For many people, the cell phone is an important tool for work and every day life. When your phone’s battery dies, you feel out of touch and need to get reconnected as quickly as possible. You can charge your cellular phone several ways besides the basic wall charger.
Using a standard 110 volt wall charger is the most common and the quickest way to charge a cell phone. The charger converts the AC power to a DC current in a voltage range the phone can safely handle. The connectors of the various cell phone brands are almost all different and even vary among models. Third-party chargers are available that allow users to only change the connector and use the same charger for all devices. This is helpful to travelers who need to charge multiple devices without having to carry several power chargers.
12v DC Charger
The charger that plugs into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket is a 12v DC charger. The car’s electrical system uses 12 volts of power, which is usually the maximum safe level for cell phones. Some DC chargers, called trickle chargers, reduce the 12 volts to a lower level, which requires a longer period of time to charge the battery, but is safer for the battery. Some car chargers allow you to change the connector to fit a variety of devices.
The Universal Serial Bus ports on your computer supply five volts of output power to provide power to peripheral devices connected to the ports. If you have a USB cable for your cell phone, you can attach it to a USB port to charge. Charging via a USB port is relatively slow, but is safe for the phone’s battery. You can also transfer data between the phone and the computer as the phone charges.
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Solar chargers are still relatively rare but are gaining in popularity. A solar charger converts the power of sunlight to electricity. There are currently a few phones on the market that have solar panels built into the phone’s case. But more popular are the independent units. These are often used on long expeditions to power satellite phones and other equipment. Some models attach to the outside of a backpack, allowing the phone to charge as you walk.