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Charge-Check is a tiny $30 box that supposedly adds years to a phone’s lifespan

Published May 31st, 2023 12:32PM EDT
Charge-Check battery health gadget surrounded by battery-powered devices.
Image: Lava

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The battery remains one of the most problematic smartphone components, regardless of whether it’s an iPhone or an Android device. We worry about battery life constantly despite upgrades in capacity and charging speeds. And battery life degrades over the years, which can be problematic if you intend to keep your phone for more than two years. But a tiny box called Charge-Check might be here to save the day.

The $30 device sits between the power adapter and the smartphone to ensure that your device never reaches 100% capacity. By preventing the battery from ever reaching full capacity, the Charge-Check should dramatically improve battery health and longevity.

Devised by Lava, Charge-Check is a tiny white box that features microUSB and USB-A connectivity. These are not the most current ports you could ask for, considering that most devices use USB-C. That just means you’ll need older cables to use Charge-Check with your devices.

Moreover, the top charging speed using Charge-Check sits at around 18W. That is a lot lower than what some Android devices can offer. As for iPhones, the latest models support up to 20W wired charging, although the speed is actually close to 30W in practice with the right equipment.

Lava relies on a technology called Continuously Active Battery Modulation (CABM) tech that monitors the charge of the handset. When it detects that a battery is almost fully charged, Charge-Check will stop the flow of power. It’s as if you removed the charging cable from the phone.

The gadget will then let the phone battery discharge as it normally would. Battery levels should sit at around 50% to 60% so the battery health doesn’t suffer. That can’t happen if you leave your phone recharging overnight.

iPhones support optimized battery charging, which stops charging when the battery capacity reaches 80%. I’ve had it enabled on my iPhone since Apple introduced the feature. And since switching to the iPhone 14 Pro, I rarely recharge the handset overnight. Most of the time, it’s during the day. And it rarely reaches a 100% charge.

Similarly, Android phones have battery charging protections in place that you can take advantage of.

But other devices could benefit from the Charge-Check technology. The gadget costs just $29.99, with Lava claiming it’ll help you reduce e-waste, lower your electricity bill, and extend the life of your battery-powered products.

That sounds exciting, and it’s hopefully true. The only way to check whether the claim is real is to do a multi-year experiment where you take two identical devices and charge them differently. You’d use your current charging habits with one and then place a Charge-Check device on the other.

Assuming you don’t mind carrying another dongle with you and worrying about old cables that predate USB-C, you can purchase Charge-Check at this link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.