JL-280-1 USB Car Charger Review
Thanks to the growth of the smartphone over the last decade, USB Car Chargers are two a penny these days. If you have a smartphone, it’s highly likely you have already bought, or you are thinking about buying a USB Car Charger, to keep your smartphone fully charged whilst on the move. The JL-280-1 from GearBest.com is an extremely cheap, yet stylish, in-car USB charger that simply plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter socket and allows you to power up to two USB devices.
If style and colour is important to you, then the JL-280-1’s variety of colours will certainly float your boat. Eight metallic-banded colour shades are available. The colours include Blue, Silver, Golden, Pink, Green, Purple, Red and Black. The band adds a dash of colour to the mostly white plastic casing, however being white, this USB charger will certainly stand out amongst the dark interiors of most vehicles.
The JL-280-1 can charge two devices simultaneously, thanks to its top-facing dual USB port design. It’s 3cm (1.5-inches) square top casing has enough width to support it with your fingers whilst pulling out any USB cables, without pulling out the whole charger entirely from the socket – a common issue that comes with much smaller low-profile USB chargers.
The whole height of the device measures 6cm (2.36-inches), which isn’t the most low-profile USB charger out there, but if you have a recess around your socket, it would help to rise the USB ports away from any recesses and improves the ability to plug in/out your USB cables. The colour band can help match your interior decor, whilst the white plastic casing may not match the main colour of your interior dashboard – unless you have a Fiat 500 with an all-white interior.
The main purpose of the JL-280-1 is to charge our USB-powered devices, so let’s take a look into that department. Input is a standard 12-24 volts, with a 5 volt output to its two 2.1 Amp and 1.0 Amp ports, both clearly labeled on the top, whilst the ports themselves light up in a blue colour – making them easy to find whilst in the dark. If you have two power hungry smartphones to charge at once, you’ll be fighting who uses the single 2.1 Amp USB port, otherwise you’ll find yourself charging via the 1.0 Amp port at a much slower speed. The 1.0 Amp port, however, supplies just enough to power for most devices, such as our Xiaomi Mijia Car DVR Camera. So if you have some less power-hungry devices, the 1.0 Amp USB port will serve you just as well.
Unfortunately, the colour option from GearBest.com is a lucky dip, so you may not get the colour band you desire – our review sample came in a not so masculine white and pink colour. If you are seeking a dual 2.1 Amp, or a 2.0/3.0 QC car charger, you will have to look elsewhere and pay the extra to obtain such a unit, however if your power demands are light, then you can’t do wrong with the JL-280-1. It costs the tiny sum of £1.07 ($1.44), with FREE shipping from GearBest.com and you will struggle to find a similar performing USB car charger anywhere else with such a great service.
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