- Jun 22, 2011
XTAR VP2 Charger
GearBest offered to send me this charger for a review and also to mend an issue I had with one of their group buys many months ago.
That said, I tried to remain neutral while reviewing the charger. If I praise it, it is because it's indeed a very good charger
They also asked me to include discount coupons to two different packages. TBH I'm not 100% sure what's the difference between them - perhaps the car charger? I think the one I got is the "full set".
Xtar VP2 2-Slot Intelligent LED Monitor Li-ion Battery Charger with Car Charger Used as Power Bank - US Plug-34.09 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com ( simple package )
Xtar VP2 2-Slot Intelligent LED Monitor Battery Charger Kit Used as Power Bank (US Plug)-37.39 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com
It came inside a "post office bag" inlined with bubble wrap (I had already cut it open when I took the picture):
Box and contents
The box looks like it took a few beatings during the journey here, but the charger was intact.
The box came with:
- US plug wall-wart
- Car plug
- Manual (in Chinese... but it's not like it needs a manual anyways)
- Another paper in Chinese
Close up of the wall-wart:
It has the usual rails to accommodate various battery sizes.
The button is used to select the charge current.
There's a switch to select the (nominal) voltage - it can charge the following batts:
- LiFePO4 (3.2V nominal, 3.6V max)
- Regular and IMR Li-ion (3.6V nominal, 4.2V max)
- The newer, higher voltage Li-ion batts (3.8V nominal, 4.35V max)
The USB connector can be used to charge smartphones and other stuff (it uses the Apple standard). It can do 1A but only works when the charger is unplugged from the outlet (i.e. using battery power).
The third plug is for the wall-wart/car plug.
How it works
1-Connect the wall-wart and plug it in.
2-Select the voltage on the back switch (the nominal voltage will be shown on the LCD, in front of all empty slots).
3-Click the top button until the current you want is shown on the LCD - it can do 0.25A, 0.5A and 1A - the current will be the same for both channels.
The LED on top of the batt will stay green before and after the charge, and red during the charge. Battery voltage will be shown on the LCD before, during and after the charge - this is *not* a pre-programmed display, but an actual voltage meter, which is pretty cool.
You can also change current during a charge by pressing the button.
You can charge different sizes at the same time, but be sure to select a current that both can handle!
I tried several sizes of regular batteries (switch on 3.6V):
- 18350 (IMR)
- 18650 (both protected and unprotected)
- 26650 (protected)
Also tried two sizes of LIFePO4 (switch on 3.2V):
The picture was taken with the charge finished.
The charger uses a CC/CV algorithm, which is the best way to charge Li-ion batts. Most Chinese chargers don't do this and will either keep charging forever (which is dangerous) or terminate early (leaving the battery not fully charged).
I monitored the voltage during the first few charges and as far as I could measure this charger's algorithm works correctly.
The voltage display seems pretty accurate, almost always within 0.02V of my DMM.
The highest voltage I measured was 4.21V - well within my DMM's and the charger's accuracy.
Most quality batts stabilize around 4.17-4.19 a few hours after the charge.
The charger and wall-wart don't heat up very much. Some batts do heat up, specially if they're crappy and charged with higher currents.
My biggest batts fit just fine:
Notice the red LED's (still charging). The bars inside the batt icons are animated.
Here's two very old *fire 16340's:
These also charged fine but the voltage dropped about 0.1V after the charge. They're really old (5 years maybe) and have been abused, and no longer hold the charge properly :/
This one is being charged with the voltage switch on 3.2V. It charged to 3.6V (which is correct) and then dropped to about 3.4V (which seems to be usual with LiFePO4 batts).
Best charger I have, by far. In fact I plan to retire 4 brandless chargers now
Feel free to ask if you guys have any questions about the charger.
Thanks go to GearBest for the opportunity :beer:
Did some research and testing and found out the Ultrafire green CR2/15270 3.0V batteries (used on the old DX-dilda) are actually LiFePO4 and can be charged using the 3.2V/0.25A setting. You'll need a spacer but it seems to work fine
This has now officially replaced all of my Li-ion chargers!
Tested it with some 4.35V batteries and it works fine. Doesn't go above 4.35V while charging and the voltage stabilizes to about 4.33V after the charge.