Your Android device can more than likely make use of a few different chargers. However, these chargers are going to probably charge your device at different rates and likewise, chargers that are damaged will be inefficient. In this article we will take a look at how you can effectively find out just how much amperage your charger is supplying to your device (smartphone or tablet).
The Best App For The Job: Ampere
The first thing that you need to do is head on over to the Play Store and download the Ampere app – don’t worry, it’s free. The Ampere app is what you’re going to use to evaluate your charger, it is compatible with Android 4.0 and any version that is newer (however, a few models, such as the HTC M8, are somewhat unresponsive). Now that we have the app, let’s get started!
Using Ampere To Test Your Charger
For this, all you’re going to need is your charger and a place to plug it in — either a wall outlet, a computer or a portable battery .
Now it goes without saying that you are going to need a charger and a location to plug it in (electrical outlet, portable battery, computer, etc.). If you are truly trying to get the most efficient and most accurate readings then you should evidently be using an electrical outlet with your official peripherals (further on you’ll see why using a computer might not be the best idea). The app provides you with a few superfluous settings that don’t really need to be altered and all in all it takes approximately 10 seconds to measure the charge rate of your device and give you the results.
You also have the option of choosing to purchase the Pro version of Ampere for $1.13 (price when this article was published). In my opinion the Pro versions is not really worth it, granted it does give you an icon in your notification tray that shows your battery info and it does remove the ads that appear at the bottom of the screen. However, it is really not that necessary.
The Ampere app utilizes color coded prompts for simple usability. When your device is plugged in the app will use blue text, conversely the app uses orange text whenever your device isn’t plugged in. As an added plus, the Ampere app will also show you the energy usage of your device when it isn’t plugged in – factors, such as the amount of apps that you have running; the brightness of your screen; Wi-Fi activity; and Bluetooth settings , will affect this reading.
The app is very sleek, simplistic, and contemporary in regards to its design – this makes it easy to look at and navigate as well. You can view a full list of your battery stats by pressing the circular icon on the left side of the screen. Numbers that are marked as positive show just how much charge your device is gaining, while numbers that are marked as negative signify the amount of charge that you phone is losing.
If your device is performing several functions (background et al.) then the reading that you obtain while testing your charger will be significantly lower (meaning that your charger won’t be at fault). For example, if your charger is supplying your device with 500mA but your device is subsequently utilizing an average of -200mA, you will essentially be charging your device with only 300mA.
What You Need To Know
Each and every type and model of charger is different. If you are looking for a benchmark to measure your charging cable against then you should look no further than the charger itself. Virtually all adapters should have some sort of inscription or sticker that lists the specifications of said adapter. The section marked “Output” is what you should be interested in – this number is a literal annotation of the charging power that you should expect from the adapter. So, if for example you have a charger that is marked with an 800mA output value, then you should expect to get a charging value of 800mA minus your device’s usage value (e.g. 800mA – 200mA = 600mA)
Your readings will vary depending on the device that you are using and the charging adapter that you are utilizing. If for some reason you are dissatisfied with the results that Ampere has given you and you want to improve the charge rate for your device, here are some tips that you can make use of.
Alter Your Charging Habits
If your device isn’t charging as efficiently or as fast as you would like, you don’t have to worry there are steps that you can take to improve your charging rate.
A simple but effective tip that you can utilize is to not only turn your device’s screen off while it is charging, you should also toggle the airplane mode feature on as well. This should effectively maximize your charging gain. If this seems too extreme there are other minor things that you can do as well. One major error that people always make is that they assume that their device charges at the same rate when plugged into a computer or an electrical outlet. In reality this is extremely wrong – a computer will never give you the amperage output that you can get from an electrical outlet. You should only use your computer to charge your device in dire situations.
Likewise, if you have a choice you should always utilize the charging cable and adapter that were packaged with your device. While third party peripherals can be useful if your original peripherals are lost or damaged, the original ones have usually been thoroughly tested with your specific device and they are almost always the safest and most efficient.
Another thing that is worth mentioning is wireless charging. While wireless charging is undoubtedly exceptionally convenient, it is also exceptionally slow when compared to charging your device from an electrical outlet – it’s even slower than charging your device with your computer!
Lastly, you should always try to keep your device and its battery cool at all times. Excess heat can significantly diminish the overall health of your device’s battery, so whenever you are charging it you should remove its case and place it in a relatively cool area.
Did Your Charger Live Up To The Hype?
So how did you Ampere test turn out? Is your device’s charger as efficient as you expected? Sadly, all chargers are not one and the same. Do you have any other helpful advice on how to make charging more efficient? Share your stories and tips with us!