Battery Charger: Review & Recommendations

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Welcome to our large battery charger test 2020, where we present all the battery chargers we have tested in detail. We have put together detailed background information for you and also added a summary of the customer reviews on the net.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best battery charger for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. You will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy a battery charger.

The most important facts in brief

  • The advantages of using rechargeable batteries and a charger are the possibility of recharging, cost savings and protection of the environment.
  • A basic distinction is made between battery chargers for smartphones, notebooks and batteries. All three forms are available in numerous variants and different designs.
  • With the so-called powerbanks it is now possible to charge your smartphone while on the road. So you are not necessarily dependent on a power outlet.

Battery charger test: Editors’ favourites

  • The best battery charger for 4 batteries
  • The best battery charger for batteries and USB devices
  • The best battery charger for 8 batteries
  • The best battery charger with LCD display

The best battery charger for 4 batteries

The best battery charger for batteries and USB devices

The best battery charger for 8 batteries

The best battery charger with LCD display

Advisor: Questions to consider before you buy a battery charger

How much does a battery charger cost?

There is a large number of battery-powered devices with different qualities, which therefore have different price ranges.

Depending on which product you need one for, the prices differ. There are cheap devices from a few Euros up to branded devices for which you have to calculate with a three-digit amount.

But keep in mind that a battery charging cable with a low price of a no-name manufacturer does not have a very high quality and thus cannot have a long life span.

All in all, we think that a reasonable quality price is well justifiable, as you are likely to use your device on a daily basis and should be good with the battery.

Where can I buy a battery charger?

You can buy a battery charger both offline and online. You can find it in specialist shops, department stores, electrical stores and online shops. Most of the time, however, it is included in the scope of delivery of your new device and therefore you buy it directly with it.
But if you buy a used product and a battery charger is missing in your equipment, many different shops offer one.
The following shops sell battery chargers on the Internet:

Bosch
Ansmann
Panasonic
amazon.com
apple.com
Samsung
Sony
Saturn
Makita
Hama
Einhell
Canon
Lidl
Ikea
Medion
Aldi

Is it advisable to buy used battery chargers?

Basically there is always a certain risk when buying a used battery charger due to the wear of the product. It is uncertain, for example, how the previous owner treated and used the device.
The purchase of a used battery charger is therefore always associated with a little luck. The continuous use of a battery charger can have a negative effect on its operation.
The first sign of a damaged battery cable is a noticeably slow charging time. Before you finally buy a used cable, it is best to do the check yourself with your phone and the cable you want to buy.

How long can I use a battery cable?

An exact statement how long one can use a battery charger is very difficult and varies from device to device. Due to the different functions, price ranges and usage, the life span varies.
However, we will show you below what the different warranty periods look like and what signs you can see that your device is damaged.
It often happens that over time, a device takes longer to charge than usual or the connection is interrupted while charging.
For example, Samsung offers a 6-month warranty for a battery charger. With apple, on the other hand, this determines whether the cable is purchased together with the product or separately.

A one-year guarantee is given for a single purchase. If you buy the battery cable together with your product, the warranty of the device also applies to your cable.

What should I consider with my battery charger?

Also with battery chargers there are some things you should pay attention to before buying a device. Be aware that a charger in different price ranges contains a variety of functions to conserve your battery. Make sure that it has overcharge protection.

A special purchase tip: Choose an “intelligent” battery charger.

When your battery is fully charged, be sure to remove it from the charging station. Because if the battery is still connected to the charging current, overcharging will occur and consequently damage the battery capacity.
For this reason, there are chargers with a control unit that prevents the battery from overcharging. The battery charger therefore switches itself off when the maximum battery capacity is reached and ensures that this battery condition is maintained. As there are battery chargers in different price ranges, the devices are equipped with different functions.
In most cases, you can assume that your charger has overcharge protection when using a device from a brand manufacturer. However, a charger from a no-name manufacturer does not include this function in most cases.

Be especially careful with these cheap chargers and find out in advance whether it is worth buying one. If in doubt, you should rather refrain from buying one.
So use an intelligent battery charger to prevent overcharging and excessive heat generation. You should use this tip for all batteries, especially for battery chargers.
These devices often fail to recognize when a battery is fully charged. An intelligent device also includes temperature monitoring so that a battery charger does not have to face too high temperatures. A defect detection function should also be considered.

