If you want to know why many drivers have already purchased a smart battery charger, the number one reason is an increased level of safety. It is highly important to have essentials in your car in case you appear to get involved in a road accident or emergency. That’s why it is essential to opt for the best smart battery charger.
The major difference between a common and a smart one is the microprocessor control keeping track of the whole process of charging and allowing the user to be aware of all the nuances of the battery condition. This device has a sort of built-in computer enabling it to work automatically and with the smallest human supervision.
All smart battery chargers are compatible with a great diversity of electronic equipment and commonly come bundled with additional accessories including, cables, cords, and other types of connections.
Read on as you will see below, the most detailed smart battery charger reviews among which you most likely will find the one for your vehicle.
Smart Battery Charger Reviews
Battery Tender Plus 021-0128 — best smart charger for car battery
This Battery Tender is aimed to provide quick charging for your vehicle on the road. It exceeds the average charger by 3 Amperes for several reasons. Firstly, the battery is protected from reverse polarity and hence safe to use. You can monitor the battery condition by keeping track of red and green lights. Secondly, it is compatible with lead-acid, flooded, or sealed free batteries as well as capable of maintaining the required voltage without causing damage. The user doesn’t need to fret about overheating because the battery counteracts changes in ambient temperature. Finally, it switches to float charging mode once the vehicle has been fully charged.
I’d like to point out that the battery charging program consists of four stages, namely Initialization, Bulk Charge, Absorption Mode, and Float Mode. Moreover, a variety of accessories, such as alligator clips, AC/DC power cords of different length, ring terminals are included in the kit.
In short, this smart car battery charger lets the user charge their car fast and safely without undergoing risks related to overcharging or battery deterioration.
- It can be used with the battery connected to or totally removed from the motor.
- Fast battery charging.
- Very durable build quality.
- Some car users may find clips too small to clamp over the terminal.
- Should be stored when charged only.
NOCO Genius 5
If you are searching for a compact, powerful, and multifunctional charging device for your vehicle’s battery, the NOCO Genius 5 can be your perfect option. This model works with 6V and 12V batteries. It also features a universal AV input (100-240 VAC), being suitable for all types of vehicles.
In terms of multifunctionality, this unit works great as both charger and maintainer as it won’t overcharge the battery. It also has a Repair mode that allows recovering old batteries and priming new ones. The NOCO Genius smart battery charger is also fully automatic which means that no knowledge or special skills are required from the user.
One of the greatest things about this smart model is its ability to quickly recharge dead batteries that are lower than 1V.
With its highly efficient design, the charger will work great for batteries up to 120 AH. Thus, this model can be recommended for deep cycle marine and RV batteries.
There are LEDs located near the Mode button on top of the unit indicating the charging and battery status. The AC cable length measures 71.7 inches while the DC cable length measures 77.6 inches.
The box includes all the necessary accessories to ensure that the user won’t have to buy anything separately. This way, the box includes two self-tapping screws with mounting brackets, a strap, and battery clamps with integrated eyelets.
- The NOCO Genius 5 works with 12V batteries with Battery Management System.
- Thanks to the thermal compensation function, the charger maintains and charges the battery in any weather conditions.
- The unit has a Supply mode for ECU reprogramming, powering 12V devices, etc.
- The LED indicators are too dim and small.
- The charger housing is made of a poor-quality plastic.
The NOCO Genius 1 is a multipurpose smart charger for car which can work as both charger and maintainer, and has a lot of other extra features. For example, it’s equipped with a desulfation function, so it can help restore the performance of some old batteries.
This 1A model also has the ability to detect and charge dead batteries. Besides, despite providing a fully automatic work, it also offers a Force mode that allows for manual control over the charging process.
Despite offering such a wide functionality, the charger itself is very compact (3.43 x 4.02 x 6.73 inches) and can fit in the palm of your hand.
In the very center of its face panel, you will see a large, square-shaped LED indicator that helps you track the battery’s status. However, this indicator uses only two colors (red and green) to show the charging status, so you won’t be able to see the exact charge level of your battery.
Despite its small size, it contains an impressive number of LED icons on its top panel. Thus, as soon as you hook up your battery to the charger it will show the type of the battery and the result of error diagnostics (high voltage, reverse polarity, too high/low temperature, etc.). All error LEDs are flashable.
The clamps of this charger have an advanced design that fits most battery terminals and allows for easy attachment.
- Being equipped with a thermal compensation function, it helps avoid problems connected with extreme exterior temperatures.
- It has a universal input (120-240VAC, 50-60Hz).
- The charger is compatible with most types of lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries.
- The charging process is quite slow due to the limited amperage of the charger.
- It charges only small-capacity batteries (up to 30Ah).
NOCO Genius G3500 — best smart 12v battery charger
The G3500 is a fast-charging and advanced device offering the user maximum safety and versatility. The 3.5-Amp battery charger works well with different kinds of equipment (automotive, marine, lawn & garden, power sport, RV, etc.). It is UV-, spark- and water-proof, resistant to reverse polarity and overcharging, and compatible with 6-Volt and 12-Volt lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. You can safely remain it for a day because the charging technology does not let it get out of order. Another major advantage is that this device features Repair Mode in which it is able to repair uncharged batteries or prolong the battery service.
As to the design, the G3500 is super-light, compact, and portable. This tool features an anti-scratch coating to remain intact and LED indicators providing visual information on the battery charger condition.
