Are USB Chargers Interchangeable - What You Need To Know

Are USB Chargers All the Same?

Suppose you own any smartphone device, tablet, or wireless-enabled device in the present advancing mobile computing age. In that case, you may have purchased as many as two or three USB chargers to keep your batteries fully charged. However, like every other electronic gadget, the device charger gets damaged over time or goes missing, leaving you in a dilemma, especially when you have to replace your USB charger for the first time. Suppose you’re familiar with frustrating situations where you find your batteries draining quickly, charging slowly or not at all. In that case, you'll appreciate why you need an USB charger compatible with your device.  

But there’s one question: are USB chargers interchangeable? USB chargers are primarily similar but may vary in terms of compatibility and durability. The last few years have seen the smartphone and electronic device manufacturing companies producing standard accessories like USB chargers, cables, cases and covers as the smartphone is projected to reach approximately 80% penetration by 2021.

USB chargers that fall short of industry standards can cause severe damage to your gadgets, cost you exponentially, and in the worst case scenario, pose a fire risk in your home. It’s vital to know how to identify substandard chargers, choose a reliable third-party one and understand how to keep them in state of good repair.

How to identify substandard USB chargers

It’s a common practice to purchase USB chargers online or at the local hardware store for a considerably lower price without appreciating the potential risk you expose yourself to. While a genuine Samsung travel adapter should cost you around $29, it can be tempting to pick up an off brand or fake one for half the price. If the price doesn’t clue you in, there are other ways to identify a fake (or substandard) USB, including;

  • The charger won't plugin easily. Substandard USBs usually have the wrong size pins, length and can be a distance apart.
  • Quality USB chargers come with the manufacturer’s logo, brand, model, output voltage, and current phone ratings.
  • The new charger should provide explicit instructions and information regarding the devices and their usage.

How to select the correct third-party charger

Regardless of whether you’re replacing your USB-C charger or getting a USB charger that works with a device that uses the old micro-USB port, it would help if you took proper precautions when shopping for one from a third-party producer. Generally, the industry has seen significant improvement when manufacturing chargers that meet industry and safety standards. 

For example, while the lightning cables follow branded chargers, it’s recommended to verify third-party accessories compatible with your Apple product. Conversely, consistent and safe devices will have the “Made for iPhone” or MFI certification, which indicates product quality that you can trust.

Then again, micro USB or USB-C chargers can follow the industry power control standard by checking for the "SS" OR "SuperSpeed" label to confirm its safety.

How to keep your charger in good working condition

The common reason for finding the correct USB charger is always to keep your device powered on. Besides selecting a good charger, it’s essential to ensure proper storage and device use. Here are a few ideas to keep your charger in good working order:

  • Stick to the original USB charger that came with your device.
  • If you need an alternate charger, go for one that matches your device needs.
  • Original chargers are pricey for a reason; avoid the cheap buys.
  • When buying new chargers, check the packaging to certify whether it’s compatible with your device.

Above all, if you need to replace your Samsung, iPhone and other branded USB chargers, you can check out for all your original or quality smartphone accessories.

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