Super-fast and futureproof, the only thing we don’t like about this Tronsmart car charger is the inability to remove the built-in USB Type-C cable. If you own a OnePlus 2 or are looking to buy the Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P, though, it’s well worth a look.
The Tronsmart USB Rapid Car Charger is a next-generation car charger for your smartphone, and particularly exciting for OnePlus 2, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P hopefuls. We see whether this Tronsmart USB Type-C car charger is worth your money. Also see: Best power banks 2015.
Our Tronsmart USB Rapid Car Charger came from Geekbuying, which charges £13.29. If you’re planning to buy from China, first read our advice on grey-market tech.
We’ve reviewed several car chargers with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, which enables up to 75 percent reduction in charging time for compatible devices. That’s good news for the increasing number of phones that support the faster-charging standard. Less common, though, is the emerging USB Type-C standard this charger also supports.
USB Type-C is a new and futureproof reversible connector (you can plug it in either way up) with a flattened design. Eventually USB Type-C will replace both USB Type-A and USB Type-B, providing a universal standard for USB cables and connections. Also see: How to improve smartphone battery life.
The OnePlus 2 is one of few USB Type-C devices already on the market (there’s also the 2015 MacBook, Chromebook Pixel and Nokia N1, plus a few Chinese devices with which UK consumers won’t be familiar), but the upcoming Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones and USB Type-C support built into Android Marshmallow should herald a whole new generation of USB Type-C devices. If you buy a flagship smartphone in 2016, expect it to come with USB Type-C.
If you own or are planning to buy a device that charges over USB Type-C, chances are you own a single USB Type-C cable that you are finding yourself having to carry between home, office and everywhere in between. We know first-hand how irritating this can be, and even three years after Apple introduced its reversible charging connector laying your hands on a spare Lightning cable can be a headache.
That’s why we like this Tronsmart USB Type-C charger, which has a built-in Type-C cable plus a spare full-size USB Type-A output for charging other devices. (It’s also why we don’t like the Tronsmart, since having the non-removable Type-C cable always on display is a messy solution.)
In truth the Tronsmart is no different to any other dual-output Qualcomm Quick Charge-compatible car charger. But with this one you can be sure no-one will walk off with your cable (they will take the charger, too). Also see: Best desktop chargers 2015.
Eventually, all USB Type-C devices will be sold with cables that feature the new connection at each end. At this point existing USB chargers will be useless without an adaptor, and in this sense the Tronsmart has an element of futureproofing.
Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 is supported on both outputs, plus there’s VoltIQ smart technology that recognises the attached device type and automatically delivers the optimum charge. This means that whichever device you plug into the Tronsmart USB Rapid Car Charger, it will always receive the fastest charge possible.
The Tronsmart can simultaneously support both outputs at full-speed, with a maximum 36W available. As well as the built-in USB Type-C cable, a Micro-USB cable is included in the box. Should you want to charge an iPhone, iPad or other mobile device with a proprietary connector you’ll simply need to provide your own USB cable.
The Tronsmart slots into a standard DC 12V-24V cigarette lighter slot, and with its black, relatively compact design it won’t look out of place in most car interiors. The USB Rapid Car Charger measures 67x34x24mm and weighs 56.5g.
Read next: How to charge your phone or tablet faster
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Tronsmart USB Rapid Car Charger: Specs
- USB car charger
- 1x USB Type-A output, 1x USB Type-C output, both with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 and VoltIQ
- built-in USB Type-C cable plus 1m Micro-USB cable in the box
- 18-month warranty