Diana PrüfertExpertin for batteries and smartphone accessories
“To avoid a second purchase, make sure that all batteries used in the household can also be charged with the charger. If you want to use the device on vacation, an adapter for foreign sockets is important.”

How do I charge properly with a battery charger?

As all smartphone users / battery users know, for example: At some point, this battery will run out. And this usually happens in such unfavorable situations where it is particularly urgent to reach for the cell phone.
We’d like to show you how to prevent these situations with a few tips to ensure that your batteries are used optimally over a long period of time.
First of all, however, it is difficult to make a general statement about the perfect charging process, as each type of battery is different. In short, it is important that you do not fully charge your battery, do not let it run out of charge, and disconnect the charger when it is fully charged.

Did you know that cell phone batteries should not be allowed to run out completely?
This is mainly due to the lithium-ion batteries in mobile phones. When fully charged from zero to 100 percent, the electrodes are subjected to so much stress that the battery life is greatly reduced.

So do not charge it permanently and try to maintain a charge level between 30 and 70. Also, you should not charge your device at high temperatures, and you should not permanently recharge it for a short period of time when the charge level is below 30 percent. Also make sure that the charger matches the battery system.

Decision: What types of battery chargers are available and which one is right for you?

Basically, one can distinguish between different battery chargers and chargers, in the following you will get to know three types that are known to you:

  • Battery chargers for smartphones
  • Battery chargers for notebooks
  • Battery chargers for batteries

These battery chargers serve different products and have different advantages and disadvantages.

A battery charger charges your device’s battery by converting power from the wall outlet or other power sources into a suitable voltage for your battery. There are separate chargers, but there are also multifunctional chargers for different batteries.

Depending on the product you need a charger for and the things you value most, the following section will help you find the right battery charger for you and your product.

Therefore, we introduce you to the above mentioned types of battery chargers and show clearly what their advantages and disadvantages are.

What battery chargers are available for my smartphone?

Meanwhile, there are a wide variety of battery chargers for smartphones, which differ in price and thus also in quality. The most important are for example the USB battery charger, the well-known Powerbanks or the solar devices, which will be explained in more detail below.

What is a USB charger and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The typical USB charger is used as a power supply unit to charge a battery. The AC voltage from the socket is converted into suitable current intensity by direct current and passed on to the mobile device via a power supply unit.

The USB power supplies also come with a removable cable that acts as a link between your smartphone and, for example, a laptop and thus charges the battery. You should note, however, that this process takes more time than the direct route via the power outlet.

Another useful accessory is the car adapter, which allows you to charge your smartphone in the car while you are on the road. In your car you will find a cigarette lighter to connect your charger cable to your smartphone.

Advantages

Compatible
Handy&amp
easily portable
Flexibly applicable
Also possible without socket

Disadvantages

Dependent on a power socket or notebook
Short service life
May be harmful to the charging socket

A big advantage is that most products can be charged via the same USB cable, with a so-called universal charger. This is especially compatible if you travel a lot, because you only have to carry one to charge all your devices.

When travelling, it is also advantageous that there are many small devices that are very handy and easy to transport. Since almost all electronic devices now have a USB interface, a USB charger can be used flexibly and does not necessarily require a power outlet.

The disadvantage, however, is that you are dependent on a power outlet or, for example, on a notebook that can supply power via the cable to the smartphone.

Furthermore, chargers from a no-name manufacturer often have a short life span and the charging process takes longer than usual. Frequent plugging in of the cable can also damage the charging jack of your smartphone.

What is a Powerbank and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Beside the USB battery charger there are also the so-called power banks. These mobile chargers are portable batteries that can be used to supply various devices with new energy via USB power supplies.

A mobile charger is an energy storage device that you charge intentionally in order to charge other devices with this powerbank at a later time when there are no sockets nearby. The Powerbank is powered and fully charged so that devices can be connected to the USB ports to pass on the energy.

Advantages

Connection for several devices
Charging without socket
Suitable for travelling

Disadvantages

Depending on battery capacity heavy&amp
unwieldy
Self-discharge
Low-priced products fail quickly

The advantages of such external battery chargers are also that you can charge one or even several devices at the same time and you can easily charge your smartphone for a certain amount of time on the road without having to rely on an electrical outlet.

