A phone, tablet or laptop without power is a sad thing. It’s an expensive useless brick until you can juice up the battery. Don’t be ashamed if you have nightmares about being stuck with a dead battery. We’ve all been there.
Fortunately, there are countless options to keep our devices charged. There are portable powerbanks, high-speed chargers, wireless chargers, gadgets that add USB ports to your old car’s cigarette lighter port and more. But can you use just any charger or cable for your phone or tablet? Tap or click here to find out.
USB-C has become an industry standard for the transmission of power and data. A single cable can power your device while allowing it to communicate with another one at high speeds. Many newer devices have adapted USB-C tech, and now it will be easier to shop for compatible accessories. Read on for details.
USB-C is everywhere
Apple has stuck with the Lightning connector for the latest iPhone 13, but the Cupertino company has been employing USB-C tech for some time. You can charge your iPhone 8 and later models using a Lightning to USB-C cable and USB-C power adapter. In addition, some iPad models have USB-C connectors, as do certain Mac computers.
Newer phones from Samsung, Nokia, Huawei, LG, OnePlus and Google have built-in USB-C ports, as do tablets and laptops from various manufacturers.
The problem is that the latest phones are shipping without chargers or cables, forcing you to get one on your own. The wrong charger won’t necessarily hurt your phone, but you’ll want to get the fastest one you can. But how do you make the right decision?
The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), which supervises and promotes the advancement and adoption of USB technology, recently announced new certified USB Type-C cable power rating logos for cables to make it easier to spot what you need.
In addition, certified USB4 logos have been updated to show the performance and power capabilities of USB cables, hosts, devices and chargers.
New packaging logos will show if a USB-C cable or charger is capable of 240W output, the new maximum. Logos will also show if a cable or charger can support USB4’s 40Gbps speed.
Now there is a logo that combines both speed and data transfer into one. You can find the new logos on the cables and charging ports themselves.
Different devices can charge at different rates. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, for example, support less than 30W. So a 240W charger won’t do much here. Tablets and laptops support higher rates. Check your device specs to see how much power they can support.