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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Product review: Bolse® Newly designed 4 Port USB portable AC Rapid Charger

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I have used Bolse chargers in the fast and found them to be reliable. One of them have been in use every for over a year and still works reliably and stays cool as it does it job. I was interested to see how this new 4 port charger performed and tested it with Samsung Galaxy 7.7 Tablet (ICS 4.0.4), and Samsung Galaxy Nexus cell phone (JellyBean 4.2.2), iPadMini, and SanDisk Sansa Clip+ player.

I own several wall chargers and power bricks and run the same set on tests on each of them, so they can be compared to each other using "apples to apples" comparison. This set of tests allows me to provide unbiased results as the numbers speak for the performance of each unit.

To test Bolse 4 port I ran various tests using 3 mobile devices on each of 4 ports. I also tested two devices at the same chargers. In my test I use a current monitor and run a 10 minute charging test on each port. For those who are interested in the details I am including them at the end of this review. To summarize the results of the tests I can say that all ports worked, but the speed of charging was slightly below the best chargers I have tested over the last year, including Bolse's own old 4 port charger. However, this charger produced consistent results and remained cool during use so it is a high quality charger.

Bolse wall charger has re-tractable prongs which is very handy for travel. It has 4 ports: 2 universal ports, 1 Apple port, and Samsung port. The ports are marked on the top of the unit. The writing is very easy to read on the white charger.

The charger is 3.125 inches long and 2 inches wide. If you put the charger on an old fashioned power strip it takes up two slots.

➨ How I tested this wall charger:
======================

I have been testing various chargers for a long time, and people often ask me why results differ so much from charger to charger and often port to port. The results are different because they are affected by a number of factors. To help with a numerical explanation of the differences I began using a USB current monitor which shows the voltage and the current flowing between the battery and the device.

The amount of energy transferred from the charger to the device is calculated by multiplying voltage and current. Most of the chargers are 5V devices and most devices show the voltage very close to 5V. The interesting number is the current as it varies from unit to unit and from port to port.

The current varies based on what the device requires and what battery provides. This communication happens using different protocols depending on OS. Newer Android OS versions have adapted their protocols to get better performance from ports aimed at Apple devices. An addition variable that effects performance is whether a data cable or charging cable is used to charge the device. The charging cables short the two data connections together (rendering them useless for data transfer), but this fools devices to see the cable as an AC power connection, and thus accept the higher current of the charging source.

The 10 minutes test consists of charging each mobile device on each port of the battery pack for 10 minutes and measure how much each unit was charge in that 10 minute period. Since the charging speed is non-linear I start charging each device from approximately the same charge level. I use Battery App by Elvison to determine how each device recognized the charging source. 'AC' status means the charging is at full charging rate. 'USB' status indicates charging at a lower charging rate. 'Discharging' status means that the charging rate is below the power that the device is consuming so it slows down the discharge rate but does not re-charge.

➨ Test Results:
======================

✔ Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone
--------------------------
Universal port 1: AC ----- 4% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 1: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.02A and 5.16V

Universal port 2: AC ----- 4% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 2: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.94A and 5.16V

Apple port:------ AC ----- 3% change in charge in 10 minutes
Apple port: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.92A and 5.16V

Samsung port:---- AC ----- 5% change in charge in 10 minutes
Samsung port: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.89A and 5.16V

✔ Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7.7
--------------------------
Universal port 1: AC ----- 1% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 1: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.74A and 5.20V

Universal port 2: AC ----- 1% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 2: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.79A and 5.19V

Apple port:------ AC ----- 3% change in charge in 10 minutes
Apple port: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.90A and 5.19V

Samsung port:---- AC ----- 2% change in charge in 10 minutes
Samsung port: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.90A and 5.20V

✔ iPad Mini
--------------------------
Universal port 1: AC ----- 2% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 1: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.33A and 5.15V

Universal port 2: AC ----- 3% change in charge in 10 minutes
Universal port 2: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.17A and 5.15V

Apple port:------ AC ----- 3% change in charge in 10 minutes
Apple port: current monitor: ~~~~~ 1.44A and 5.15V

Samsung port:---- AC ----- 0% change in charge in 10 minutes
Samsung port: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.47A and 5.23V

✔ Samsung Galaxy Tablet & Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone at the same time
--------------
Universal port 1: AC ----- 4% change in charge in 10 minutes (Nexus phone)
Universal port 1: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.86A and 5.16V (Nexus phone)

Samsung port:------ AC ----- 2% change in charge in 10 minutes (Galaxy 7.7 tablet)
Samsung port: current monitor: ~~~~~ 0.90A and 5.20V (Galaxy 7.7 tablet)

The behaviour of both Galaxy Tablet and Galaxy Nexus Phone plugged in at the same time was the same as when they were plugged in individually. In my experience if you plug in more devices that the charger can handle it shuts off and charges none.

The MP3 player worked on all ports.

Overall, I like 4 port chargers as they cover charging of my most frequently used devices. This charger is not the speediest, but it is compact, and I have had good luck with Bolse chargers quality over the past year and I would recommend it.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

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