There are moments when you’re running out of battery on your smartphone and there is no charging socket in sight. I’ve finally found a way to charge all my portable gadgets in the car, without having to buy individual car chargers for each brand/model of products I buy.
The car charger is USB based. The one I’ve bought is from a brand called Capdase and cost me Rs. 399 through Flipkart.com. It’s incredibly small (less than 1.5 inches long and less than 1 inch wide) and fits neatly INSIDE the car’s cigarette lighter socket. A green LED on the device indicates that it is powered on and ready for use.
Now all you need to do is plug your regular USB charging cable from your device into the charging socket and you’re done. This charger derives power from the car’s battery and can supply upto 5V/1A of current, so almost all smartphones, digital camera’s, Kindle’s etc. should be compatible. I’ve tested the charger on my iPhone 3G and it works well. An iPad/tablet computer may need higher power to charge optimally so they may or may not be compatible (untested).
I think it’s a simple, cheap and extremely useful device for everyone to own.
P.S. Though I have no accurate numbers to prove this, my gut feeling is that car chargers should only be used as a backup and you should not rely on them for charging your devices everyday. The manufacturer’s original charger will feed the correct voltage/current required to condition the battery properly, which may not be true with car chargers.