Reviewing the TP-Link UP525 Fast USB Charger - Quick charge your family's gadgets

Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

We received an interesting device for testing, called TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525). As its name accurately suggests, this is a charger that allows you to simultaneously charge up to five different devices using USB cables. The manufacturing company also says that it benefits from an exclusive technology that allows it to fast charge - up to 65% faster than normal - the devices connected to it. We used the TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525) for a couple of days and we want to share our findings with you, in this review:

Unboxing TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525)

The TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525) comes in a white cardboard box, with a large glossy picture of the actual device in the middle. On the front side, you can also see the name of the device and its charging features.

On the back of the box and on its sides, you can read about the contents of the package, the charger’s specifications and its main features.

Open the box and inside you’ll find the charger tucked inside a protective matte plastic bag, sitting on top of cardboard tray. TP-Link also includes a power cable for connecting the charger to a wall socket, and two leaflets: one with the main features and specifications of the charger, and one with the European Union declaration of conformity (you’ll probably get this one only if you live somewhere in the EU).

The unboxing experience is quick and pleasant, as you would expect from such a simple device.

Hardware specifications

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The TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525) can output 5 Volts DC (Direct Current) and a maximum of 5 Amperes, and thus offers a total maximum power of 25 Watts. The maximum output available on each of the five USB ports on the charger is 2.4 Amperes.

TP-Link says that it equipped the charger with an “exclusive auto detect & smart charging technology” that charges devices such as smartphones and tablets 1.65 times faster than “normal.”

As for the electrical current input, this charger accepts a voltage that’s in the 100 - 240 Volts range. That means that, as long as you have the right plug adapter, you can use it almost everywhere in the world. The TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525) will work in countries like Japan where the voltage is usually 100V AC, in North America where the voltage used is 120V AC, as well as in Europe and most of the rest of the world where the electrical voltage is usually 230-240V AC.

However, inside the package, there’s only one power supply cable with a power plug to match the ones used in your country. If you intend to travel on different continents it may be a good idea to buy appropriate power plug adapters.

The TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525) is compact but not very small, and it’s also quite a bit heavier than we expected. Its dimensions are 3.8 x 3.8 x 1.1 inches (96.4 x 96.4 x 28.6 mm) and it weighs 6.35 ounces (180 grams).

If you’d like to see all the official features and specifications of this charger, visit its official website: TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525). On the TP-Link website, you’ll also find that the company also manufactures another similar charger, but almost twice as powerful: it’s called TP-Link 40W 5-Port USB Charger (UP540). If you have a lot of gadgets that support fast charging technologies, the 40 watts version may be a better choice for you than the 25 Watts version.

Using the TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525)

The first thing we thought of when we saw the TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525) was that it looks like a hockey puck.:) It’s a round shaped puck, with a matte finish on its circumference and a glossy top surface. The top of the charger also features a blue circle and the TP-Link brand in the middle. We expected the blue circle to light up when the device was charging the gadgets connected to it but unfortunately that wasn’t the case, as there actually are no LED lights anywhere to be found on it.

The main feature and probably the best thing about this device is the fact that it lets you charge many gadgets at the same time. To be more exact, you can charge up to five devices simultaneously, and you only have to have access to one power plug socket to do it.

It’s also worth mentioning that the power mains cable uses a common 2 pin “radio” plug to connect to the charger and it’s five feet (or 1.5 meters) long. That means that it’s long enough to go from a floor power mains to your desk, which is probably how most people will use this charger.

The TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525) has a rubbery bottom side which stops it from slipping easily on and from the surface you place it on, like your desk or your beside table.

We mentioned that this charger looks just like a hockey puck: that is both a good thing and a bad thing depending on what matters to you. Being round, the charger has all its USB slots spread in a circle array on its circumference. That’s a very good thing because there will always be enough space for any gadgets you might want to charge, regardless of how big they are or how short your USB cables are. However, the circular shape of the charger can also be bad because it means you’ll probably have wires everywhere around it and it’s going to be pretty hard to hide them all from view. In a large house or on a large desk that’s not a problem, but in a small house or on a small desk that might be annoying.

We used the TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525) to charge one, two and up to the maximum number of five devices, all at the same time. We’ve tested it with a Motorola Nexus 6 Android smartphone, a Nokia Lumia 930 smartphone running Windows 10 Mobile, a Kindle Fire HDX 7 tablet, a Kindle Wi-Fi e-book reader, and a Becker Ready 45 GPS. With one exception, TP-Link's charger was always slightly faster than the original chargers of these devices. The exception was the Motorola Nexus 6 smartphone which charges faster when using its original power charger: it takes one hour and 55 minutes to charge from 0 to 100% versus two hours and a half when using the TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525). As a final side note, we must also mention that the charger didn’t get warm even when we had all the above five devices charging on it, which is a very good thing.

The TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525) is a good solution if you’re looking for a charger that’s compact and powerful enough to charge all your family’s essential gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. You can put it on your desk, on your bedside table or in a corner of your living room and charge all your gadgets there. It’s also great for travelling and charging all the gadgets that your family is using.

Pros and Cons

There are many good things to say about the TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525):

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  • It can charge up to five different devices simultaneously
  • It benefits from a fast charging technology so it can charge most of your devices faster than a standard USB charger
  • It’s round and the USB slots are spread on its circumference which means that devices will have enough space between them
  • It can also be used as a travel charger - being able to charge five devices at the same time on a single electrical outlet is definitely useful when travelling

There are also a few things that are not so good about it:

  • There are no USB cables of any kind included in the package
  • There are no additional power plug adapters included in the package. That means that you you must buy some if you intend to use it as a travel charger and you go to countries with different electrical standards
  • The charger has no LED lights of any kind, so you don’t know if it’s working unless you look at the devices connected to it
  • It’s more expensive than other chargers with similar specifications

 

Product Rated
4/5

Verdict

The TP-Link 5-Port Fast USB Charger (UP525) is a compact device that looks good, it has a solid build quality, and modern specifications. It can fast charge up to five different devices at the same time and it needs only one connection to a mains socket. That makes it a very good choice if you are looking for a high quality charger which you can put on your desk or keep on your bedside table. It’s also a great idea if you’re looking for a charger to be used by your entire family while travelling. Although the price TP-Link asks for it is a bit higher than the market average, what you get is a solid device, built by a reputable company, that will help you say goodbye to the fights you used to have with your family members over who gets to charge their smartphone first. :)