Ugreen 100W GaN charger review: A perfect charging solution

Ugreen 100 watts GaN gallium nitride charger with space gray Macbook, black iPhone 11, white Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, and a succulent in a pot on a black background.

Ugreen 100W GaN Charger

MSRP $62.00

“The Ugreen GaN charger offers a great value and is an utter no-brainer at this price”

Pros

  • High power and superefficient charging
  • Compact and reliable build
  • Supports latest charging standards including USB-PD 3.0 and PPS
  • Available in U.S., U.K., and EU plug configurations

Cons

  • Can fall out of the power outlet
  • Charging stops momentarily when another device is plugged in

You’re packing for a trip and are forced to take along separate chargers for literally every smartphone, camera, laptop, set of earbuds, and every other smart device you will carry with you. Isn’t that galling? If the answer is yes, then you’ll be interested to hear that on a recent family holiday, I brought along just a single multisocket fast charger — the Ugreen 100W GaN charger — to charge all of our devices while on the trip.

I will explain in this review why a simple Amazon for $62 solves all the woes related to charging, especially when you are traveling.

In today’s technology-dependent world, we are constantly juggling smart devices. Keeping them all juiced up with sufficient battery is as vital as staying up to date on social media. But while we love to enhance every facet of our lives with these devices, charging them remains to be the most painful aspect of owning and relying on them. Some smartphone and laptop brands such as OnePlus and Xiaomi have tried to address this ordeal by launching superfast proprietary charging technologies. In contrast, others like Apple and Samsung utilize non-proprietary standards like USB-PD (Power Delivery) and PPS (Programmable Power Supply) to dispense faster charging on their devices.

The Ugreen 100-watt GaN charger with a space gray Macbook, black iPhone 11, and white Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra on a black background.
Tushar Mehta/Pro Well Tech

Besides the challenge of how quickly we can charge our devices, we face the limitations of how many can we charge at once. The Ugreen 100W GaN charger addresses both of these constraints by allowing four devices to be fast-charged simultaneously. But before delving into the specifics of this capable device, let us explore what a GaN charger is and how it impacts charging.

What is a GaN charger?

Silicon is a semiconductor that is widely used in circuitry for electronic components. Silicon has been used as a semiconductor for over 60 years, and scientists believe they may soon be approaching the theoretical limit of silicon-based chips.

GaN, or gallium nitride, is a more efficient semiconductor used as an alternative to silicon. The energy gap between the valence and the conducting bands on GaN is nearly triple compared to silicon, and this gives it much electric and thermal stability at high voltage and temperatures.

Therefore, for applications with higher voltages and long duration, while silicon tends to offset a lot of heat — leading to wasted energy, GaN is an ideal replacement. GaN is also a better conductor of electricity than silicon at high voltage, which means electric current passes faster through it. These properties make GaN more desirable for chargers.

The Ugreen 100-watt GaN gallium nitride charger next to a succulent in a lamb-shaped pot on a black background.
Tushar Mehta/Pro Well Tech

GaN-based semiconductors require much smaller space to deliver the same power as silicon. This is why a standard silicon chip can be replaced with a GaN chip that is much smaller in size. As a result, GaN chargers are relatively smaller than standard chargers while being more efficient and delivering more power.

Typical GaN chargers can deliver a power output upwards of 100W, while some companies such as Oppo and Xiaomi have even achieved speeds higher than 200W. At MWC 2022, Oppo demonstrated its 240W GaN charger that can charge a 4,500mAh battery to 100% in under 10 minutes.

But despite all its benefits, GaN has one major tradeoff: The manufacturing cost tied to the complex process required to rectify its crystal defects. Therefore, the applications of GaN are limited to accessories such as chargers and have not been applied to the production of smartphones and PCs.

Build quality

Now that we have a fair understanding of a GaN charger’s advantages, let us focus on the 100W GaN charger from Ugreen. The Ugreen charger has a solid construction. Although the outer shell is made of plastic, it feels exceptionally sturdy.

