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I would like to buy a car charger, wall charger and USB cables for my Samsung Intercept. However, $20 for a charger seems expensive and I want to avoid getting ripped off. The Samsung Intercept Manual doesn't show the specs for the charging port on the phone itself.

Can I use any Android charger with any Android phone? Does Google require Android manufacturers to follow a standard for charging the devices? Or do most Android devices follow their own proprietary standards. The form factors (Micro-USB, Mini-USB) and voltages (~5V) seem universal, but I'm more concerned about amperage. It's not unheard of for some chargers to ignore the USB 2.0 standard. Do some chargers try to force 3000 mA down the wire to supercharge their devices? If so, that could destroy a device which is intended to receive only 500 mA.

I can charge the my Android phone using a powered USB port on any computer. How many milliamps does this provide? I read that USB 2.0 will provide a standard 100 mA or 500 mA. Are there another standard amperes which are used for charging?

I found what appears to be a generic wall charger for any Micro-USB device. The product description doesn't say how many mA this provides, but from the comments it appears that this charger provides 950mA. Which this overcharge my phone?

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"Do some chargers try to force 3000 mA down the wire to supercharge their devices?" No, that's not possible. The charger determines the voltage (always 5 V for USB), and the phone determines the amount of current drawn. –  endolith Feb 10 at 17:23

3 Answers 3

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Some devices use USBMicro, others use USB Mini. Like any device, it depends on the voltage that the device can take. But for the most part, AFAIK, as long as the charger is the same plug type (micro, mini, etc.) then yes it can work.

A lot of the chargers that use USB plugs output the voltage that a standard USB port would (between 4.75 and 5.25 volts). If this is the case, you will have no problems. The only issue, when you use USB to charge, it is usually a slower charge then using a wall charger.

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The form factors (Micro-USB, Mini-USB) and voltages (~5V) seem universal, but I'm more concerned about amperage. Do some chargers try to for 3000 mA down the wire to supercharge their devices? If so, that could destroy a device which is intended to receive only 500 mA. Or am I wrong? –  Stefan Lasiewski Jan 7 '11 at 20:45
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The charger can't provide more amperage than the phone draws. As long as the voltage is OK (for instance, 5V for a USB-based charger) the phone will draw as much as it needs or as much as the charger can provide, whatever limit it reaches first. –  Saiboogu Jan 7 '11 at 21:22
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@Saiboogu +1. This is apparent even if you don't know the theory, when you think about plugging it into a computer -- USB ports can provide power for tons of devices with varying current draws. That said, I once bought a generic USB charger and it fried my BlackBerry battery, so I'm not sure what to say. –  Matthew Read Jan 7 '11 at 22:14
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@Saiboogu : That makes me feel better. This area of electronics is a still a little mysterious. But I guess that makes sense when I think of a lightbulb socket. If I have a 120V socket, I can plug in a 7-Watt bulb or a 100W bulb. Watts = voltage x amps, and the voltage is constant, therefore this means that the different lightbulbs draw different amperage at the same voltage. –  Stefan Lasiewski Jan 7 '11 at 23:15
    
@Stefan - Bingo, you've got it. –  Saiboogu Jan 8 '11 at 2:48

I've used multiple different wall-wart-to-USB chargers. I haven't had any issues charging any of my devices on any of the chargers.

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I know this is an old topic but I want to share some proper information.

First: yes, the cheap ones are often poorly designed -- either using fake complacency labels or just barley making it to the standard. That being said, try to avoid using them and if it feels cheap as hell don't use it.

As for the USB standard: it is 5V (this can vary within .25V due to component values not being exact). Most computer motherboards supply a maximum of 500mA to USB ports -- it doesn't mean it will always supply that. The device(s) attached to it determines the current draw, the same is true for wall adapters. They will be rated for 500mA 750 mA 1A or 1.5A etc.

The important number is the voltage you want to be as close to 5V as you can. All devices have some form of voltage regulation to protect agents slightly high voltage, (if they dont it's simply bad design). The excess energy gets dissipated as heat. Android devices are normally ok with power consumption on stand by, but when you start doing a lot of CPU heavy tasks and have all the bells and whistles going (GPS, back light, WiFi, LTE, cell modem, etc) it starts drawing a lot of current (and making the phone hot). I have seen phones draw more than 1A with everything running (the battery still draining while plugged into a 1A rated power adapter).

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