But the disadvantages of a battery pack are that depending on the capacity of the battery, they can be heavy and unwieldy or the promised capacity is not reached. This is especially the case with no-name products, which can quickly deteriorate or even fail completely, and if not used, the battery pack can discharge itself.

How does a solar charging station work and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

A solar charger provides your smartphone with energy for charging via USB in sufficient sunlight.

There are two categories of these solar devices. One version has a built-in rechargeable battery that stores the current and then passes it on. The other version charges the device directly. Before buying, you should make sure that the charging station is relatively light and handy.

Advantages

Neither power outlet nor USB power supply required
Reduction of electricity costs
Environmentally friendly
Simple&amp
conveniently

Disadvantages

Charging is not possible if the sunlight is too low
Slow charging

A great advantage of this charger is that you don’t need a power outlet or a computer with USB connection and power supply. You also reduce your electricity costs, act environmentally friendly and can charge your smartphone comfortably outside by the available sunlight.

The disadvantage of this charger is that there is not enough sunlight available and you cannot charge your smartphone. The charging speed can also be slower than that of a battery cable. However, it should also be mentioned that you do not have to spend any money on your charger.

What battery chargers are available for notebooks?

Notebooks are very popular products that almost no household should be without. But just like other electronic products, you need electricity to run them. The notebooks themselves already contain a rechargeable battery, which can be charged before. With a notebook you will find different ways to charge your battery.

How does the stationary charger work on a notebook and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

For example, a charger supplies power to your notebook battery by removing the battery and inserting it into your charger so it can be charged. The charger, in turn, is connected to the power outlet.

Advantages

Fast loading speed

Disadvantages

Not usable during charging
Heavy and relatively large

While charging, your notebook is not usable, but it is still a very fast loading speed.

How does the power supply work as a charger and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Another variant is a power supply unit that is connected to an electrical outlet and where the battery remains in the notebook and is thus charged. However, when you buy the charger, make sure that it is equipped with control electronics or an overcharge protection that prevents a fully charged battery from being charged further.

Be equally sure that the battery charger is suitable for your notebook and therefore your battery is not affected by damage.

Advantages

Overcharging protection
Fast loading speed

Disadvantages

Dependent on a power socket
Often large and heavy

The advantage of a power supply unit is the overcharge protection and the fast charging speed. However, a power supply unit is often relatively large and heavy, so that it is not very flexible in use.

How does the Solar Power Bank as a special form of power supply work and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

A special type of power supply unit is the solar charger. Just like the Smartphone, you have the possibility to charge your notebook on the road without electricity through the sunlight. Please note that the solar chargers provide less power than a power supply unit and the charging process can therefore take longer.

Advantages

Environmentally friendly
Neither power outlet nor USB connection required
Low electricity costs

Disadvantages

Charging is not possible if there is too little sunlight
Lower charging power

The solar charger is very environmentally friendly due to the lower electricity costs and there is no need for a power outlet, USB port or USB power supply. One problem, however, is that charging is not possible in low sunlight and the charging process can take longer than with an AC adapter.

What battery chargers are available for batteries?

You have the possibility to charge your batteries with a charger. However, you will find out later on which batteries are suitable for this and what you should be aware of.

Many devices, such as a camera or flashlight, require a battery to power your product. You can choose between batteries or rechargeable batteries, the so-called accumulators, which you can use.

These are intended for multiple use and can be used with a charger to restore the functionality of your product. It is important that you never mix up the battery poles when charging, as this can permanently destroy your batteries. Only charge batteries that are suitable and intended for the charger.

Advantages

Rechargeable possible
High current carrying capacity

Disadvantages

Charge before each use
High self-discharge when not in use
More expensive to buy

It is advantageous that the batteries can be recharged up to 1000 times, do not need to be purchased again and have a high current carrying capacity.

However, this product also has some disadvantages, so you have to charge the batteries before each use and when not in use, a high self-discharge occurs, about 30% per month. The rechargeable batteries are also more expensive than the batteries in the purchase.

Purchase criteria: You can compare and rate battery chargers based on these factors

In the following we would like to show you the factors you can use to compare and evaluate battery chargers. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular product is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Equipment / loading places
  • Maximum charge current
  • Load monitoring
  • LCD display
  • Overcharging protection
  • Defect detection
  • USB connection
  • Speicher-Effekt
  • Refresh function

In the following paragraphs you can read what the individual purchase criteria are and how you can classify them.

