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The Dangers of Cheap Chargers

Don’t Fall to the $5 Chargers.

Broken charging port, broken motherboard, and even electrification. All of these things are what you expose yourself and your phone to when you choose a cheap, crappy charger to charge your device.

Safety

The power that runs through your walls is carrying 120 volts of electricity. That’s more than enough voltage to do serious bodily harm, and under certain circumstances, be lethal. Now, consider that most phones operate at around 3 to 5 volts and the only thing separating the phone from 120 volts is that little square you plug into the wall. Let me say that again, the only thing separating your phone from 25x the voltage it can handle is that little power converter you plug into the wall outlet. That converter does as much to protect your phone as it does to charge it. If you pay $5 for one, please understand that you are placing a very cheaply made piece of equipment into a vital role.

Performance

Now it’s easy to say, “well, I’ve never heard of any of my friend’s chargers messing up their phone, so I’ll take my chances”.  So, let’s look beyond safety for a moment.

When it comes down to it, cheap chargers simply underperform their better made counterparts. They are almost always going to be (advertised as) 5 watt chargers, while most reputable chargers will be 10 watts or more. Let’s back up for a moment — wattage directly indicates how fast your phone will charge, and it’s linear, meaning a 10 watt charger will charge a phone twice as fast as a 5 watt one.

Now consider that the reputable name-brand chargers must meet their advertised wattage or they risk their reputation. On the other hand, no one is going to hold the counterfeit and off-brands responsible if they don’t meet their advertised wattage — in other words, these companies don’t care about their reputation. Because of this, it’s not unusual to see the cheap chargers actually sport 1-2 watts, while the name brand chargers will exceed their advertised 10 watts. To summarize, reputable chargers will nearly always charge your phone a lot faster that the cheap off-brands.

More Information

If you’re interested in more information regarding the shortcomings of cheap chargers, I strongly suggest Ken Shirriff’s Blog. You’ll find much more elaborate breakdowns over on his site: www.righto.com.