Like many readers, I travel a lot and often times I’m trying to charge my Nexus 6P at the airport. More airports today have seats with USB ports on them so even if you can’t find an electrical outlet, you can still get charged up before or between flights. The trick, however, is how much you use your phone while it is charging. We all know that using your phone while it is charging increases the charging time. But by how much? Wouldn’t it be great to see how much your phone is consuming energy as you charge it? Enter the Choetech Current Voltage Monitor cable.
The Current Voltage Monitor cable allows you to see how much voltage is running to your phone as it charges and equally, how many amps are being consumed by your phone to charge it. Not only will you see how your usage is impacting the charging time, you will see if that USB port in that chair at the airport is only putting out 2-3v instead of 5v which also slows down charging time. Recently the team at Choetech sent me one of these cables to review and its quite handy having this knowledge in the palm of your hand. Here’s my review of this handy little accessory.
Specifications & Design
The Voltage Monitor cable comes with a USB-A connector on one end and a USB-C connector on the other. Choetech sells a USB-A to USB-A and USB-A to MicroUSB version of the cable so you can
get the one that you need for your devices. The cable itself measures 1m or 3.3′ in old money. In the middle of the cable you will find the LED display that shows your voltage and amperage as you use it. The LEDs will only light up when you have connected the cable to a power source.
The cable takes an input of 3.6v to 20v Direct Current when it is plugged into a USB-A electrical adaptor. It can measure from .1 to 3.0A which will cover 99% of anything you plug into the USB-C connector. Most mobile phones and tablets draw about 2.4A. All in, the cable weighs 48g.
The cable is designed to allow you to both charge and use data transfer features of USB-C and it supports Quick Charge 2.0 technology thanks to its wide range of current support.
How To Use
Using the Voltage Monitor cable is the same as any USB cable connecting to your device. When you connect the USB-A terminal to a power supply, you will immediately see the LED display light up showing you how much voltage is going through the cable. This will remain constant (assuming there are no voltage fluctuations from the power source) and will remain on until you connect your phone or tablet to the cable. When you do that, the display will alternate between the voltage and the amps that your device is consuming. This latter number can vary significantly based on how much you are using the device that is charging.
The question many readers will ask is the obvious one: Why do I need this cable? If you travel a lot, it is actually quite handy. I travel regularly and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at an airport or hotel with USB ports built into chairs or desks that don’t work or don’t work efficiently. By plugging in this cable from Choetech, you can see immediately what the output voltage is of the port. For normal charging, this should be around 5V or, if the source supports Quick Charge technology, it could be as high as 9v. If you are using that port at your hotel desk and it is only reporting 2v, it means that your charging is going to be very slow. It’ll still work, but you are going to be there a while. That would be a good time to try the next port on the desk.
Conclusion & Recommendation
If you travel a lot or simply want to check the output of your USB ports or wall chargers, the Choetech Voltage Monitor Cable is an inexpensive way to test them. With an easy to read display and a wide range of voltage inputs, the cable will give you quick information about your connection and the efficiency of the charge going to your device. Likewise, you can see how much energy your phone is using as you charge it and are using it. Given that voltage testing equipment can be quite expensive, at $16.99, this cable is far less expensive and certainly easier to pack with you as you travel.