The Ugreen 100W GaN gallium nitride fast charger next to a white Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra on a table with pink flowers in the foreground.
Tushar Mehta/Pro Well Tech

The Ugreen 100W GaN charger I received has a flat 3-pin plug commonly used in the UK. But the company also sells the same 100W charger with plugs used in the U.S. and Europe. Compared to the models designed for the U.S. and Europe, the U.K. version has rounder edges, but is thicker and marginally heavier. The U.S. variant weighs roughly 235 grams, while the U.K. variant weighs 245 grams. The weight feels comparable to the Apple 61W charger for my MacBook Pro 2020, and considering it replaces four charging bricks, it should only be an advantage when you are lugging it around in a backpack.

The Ugreen 100W GaN charger looks premium and feels solid.

Given its use of GaN, the Ugreen charger is reasonably compact and fits easily in the palm. Its heft does make it prone to slipping out of the power outlet, especially if you are using all four ports. This is far less problematic for the U.K. variant since the earthing pin does provide more stability in the socket.

The external shell comes in a dark gray color and feels similar to a brushed aluminum surface in terms of feel. This gives the charger a premium appearance, and it could even succeed in fooling you that it is made of metal and not plastic. Overall, the charger feels robust, and while I would not recommend doing so consciously, it should be able to withstand some moderate falls.

Supported charging standards

The top two out of the three USB Type-C ports on the charger support charging at 100W — when used individually — while the third one is limited to charging at only 22.5W. The bottom-most port, i.e., the USB Type-A port, is also limited to 22.5W. Although Ugreen endorses a 100W output from the charger, you must remember this only applies if you use the charger to charge just one device at a time.

Charging speeds on each port

The 100W power is divided among the ports when you connect two devices. The power output of the topmost port is reduced to 65W, whereas the second port is limited to 30W. The power output of the remaining two ports remains unchanged. Meanwhile, when you engage all three USB Type-C ports, the maximum output of the topmost port is further restricted to only 45W. Lastly, when all four ports are being used, the power output of all the ports from top to bottom is 45W, 30W, 10.5W, and 10.5W, respectively.

Thus, even when you engage all four ports, you can fast-charge at least two devices using this charger. In addition, the 45W output is sufficient to drive a laptop that supports charging via USB — although not to charge it very quickly.

Charging protocols supported by each port

The Ugreen charger supports USB-PD 3.0 and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ through all three USB Type-C ports. Alongside USB-PD, the charger also supports PPS — a newer standard that allows the charger to manipulate output current and voltage in micro-step, thereby resulting in more efficient use of energy and reduced waste in the form of heat. Support for PPS also means that the Ugreen charger can pump charge into flagship Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S22 Ultra, using any of the three USB Type-C ports.

The USB Type-A port at the bottom supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3, among other more common charging standards.

The Ugreen 100-watt GaN charger next to a space gray Macbook, black iPhone 11, white Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, and a succulent in a pot on a black background.
Tushar Mehta/Pro Well Tech

The wide gamut of supported charging standards means besides your laptops, smartphones, and tablets, you can also charge your smartwatches, headphones, earbuds, wireless keyboards and mice, or handheld gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Switch.

Charging times for different products

While Ugreen’s case appears compelling on the specs table, real-life performance is what matters. To test the actual caliber of the charger, I tried five different devices with it and noted the charge taken by each device in 30 minutes to establish a level playing field. These devices were left untouched during the charging period to prevent varying workloads from affecting the results.

Here are my observations on the charging performance of the Ugreen:

