Personal Tech

What to Look for in a Universal Car Charger

One of the worst things that can happen on a trip is for your phone to die, right? That’s where having a handy portable car charger helps out. But not all chargers are created equal. Here’s a list of things to look for when purchasing a cell phone car charger.

High Amp Output

The first thing you’re going to want is a high Amp output. What does that mean? You want enough power to charge a phone and a tablet or iPad. A good charger will have at least 2.1 Amps per USB port. If you’re looking to charge more than one item at a time, you will need a 4.8 Amp charger. Most provide 2.1 Amps. Smartphones require less, but if you ever need to charge a tablet, this will be your best bet.

Multiple USB Ports

Have you ever had to fight over who gets to use the car charger before? Whoever has the lowest percentage usually wins out. Solve that simply by getting a charger that offers multiple USB ports to charge multiple devices. You can also use one to charge a tablet and one for a smartphone if you’re driving solo.

Strong Charging Cable

This is probably the first thing to give out on a charger, so make sure you find one that looks well-made. The second thing about the cable is to make sure the charger doesn’t come with a permanent cable. If it’s a permanent cable, once the cable gives out, you have to buy a brand-new charger, and no one wants to do that more often than necessary. Plus, if there are multiple ports, your friends or family can use their own cords, so it doesn’t matter if the cord is for an iPhone or an Android–everyone gets what they need.

Look of the Charger

It might be a fashion or style choice, but you have to enjoy the look of it. That factors in color and design to make you want to keep it in your car. You also don’t want a light or blinking you find distracting. There’s also the practical aspects of the look. Does it fit right? Do you still have room to put a drink in the cupholder if it’s plugged in? Typically, the smaller the size, the better the fit. As long as it has that charging power we already talked about.

And that’s it. Those are the most important factors to put into your car charger purchases. Make sure to find one you like looking at and works practically for your car, one with a high Amp output, multiple USB ports if you’re looking to charge more than one electronic at a time, and a cable-free charger.