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The best car chargers: A buyer's guide
Most phones comfortably provide an entire day of use, if not more, with average usage. “Average” is the keyword though. Some features, like using GPS for navigation, can quickly drain your phone’s battery though. If you’re on the road a lot, you will definitely need a car charger. They plug into the power port, or what used to be known as the cigarette lighter port, and come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s our guide about the best car chargers for your phone and everything you need to know!
What to look for when buying a car charger
- How many ports do you need? You’ll find car chargers with a single port to options that come with four or five as well. More may not always be better in this case, though. Apart from size and space considerations, the charging speed for individual devices might reduce when many are plugged in at the same time. Two-port options are usually a good idea.
- What type of ports does it have? Car chargers typically don’t come with a cable, so you’ll have to use the one you get with your phone, or buy an extra. If your device supports fast charging, you will need to make sure that the car charger is compatible to get the fastest speeds. The good news is that both USB-A and USB-C car chargers are easily available.
- Do you need more features? Most cars only come with one power port. If you need that port for a car charger and a Bluetooth FM transmitter, you’re out of luck. The good news is that there are a few options that combine both features. Similarly, you’ll also find phone holders that serve double duty as a Qi wireless charger.
A note about buying third-party charging accessories
You’ll rarely find a first-party car charger from a phone maker, so you’ll have to rely on third-party accessory makers. It’s important to do your research when you buy anything, especially when it’s a charging accessory. Before you buy car chargers from an obscure brand, be sure to check for the following:
- Look through the owner-submitted reviews on Amazon and other e-commerce sites. What are people saying? Do these reviews look legitimate? There’s a chance that a review is a paid or sponsored submission, particularly if it’s super vague and poorly written.
- Look for oddities like if the product reviews aren’t actually for the product! This surprisingly happens a lot with third-party charging accessories. A 5-star review of a water purifier is not what I want to see when buying a car charger.
- Know what the return policy of the product is. Many products have return periods, but some might only have a replacement window, in which case a refund won’t be possible.
The best USB-A car chargers
Anker USB-A car charger
The Anker USB-A car charger comes with two ports that provide up to 36W of charging. Built-in safety features protect your device from overheating, excessive current, and overcharging. The premium build quality and finish look great and won’t look out of place in your car.
Crave Car Hub
The Crave Car Hub comes with four USB-A ports to take care of all your road trip charging needs. Only one supports Quick Charge 3.0 though, with standard charging available with the other three. It has a small LED light for better visuals at night and also features safeguards against overcharging and more. If quantity is what you’re after, this is the car charger to get.
The best USB-C car chargers
Spigen USB-C charger
The 65W Spigen USB-C charger is one of the best car chargers you can get. This charger has two USB-C slots to charge two devices simultaneously rapidly, with PD charging up to 45W with one port and 20W with the other, with a compatible smartphone. It’s small, compact, and has many safety features on board to keep you and your devices safe.
Ainope USB-C car charger
The Ainope car charger is another excellent dual-port USB-C option. You can quickly charge two phones with 40W PD charging, and it comes with a LED light to indicate that everything is working correctly. The charger sits flush with the panel with just enough of a gap to make it easy to remove.
Car chargers with USB-A and USB-C ports
Anker PowerDrive Speed Plus 2 car charger
The Anker car charger is another great option for those with devices that support USB-C PD rapid charging. It boasts an impressive charging ability and lets you rapidly charge two devices at the same time with the accompanying USB-A port. Some extra features include built-in safety protection, while some non-distracting LED lights will help you easily find the charger.
Belkin car charger
This Belkin car charger is a great option if you have an iPhone or any other device that supports USB-C PD as well. It comes with two different types of ports to charge two devices at once at the fastest possible speeds. You get a 20W USB-C port and a 12W USB-A port to take care of your charging needs when on the road.
Wireless car chargers
iOttie wireless car charger
iOttie is the go-to brand for car mounts, so it’s no surprise that their car phone holder with wireless charging makes this list. If your device supports wireless charging, then this is the perfect option for you. With a compact design and secure attachment slot, your device can be held in place to charge while also allowing you to remove it at a moment’s notice. The charger can be positioned to your liking with its wide range of motion.