. I think this is a 100 watt inverter.

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Does any packaging have a milli-amp capacity specified?  I would think buying the charger with the highest capacity might help, but I am not sure that is easy to determine. I am not sure any of them tell you their capacity. 

If this is happening in the same car all the time, could you have  slightly low battery voltage in the whole car??

Some do specify an amperage rating, but you have no way of knowing how accurate their claims besides reading the reviews.  I had to replace my car's battery when my alternator went out, so I doubt that's an issue.  I had read stuff about the shielding on the cable significantly affecting the charging rate for the S4, and I'm sure my current one isn't shielded at all.  I just don't want to spend $20 on a charger for it to be no better than the one I have.  I was already looking at the motorola one bill linked to, so I'll probably try that.  I was just concerned that a 950mA charger might be notably slower than a 2A charger. 

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Does any packaging have a milli-amp capacity specified? I would think buying the charger with the highest capacity might help, but I am not sure that is easy to determine. I am not sure any of them tell you their capacity.

If this is happening in the same car all the time, could you have slightly low battery voltage in the whole car??

I always look at the amperage of the car chargers and even wall chargers before I buy them. If it isn't listed then they don't want me to buy it and are hiding something.

 

I try to find the tablet or ipad ones as they are 2.0A chargers, others seem to be 1.0A capable.

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Some do specify an amperage rating, but you have no way of knowing how accurate their claims besides reading the reviews.  I had to replace my car's battery when my alternator went out, so I doubt that's an issue.  I had read stuff about the shielding on the cable significantly affecting the charging rate for the S4, and I'm sure my current one isn't shielded at all.  I just don't want to spend $20 on a charger for it to be no better than the one I have.  I was already looking at the motorola one bill linked to, so I'll probably try that.  I was just concerned that a 950mA charger might be notably slower than a 2A charger. 

Careful assuming that your car voltage is ok since you had your alternator and battery replaced.

Your whole electrical system may be running at a slightly lower voltage than normal due to the rebuilt alternator.

A 950ma charger may indeed be slower that a 2 amp charger. It can only output 950 ma and if you need more than that, you are not going to get it.

Do you know how many milliamps your wall charger is supplying to your phone??

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Do you know how many milliamps your wall charger is supplying to your phone??

I have 2 apps that supposedly measure charging current.  Galaxy Charging Current tells me it's 1200 mA when plugged into the wall.  CurrentWidget tells me it's 1 mA when plugged into the wall.  The charger is rated 2 A. 

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I have 2 apps that supposedly measure charging current.  Galaxy Charging Current tells me it's 1200 mA when plugged into the wall.  CurrentWidget tells me it's 1 mA when plugged into the wall.  The charger is rated 2 A. 

1200 sounds about right to me. It probably will make a difference as to how dead your battery is.  Easier to shove 1200 mA into a near dead battery than one that is near full charge.

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I never gave a thought about chargers until I got a smart phone.  Once (most) phones started to all have micro-USB chargers, we had many of them laying around the house from various phones over the years, replacement chargers that were bought, etc. 

 

With my old EVO Shift, I noticed that some chargers were faster than others.  When I first got my EVO 4G LTE, I had it plugged into a charger that we just leave plugged in next to the couch.  I was using it while it was charging, and I actually got a message saying the charger couldn't provide enough power so it was actually decharging.  Then I looked at the charger....only 500 mA!  I checked the one that came with the EVO LTE...1.2 A.  HUGE difference!!

 

My car charger is just some cheap thing that was on sale at Radio Shack for $9.47 or something.  I have various results.  It charges...but sometimes it's faster than others.  Last night I used it for about 45 minutes and it brought my battery from 27% to 60%.  Other times, I usually just use it to plug in when I am using GPS or playing Pandora in the car.

 

But...the charger DOES matter!

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For even more flexibility, check out this CLA (Cigarette Lighter Adapter) with two USB ports I picked up at Lowe's this afternoon. It has two USB charging ports, one labled 1A and the other 2.1A.  Here is a link: http://www.lowes.com/pd_478608-70253-AXC-DDCB-B_0__?productId=4634453&Ntt=usb+charger&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dusb%2Bcharger&facetInfo=

 

I haven't tested it yet, but the price is right and you can use your own cable and are not limited to what type of device is charged.  In a situation like mine, I have mostly Android devices using MicroUSB, but then I have my iPad 4th gen which requires a USB to Lightning port plug.  This CLA is ideal as I just keep various cables in the center console.

 

Update: Also available in White: http://www.lowes.com/pd_478600-70253-AXC-DDCW-B_0__?productId=4634443&Ntt=usb+charger&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dusb%2Bcharger&facetInfo=

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What an interesting thread. I've had suspicions about this for a while, but never bothered to sit down and check. Let's look at the chargers I've got around my home...

 

Samsung Galaxy Note II OEM Wall: 2 Amps output. Charges the phone spectacularly fast.

Motorola Photon OEM Wall: Unlisted. Moderate charging rate. Probably a 1A or something similar.

