Review: The Easy-Install SnapPower Charger Adds a USB Port to Your Outlet

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,688
11,004



The SnapPower Charger, designed to make it easy to add USB ports to a wall outlet with no complicated wiring, originated on Kickstarter in 2015. It's basically an outlet replacement that features two standard sockets and an additional USB port, and it's meant to be simple enough to install in just a couple of minutes.


SnapPower is available in three colors (white, light almond, and ivory) to match different home decor. Design wise, it looks identical to a standard outlet cover, but it features a hump at the bottom that houses a USB port for charging iOS devices. There are two versions of the SnapPower, designed to fit square or round outlets, which make up most of the types of modern outlet plates in the United States.

The SnapPower works by connecting the two metal tabs at the sides of the outlet cover to the screws of the outlet, allowing for a small amount of power to be drawn into the USB port of the device.


Click here to read more...

Article Link: Review: The Easy-Install SnapPower Charger Adds a USB Port to Your Outlet
 
  • Like
Reactions: AngerDanger

Kajje

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2012
721
956
Asia
In a time there are whole enterprise wifi access points including network switches , or even whole computers, being built into wall sockets, having an in-wall USB charger is truly remarkable.
 

rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
3,226
2,434
Out of the Reach of the FBI
If you're going to take off the cover plate you might as well just remove the socket and put in a new one with USB ports capable of charging at full speed.. They are about the same price and will require 2 more screws and 5 minutes. Don't see any point in this
I recently moved into my new house, and I did exactly that. I bought 5 outlets with two USB ports in them, and installed them in strategic locations through the house.

However, these guys, SnapPower make another great product that I have installed in several locations throughout my place, which gives me LED night lights:

https://www.snappower.com/select-guidelight/
 
  • Like
Reactions: iceknyght

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,075
955
Wherever my feet take me…
I recently moved into my new house, and I did exactly that. I bought 5 outlets with two USB ports in them, and installed them in strategic locations through the house.

However, these guys, SnapPower make another great product that I have installed in several locations throughout my place, which gives me LED night lights:

https://www.snappower.com/select-guidelight/
The guidelight looks good, especially for kids' bedrooms where they're afraid of the dark.

While this looks more complicated, looks like it provides higher power and has 2 USB ports:

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/PWR2U20ATRW/
 

rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
3,226
2,434
Out of the Reach of the FBI
The guidelight looks good, especially for kids' bedrooms where they're afraid of the dark.

While this looks more complicated, looks like it provides higher power and has 2 USB ports:

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/PWR2U20ATRW/
I bought a couple of those a few years ago. Not a great experience. First of all, it took over a year to get them, because after I ordered them they informed me that they were having issues getting them approved by government safety agencies. Then once I did get them they were unreliable (one arrived in non-working condition and had to be replaced) and they didn't put out enough power at the time to charge my iPad. Eventually they both just stopped working.

This time I bought a set of five of these:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZQ3MRMU/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

They work great!

I put the Guidelight in my upstairs hall, master bathroom and a couple of other places where you might want to walk around at night without turning on lights. Very handy, indeed.
 
Last edited:

snebes

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2008
788
512
If you're going to take off the cover plate you might as well just remove the socket and put in a new one with USB ports capable of charging at full speed.. They are about the same price and will require 2 more screws and 5 minutes. Don't see any point in this
I'd prefer the "sideways" USB sockets to keep a low profile. Still not happy with this product--too low power. Although lamps with built in USB chargers are a better use case for me.

We have one USB outlet in the kitchen but elsewhere it doesn't make sense.
 

rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
3,226
2,434
Out of the Reach of the FBI
I just installed that same model a couple weeks ago. Works great.