To put it differently, with the NOCO Genius G3500, the user can expect up to 120-Amp hours of fast charging. This smart car battery charger is helpful for any driver who sticks to safe and trouble-free driving.
- The unit remembers the last setting on each charging position.
- Four charging indicator statuses.
- Comes with a male to male adapter.
- It may be difficult for the user to understand messages on the display without referring to the manual.
- A voltage gauge is absent.
- The X-Connect connector is limited to 7 Amps only.
NOCO Genius GENM2
This 8-Amp smart 12v battery charger is designed to recover and maintain lead-acid batteries with the capacity ranging between 20Ah and 120Ah. Though its primary purpose is to charge tough marine equipment, it also works perfectly for other less bulky devices. The Genius GENM2 features superior durability and can operate in harsh environments for long hours without malfunctioning. Based on the latest charging technologies, it allows the user to safely charge wet cell, gel cell, AGM and deep-cycle batteries, and monitor the charging process.
However, the most pleasing thing about it is that this tool is able to function automatically. In particular, it shuts off the power after full charging, detects potential battery problems, and optimizes itself to save energy and reach better performance. This NOCO Genius is waterproof, spark proof, and protected from overcharge and reverse polarity.
In other words, I’d recommend the NOCO Genius GENM2 for people who exploit their equipment in extreme conditions and expect an enhanced level of durability of their battery charger.
- The unit can withstand submersion up to 10 feet. Perfect for boat.
- Cords are long enough.
- Integrated battery desulfator.
- Indicator lights do not show which charge stage is in progress.
- The unit is not compatible with charging cords. It shuts down automatically just when the cord is connected.
BMK EPA1205 — best motorcycle battery charger
It is another car smart charger that saves time and energy in keeping your vehicle in full working order. The capacity range is between 12Ah and 100Ah. This implies that you can charge equipment beyond this range, but it will take more time to have it fully charged. The built-in microprocessor allows the device to work automatically by detecting the battery needs. The LED display informs the user of the charging stage.
The BMK 12V 5A fulfills multiple functions. Firstly, it minimizes energy consumption when charging is not necessary. Secondly, it adjusts the charging process in accordance with the battery feedback. At last, it is able to recondition the internal chemistry of sulfated batteries and recover their power potential.
What you should also know of this product is that it can serve as a trickle battery charger, if needed.
To put it differently, the BMK 12V 5A model is attractive in many ways. It is compatible with the highest energy saving standards, works with numerous electronics, and solidly protected from different battery charging risks.
- The unit does not get hot even after hours of hard operation.
- The user is provided with a lifetime quality warranty.
- Handles even dead batteries.
- The documentation does not clearly explain some aspects of LED lighting.
Ampeak is going to offer you the best smart charger if you value the technical characteristics peculiar to the Ampeak 2/10/25A model.
The battery charger is versatile for its ability to charge all kinds of 12V lead-acid batteries. The smart detect system informs about the battery voltage and capacity as well as defines the charge rate fit to the user’s battery. This device is user-friendly because most functions do not require the user’s assistance. It switches to float mode on its own and provides reconditioning to prolong its life service.
The user can feel safe with the advanced protection technologies integrated into the battery design. In particular, the battery operation is optimized through 6-stage charging program with the intelligent microprocessor constantly monitoring the risk of overcharge, overheating, short circuit, and other damage.
As to limits, the battery is capable of working under temperature between -4F and 104F. Likewise, you are not allowed to charge frozen or dead batteries as there is a high likelihood of irreparable charger breakdown.
In short, the Ampeak 2/10/25A can become your reliable and long-lasting helper on the road in case you stick to the correct usage.
- After reconditioning, the unit recovers its original 100% energy potential.
- Excessive exposure of the battery to sunlight impairs the battery function.
- Seems to be fragile.
How do the battery chargers function?
If you are currently in search of the best smart charger for car battery, you should be aware of how it operates. There are at least three charging stages. The first one, the so-called Bulk Charge, is aimed to give the highest voltage and amperage to a battery. The second stage called Absorption Charge starts when the battery stores 80% of energy potential. The voltage remains the same, while the amperage goes down. The remaining 20% take more time to reach full capacity. The third stage, Float Charge, starts between 85 and 95%. At this point, the voltage decreases and stops at 13.2-13.4V. The amperage also comes to a trickle point when charging reaches 100% and switches to float mode, which means that the battery is maintained at 100%-level but not overcharged. So you can safely leave the battery in Float mode for many hours.
Upsides of smart battery chargers
The best smart battery charger is supposed to have several charging modes, each meeting an individual battery type and functioning automatically. Smart battery chargers always have a built-in programmed microprocessor analyzing an ambient environment and setting performance parameters.
Two major advantages of smart battery chargers are the ability to maintain the full charge without causing damage and resistance to sulfation that usually kills the right chemistry inside a battery. All these factors allow keeping a battery in good working condition.
How does a battery maintainer differ from a smart charger?
A battery maintainer only provides a small trickle of electricity that stops self-discharge temporarily but does not prevent the eventual deterioration of a battery. Likewise, it does not protect the battery from overcharging, which may end up with an explosion.
A smart charger, in turn, never leads to overcharging but maintains the battery at the right voltage level. Besides, it does not let electrolytes and lead-plates interact and so prevents the sulfation process which is the number one reason for unused and dead batteries.