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This seems to be a fairly common issue.

Upon attempting to charge my Motorola DROID BIONIC with two non-Motorola microUSB wall chargers, I couldn't get the phone past 40%. With the Moto charger, it charges fully (though apparently pretty slowly).

I know the BIONIC's battery is a 3.8v, and my chargers are all 3.7, but the voltage difference doesn't seem large enough to cause a problem. Is is possible the BIONIC can read the difference in the voltage, even if it is small, and is coded not to fully charge on these non-Moto chargers?

Both HTC chargers I've tried were 200mA. It seems maybe the amperage is too low to charge the phone. I'll try and find a higher power one to test.

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I doubt the 0.1 V difference is enough, but it's possible that the charger has a chip in it that allows the device to determine what it's connected to. What's the amperage, though? That's probably relevant. And does it matter whether the phone is on or off while charging? –  Matthew Read Sep 12 '11 at 15:52
    
Both the HTC chargers I tried are 200mA. Perhaps the amperage is just too low - this would make sense. –  DavidAP Sep 12 '11 at 16:25
    
If you don't have a higher capacity charger available, try turning the display off, and if you can, enable airplane mode to reduce power consumption by the radios. This might give the 200mA charger a chance to make some progress. –  TomG Sep 12 '11 at 23:33
    
@David 200mA is tiny, I'm surprised you can charge anything much with that. The on-board USB ports on PCs are a maximum of 500mA and people complain that they're far to slow for charging compared to a wall plug charger –  GAThrawn Sep 13 '11 at 10:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Does the phone begin discharging at 40%? Does it indicate that it is still charging, but the charge never exceeds 40%?

I have had charging issues with my Motorol DROID v1. What I've come to understand is that the power delivered by the car adapter is less than the power drawn by the phone when the GPS is on. I would suspect that a couple of factors might be in play here:

  • Connectivity problems

If the connection between the charging cable and the phone might be poor, perhaps due to poor connector seating or swelling due to heat. It could be that, after charging for a period of time the phone heats up and expands to the point that the connection is lost. The phone stops charging, cools, and the connection is made again.

  • Phone behavior at or above 40% charge

Do you have Tasker or some other automation tool running that has rules about which features / services to run at a particular charge level? If so, you could be seeing that the services cause the phone to draw power at the same rate that it is charged, preventing further charging.

These are really just guesses. If you have one, I would try hooking up a 3rd party charger that is rated for the same power output. If the phone charges completely this way, even though it is not a Moto branded charger, it is a pretty good bet that your HTC chargers just aren't cutting the mustard with your Moto phone.

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After testing with yet another 3rd party charger (this one is 500mA), it seems to work, if slowly. It seems like these old HTC 200mA chargers are pretty useless for this thing. –  DavidAP Sep 12 '11 at 20:35

I doubt this. I've charged my BIONIC using the following:

  • Griffin technologies Power Jolt Dual car charger - rated 1A
  • Motorola car charger for original Motorola DROID - rated 850 mA
  • Motorola Wall charger for original Motorola DROID - rated 850 mA
  • Motorola wall charger for BIONIC - rated 850 mA

In addition, I've used 3 different USB charging cables connected to my computer in 2 different ways - to a powered USB 2.0 HUB as well as directly off the motherboard USB rear connector.

  • USB gold plated ferro-core cable from monoprice connected to powered USB hub - rated 500 mA

  • USB original Motorola cable that came with the BIONIC connected to the powered hub - rated 500 mA

  • USB gold plated ferro-core cable from monoprice connected to motherboard USB - rated 500 mA

  • USB original Motorola cable that came with the BIONIC connected motherboard USB - rated 500 mA

All have charged the phone perfectly fine.

In addition, I've also charged the spare battery in the battery charger using the Griffin in the truck and both Motorola wall units at home to a full charge.

So far, I've had no issues with charging. Now, any charging performed through the computer USB and / or powered USB hub takes much longer than car / wall charging, but that;s to be expected, with a 35% increase in amperage in those versus regular USB.

I also have the power saving elements of the UI completely disabled, and I live in an area with only 3G access, but I have not disabled 4G on its own.

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That's the thing - it doesn't seem to affect everyone. Kellex over at Droid-life had the problem as well, but a number of users are saying they don't experience it. However, the HTC chargers I tried are both rated 200mA. Maybe they're just too weak. –  DavidAP Sep 12 '11 at 16:24
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200mA? That's way below USB standard - USB 2.0 is 5v 500mA (connect at 100mA & ask for more power) - no wonder it doesn't work! –  Broam Sep 13 '11 at 16:48

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