Monday, August 10, 2009

Not all Nokia battery chargers built the same

An article posted a while ago on AAS mentioned phone battery charge time varied by the charger used. If you've bought Nokia phones from their various product lines then you may have noticed Nokia including different chargers. But what exactly is the difference?


From left to right: AC-3U, AC-6E, AC-5U, AC-5E

Here is a comparison of the various current Nokia chargers:

TypeShort DescriptionConnectorPower OutputPackaged with
AC-3Blocky low end chargersNokia 2mmDC 5V, 350mANokia 1110, Nokia 3555, Nokia 5310, Nokia E61
AC-4High end chargersNokia 2mmDC 5V, 890mANokia 5610, Nokia E71
AC-5Small high end chargersNokia 2mmDC 5V, 800mANokia N82, Nokia N95
AC-6Mid-ranged chargers designed for microUSB charging. They resemble the AC-4 in design but output is very different.  Non-detachable cable.microUSBDC 5V, 550mANokia N97
AC-8High end chargers. They resemble the AC-4 in design.Nokia 2mmDC 5V, 890 mANokia E75
AC-10High end chargers. Non-detachable cable.microUSBDC 5V, 1200 mANokia N85, Nokia N86, Nokia N97, Nokia N900
AC-20Mid-ranged chargers.  Non-detachable cable.microUSBDC 5V, 750 mANokia Lumia 520
AC-50High end chargersmicroUSBDC 5V, 1300 mANokia Lumia 925, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 620
AC-60High end chargersmicroUSBDC 5V, 1500 mANokia Lumia 1020
CA-101USB cablemicroUSBDC 5V, 500 mANseries and Eseries
DC-4High end car chargers.Nokia 2mmDC 5V, 890 mAN/A
DC-6Mid-range car chargers. They resemble the DC-4 in designmicroUSBDC 5V, 550 mANokia 5800, E72, N97 mini navigation editions
DC-9Mid-range car chargers. They look like a square box with retractable cordNokia 2mmDC 5V, 700 mAN/A
DC-10High end car chargers. They are similar to the DC-9 in design.microUSBDC 5V, 1200 - 1500 mAN/A


All this information can be found in small text on your charger. The output indicates the amount of power sent to the phone. You may notice a letter just after the types I listed above such as 'U' or 'E'. This letter indicates the region the charger is designed for - 'U' would be for the United States/Canada, 'E' is European, and 'N' is India. The same type of charger produces the same output regardless of the charger's region. Moreover, both 'E' and 'U' chargers work with an input of 100-240V at 50-60Hz, so both chargers can work in North America and Europe without worry - with a simple plug adapter of course.

Charging my N82 took over twice as long to charge with the AC-3 compared to the bundled AC-5. I've charged my N82 with a AC-5E charger in Europe, Japan, India with a plug adapter, and North America with a plug adapter with no problems.  But be sure not to overcharge your phone by using a charger that has a higher power output than the charger that came with your phone as it will overheat your battery and degrade the life of the battery.

Interestingly, the high end N97 bundles such a low output charger. I initially thought it was a microUSB limitation but Nokia also makes the AC-10 which produces much more power. I think someone swapped the battery charger in the review unit I have because the official N97 sales package mentions the inclusion of a AC-10. It would have been better if Nokia equipped the N97 with both the older Nokia charger port and the microUSB charging like the E75 so we could use our existing chargers too.

As you can see, Nokia makes various chargers and the higher the output the faster your phone will charge. So if you have a number of chargers available and need to charge your Nokia phone in a hurry, be sure to pay attention to the charger.  Plus, don't use a charger with a higher power output than the charger included with your phone to avoid wearing out the battery too quickly

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! Was wondering what the difference was.

cat5 said...

Nice information on differences between Nokia battery chargers. By reading your post i learnt a lot about nokia chargers and a difference between them. Thanks for sharing.

Marwan Lobian said...

Just wondering, may I use Charger AC-3E for my Nokia N82? beside the longer charging time, any other effect? such as not fully charged or other effects? Please advice.

Eric said...

@marwan lobian yes, you can use the ac-3e with your n82. I do it when I don't have any other chargers handy.

