Andy Westlake tests a charger for all your batteries

Jupio-Compact-Universal-ChargerJupio Compact Universal Charger at a glance:

  • Charges AA, AAA and Li-ion batteries
  • Low-power 0.5A USB output
  • Four plug adaptors supplied
  • 12V car adaptor included
  • Price: £29.99
  • Website: www.jupio.co.uk

If you own several cameras that use different batteries, and are fed up carrying around chargers for each, then a universal unit may be just what you need. The Jupio Compact Universal Charger (LUC0055) claims to be capable of recharging almost any 3.6V or 7.2V Li-ion power pack, using a pair of prongs that slide to align with the battery’s contacts. Alternatively, one or two AA or AAA-sized NiCd and NiMH batteries can be charged. It also has a USB socket with 0.5A output, suitable for topping up a phone or other low-power device, which can be used at the same time as charging batteries. Note, though, that this isn’t really powerful enough for larger devices such as tablets.

It’s not just the output that’s universal: the small mains adaptor has interchangeable prongs for the UK, EU, North America and Australia, and automatically switches between input voltages. A 12V in-car connector is also included, allowing you to charge almost any device, anywhere in the world.

Jupio Compact Universal Charger – key features

Indicator lamp

This lights up red when the battery is charging, and goes green when it’s done

Adjustable prongs

Use the orange-coloured sliders to line these up with your battery’s terminals. The polarity is adjusted automatically

Sliding lock

Holds the battery in place during charging. It’s released via the orange button

Jupio Compact Universal Charger – verdict

I tried the charger with an array of camera batteries and while it worked with most, it did fail with some, giving a flashing red status light rather than charging. The problem is that, like other similar products, Jupio offers no compatibility list, so there’s no way of knowing for sure before you buy whether or not your own batteries will work. However, if you find that it does work with your devices, this is a really handy charger for travel, especially if you have a camera that normally charges over USB and you want to keep a spare topped up.

SCORE: 3.5 out of 5

You may also wish to consider:

Braun_1_for_all_switch_Universal_Charger

Braun 1-For-All-Switch Universal Charger

Braun 1-For-All-Switch Universal Charger

Price: £30

Website: www.braun-phototechnik.de/en

A durable and well-made unit with a charge level indicator and USB output. The blue LCD can display charge level, charging status and battery type.

Hahnel_UniPal_Plus_Universal_Charger

Hähnel UniPal Plus Universal Charger

Hähnel UniPal Plus Universal Charger

Price: £25

Website: www.hahnel.ie

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Freeloader Camcaddy2 Universal Charger

Freeloader Camcaddy2 Universal Charger

Freeloader CamCaddy 2 Universal Charger

Price: £20

Website: www.poweryouradventures.com

This unit is powered from a USB output via a micro connector, so it’s compatible with solar cells and power banks, as well as mains power.