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Android.SE user intuited observes:

I've noticed that my S4 doesn't always charge at its maximum rate of charge, even when it seemingly should. For example, car DC adapters that claim to provide up to 2.0 amp current only provide 500mA.

They also seems to imply that there exists an app which reveals the rate at which a device is charging.

And TurboFool adds:

I used to think "USB is USB," and that's true for data, but not for power. Cable quality, and unknown factors, will change what you can pull off. I've had two [USB] cables of the same length produce as much as an 800mA difference from the same charger.

I own a Samsung Galaxy S Relay, which is an Android phone a few years old. It's sort of similar to the Samsung Galaxy S III, but it also includes a slide-out physical keyboard. I'm running Android 4.1.2.

How can I determine at what rate my phone is charging? Preferably using only an app or a terminal emulator. I'd rather not have to use a multimeter.

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You can try Ampere (I didn't test it), which should show you the current (dis)charge rate:

Ampere Ampere

Quoted from a rating:

I appreciate that this app displays which of my available charging devices delivers the most milliamps. It's useful because I know which charger to swap out for maximum power. Also, it may indicate if a known charger may be under performing based on available specs.

  • Welcome to Android Enthusiasts! Good hint. But keep in mind that one-liners with "just a link" are frowned upon on all SE sites. Good answers should hold a few more details (here: why should OP try that app, what does it do). I've edited your post and included those details for you; please keep that in mind for future answers :) (PS: the downvote wasn't mine; I rather prefer encouraging you to better answers in a more positive way here. So good luck for your "future SE time", and again, welcome!) – Izzy Jul 16 '15 at 10:55
  • Ampere and similar apps don't work on the Galaxy S Relay. I've tried them. Still, thank you for trying. – unforgettableid Aug 26 '15 at 13:39
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I would recommend DashClock widget with the BatteryDash extension. BatteryDash is a reasonably simple battery info app with currently drawn amperes, delivery voltage and temperature data. DashClock provides that info through a Home Screen widget and a custom daydream.

Note that DashClock requires Android 4.2+, but BatteryDash doesn't.

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I have a couple of apps to suggest:

  • Galaxy Charging Current is specifically oriented towards Samsung devices and it shows a compatibility list. Your phone is not compatible going by that list but I have seen it work on Note 1 and neo models of Samsung, which are not listed
  • 3C Tool Box. This is a very versatile app and battery related monitoring is a tiny portion of what it can do. Relevant to your question is that it shows charging current while on charge (Also discharge current/ voltage while in use). Snapshot below of charging on my device

enter image description here

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A terminal emulator? That sounds great!

cat /sys/class/power_supply/battery/current_now
cat /sys/class/power_supply/bms/current_now

You'll get an integer about how many micro-Ampere (μA) your battery is currently outputting/discharging. A negative value means charging.

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