Anonymous said...

Can I use AC-4 and AC-8 interchangeably?

Anonymous said...

I believe the caption is wrong. Left to right should be AC-3, AC-4, AC-6, AC-5.

Anonymous said...

Dear Eric!
I have a Nokia AC 3E (European style) charger and it is written on it: Input 100-240V... Does this mean that I may use it the U.S. too? (NAturally with a plug adapter) And my charger/phone won't be damaged?

Eric said...

@anonymous I double checked. The caption is correct for AC-3U, AC-6E, and AC-5E. I need to double check the AC-4U.

@anonymous Yes, it should work. I use a similar set up for my N82 - a AC-4E with a plug adapter.

Ollie said...

Hi Eric, thanks for the article excellent info. This is a bit unusual I think. I now live in Thailand but I bought a Nokia 5800 in Europe and it came with AC-8X recharger which I lost. I bought a cheap Nokia 1280 in Thailand (I couldn't find a AC-8X charger) and it came with a AC-3U adapter. Is it OK to use the 5800 with the 1280 adapter. And is the power source from the wall the same as in Europe. Sorry if this is the blooming obvious but the 5800 was an expensive buy. Thanks a mil.

Sanath said...

Even after 2 years I find this very informative. Thanks for keeping it.
- Sanath

Winnie said...

Perfect! My charger just died and I found this article to answer my exact question. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

well done Eric.
its amazing how hard it is to find technical specifications on Nokias Official site.
its no wonder they are going bust,
i mean where do you begin?
great fones for years, upto E71 E72,
THEN firmware updates were a continual disaster,
great compatibility with 2.0mm chargers,
THEN they change to microUSB
WHY DIDNT NOKIA LISTEN TO FEEDBACK??
The Company is probably beyond recovery.

Tharsuin from Tasmania

Android said...

Yes the AC-3 is generally provided with devices like bluetooth headphones and accessories.
No matter they take thrice and four times the charging time.
I bought a AC-10E for my ONE X just to improve charge rate which i get with stock charger that is 1Amp.
I have ordered one and lets see how well it performs over the stock charger.

Good comparison. Thanks

kingkong said...

thanks eric that was great info just learnt it from u, and thanks nokia do'nt provide the same

Anonymous said...

Thanks - Clear and simple advice for everyone using power adaptors, not just Nokia users.

Sorry if this is the blooming obvious but.... Sometimes not - unfortunately!

Regardless of our country standards, the power outlet from the wall is typically AC volts between ~100 to 240, which goes into (Input) our now somewhat "Standardized" charging adaptors, which can magically sense whatever the wall voltage is supplying. If the device does not state both the Low / High approximations, then you can worry.
The IMPORTANT part is the (Output) variations from our charging adaptor to a "Specific" device receptacle - if it is NOT the one that came with that particular device.
1. The blooming obvious ***
2. It may *** but wrong +/- contacts may destroy ~ both devices
3. Output Volts (v) must be in tolerance of receiving device specs
4. Amperage (mA) is much more flexible and less to worry about.

While this article has, as intended, enlightened us of No.4 Amperage, think of No.4 as similar to a vehicle's accelerator pedal. It's somewhat of a balance between longevity and convenience ???

I hope that leaves no excuse to - Ask, the blooming obvious.
I liked that one....

*** "FIT"

Anonymous said...

...
P.S.

Note - that some adaptors, typically for Cordless or Copper Wired land-line phones often have an *AC* volts Output, and it's - sorry, blooming obvious that they are out of the question.

Sorry, but sometimes we overlook the umm - obvious.

cheers...

Anonymous said...

+++++++

AC - In

DC - Out - to your Nokia

Anonymous said...

xxxxxxx

Unless you use a vehicle to charge it.

In which case the Nos.1-4 factors remain the same as in Wall applicarions.

Anonymous said...

This is getting to be a habit - sorry.

I haven't tried it - yet.
But... If you used a "Y" type USB cable, where plugs AND polarity matched, we may get twice the USB regulated (2 x 500) supercharger - from a powered Hub ?

It should be "blovie" but watch your pin-outs especially when using sex changers etc.

