Xtar has a new charger on the market the X2 and X4. Today I have a review of the X2, a 2 bay 2A charger capable of charging Li-ion and Ni-MH batteries, with AC or USB Power. Thanks to Xtar for sending this to me to test and review.
Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/T2ewQ1Z
YouTube Version of this Review: https://youtu.be/MXD3-AGlmew
The packaging is a white retail box with a gloss photo of the X2 on the front. The sides list a few key features such as the charging speed, Inputs, LCD display, the chemistries and sizes of batteries that are supported. The back gives more specifications and features of the charger. It contains a scratch off anti counterfeit sticker and is insured worldwide. The package contains the charger, AC power cable, and the manual.
The Xtar X2 charger is a 2 bay charger that can accommodate most common battery sizes. I had no trouble with all 18650’s, it will fit 2x 26650, and I didn’t have any issues with an unprotected 20700. Smaller batteries were ok too, 18350, AAA, etc. It will not charge a protected 21700 battery. The metal sliders are fairly smooth and have enough tension on them to hold a battery securely.
The body of the charger is a black ABS plastic that is heat and flame retardant, and is kind of in an X configuration, in outside appearance. There isn’t a fan in this charger meaning it’s silent, and I didn’t notice it get warm during use. There is one button on the top, middle near the screen that when held turns the screen off, for night time charging if you wish.
I took some photos of the inside of the charger here. I am not a circuit engineer but to me it looks decent. Quality of the solder joints look good, A few components are not 100% squarely placed but not bad either. I don’t see any cold joints or things that I am alarmed about. If you see something you are concerned about, make sure to leave a comment.
The screen is a LCD with a dark black background and white text that’s tinted blue with a blue backlight. On each bay you get a 0-100% indicator showing what percentage the battery is at, on the top right corner you get the current voltage, below that you get the charge rate, below that in the center you get the mAh that’s been put into the cell since the start of charging, and lastly on the bottom left hand corner you get the cell chemistry that’s been detected. The screen is easy to read and I had no complaints about it. It does time out after a few minutes, you can press the button to wake it up.
My main charger for a while has been an Xtar VC4 which I really like, but the problem with it is it’s USB only input power, sometimes if charging performance isn’t what I expect I end up doing the dance of “is it the USB power supply? Or the wire, or something else?” The X2 solves that because it’s a part of Xtar’s AC series, meaning it plugs directly into the wall. You can also power it via MicroUSB if you prefer. For my tests I used the AC power source.
The charger has reverse polarity detection and didn’t charge batteries when they were placed in backwards. Battery chemistry was correctly identified, when you place a new cell in it takes a few seconds for it to go through detection and begin charging.
The charger is capable of a maximum of 2A across both bays. The left bay is capable of up to 2A under the correct conditions, and the right bay is capable of up to 1A under the correct conditions. If there is only 1 battery in the left bay and it’s a lithium ion type chemistry it will charge at 2A. If you have 2 Lithium cells they will each charge at 1A. The charger does a great job of recognizing the type of cell, my smaller 18350’s despite being lithium will charge at a slower 0.5A rate which is great for battery longevity. It detects this all on it’s own and it does this in either bay. You can also mix chemistries across the charger, 1 18650 for example in the left bay and one AA NiHM in the right, it will charge the 18650 at 1.0A and the NiHM at 0.5A.
While slower charging is safer, I would like to see the charger capable of a combined 4A across each bay, for faster charging of large batteries like 26650 and 20700’s etc.
The charger has 0V activation (Although this is generally not recommended for batteries with a Lithium chemistry). For charging it has a 3 step process TC-CC-CV with soft start technology. This helps with overall battery longevity and long term health.
- All automatic, this make the charger very easy to use but doesn’t give enthusiasts any options on what speed to charge the batteries at. Default settings are conservative, which is safe.
- AC Power via a fairly standard cable. The charger is compatible with 120/240v so it’s safe for international use. It can also be powered via MicroUSB.
- Very affordable, at US retailers it’s coming in well under $20.
- Only a combined total of 2A charging speed, while adequate, I would like to see it able to charge 2A per bay in 2019 if connected via AC.
- I would like to see the USB input be in USB-C over MicroUSB because it’s 2019.
The Xtar X2 is my current favorite 2 bay charger. I really like that it’s got dual input including AC, which makes it versatile to use whatever power source is best for you in your situation. It takes a wide variety of sizes of batteries, and the most common chemistries as well. Xtar has a good reputation around the Flashlight and Vape communities for making quality chargers at affordable prices. The X2 is no different, and continues this trend. Xtar also makes the X4 version of this charger if you want 4 bays. It offers a little faster charging depending on where you put batteries and isn’t much more expensive. Either charger would be great for anyone who is just getting into flashlights or if your just looking to upgrade to a newer/faster charger. I recommend it.