  • My 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 went from 1% to 48% in 30 minutes using the Ugreen charger. This is slightly more than what I got using the standard 61W charger supplied with the MacBook. Notably, the 13-inch MacBook Pro can only receive a charge at a maximum rate of 61W (you can find out your MacBook’s maximum supported power input on the bottom case near the display hinge). Therefore, the Ugreen charger’s full capability could not be utilized.
  • The Galaxy S22 Ultra went from 18% to 60% in 30 minutes and took nearly 70 minutes to complete charging. Even though the Galaxy S22 Ultra supports fast charging at 45W, the charging speed does not appear dazzling, especially when we look at brands such as OnePlus and Xiaomi that already sell phones with much faster charging.
    But Samsung is the probable culprit here, as Andy Boxall, senior mobile writer at Pro Well Tech, noted in his review of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. As seen during his review, the difference between a 25W Samsung charger and one rated for 45W is only marginal. In my testing, charging with the Ugreen charger displays “super fast charging” on the phone, while using any other charger shows only “fast charging.”
  • To test how much faster I can charge a smartphone, I used the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge — a phone that takes only 20 minutes to charge fully and comes with a 120W charger in its box. While it uses Xiaomi’s proprietary charging technology to refill the battery in less than 20 minutes, it also supports non-proprietary chargers with USB-PD at a maximum charging rate of 68W.
    During my testing, the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge went from 10% to 100% in just 24 minutes when hooked to the GaN charger. This result is nothing but spectacular.
  • In addition to these fast-charging devices, I also tested a couple of slow-charging devices. First, the iPhone 11 went from 57% to 84% in 30 minutes of charging with the Ugreen GaN charger. Since the iPhone 11 can only charge at up to 22W, all three USB Type-C ports would deliver the same performance. Not much has changed in terms of the iPhone’s charging speeds, and the newer iPhone 13 is also stuck at the same charging speed.
  • Fnally, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 was the slowest of the lot. While it is officially limited to 25W charging, it went from 42% to 66% in 30 minutes, indicating much slower charging. The foldable also got considerably hot, which may have led to slower charging.

This swift and versatile is the perfect charger for your MacBook, Dell XPS, or Galaxy S22 Ultra.

My findings for the charging tests are summed up in the table below:

DeviceMax supported charging rateChange in battery % after 30 minutes
Apple MacBook Pro 2020 (13-inch, Intel)61W47%
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra45W (PPS),
25W (USB-PD)
42%
Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge120W(proprietary tech),
68W (USB-PD)
Charging completed in 24 minutes
iPhone 1122W27%
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 325W24%

Are there any downsides?

I have a few minor gripes with the Ugreen GaN charger. First, as I mentioned above, its weight makes it prone to falling out of the power socket, especially when using the U.S. plug variant.

Secondly, when you plug in a new device, the already plugged-in devices will stop charging for a second. This is probably because the charging speeds readjust when multiple ports are engaged. I reckon this might sound like nitpicking and may not bother the majority of the users, but if it weren’t for this, I would probably give this charger a perfect score of five stars.

Lastly, you cannot fast charge phones from brands like OnePlus or Oppo that offer superfast but proprietary charging.

Availability

The Ugreen 100W GaN charger is available on Amazon for $62 (including a $6 coupon). You can also buy the U.K. plug for 60 British pounds on Amazon UK (including a 20-pound coupon). Lastly, if you are looking for EU-type plug, you can find it on Amazon Germany for 75 euros (including a 5-euro coupon).

People in Asia can also buy it on AliExpress.

Our take

The Ugreen 100W GaN charger is a compact and charming device that can easily replace four of your charging bricks. Besides being a fantastic office or bedside gadget, the Ugreen GaN charger is the definitive solution for travel and will ease your burden of carrying different chargers for different devices. Besides being the perfect charging solution to help you keep your work desk organized, the Ugreen 100W GaN charger is also ideal if you own a phone or laptop that supports non-proprietary fast charging standards such as USB-PD PPS. This is why it is also an excellent charger for your new and shiny Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra that does not come with a charger within the box.

Is there a better alternative?

If you are looking for slightly more power output while also being able to charge four devices at once, you can consider the Spigen 120W GaN charger on Amazon for $100. However, you will only get two USB Type-C ports alongside two USB Type-A ports and will also have to shell nearly $35 more for the extra power.

If you want a more affordable solution, you can check out the Spigen 100W dual USB-C charger on Amazon for $48. But here, you will only get two ports and both of them will be USB Type-C ports.

There are a few other brands selling superfast GaN chargers rated at 100W or higher on Amazon, and those are relatively more affordable than the Ugreen charger. But we cannot recommend them without testing them ourselves.

How long with it last?

Ugreen tells me that the 100W GaN charger can be plugged in 10,000 times and even contends that this is higher than the industry standard. That many charging cycles means you can easily use it for a decade, and by then, there will be a better technology that will replace it.

Should you buy it?

The Ugreen GaN charger offers a great value and is an utter no-brainer at this price. If you need a versatile charger to charge up all of your devices all at once without grappling with multiple different chargers, Ugreen’s solution is just about perfect.

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