Equipment / loading places

This point concerns the equipment of the various battery chargers, regardless of the type. The following three types are distinguished:

  • The universal charger, which can charge different battery sizes
  • The one-type charger that is only available for a specific type of battery
  • The quick charger

When you choose a battery charger, the number of available charger slots is important and whether different types can be charged together. Other functions such as the battery tester, a discharge or refresh function are also an advantage.

Furthermore, a device can have additional accessories, such as a car adapter, with which the charger can be connected to the cigarette lighter in the car.

Universal chargers are particularly practical, they support the charging of different battery types. Therefore it is not necessary to buy a separate charging station for each type.

In the following table we have summarized for you the most common designs and their designations:

Some charging stations offer the possibility to charge several batteries simultaneously. This saves you time and is handy if you need several at once.

Most battery chargers have at least four charging channels that can be loaded. If you plan to use batteries in model making or toys, you will need a device with at least four or more charging bays. If you only need a battery for your wall clock or other small devices from time to time, then a device with two charging channels is sufficient for you.

The maximum charge current

The different devices have different structural designs and different functions. Therefore, they also have different maximum charging currents. The stronger the charging current, the faster the device can be charged. But whether this is useful for your battery, you will see in the following.

High-quality batteries become less hot when charged with high charging currents than those of a low-cost device. Basically, however, it can be said that the battery is damaged by this high charging current. In this case, it is especially advantageous to be patient during charging in order to maintain the life of the battery sincerely.

With the following formula you can calculate approximately the charging time:Charging time = (capacity of

There is the so-called fast charging function that makes it possible to shorten the charging time by increasing the amperage of certain devices, so that the battery is already fully usable again after a shorter time. However, you should make sure that you have a fast-charging battery, otherwise the process is particularly harmful.

Thus, in summary, it can be said that high charging currents cause damage to the battery and one should charge it with mediocre charging currents if possible. Because fast charging promotes the wear and tear of your battery.

Load monitoring

There are various battery chargers or battery chargers with different functions on the market. It’s important to choose the right charger cable to maximize the life of your battery.

Select a device with intelligent charge monitoring for this purpose.

An intelligent charge monitoring system ensures that the charge current is not constant and always adapts to the charge level of the battery. Therefore, be careful with inexpensive products, as these usually have a constant charging current.

You will receive a fully charged battery, but in the long run the battery capacity will be negatively affected. Therefore, it is better to buy a charger that has the function of charge monitoring and thus recognizes the charge state of the battery and can adjust the charge current.

The chargers with a charge monitoring function are more expensive to purchase, but ensure that the life of your battery is prolonged.

LCD display

Many devices already have an LCD display. Such an LCD display is integrated in the device and offers you the possibility to be informed about the charging status of your battery at any time.

An LCD display is a special advantage, as you know in detail about the charging status of your battery. The LCD display consists of an LED backlight and also functions as a USB display in addition to the charge status.

Overcharging protection

Before you buy, you should make sure that your new battery charger has overcharge protection. Especially cheap devices do not have any protection against overcharging. What you should therefore pay attention to when buying a device, you will learn in the following.

If you buy an inexpensive battery charger, it is possible that your battery will continue to charge even though the maximum energy capacity has already been reached. This is particularly harmful to your battery and reduces the battery capacity if it is repeatedly overcharged.

So make sure that your new cable has this feature. A small tip for charging your battery: Charge your battery so that the battery capacity is within a range of 30% – 70%.

Currently there are the so-called intelligent chargers, which monitor the charging process independently and switch it off when the battery is fully charged, thus avoiding overcharging. These devices then switch over to trickle charging at maximum power, so that the energy can be maintained and thus the self-discharge of the battery is compensated.

These devices are usually more expensive to purchase than those without an intelligent control system. However, they are particularly suitable if a battery is used very often and thus the battery life can be maintained.

Defect detection

There are different models of charging cables. Good chargers have an additional function such as defect detection. Therefore, use a high-quality charging cable for charging to optimize the life of the battery.

In the case of a powerbank, an LED indicator lights up according to the signal which message it wants to deliver. If a defect is detected in cells or a short circuit of a charging cable, at the device output, the LED light flashes in short sections.

A battery charger with the defect detection function sorts out defective batteries directly so that you know when you can no longer use the battery.

In the meantime, the battery tester is already available. This function helps consumers to check the charge level of their batteries. You can see very quickly whether your battery is still functional and usable or whether it needs to be recharged.

