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Are Cheap Phone Chargers Bad For Your Phone? Here’s The Answer

Paying between $20 and $35 for a smartphone charger may seem steep, especially when you can easily find a likely knockoff at your local corner store for a fraction of the price. But even in this world of better bargain buys, when it seems too cheap to be true, it probably is. 


What’s wrong with cheap chargers?


According to, most inexpensive chargers fall short of certain regulatory standards and, in an effort to route unregulated power into the device, have actually caused some serious damage, with reports of horrible accidents including house fires, battery explosions, and electric shocks. Knock-off charging cords can burn out a very important chip on the phone’s logic board which can, in turn, seriously impair your phone’s ability to properly charge.


What problems can arise?


Trent Denison of the repair site, Rice Is For Dinner, lists some of the most common symptoms linked to a damaged chip including; 

  • Not charging
  • Fake charging (shows it’s charging with a lightning bolt, but % doesn’t change)
  • Charger won’t/can’t charge a battery that’s “dead”, but will charge or partially charge a battery that isn’t “dead”
  • Battery suddenly drops from a higher % to a lower %
  • Battery charges to a certain (random) % then stops
  • Battery drains to a certain (random) % then dies (phone shuts off)”


What to look for 


When shopping for smartphone charging accessories, be sure to look for worldwide certifications, such as Mfi, CE or RHOS (there should be a sticker on the package that says one of these exactly). These signify the products are lead free, work in main outlets and other devices and accredits their sustainability and establishment to factories in the countries of manufacture.