Anonymous said...

hey folks plz any1 suggest me wich kinda charger i need to use fa NOKIA C5-03???

Anonymous said...

I have measured a couple of UK plug AC-3X genuine Nokia chargers, and the off-load DC voltage measures approximately 9V!

The specifications state that the output is DC 5.0V, 350mA.

Anonymous said...

For correct charging via the 2mm socket you should use a genuine Nokia charger. Other chargers with similar specifications may fail to work and display "Charger not supported".

This is the reason. The label on a Nokia charger may say something like 5V, 350mA. But this does not tell the full story. It actually behaves like a very poorly regulated power unit starting at around 7.5V and dropping to around 4.5V under load. But it's *meant* to do that. The phone senses this regulation characteristic and uses it to identify a genuine Nokia charger.

Hackers may be able to get a similar effect by connecting a resistor in series with a regulated supply. The full specification for the 2mm interface is given here.

http://www.herjulf.se/solar/charge-station/Nokia_2-mm_DC_Charging_Interface_Specification_v1_2_en.pdf

Bob, St Albans

Bhavana Sharma said...

The mobile phone charger is the most and essential mobile accessory to use to keep our mobile phones charge. We have to take care about the brand and safety of the charger that we want to buy. It is compulsory to use original charger for charging the mobile phones. The Nokia car charger Dc 4 specifications shows that it is best to charge the Nokia mobiles when we are on travel.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. It was useful.
- Gunnar

Harish R said...

Thanks, this was helpful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric!

Thanks a lot for this nice list.

I use Nokia to replace my Samsung chargers - lol: Samsung claims 2 amps but never seen any Samsung being faster than my oldschool Nokia AC-10.

Now I see that AC-60 might be even better :o

Will give it a shot, thanks to you :)

3dm

Anonymous said...

Brilliant summary. I charge my phone at various locations with 3rd party chargers and was wondering what rating they should be. Writing on side of AC-20 is currently tiny and light grey. It isn't readable with a magnifying glass. Thanks. Lone Wolf.

Divina Margarita Gómez Alvarenga said...

Hello.

I have a question. What is the best charger for the nokia lumia 735? I live in Mexico and I would like to get an extra charger...my nokia came originally with the ac-50U..

I appreciate your assistance

Rincewind TheFirst said...


I was trying to use the ac-4e to charge a non Nokia phone needing 5v, turns out the Nokia charger gives 6v not 5v and doesn't work :(

Varun Reddy said...

Once you’ve got the right charger for your gadget of choice, the next consideration is the power source. While most sources provide sufficient power, some – like the USB port on a computer – won’t provide enough, even if you’re using the perfect Charger.Internally a charger is an amazingly compact switching power supply that efficiently converts line AC into 5 volt DC output. The input AC is first converted to high-voltage DC. The DC is chopped up tens of thousands of times a second and fed into a tiny flyback transformer.

Thrikanth Thris said...

Phones get faster every year, but battery life doesn't seem to get any better. If you need to keep your smartphone - or tablet or other USB-powered device - going all day, you need a power bank. We've rounded up the best portable chargers and Power Bank available in the LatestOne.com

Andrew James said...

Smartphone without battery is just like carrying unnecessary weight in your bag or your pocket. Once, the phone gives the low battery signal, it becomes difficult to enjoy any of its features and sometimes you will be deprived of calling as well! Keeping the smartphone without battery is not at all fun and hence the mobile manufacturers have introduced various accessories that keep the mobile charged even when you are away from the power source. The Power Bank is also introduced in order to facilitate the smartphone users in getting uninterrupted battery backup. Here are the 4 things that you may know about the Power Bank before making the buying decision.

Gary White said...


Is it worth buying a portable iPhone charger?
Wall Charger

Kien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Anonymous said...

I am looking for the original (or the Microsoft AC-20N Micro USB Charger) that is unavailable. I have a Lumia 640 and the charger i bought is, of course, indicating low charge and as I have learned it is not compatible with my phone. However, the charger that came w/the phone didn't last but under a year.
How can i find the closest fitting charger to my phone and find on the phone's battery(?) where the actual specs are? (I live in US (Calif.)