Different chargers are going to charge your Android device at different rates, and some broken chargers might not be charging your device as quickly as they claim they can.
If you’ve ever run into issues charging your device, or you’d just like to test out how effective your charger is, read on. Today, we’re going to step through how to measure the amperage your charger is delivering to your smartphone or tablet.
The first step is to grab this handy app from the Play Store called Ampere, which will do the measuring for you. It should work on any device running Android 4.0 and above, though the developer has noted in the description that certain models aren’t behaving quite right, like the HTC One M7 and M8.
Testing Your Charger
For the most accurate measurement of your charger’s full capabilities, plug it into its official USB to wall outlet adapter, and plug that into your nearest outlet. We’ll discuss in the next section how plugging into your computer can change your results.
Above, you can see some of the information provided by the app. It takes about 10 seconds to measure the charge of your phone, which is what you see on the left. On the right is the settings menu, which you will probably never have to visit.
The app will use orange text when you’re not plugged in and blue text when you are plugged in. When not plugged in, you can see how much energy your phone is currently using. This number will vary depending on how many things your phone is trying to do at once.
Below, you can see my phone with the brightness set to low (left) and the brightness set to high (right). Clearly, the brightness of my screen is quite a major pull on my battery, but other factors can influence this too, including apps updating in the background, Wi-Fi or cellular signal strength, and more.
The app itself uses a very modern Lollipop-based design, which is easy on the eyes. Tapping the circular icon to the left will take you to your full battery stats. Negative numbers mean that your phone is losing charge, and positive numbers show how much charge it is gaining.
If you’re not getting a charge as fast as you want, there are ways to increase your charging speed.
For instance, switching your phone into airplane mode and keeping the screen off while it’s charging will allow it to charge much faster. If you’re not willing to go that far though, we have some other tips for squeezing the most battery life out of your device.
Also, plugging your phone into a computer or a wall outlet may seem like they do the same thing, but they’re much different. Computers can’t output the same level of amperage as a wall socket can. Below, you can see my charger speeds when plugged into the wall (left) and when plugged into my computer (right).
It’s also recommended that you use the charging cable that your phone or tablet shipped with, rather than a third-party charger. The hardware manufacturer has tested your device with that cable specifically, and you know it has the right amperage.
If your phone supports wireless charging, that’s going to be even slower than charging from your computer. It’s convenient for sure, but still quite slow.
And, for complete optimum charging, keep it cool. Heat is bad news for batteries, and one of the big things you should avoid to keep your battery healthy. Place it in a cool spot, take it out of its case, and it should charge a bit quicker.