Top positive review
61 people found this helpful
What the description doesn't say about it's 2.1 amp output
on December 30, 2012
This is a nice little charger - I like its size and packability, and it's now one of the items to be found in my 'go bag'. I've given it a five star rating because it performs as well as any other high capacity charger I've seen, my only real complaint being that the description on the Amazon page leads one to believe that it will charge everything at a 2.1 amp rate.
iPhones and Android devices will limit themselves to drawing no more than 1/2 amp when charging unless they detect that they're hooked up to a charger and not a computer USB port. This is because computer USB ports generally aren't rated to supply any more current than that. To get around this problem a charger has to be internally wired to let devices know it's safe to do a fast (high current) charge. There are two common methods to do this - one is specific to Apple devices, and the other is more friendly to Android devices.
Out of the box, this charger appears to be wired for Apple devices, meaning Apple devices will take as much of the 2.1 amps as they want, while Android devices will charge at a slower 1/2 amp rate.
There are a couple of solutions for Android device owners.
1 - Consider getting the "Amazon Kindle PowerFast" charger instead. It supplies 1.8 amps of power, and my Android phone detected that it was being fed by a charger and not a USB port. The down side is that it costs twice as much as this charger does.
2 - Consider getting a charge-only USB cable to use with this charger. These cables cannot be used to transfer data, and they contain the internal connections that tells the device it's connected to a charger. Just make sure you don't use one of these cables to connect your device to a computer's USB port.
3 - It's possible to modify many chargers to be more Android friendly if you know what you're doing. That's what I did with this one, and now my Galaxy Nexus properly detects this unit as an AC charger.
I ordered this unit hoping it would fast-charge my Android devices, but finding out that it didn't I modified the charger rather than return it. If I were to need any more Android-friendly chargers, I'll probably just order a Kindle PowerFast charger next time.