USB connection

A USB port is an important factor that your charger should have, compared to other charging stations.

A USB power supply is particularly useful in the household but also when travelling. It can be mounted at fixed places but also exchangeable at different locations. A charger cable with a USB connector is dependent on a cable so that the device can be connected to the charger. The advantage here is that any technical device can be charged.

It also prevents cable tangles, so there is order in your corners. Furthermore, charging via USB with a power supply unit is practical and time-saving, which many manufacturers have also recognised by now and are implementing this idea in the device.

Speicher-Effekt

How can you extend the runtime of your battery? For proper treatment with your battery cable, you should also pay attention to the memory effect.

The memory effect can have a negative impact on your battery by reducing the effective capacity of your battery, leaving less power for use with your device.

Charge your battery several times to the final discharge voltage and then fully recharge it. After about 3-5 repetitions, the original battery capacity should be restored. If no improvement is visible, it can be assumed that the battery is defective.

Make sure that your device has a discharge function. If consumers recharge their devices without the battery being completely discharged, the so-called memory effect occurs, especially with nickel-cadmium batteries.

In summary, however, it is important to note that the new batteries have virtually no memory effect and therefore, not too much action is required.

Did you know that the dreaded memory effect is a thing of the past?
Nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal-hydrite batteries have memorized when they are not fully charged and then assumed this level of the battery to be 100 percent during subsequent charge cycles. As a result the full performance capacity was not reached. This effect is now circumvented by using lithium-ion batteries.

Refresh function

A refresh function is an additional function that can include a charging cable. This has the characteristics of a battery maintenance program.

If a device is equipped with a refresh function, the battery is checked by means of a quick test after insertion. If necessary, a revitalisation programme is carried out using charge and discharge pulses.

The overlaps or capacity losses caused by the memory effect can thus be eliminated. This maintenance program extends the service life of the battery and increases its performance.

Since the refresh function discharges the batteries with a constant current, it is not applicable to lead-acid batteries as it has negative effects.

Therefore this function is disabled for the lead acid batteries. If the refresh function is used, the lithium batteries could also be damaged, so this type of battery will not be able to use this function either. So when you buy these batteries, don’t be surprised that the function is not applicable.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about the battery charger

How long have people been using a battery charger?

Today, mankind can hardly do without a battery charger. Worldwide, approximately 2.32 billion users own a smartphone and are virtually dependent on a charger. Every second person in Germany has one.

But since when is there actually a battery charging cable? The best known battery type, the lead accumulator, was developed in 1854 by the physician and physicist Wilhelm Josef Sinsteden. In 1948, the electrical engineer Hermann Bansbach invented a current-storing battery charger.

How did the technical development of a battery charger proceed?

Since the 2000s there has been a strong development in the field of intelligent charging cables in all price ranges. The first universal charger is on the market since 2011.

Previously, there was no universal battery charger, as the technological and electrochemical structure of a mobile phone as well as the battery voltages and capacities were very different and thus the use of a single universal battery charger was not possible.

However, lithium-ion batteries are now used in mobile phones, so that a uniform charger is possible.

For which products is a battery charger available?

There are a number of products that only work by power supply and therefore depend on a battery charger. These include battery chargers for

  • Tool batteries
  • Kameras
  • Lead-acid batteries
  • Smartphones
  • Notizbücher
  • Model making and battery packs
  • Home appliances
  • Batterien

How do battery chargers work?

A charger is responsible for charging accumulators. Usually there is a charge regulator directly in the charging station which controls the charging process. Some battery-powered devices that are charged with a power supply unit already have a charge controller built in.

There are different types of batteries and different charging methods, which have a great influence on the performance and the lifetime of the battery. In the following paragraphs you will be introduced to the three basic forms. Combinations of these result in further procedures.

The simplest form is the constant current charging method. Here, a battery is charged with constant current over the entire charging time.

With the pulse charging method the battery is charged with current pulses. The advantage of this is that the voltage can be measured during the currentless breaks. The measurement results are not falsified. There is also a variation that starts short discharge pulses in the current pauses.

The charging voltage is kept at the same value in the constant voltage charging method. The longer the battery is charged, the more the charge current drops due to the voltage difference.

With all these procedures, safety mechanisms must check whether, for example, an accumulator becomes too hot or has already reached its full capacity.

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