Why do most Cars have a USB Port that charges devices so slow?

usb port

Most of the things we need these days can be done on our smartphones. You need a calendar, radio, TV, calculator, a phone, a scanner, a typewriter and so on. However, there is one thing our phone has not yet been able to do; move us from point A to point B. Though I suppose when they will be able to do that, it will be as cool as teleporting we see in sci-fi movies.

Currently, the second most important thing after our phone is our cars. Well, public transport if you don’t own a car, but still you get the point, we need a means of locomotion from Point A to Point B. While commuting from Point A to B, our phone plays another crucial role, giving us direction via Map apps and keeping us connected safely to everyone else outside our car. It does that either through Bluetooth audio streaming during phone calls or video chat.

Although most modern cars do come with USB port built-in; often near the center console or the dashboard. Experience has taught us that you can’t really rely on them to charge your phone. As a matter of fact, it has been confirmed that most built-in USB ports in car supply a sub-standard 0.5A of power, which is hardly enough to charge most smartphones.

How To Geek has confirmed you can’t really rely on car USB ports to charge your phone. “We measured multiple vehicles with a USB voltage/amperage meter and found that the data port in the dash (commonly used to hook up a USB drive or phone to play music) offered a very weak 0.5A output.

While that’s enough to power your USB drive full of MP3s, it’s barely enough to trickle charge an iPhone and maintain the current battery level – if you’re using the phone for navigation, a notorious battery hog, it’s unlikely you’ll even charge it faster than it drains.”

So what do you do if you want your phone charge by your car?

Well, if you are going to use your car’s built-in USB port as it is, you might have to charge your phone (or any other device) while it is off and be really patient. As it is, 500mA delivered by the USB port is hardly enough to charge most devices. Take, for instance, the Samsung Galaxy S8’s travel charger delivers 2.0Amps so does the S7. The Galaxy S6 released a while back has a travel charger delivering 0.7Amps.

In a nutshell, if you charge your phone using the USB in your car, while still using it; the phone is discharging more than it is charging. The USB-charging is only delaying when your phone will turn off because of low battery. So how do you charge your phone inside your car?

The Cigarette Lighter with 12 Volt is the solution

The default electrical connector inside your car is the cigarette lighter, which can deliver up to 12 Volts of electricity. It is also your best bet in charging devices inside your car, only if you connect to it universal chargers.

Using the cigarette lighter to charge universal chargers, you can easily get up to 10Amp of USB power. Meaning you will have more than enough power to charge your phone inside the car while using it. The best thing with this option is that some universal charges come with 3 – 4 ports each giving out 2.1Amps of power, enabling you to charge 3 – 4 devices simultaneously.

The following are some universal chargers recommended by How To Geek:

Ø Omaker Intelligent USB Car Charger ($11.99): It comes with three ports, two giving out 2.1A and the other one 2.4A.

Ø Aukey 4 Port USB Charger ($14.99): It has four ports each giving out 2.4A

Ø Scosche USBC242M Car Charger ($11): It comes with two ports giving out 2.4Amps each.

Now, with the above options using the cigarette lighter, there is really no reason why you should suffer using the built-in USB port in your car. It is important to note that most cars are fitted with USB 1 or USB 2, which delivers less charging power. However, there are some few models fitted with some of the latest USB technology USB 3, giving users enough power to charge their devices.

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