Ventev "Sprint" Car Charger: Unlisted. Curiously enough, it says "Input Voltage 12-24V, W/2A Fuse", but nothing about how much power it outputs. This thing keeps the phone at about the same charging level (doesn't seem to go up or down, just maintains).

 

Tablet charger, TF300T OEM Wall: Dual listing of 5V/2A and 15V/1.2A. I would also call this "moderate" charging, but it's got to put power in to two very large batteries, so it makes sense if it's pushing out 2A.

 

When I get to work tomorrow morning, I'll check our other chargers, see if any of them actually say what they output, and if any are worthwhile.

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I have been using this Mediabridge charger since December. It has been fantastic. I use the USB cord from my old HTC EVO 4G (WiMax) in the 2.1 Amp port, and it seems to charge my Note II as quickly as my Samsung wall charger (if not slightly faster). It has kept my phone alive for hours on end while hunting and mapping LTE. :tu:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-Output-Charger-iPhone-Design/dp/B007TV88F2/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1375674761&sr=8-6&keywords=mediabridge

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If you look at your battery screen under settings when you plug it in, see if it says "Charging (AC)" or "Charging (USB)".

Some of the phones out there will draw a lower current if it senses it's plugged into a USB port for charging rather than a wall charger. Many of the car chargers out there, especially older ones, show up as USB.

 

I use this car charger from Amazon.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0062O25IS/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

It has a low price ($7.55) and free shipping for anyone.

 

It is sensed as an AC charger by my Galaxy S3 and it does a great job of charging, even while using some power hungry apps like Waze which uses the GPS, a constant display, a data connection along with the processor power that app itself uses.

 

On my older car charger the phone always lost power while using Waze, to the point where I couldn't use it for more than about 4 or 5 hours from a full charge even while plugged in. This charger solved the problem and it now gains about 20 to 25% charge per hour now (with Waze running) rather than loosing power.

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I love this topic.. It came up in an argument the other day... Her: "my phone is no longer charger as fast as it used to" me:" which charger are you using...? " her" the one I use for my bluetooth.. That's not it it works just fine. " me:" where's the one that came with your note ii? " her:" I left it at mom's. I just told you its not the charger my charger works fine on my bluetooth! I know you think I'm dumb over phone stuff but I'm smart enough to check that! " me:" mumbled something I probably shouldn't have... Then explained to her bluetooth charger uses a different amperage and charges at half the rate she's needs one rated for her phone. At least 2amps.. " her:" it's the same type charger the chargers fit.. That's the dumbest thing I've heard.. I'm going to beat buy.. "

 

Two hours later....

 

Her:" see dummy I just needed a new charger.. This one is timed.. To slow.. I needed a rapid charger... It only cost me 60 dollars.. "

 

Me:" 60 dollars? I just ordered u one on ebay for 10! "

Her:" it's not a rapid charger.. "

Me" Wtf does that mean? It's the oem charger.. And it's rated the same amperage.. Take that one back! "

Her:" why can't you admit you don't know what you are talking about this one has a timer that makes it go faster! The guy at best buy said it was the best...

Me:" said something about a bridge... She could buy...

 

We compared the actual charging rate of the two chargers I used a multimeter showed her they were actually the exact same in every way except one said rapid.. The other said Samsung she swears it's faster because it has a timer.. I said Wtf does that mean?

 

Yeah it didn't end well.. I said I could never work at best buy... I couldn't take advantage of ignorant people.. She says what's that mean? I said a fool and their money is soon parted... I can't post the response here lol I'm glad I have good reflexes lol

I completely played this out in my head. I was laughing so much xD

 

 

-Luis

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So, I was actually pretty proud of my manager today...

 

214xmdx.jpg

 

 

 

The top row of chargers (3 Lightning Car, 1 Lightning Wall) are all listed as 10W/2.1A. Those are ones he bought for the store after we got a slew of awful low-rating ones.

 

Unfortunately, right below that is a Lightning "eco charger" rated at 1A. I'm now bugging him to buy some ~2A microUSB ones.

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I have not had any luck except bad with car chargers. This goes back to 2002 when I purchased my first cell phone. Just recently on a family trip I needed to charge my laptop while traveling and stopped in a local truck stop. I purchased a inverter for $20. Best $20 I have ever spent. The phones charge just as fast as at my house and the battery does not get anywhere near as hot. I think this is a 100 watt inverter.

THIS! On top of faster charging and better battery maintenance, it is harder to lose or break.

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I only buy 2 amp chargers, for home or car. And I will not buy ones that are just a power pack with USB cable plug ins, even if they claim to be 2 amp. I'm convinced that 2 amp chargers with USB power cords do not work as well, and seem to charge around 500ma-1.0 amp speeds. Regardless of how many amps the power pack is capable.

 

I love my RocketFish Premium 2 amp car chargers. Only their Premium series has 2 amp mobile capability. The standard RocketFish car chargers are much less amperage. Last time I bought them on EBay for $6...I bought 5 of them. ;)

 

Robert via Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 using Tapatalk

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