Learn how to test your Android charging cable for problems, plus tips on how to make it charge faster
Different chargers will charge your Android device at different rates, and some faulty chargers may not charge your device as fast as they claim.
If you’ve ever had trouble charging your Android device, or you want to measure the speed of a charging cable, read on. We’ll show you how you can make sure your Android device is charging properly.
Install Optimization Apps
Android doesn’t provide any official method to check your device’s charging stats, so we have to use third party apps. In Android 11, you can briefly ignore battery performance via the Battery and maintenance device in Arrangement.
There are many monitoring apps available on the Google Play Store, and the most popular are Ampere and AccuBattery. We’ve tested a lot of charging apps, and we can safely say these two apps are at the forefront by a pretty big margin. Ampere and AccuBattery are compatible with Android 5 (Lollipop) and up.
In this guide, we’ll be using Ampere to test both micro-USB and USB-C charging of an Android smartphone.
Charging Speed Test
For this, all you need is a charger and a place to plug it into either a charging device and a secure outlet, a computer, or a portable battery power bank.
For the most accurate measurement of your charger’s full capabilities, plug it into its authorized USB-to-wall outlet adapter, and plug it into the nearest wall outlet. We will discuss in the next section how connecting to your computer can change your results.
Ampere displays some important device and battery details while measuring current charging power, and allows you to check the speed of your charging cable. Above, you can see some of the information provided by the app. It will take about 10 seconds to measure your phone’s power, as you can see on the left.
You can buy the Pro version of Ampere to remove the ads that show at the bottom, but the ads are so unobtrusive they’re barely worth the $1.18 to get rid of them. The Pro version also provides a charge level notification icon in the notification bar.
The app will use orange text when you are not plugged in and green text when you are plugged in. When it’s not plugged in, you can see how much battery your phone is currently using.
Low brightness will consume less battery compared to high brightness display (as observed below). Screen brightness is a major consumer of cell phone batteries. However, other factors can also affect this, including background app updates, Wi-Fi or cellular signal strength, and more.
The app itself uses a very minimalistic design, which is pleasing to the eye. Tapping on the circular battery icon within the app will take you to full battery statistics in Android Battery and device maintenance settings.
A negative amperage value means your phone is losing power, and a positive value indicates the amount of power your Android device is getting.
Keep in mind that if your phone is working extra hard (lots of background processes or opening apps) and using more amperage than usual, you may get a lower number when testing your charger, and it’s not your charger’s fault.
For example, if your phone sucks at 370mAh as shown above and your device charges at 1050mAh, your device is actually charging at 1050mAh-370mAh = 680mAh.
What Speed Should You Expect
Every charging cable is different, but your best bet for measuring the charge level of your wall charger is to look at the label on the charging adapter.
Somewhere on your USB-to-wall socket adapter, there will be a sticker or print in small font detailing the specifications of your adapter. The adapter details the manufacturer’s charging specifications.
You need to look for Output details on the charging adapter. In this case, the output is 1000mAh. So we can expect around 1000mAh of charge, minus whatever my phone sucks in.
We used a Samsung Galaxy A51 and Samsung’s official fast charging adapter as well as a USB-C cable for this test. Your charger and phone will be different from the ones we used for this test.
Don’t worry though, if you’ve been using the app and decide you’re getting less money than your adapter says, there are steps you can take.
How to Increase Your Charging Speed
If you’re not getting charging as fast as you’d like, there are ways to increase the charging speed of your Android device.
For example, putting your phone into airplane mode and turning off the screen while it’s charging will allow it to charge faster. If you don’t want to go that far, we have some other tips to maximize the battery life of your device.
- You can also consider switching to a fast charging adapter if your Android device supports it. The fast charging adapter will significantly increase the charging speed of your device.
- Another common misconception is that connecting your phone to a computer or a wall outlet is the same thing, but the two are vastly different. The computer cannot output the same amperage rating as a wall outlet, which results in slower charging.
- We also strongly recommend using the charging cable and adapter that the manufacturer shipped to your Android device instead of a third-party charger. Every Android device comes with a charging accessory that is best supported by its battery. Using authorized charging accessories extends the battery life of your device and increases the level of consumption of your battery.
- While wireless charging is easy, charging speeds are slower than wired charging and may even be lower than charging from your computer.
- And, for fully optimized charging, keep to stay cool. Heat is bad news for batteries and one of the big things you should avoid to keep your battery healthy. Charging your device in a cool place without the case improves battery health and even charging speed.
Is Your Android Device Charging Properly
You can test the charging of your Android device through third-party applications such as AccuBattery and Ampere. The app lists battery and charge metrics that you can analyze to ensure that your phone is charging properly.