Why Using Generic Phone Chargers Could be Harming Your Phone..
Why Using Generic Phone Chargers Could Be Harming Your Phone
Advancements in technology have made humans and phones almost inseparable. Given the packs smartphones offer, from keeping us connected on social media, to sharing photos, and as a source of entertainment for music and streaming movies, we want to have our phones in hand and fully powered. Then one day you forget to pack your original phone charger and you notice your battery percentage dwindling down rapidly. It is safe to say that anyone can be caught in such a scenario and end up just using anything to charge it up, like a generic phone charger at a gas station or drug store.
Before going down that road, consider if the generic charger could be hurting the investment you placed in buying your iPhone or Samsung smartphone. Apart from drug stores and gas stations, you can get generic chargers from many retail shops, and online stores. Such chargers are often inexpensive, priced at just under $9, hence attracting buyers; but are they worth the savings? Sadly, No!
Unofficial chargers are often unreliable and hazardous. There are widespread reports of extensive damage to the phone, fires, phones exploding, and electrocution because of generic chargers. Below are some of the issues with generic chargers.
Insulation: lack of proper insulation is a major issue regarding safety when it comes to generic chargers. Wall adapters take high voltage from the main supply (240V) and steps it down into a lower voltage amount that can be consumed by your phone, i.e. 5V. This process requires a lot of safeguards to distribute the electrical load evenly and prevent the electronics inside the adapter from short circuiting. To bring the cost down, generic chargers do not have these safeguards, leaving the adapters open to blow outs which could result in your phone catching a fire.
Protective chip: most generic chargers lack the protective chip as the first line of defense against a power surge. A Power surge is an oversupply of voltage from the power company, usually happens when power returns after a power outage. Power Surges can go up to 6000 volts; and without a protective chip, the whole voltage will reach your smartphone, severely damaging it and rendering it unusable. The USB cable can’t hold such an amount of voltage and can start burning hence resulting in a fire outbreak.
Lacks a regulator: have you encountered cases where a phone’s battery no longer lasts long enough? Phone chargers are designed to only charge batteries until they are 100% full. The regulator in the charger receives signals from the phone when the battery is full and stops sending more current. Most generic chargers lack the regulator and will keep sending current to your smartphone even if it’s already full, hence damaging the battery. With an official charger, you can leave your phone charging overnight and it won’t get damaged. With a fake cheap charger, you might find your phone dead, or the battery can no longer hold power long enough.
Electrocution: When using a good charger, you should be able to charge your phone while standing on the ground with no harm because the output voltage reaching the phone is isolated from the main voltage on the wall socket. A bad charger does not isolate the electric voltage at the wall socket from the one reaching the phone; the power from the wall passes through the cable to the phone and then through the person holding it to the ground, electrocuting the person.
What can you do to keep your phone and yourself safe? It’s recommended to buy directly from official manufacturer stores, or buy from authorized resellers of your brand of choice. To be sure, you can find authorized resellers from phone manufacturers’ websites such as Apple’s, Samsung’s, Oneplus’s, Google Pixel’s, etc. While the lowly priced generic chargers could be attractive, there’s a reason why the official chargers are expensive and you should always consider whether damaging your phone is worth the savings. Of course, some non-official chargers can work, and before using one, always check that it is certified for your specific phone before plugging it in.