The charger that came with my Galaxy Nexus phone outputs 5 volts at 1 amp. I have another charger that outputs 5v at 2 amps. Is it safe to use this charger? What's the limit I can use without damaging the phone?
All phone (wall-type) chargers are voltage sources, i.e. the adapter provides a stable voltage output (5V here) and the device decides how much current to draw. Your charger's specification says it provides a maximum of 2Amps. That means it will sustain its 5V output voltage up to a current of 2A.
The phone's internal charging chip may or may not charge the battery in a voltage or current driven means (Li-Ion are typically charged voltage driven and current capped if I'm not mistaken). However this is completely hidden internally and you don't have to worry about it.
If the adapter can't handle your phones current need, it may get hot or the phone may just discharge (instead of charge).
It may even be the case that your device draws less than it would need to charge (if you do navigation for example): What causes battery to drain faster than it can charge?
I was just informed by Samsung Customer service that the Galaxy Nexus can't handle the 5 volts. This isn't a problem if you use their charging cable (with any other charger) but if you use a different micro USB cable to charge your phone, you will eventually break your phone!
I would know, I've sent my Nexus in twice now because of this issue.
Why they list the 5 volts in their cable, but not the phone itself is beyond me.
The battery in a smartphone is normally 3.4 volts DC. A 5.0 voltage charger at the rate of charging may vary, in any case output charging at 1.0 to 3.0 A is suitable without damaging your cell phone. There is a safety electronic current limit switch built into all (UL) approved electronic devices to prevent damage of overcharging.
5.0 voltage output speed ratio examples:
Another DC voltage comparison; car alternators charge at 14.5 volts dc. The car battery is 12 volt dc.
14.5 voltage output speed ratio examples:
You should always consult your manufacturer customer technical service rep. For OEM spec's, changing the charge operation changes may void your warranty.