Xtar has a new charger on the market the X4. I previously looked at the X2 but today I have a review of the X4, the 4 bay version. It’s capable of 4A and capable of charging Li-ion and Ni-MH batteries, with AC or 5V MicroUSB Power. Thanks to Xtar for sending this to me to test and review.
Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/E6G69Ki
YouTube version of this Review:
The packaging is a white retail box with a gloss photo of the X4 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 X4 charger is a 4 bay charger that can accommodate most common battery sizes. I had no trouble with all 18650’s, it will fit 4x 26650, and I didn’t have any issues with an unprotected 21700. 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 very 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. I suspect the second contact further down the slot is used in the detection of the battery as well.
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.
Performance of the X4 is similar to the X2 but faster. The X4 will charge at up to 1A for all 4 slots or 2A on the outer slots if they are used solo. 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. Depending on the battery voltage the charger will apply the proper charge for most cells.
I tried a variety of cells, all the way from 21700’s, 26650, 18350, and of course 18650’s. I had no complaints about Lithium ion charging. It will not charge protected 21700s. I do have a little complain on NiMH charging of AAA cells though. It detected my Duracell AAA batteries here as the proper chemistry but charged them at 1A each. While not terrible, it’s faster than I like to charge them, and I can’t decrease the charge rate with this charger.
Terminating Voltage for a 18650 cell was 4.16V
Terminating Voltage for a AA NiHM was 1.42V
Terminating voltages as you can see from above were lower then what I would expect to see. I probably need a larger sample size of cells and chargers to see if this is a problem with just my example of the charger or an issue with my batteries.
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. I had no problems with excess heat during use of the charger.
USB PowerBank Function
The charger also has a powerbank function on slot 4. If no incoming power is put into the charger and you put a lithium battery into slot 4, the charger will go into powerbank mode. Plug a USB-A cable into the charger and then plug in your device to charge and it’s that simple. It’s not a feature I use often but it’s nice to have if needed.
- 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 generally 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.
- Affordable, at US retailers it’s coming around $25-30 generally
- I would like to see the USB input be in USB-C over MicroUSB because it’s 2019.
- Terminating voltages seemed to be a little low
- A little high charge rate of 1A for AAA NiHM batteries.
- A total of only 4A total charge rate is a little slow for a 4 bay charger.
The Xtar X4 is a nice updated charger from Xtar at a pretty affordable price. I have been a fan of Xtar chargers because they are a good value and provide a quality, safe charging experience. I was a fan of the X2 and am also a fan of the X4.
A total of 4A charge rate between all 4 bays is a little slow when charging 4x 18650 or larger batteries. Most larger modern batteries can easily take 2A charging speed. That said it’s an upgrade over Xtar’s previous 4 bay model the VC4 that I still end up using a fair amount. It would just be nice to see the X4 do a total of 8A but this might make it a little less easy to use with then having options to select. Maybe that’s for a future product, to offer enthusiasts more options and higher charge rates. Time will tell if this holds true or not. Until then the X4 does a nice job at a pretty affordable price.
More Information on the Xtar X4 Charger can be found at: http://www.xtar.cc/cdq/AC_Power_Series/2018/1116/292.html