iClever 4-Port Car Charger Review:

Charges pretty much anything you have a need for…times four!

Photo_3I’ve fallen in love with hardware before, so I recognize the symptoms. If I catch myself finding excuses to use a particular piece of tech despite the breakaway from my routine, I’ll tell myself to take things slow. If genuine affection springs from the added convenience and utility, I’ll introduce the new device to my current collection of essentials. True love for a piece of technology is finally achieved when it reaches invisibility, or the complete integration of the new device into a new routine. As an example, my smartphone of choice is the iPhone 6 Plus, but at this point I don’t really call it that. It has become “my phone”. I don’t have a nice desktop PC with a speedy graphics card and solid-state hard drives. I have “my PC”. By beginning this review in such a manner, I hope you’ll now understand the importance of my next sentence:

This review is all about my car charger.

Photo_2The manufacturer claims that this charger is able to charge four devices at one time (at 2.4 amps per device) from a single standard vehicle DC 12V port. I was skeptical, but kept my expectations as open as possible and plugged in several devices for a real world road trip test. I ended up plugging in a 3rd generation iPad, a NVIDIA Shield Portable, an iPhone 6, and an iPhone 6 Plus. Each of the devices were at 50% or lower when my car was started.

Now in my experiences with car chargers, the less reliable multi-chargers will have a recommended “warm-up” period where each plug will eventually begin charging the inserted devices. Some other chargers will also only charge a higher-amp device like a tablet when no other USB ports are in use. The very worst knock-off chargers will cause a smart device to throw up an “unsupported device” or and under/over-voltage warning and get really hot when attempting to charge. I was happy to see that each device responded to the available power immediately and without any warnings or delays. The charger itself didn’t even seem to get very warm during the entire trip, which was just over two hours round trip.

Photo_4The results of my charging test were impressive: the two phones reached a near-full charge even while they were in use, the iPad gained about 30% while sitting idle, and the Shield came in last with a 21% charge. I should mention that the NVIDIA Shield is a slow-charging beast anyway, even with its own included AC adapter.

This compact charger is built with a single silver-colored strip as a basic ornamentation. I agree with the manufacturer’s decision to choose a simple clean aesthetic that allows easy access to all four USB ports and easy insertion of the charger into practically any vehicle 12V port. The plastic portions of the charger felt nice and sturdy and easily took the small weight of four USB cables without coming loose from the vehicle port or creaking.

Photo_1iClever has done some good work here by delivering a stable charging solution for practically whatever mobile device one would need to take on the road. My only concern is the long-term longevity of the device, since car chargers (even the higher end ones) seem to bite the dust after six months or so of use. If misfortune should befall my review unit, then I’ll update this review, but I am not worried. This device has performed very well and I am looking forward to the next road trip already.