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When looking for a universal cell phone charger, people should think about how and where they will use it to select a product most appropriate to their needs. Some people may need features like interchangeable plugs so they can travel internationally, for example, while others may have concerns about the size and shape of the charger. It is also important to make sure a charger accommodates a given cell phone type, a task made easier by the widespread adoption of a universal standard by the cell phone industry in 2009. Under the standard, phones charge with similar attachments to allow people to use any charger with any phone.
People buying a universal cell phone charger have a range of products to choose from. When looking at the plug end of the charger, people may want to consider whether they want a plug with a grounding pin, or without. Grounding can make the cell phone safer during charging, but not all outlets are grounded, and the grounding pin tends to make the plug bulky, which can be a problem. People should also consider whether they need to use their charger internationally, where plug designs can vary. A charger with interchangeable plugs can be a useful acquisition for travelers.
The attachments to the universal cell phone charger are also important to think about. If a phone is in compliance with the basic standard, any charger should work with it, and people will not need special attachments. People with older phones or phones that do not comply with the standard may need a charger that allows them to change attachments so they can charge different kinds of phones. It can be helpful to bring the phone to check the charging point in the store to make sure a charger will work with it.
Size and shape can be issues for travelers, who need to think about how to keep the contents of their bags compact. It may be helpful to have a universal cell phone charger with a short or retractable cord to keep cords in luggage under control. In addition to tangling and making a mess in baggage, cords can look strange on security X-rays and may lead personnel to subject baggage to additional screening so they can verify that the contents are safe.
Expense can be a consideration as well. People prone to forgetting things like chargers may not want to invest a lot of money in a universal cell phone charger. It can be helpful to look at models on the lower end of the price spectrum. Another consideration is applicability to a future cell phone; for example, people may not need a charger with interchangeable charging attachments at the time of purchase, but this could change with another cell phone. Likewise, if the charger will only work with phones of a specific shape, this could be a problem in the future. People with loyalty to specific brands probably do not need to prepare for changes in charging attachments, but those who shop for the best deal might want the flexibility of being able to change charging attachments in the future.
I saw an interesting gadget at the local Walgreens. They sold the cord for a phone charger, with the phone plug on one end and the USB jack on the other. In the next bin, they had just the part that plugs into a car charger for $5. It had a USB port, so you could plug in any phone that charges via USB.
This looked like a great idea to me because I can use my iPhone's factory charging cord in the car and don't have to drop $30 for a name brand charger, or even $15 for a generic. Plus, one wouldn't have to buy two car chargers, or switch from one car to the other. At $5 a pop, just buy one for every car and carry the cord from car to car. No big deal.
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