Can I just Use the same USB Charger to Charge different Mobile Phones and Tablets?

▶ In theory, all Micro USB chargers and devices were supposed to work together without any hassles.

▶ But sadly, that is not the case. Different phones and tablets have different volt requirements!

▶ If hard truth is, it is very much possible to blow away your phones with wrong Chargers.

▶ Hence, one should always keep an eye on not just volts and amps but even frequency before using just any other USB charger to charge your device next time!

Read on..



Can I Charge both my Tablet and Phone with the same USB Charger?

USB charger

This question comes to me from Richard Pete of Australia. He just put me a quick mail asking why can’t he use the same USB charger to charge both his phone and tablet? He says that he is bugged up by using different USB chargers to charge different devices.


Well, how many of you have the same question as Richard? Are you not bugged up by using a different USB charger to charge different devices? I understand, the electric sockets in your wall must be looking like some kind of an alien wire-arts with all those chargers hanging in there. But wait a second, just because some charger fits your device, it doesn’t mean you should simply go ahead and use it. Did you know that different phones and tablets have different volt requirements.


Have you not noticed? iPhones charge differently from Androids! Even the two seemingly identical USB 2.0 or 3.0 ports charge your devices differently. Some sockets and wall chargers output more power than others, and it’s very much possible to blow up your device by using a different charger.

Oh ho, and some of you may be just blinking in for a second now. Used the same charger to charge all your devices? Oh no!

In the meanwhile, how many of you have used your laptop or desktop to charge your phones or tablets? Specially in office and outdoors!

Ok, now let me not make you feel more miserable. Better late than never. Let me first tell you what happens to your device if you are using a charger that is not associated with it and then let me tell you why it happens so?


What happens to your Phone/Tablet if Charged with just any USB Charger?

1. Without doubt, the battery! The very first victim of using improper USB charger is your phone or tablet battery. It would result in poor battery performance. And you blamed it on the latest game you downloaded!

2. Your touch screen response will be reduced. Not kidding, not at all! Using an improper USB charger may result in static charges which in turn would largely impact your touch screen response.

3. Slower Charge Cycle. No wonder your phone will start taking ages to get charged to its fullest.

4. Overheating. In case if your iron box was too heavy to lift! Jokes apart, have you not faced this?

5. Worst case, fire, fire fire!


Why Does it Happen so?

I was about to put a circuit diagram that I had learnt in my engineering. But I am definitely not among your boring lecturers!

I will try to make it simple for you.

It’s like this – If you put a 100 watt bulb that runs normally at 220 volts to a 440 volt line, it just blows away. On the other side, if you put the same bulb in a 110 volt line, it will light up but the brightness is low and insufficient.

Similarly, too many volts from the charger and the gadget fries, too few and the device will take forever to charge.

A recent example? While an iPhone 5S and an iPad 3 share the same 30-pin connector, their chargers output at entirely different rates.


The Logic of USB chargers..

Most USB cables today are designed more for charging as opposed to data transfer. They  limit the current between 1 to 1.5 amps. But you must know that the latest tablet chargers deliver 2.1amps or more. So, if you try to use your phone’s USB cable to charge your tablet or large Smartphone, it will not work effectively. This is because the device consumes power at the same rate that it’s added.

Another mistake you generally do is to use the computer USB port to charge your phone or tablet. But, you should know that it outputs only 0.5 amps at max. So, many devices will actually use either the same or more charge than the USB port can supply.


Then, What should You do?

So, as long as your Smartphone charger is rated with the same voltage and same amps as your tablet, go ahead and charge your tablet with it. But just make sure twice before using.

To verify, take the charger in hand and look at its backside to find its specifications. You will be able to find out the charger’s volts, amps and frequency. Normally, it should be 5.0V, 1 to 1.5 A and 50-60Hz operational frequency.

I would definitely recommend you to use respective chargers to charge their respective devices. However, as a rule of thumb make sure you don’t use the chargers with higher output on devices which need lower current charge. It will definitely have an impact in the long run and would gradually degrade battery, performance and even functionality.

The world of electric power is a little complicated. So, you better be careful with it.


10 Comments to Can I just Use the same USB Charger to Charge different Mobile Phones and Tablets?

    • Hi Shrinivas. You can just take a charger and look at its backside. Normally USB chargers operate at 5 volts and 50-60Hz frequency. But check for their amp readings and verify if the readings match with that of your phone/tablet.

  1. hey nikhil, many thnx for the info. love your precious work bro….

    i have a karbonn A15 phone with its supplied charger, if i used its charger then it takes much time to charge and then fast discharging,
    but if i use a samsung charger (of galaxy Y) then it charges at normal rate and discharge efficiently(much longer time for phone operations).
    should i continue to use this charger or not???

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