Can I Use the Same Charger for Multiple Phones and Tablets?

Never have you considered for a moment how strange it was that no one bothered to ask you what phone model he was using when he borrowed a charger to use even if he had the same connector? Rarely did we pay attention to that for only  ten minutes later, finding out that he forgot to check the charger voltage and fry the phone .

Can I Use the Same Charger for Multiple Phones and Tablets?

Until a few years ago, various chargers and connectors led to this problem more often than people realize. The general assumption by many people is that if the connector fits neatly into the power connector of the phone, then it should be enough to charge the phone.

This is not the case.

At best, the charger simply does nothing. At worst, it fries phone circuits and damages it permanently.

Thanks to the advent of USB, this has changed. However, there are still some important things that you should keep in mind when you are looking for a quick and temporary charger for your phone, battery charge of the tablet back, notebook or any other electronic device that uses chargers.

Not all chargers are the same

There are a lot of times when it would be good to understand exactly how the load really works. So, just like a quick exercise, let’s take a quick test. Go around your house and collect as many of the latest USB chargers you can have. Some may be some form of mini-USB, or you may have USB chargers for your tablet. Maybe you have some of these “smart chargers” that you can unplug the cable and insert other USB cables into it. Gather all.

Now, before I put you to look at the actual numbers on these things, I’ll describe what we’re looking at. Years ago, there was a much wider variety of chargers for different manufacturers. They all had their own proprietary connector that you had to buy. With luck, you had a phone that was common enough for you to find the charger in a normal store and with good prices.

Each of them had its own voltage and current rating, based on the phone manufacturer’s specifications. USB has changed everything because manufacturers have finally normalized into two or three mini-USB sockets, as well as the typical 30-pin compressed heads.

The advent of USB chargers

These new USB chargers all carry a standard 5V output voltage specification. This is great because now no one should be able to connect a phone with a lower voltage demand and fry the phone because the phone, if it is newer, is probably manufactured based on the 5V input voltage. However, not all is well with the world yet. Each device has its own special current demands.

The different current demands

Imagine the amps (symbolized as A in a technical specification) as a kind of power generator that only works as hard as it has to work in order to provide the amount of “energy” your device needs at any moment. Imagine the volts (symbolized by V in the technical specifications), like a waterfall of constant energy that never changes. Now, let’s take a look at these boots you’ve collected.

Take a look at the labels on them and look for the “OUT / OUTPUT” section. Access the different numbers you see. Here are three chargers as an example:

  • Samsung: 5 Volts, 0.7 amps;
  • Motorola: 5.1 Volts, 0.850 amperes;
  • Asus: 5 Volts, 2 amps.

As you can see, with modern chargers, the waterfall never changes, but the capacity of each “motor” is different. Some chargers can only fit at 0.5 amp. Others may put out two amps or more.

In old chargers where you can accidentally plug a charger with a large voltage into a phone with a low voltage requirement, it would be like trying to push too much power through a small hole.

This mass of energy would blow the hole, which is basically overloading the circuit and frying it. Now that everything is based on 5V, what’s the problem? Why can not we now change the chargers?

Using the same charger for multiple phones and tablets

Well, if you’ve tried connecting a larger smartphone with a USB charger from a smaller phone, you probably know that your smartphone will not work if you try to use it while charging. This is because a lower amperage charger, 0.7 for example, simply does not have an ampere motor powerful enough to provide the power needed by a full-wattage device of greater amperage of 1.2 for example.

However, you could definitely have the 2 amp charger for the larger device and use it for a smaller device that only needs 0.7 amps because this larger charger has a motor that is powerful enough to power all the needs of this device, without further problems.

This is the main difference between voltage and current in chargers. When this rating tag shows a voltage that is higher than the phone, it will provide the same voltage no matter what, and you will destroy the device. However, when this rating shows an amperage higher than the phone level, nothing will go amiss. This is because the device “pulls out” the amplifiers from the charger it needs. That is, the charger will not pump the maximum rated amperage for this phone.

Can I use the same charger for multiple phones and tablets?

So while the tablet charger is rated at the same voltage as your smartphone (these days it will be 5 volts) then go ahead and charge your smartphone with it.

Keep in mind that cable matters a lot. The USB cables that came with your phone can plug into the interchangeable charger of your tablet, but the USB cable will limit the current between 1 and 1.5 amps. If you try to use your phone’s USB cable to charge your tablet or large smartphone, it may not work. Especially if you are doing something with your smartphone that forces you to demand a higher power consumption.

Another mistake people make is to assume that everything can be plugged into the computer’s USB port and charged. The reality is that the standard USB on a laptop is about 0.5 amps. So many devices will actually use the same charge (or more) than the USB port can provide, never charging the battery at all.

Final considerations

The world of electric power can be a bit tricky. The relationship between voltage and current is not always obvious, and sometimes people stumble when using certain chargers that do not have to be connected to these larger electronic devices. The voltage (volts) and current (amperes) ratio applies to any charger, even the non-USB.

At least now you have a way to try to troubleshoot chargers at home and on the street.

Have you ever had a problem with chargers? Ever fried a cell phone or other device? I already fried the charger of a Nintendo Wii of a friend and mine to forget that the voltage of the south of Brazil is greater than that of the Southeast. Also tell your stories here!