Does the Droid charge when plugged into the USB computer port? Does it get the same voltage as when plugged into an AC outlet? And are all mini-USB cables the same?
the droid does charge from the usb port on MOST computers. it is a slow charge (about 500mAH versus 850mAH on the oem) and if you have the screen on and any apps it may not charge since you are using all that power.
all usb devices are @ about 5v
and no not all cables are the same, you are best with oem cables but others can work you just have to make sure they do.
There have been numerous threads about non-droid charges working well and others not working well. It seems to be a crap shoot as to whether the non-droid charger will work.
The same is true with non-motorola/verizon usb cords. Some have caused real problems and others have worked fine. I've used so real cheapies from monoprice that worked fine and I've used some very nice ones that didn't work (caused screen weirdness). YMMV
I've heard of nothing actually doing any harm, just operational anomalies that went away as soon as offending cord/charger was disconnected. Again, YMMV
I'm not fully equipped to give you the technical details, but I will offer my experiences...
When I got my Droid, I didn't even bother opening the OEM charger, I used an old charger from a LG Nextel phone I had laying around. It worked for awhile, but one day, it suddenly just, stopped. It won't charge my phone at all, even though the charger still in fact works, since I'm using it to charge my bluetooth headset as I post this.
I decided to finally break out the supplied power brick + USB cable, and the phone charges fine, although, it seems my battery life has taken a slight hit. I'll probably by another one soon. As far as charging via USB; it works just fine. but you're not getting as much juice as you normally get from an outlet. I haven't experienced this on my Droid, because I have yet to try it, but in the past, I have had my phone connected to my PC while on a call, with WiFi going, and I'd get a message telling me that the current power source isn't strong enough to sustain a charge. That's not the exact message, but that was the gist of it.
The Droid uses micro usb cables. There may be physical quality differences between cables (thickness, etc) but all digital cables are built to a same spec. So all that propaganda about buying high quality cables (like Monster) is rubbish. While their physical materials and manufactured build quality may be better, there is minimal gain other than durability. And for the price the premium cables cost, you can go through 10+ of the cheap ones. I bought 2 micro USB cables off monoprice for $2 each and they work great. Also, don't confuse the weird touch screen response as a result of the cable, it is more likely caused by the power adapter (like the wall charger i mentioned above).
Last edited by Detonation; 02-09-2010 at 01:10 PM.