How to test if your Android charging cable is working properly

Different chargers charge your Android device at different rates, and some broken chargers may not charge your device as fast as they claim.

If you’ve ever had trouble charging your Android device or if you want to measure the speed of your charging cable, read on. We are going to show you how to make sure your Android device is charging properly.

Charge optimization apps

Android doesn’t provide an official method of checking your device’s charging stats, so we’ll have to resort to third-party apps. With Android 11, you can briefly check the battery power through the Battery and device care Section in settings.

There are many charge monitoring apps available on the Google Play Store, and the most popular are Ampere and AccuBattery. We have tested many charging apps and we can safely say that these two apps are at the top by a wide margin. Ampere and AccuBattery are compatible with Android 5 (Lollipop) and higher.

In this guide we will use amps to test charging Android smartphones via micro USB and USB-C.

Download: amp (Free premium version available)

Download: Accu battery (Free premium version available)

Loading speed test

All you need is your charger and a place to plug it in – either a secure charger and socket, a computer or a portable battery power bank.

For the most accurate measurement of your charger’s full capabilities, plug it into its official USB-to-wall socket adapter and plug it into the nearest wall socket. We’ll discuss in the next section how connecting to your computer can change your results.

Ampere displays some important device and battery details as it measures the 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 takes about 10 seconds to measure your phone’s charge which you see on the left.

You can purchase the Pro version of Ampere to remove the ads below, but they’re so low-key it’s barely worth the $ 1.18 to get rid of. The Pro version also offers a notification icon for the charge status in the notification bar.

The app uses orange text when you are not connected and green text when you are connected. When not plugged in, you can see how much battery your phone is currently using.

Low brightness uses less battery compared to a high brightness display (as described below). Screen brightness is a major drain on the phone’s battery. But other factors can also affect this, including apps that update in the background, WiFi or cellular signal strength, and more.

The app itself uses a very minimalist design that is easy on the eyes. If you tap on the circular battery symbol in the app, you will be taken to your complete battery stats in Android Battery and device care the settings.

Negative amperage readings mean your phone is losing charge, and positive values ​​show how much charge your Android device is gaining.

Keep in mind that if your phone is working extra hard (lots of background processes or apps open) and using more power than usual, you may get a lower number when testing your charger, and this is not your charger’s fault.

For example, if your phone sucks in 370 mAh as shown above and your device charges at 1050 mAh, your device is actually charging at 1050 mAh-370 mAh = 680 mAh.

What speed should you expect?

Every charging cable is different, but the best way to measure the rate of charge on your wall charger is by looking at the label on the charging adapter.

Somewhere on your USB-to-wall socket adapter is either a sticker or a print in tiny font that states the specifications of your adapter. The adapter includes the manufacturer’s charging specifications.

You need to look for the output details on the charging adapter. In this case the power is 1000 mAh. So we can expect a charge of around 1000 mAh, minus what my phone soaks up.

We used the Samsung Galaxy A51 and the official Samsung quick charge adapter and USB-C cable for this test. Your charger and phone are different from the ones we used for this test.

But don’t worry, once you’ve used the app and found that you’re getting less fees than your adapter expects, there are a few steps you can take.

How to improve your loading speed

If it’s not charging as fast as you want, there is a way to increase the charging speed of your Android device.

For example, if you put your phone on airplane mode and keep the screen off while it is charging, it can charge much faster. However, if you don’t want to go that far, we have a few other tips to get the most out of your device’s battery life.

  • You can also consider switching to a fast charging adapter if your Android device supports it. A quick charge adapter will greatly improve the charging speed of your device.
  • Another common misconception is that plugging your phone into a computer or an electrical outlet is the same but very different. Computers cannot output the same amount of current as an electrical outlet, resulting in slower charging.
  • We also strongly recommend that you use the charger cable and adapter that the manufacturer shipped your Android device with, rather than a third-party charger. Every Android device comes with a charging accessory that is best supported by its battery. Using the official charging accessories will extend the battery life of your device and improve the discharge rate of your battery.
  • While wireless charging can be convenient, the charging rate is slower than wired charging and can even be lower than charging using your computer.
  • And keep cool for optimal charging. Heat is bad news for batteries and one of the great things to avoid in order to keep your battery healthy. Charging your device in a cool place without a case will improve the condition of the battery and even the rate of charge.

Is your Android device charging properly?

You can test your Android device charging through third party apps like AccuBattery and Ampere. These apps list battery and charging metrics that you can analyze to make sure your phone is charging properly.

And if you find that your phone is not charging at all, take a look at our guide linked below to help you get power back on.

Image source: Piyawat Nandeenopparit /Shutterstock

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