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Lifewire / Nick Jaynes
Distinctive full aluminum alloy casing
Supports two devices at once
Blue LED illumination indicates device charge level
High power output at 2.4A per port
Internals easily separate from aluminum alloy body, causing misalignment of ports
Not as low-profile as some chargers
The RAVPower’s 24W USB Car Charger is definitely chunky, appears premium, and boasts fast charging with a 2.4A output for each USB port. Unfortunately, build quality proved questionable and it may not hold up for long term use.
We purchased the RAVPower 24W USB Car Charger so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
We’ve been conditioned to believe that anything with a full aluminum alloy casing is a higher-quality and more premium product. The RAVPower 24W USB Car Charger seems to fit this stereotype with its sleek metal construction, and LED-outlined USB ports. But despite boasting 2.4A fast charging with each USB port, the affordable charger simply didn’t hold up in build quality, as the metal shell began to separate from the rest of the body during testing.
The RAVPower 24W looks and feels good coming out of the box. Its full aluminum alloy casing is cold, feeling sturdy to the touch. The charger’s top side has the brand name printed across it, and the face features the word “iSmart” in between two USB ports.
Plugging it into the 12V charge port in your car’s dashboard or center console, and the ports illuminate with blue LED lights. These lights make it easier to find the USB ports in the dark, which is a handy feature. Atop those ports is another blue LED. This one gives you an indication of your device’s charge status. Overall, we found the RAVPower to fall into the middle of the pack for overall dimensions. It’s not the most compact charger, but it’s not the bulkiest either.
The affordable charger simply didn’t hold up in build quality, as the metal shell began to separate from the rest of the body during testing.
Now, here’s where things fall short. If you accidentally tug or twist the charger while it’s plugged into the 12V socket, the alignment of the USB ports beneath the aluminium shell can shift, causing a misalignment. That means you’ll have trouble plugging in USB cables going forward and the shell may separate entirely from the internals.
The main selling point of the RAVPower 24W is its fast charging capabilities. With each individual USB port certified for 5V/2.4 A, the RAVPower can have a combined 24W output to two different devices (12W to each individual device).
Plugging it into the 12V charge port in your car’s dashboard or center console, and the ports illuminate with blue LED lights.
That’s not quite as speedy as Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, Samsung Fast Charging, or OnePlus Dash Charging which vary the voltage and amperage on a larger range, but still better than regular chargers. RAVPower claims an iPhone X can be recharged with in 2.2 hours and a Samsung Galaxy S9 can fully recharge in just 2.0 hours.
RAVPower 24W has a goes for $7.99 on Amazon, and though the price fluctuates you likely won’t see it above $10. Given the corrosion-resistant full aluminum alloy casing, its 2.4A per socket power output, and plentiful LEDs, this seems like a good deal. However, the quality shortfall is a major concern, especially when something as simple as twisting can cause a port-to-casing misalignment. That said, we were able to readjust the casing, and the ports themselves never stopped working.
The main rivals of the RAVPower 24W is the ReVolt Dual. It’s slim, well built, and has nice features like sturdy side springs. Like RAVPower, the ReVolt Dual also has illuminated ports. However, it lacks the additional USB light to indicate device charge level. The Dual will cost more ($19.99 MSRP), but we found its plastic construction to be sturdier and its charging speed to be just as fast.
The main selling point of the RAVPower 24W is its fast charging capabilities.
Another competitor to the RAVPower 24W is the Anker PowerDrive 2. It has a $14.99 list price and features what Anker calls “VoltageBoost technology” that allows devices to charge more quickly. PowerDrive 2 is made of sturdy plastic inside and out. It has no LED port illumination, but it does have a single USB power indicator light. Most distinctly of all, the PowerDrive 2 sticks out more from the car’s 12V socket than RAVPower’s 24W charger.
Premium falls flat
The RAVPower 24W USB Car Charger has nice design elements, an impressive power output, and a low price tag. But it suffers from what could be a major durability issue between the casing and the internals which make us hesitant to recommend it over other slightly more expensive options.