Cellphone Chargers & Cradles
A wide variety of cellphone chargers and cradles are available for many different types of phones and many uses. Phone chargers exist for your home, car, or for use on the go. From the traditional corded car charger to the portable and efficient solar charger, there is a charger or cradle for every cellphone. What different types of chargers are there?
Which types of plugs are compatible with your smartphone?
- Car chargers - A typical car charger is a corded device that plugs into the 12-volt DC adapter or cigarette lighter in your car. This type of charger draws power from your car's battery if the car is turned off, or from the car's alternator if the car is turned on, providing a reliable way to charge your smartphone on the go.
- Wall chargers - Wall chargers are designed to plug into existing 110-volt household electrical outlets, and typically would be used to replace the charger that came with your mobile phone. Aftermarket home chargers may also be designed to accommodate other electrical outlet receivers to make international travel with your cellphone easier.
- Solar chargers - For the ultimate in portability, solar chargers are available. These chargers draw energy from the sun through solar panels, which charges a battery inside the device and is handy in case of emergency. This solar energy is then plugged into your cellphone and used to charge the cellphone's battery. When buying a solar charger, ensure that you buy one with sufficient wattage and battery power to support your particular smartphone.
- Charging dock or cradle - A charging cradle can be used to plug your device directly into your desktop PC, which both charges it and allows it to communicate with your local computer. This is useful for exchanging files quickly. Some USB cradles also allow you to take control of your mobile phone from your PC, allowing you to utilize your phone from your computer's keyboard or mouse.
Depending on your phone, you should ensure that the USB charger you purchase has the proper adapter to support your phone. iPhones come with a proprietary adapter that should be labeled on the box as compatible with your iPhone. For Androids and other devices that use a traditional USB adapter, ensure that your USB port is the same size as the charger or cradle. For modern devices, this will generally be a mini-USB, a micro-USB, or the modern USB Type-C connector, which charges very quickly and efficiently. Some chargers will come with separate cords that can accommodate many of these types, but other chargers will have a fixed end that is only designed for one receiver.