Determining if Your Micro USB Cable is Properly Charging Your Android
No charger is created equal. Depending on the brand or the condition its in, the rate your Android is charged will vary. If your charger is broken, it may not charge your device to its fullest potential. This article is for those people who think their phone is charging too slow, or if they’re just curious about the effectiveness of the off-brand charger they purchase. This will be an easy guide to determine how much juice your chargers are delivering. Let’s begin step one!
Step 1: Check Out Ampere
Head on over to the Play Store and download Ampere, an app that will measure your charging power. If you have a device that runs Android 4.0 or higher, it should work. However, some models may give you wonky results, including the HTC One M7/M8. The app is free, but there is a pro version that removes ads. However, the ads aren’t obnoxious, so it’s not worth the money. But it does give you battery info notifications. After turning on the app, you can get it to work.
Step 2: Test the Charger
Plug in your device via the charger. The power source doesn’t matter… too much. You can plug it into the wall, your computer, or to a portable battery. However, if you want extreme accuracy, plug the charger into its USB-to-wall-outlet adapter. The power source can cause variations, which we’ll discuss later.
With the app running and your phone charging, it should take about ten seconds for it to measure your charge. Also, the text in the app will change from orange to blue when you plug it in. When it’s not plugged, it will display how much energy your phone uses. With this, you can see which programs are energy hogs, and how much difference changing settings will get you. You can view your battery’s stats by tapping the circle icon located on the left side. Negative numbers indicate how much charge your phone’s losing, while positive numbers do the opposite.
When measuring, you should also make sure that your phone isn’t using too much energy, or your results may be skewed. Turn off all energy hogs before doing a test.
Step 3: Look at Your Charger and Calculate
On the adapter, if you’re measuring via wall charger, look for a sticker/imprint that will tell the specifications of your adapter. Look at its output. For instance, if it says that the charge is 1,000mA, your charge should be close to that. If it’s using extra power, subtract the negative numbers by normal mA. Once you calculate everything, you can determine if your charger is in good standing. If not, there are adjustments you can make.
Step 4: Change Things
You can make your charging speed faster without having to buy a new charger, and the adjustments you make are simple. For instance, don’t mess with your phone while it’s charging. Instead, turn it on airplane mode, turn the display off, and let it be, and it will charge so much faster. If you don’t want to do that, there are more ways you can make changes, such as using less programs or lowering the brightness.
As we said before, you will get a better charge if you use a wall outlet. Why is that? Computers will not output the same amount of amperage that a wall socket can provide. So if you want maximum charging potential, stick with a wall outlet.
Also, you should use the official charger and try avoiding third-party chargers. The official charger has been tested to work the best with your device, and while third party can be cheaper, it’s not ideal for a healthy battery. And while wireless charging can be convenient, it will be slower.
Finally, if your phone is hot, cool it down when it charges. Heat can damage your battery and drain it, and it’s a sign that your phone is going beyond its limit. Make sure your phone is in a cool place and not trapped inside its shell. By cooling it down, it should charge it better.
It’s kind of a shame that you have to test your charging devices. Not all of them work the same way, and they can easily get broken, making you shell out money. But by taking care of it, testing your charge levels, and practicing good battery conservation, you can make your charger, and your device itself, last a good while.