Is it ok to use different USB Chargers for mobiles/tablets?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by RamaD, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. RamaD

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 4, 2009
    Is it ok to use USB chargers of different current capacities with mobile phones / tablets for charging?
    I am confused because of my previous experiences below :
    My Samsung SL phone got very hot while charging with a Samsung S3 car charger. Fortunately, was under warranty, and got it repaired free, except for the battery which was not covered under warranty.
    Another phone Battery became very hot while connected to PC's USB port with a third party cable. It works without an issue with a samsung cable.
    With a different charger, phone gets charged only to 98%, whereas with the charger that came with the phone it always gets charged to 100%. Would there be a risk of overcharging with the 98% charged phone left charging for long?
  2. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    With all of the different options available I think it would be risky to speculate. All you really know is that USB is USB and +5V is +5V. After that anything involving cables has to be verified on a case by case basis. I've never even been tempted to use anything except the stuff that came with the device. Never had a problem either.
  3. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
    Something doesn't make sense if you're using Samsung chargers with Samsung devices. The U in USB stands for Universal and all devices using USB need to accommodate the voltage and current specs. I mix and match chargers and devices all the time and haven't had a single problem.

    A high power device may refuse to operate from a USB source that can't provide sufficient current, or it could charge/operate in a low power mode.

    A low power device connected to a high power port would just use what it needed.
  4. adam555

    Active Member

    Aug 17, 2013
    I guess it depends on the current it can provide. For example: I have a phone that when the battery is empty will not charge with any other charger but the one that came with it; and with some juice in the battery will charge even with the PC's USB (max. 500mA, but will only provide 100mA to this phone).
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
  5. MrSoftware


    Oct 29, 2013
    My family must have half a dozen various USB chargers around the house. When it's time to charge a device we just plug into whatever is nearest. The only problems we've had is with iPhones and iPods, they won't charge on some of the lower current chargers.

    In theory, the device makers will limit the current internally, so no matter what the USB power supply will deliver, their device won't accept more than what their batteries can handle.
  6. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    You can usually connect such things without much concern about damage. I do it all the time. You won't get adequate charging from an inadequate adapter, but nothing bad should happen.

    The worst-case scenario I think would be a smart device incorrectly negotiating for a high current draw from a source that cannot really supply that current level safely. But that doesn't really explain your observations. I suspect something else went wrong.
  7. RamaD

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 4, 2009
    Thank you very much to all. The first failure, I dismissed as just a coincidence. After repeated failures, some more I have not mentioned, I have been sticking to 'that that chargers, that that devices only' policy for some time, though logically it was not necessary. But then, there was no failure after that. It has become more troublesome with changing adapters. I was wondering if there was anything that I was missing. Thanks again for all the clarifications, that I would keep a couple of chargers for charging all the devices and the rest packed up.