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Charger can explode cell phone: truth or myth?



There is a huge variation between normal USB ports, with a capacity of 500 mA, and dedicated charging ports, which go up to 3000 mA. This brings us to an important question: if we take a cell phone that came with a 900 mA charger and connect it to a 2,100 mA iPad charger, for example, will it explode?

Charger can explode cell phone: truth or myth?

The short answer is no. You can plug any USB device into any USB cable and any USB port and nothing will explode. In fact, using a more powerful charger should speed up battery charging.

The longer answer is that the age of your device plays a big role, dictating how quickly it can be charged and whether it can be charged using a wall charger.

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If you have a modern USB device, you should be able to plug it into a high-amperage USB port and enjoy faster charging. However, if you have an older product, it probably won’t work with USB ports that use the battery charging specification. It can only work with original PC USB 1.0 and 2.0 ports (500 mA). In some (much older) cases, USB devices can only be charged by computers with specific drivers installed, but this goes back almost two decades.

What about USB-C?

USB-C is a special case. While you can’t blow up your device by plugging in the wrong charger, you can blow up your phone, Nintendo Switch, or other device by using the wrong USB-C cable. How do you know which is the right USB-C cable? Sometimes – and this is the ugly truth – you can’t know. In the past, there were spreadsheets dedicated to recording good and bad cables, but the projects seem to have fallen by the wayside and are now out of date. If you are purchasing a replacement USB-C cable for your manufacturer-supplied cable, we recommend that you purchase it from the OEM or an authorized third-party manufacturer.

What if you already have a third-party cable or have no other option than to use one? Even if it works, slow loading speed can be a problem. This is preferable in the sense that it will not damage any hardware. In many cases, the device will only charge at minimum or near-minimum speed, unlike the fast charging options now supported by many devices.

Don’t forget, however, that the consequences can be worse than just slow loading. There are cases of people blowing up devices with the wrong type of cable. We also have other cases where a device may flatly refuse to work with another device’s USB-C cable for unknown reasons. In this case, it is assumed that the device refuses to connect via a certain cable to protect itself.

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