I can understand someone who is a bit worried about messing with electrical wires going with one like in the article though.
Yep. I agree. Even though it's as easy as throwing the breaker some people still kind of freak about it. Fortunately, I'm not one of those people. ;-)

I replaced every switch and outlet in my house when I took possession of it. Changed everything from standard to Decora, replaced almost all of my light switches with Lutron Caseta HomeKit compatibles, and replaced every wallplate except for the five I put the Guidelights on with Lutron Claro hidden screw wallplates.
 

noone

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2006
138
57
Although lamps with built in USB chargers are a better use case for me.
These seem right up your alley then: Amazon Link

I don't have any, so I can't say how well they work, but I'm considering getting a few for our guest bedroom where the outlets aren't so conveniently located.
 

TypeEE

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2009
70
14
I have snappower and one big huge CON that this review didn't mention is the loud hiss sound you hear when your phone plugged into it. It's fine during the day time when there are other noise. At night, it's very annoying.




The SnapPower Charger, designed to make it easy to add USB ports to a wall outlet with no complicated wiring, originated on Kickstarter in 2015. It's basically an outlet replacement that features two standard sockets and an additional USB port, and it's meant to be simple enough to install in just a couple of minutes.


SnapPower is available in three colors (white, light almond, and ivory) to match different home decor. Design wise, it looks identical to a standard outlet cover, but it features a hump at the bottom that houses a USB port for charging iOS devices. There are two versions of the SnapPower, designed to fit square or round outlets, which make up most of the types of modern outlet plates in the United States.

The SnapPower works by connecting the two metal tabs at the sides of the outlet cover to the screws of the outlet, allowing for a small amount of power to be drawn into the USB port of the device.


Click here to read more...

Article Link: Review: The Easy-Install SnapPower Charger Adds a USB Port to Your Outlet
 

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,655
3,328
California
I have snappower and one big huge CON that this review didn't mention is the loud hiss sound you hear when your phone plugged into it. It's fine during the day time when there are other noise. At night, it's very annoying.
Hmm, I didn't hear this from either of my outlets.
 

dyt1983

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2014
1,359
152
USA USA USA
One caveat -- I had an outlet that had been installed by an electrician upside down. The SnapPower still worked, but I had to install it upside down as well to get the contacts to line up properly to power the USB port. ]
Believe it or don't, the "proper" way per NECA standards is for NEMA 5-15R outlets to be installed with the grounding pin at the top or neutral prong if installed sideways. That's why an ELECTRICIAN installed it that way.

(I obtained the master electrician certification in two states so I could legally do the wiring in the new construction on my houses.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: bnvnsn

shareef777

Suspended
Jul 26, 2005
2,445
3,272
Chicago, IL
If you're going to take off the cover plate you might as well just remove the socket and put in a new one with USB ports capable of charging at full speed.. They are about the same price and will require 2 more screws and 5 minutes. Don't see any point in this
Thank you! At that price point, there's no point to this. Installing a regular 2 outlet box with 2 full charge USB ports not only looks better, but it will be safer as well.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,190
9,358
Florida, USA
Believe it or don't, the "proper" way per NECA standards is for NEMA 5-15R outlets to be installed with the grounding pin at the top or neutral prong if installed sideways. That's why an ELECTRICIAN installed it that way.

(I obtained the master electrician certification in two states so I could legally do the wiring in the new construction on my houses.)
This is actually true. Case in point: My refrigerator has a plug with a cable that hangs down neatly from the outlet if the ground pin is on top. If it's on the bottom, the cable loops around.

I actually turned that outlet around because I didn't want the refrigerator becoming unplugged because the cable was pulling at an awkward angle.
 

JoeCan

macrumors newbie
Jun 30, 2012
3
0
FWIW, the reason some electricians install outlets "upside down", particularly with outlets at lower height, is for safety. When something is plugged into an outlet installed normally and the plug comes out of the outlet a bit, if something happens to fall down the wall and come in contact with the plug it can cause a safety hazard. This is especially concerning when you have kids crawling around.

When a North American plug is installed "upside down" the ground prevents anything from falling down and making a connection with the hot connections of the plug.

You don't get the nice eyes & nose effect, but it's a little bit safer.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
49,875
18,367
FWIW, the reason some electricians install outlets "upside down", particularly with outlets at lower height, is for safety. When something is plugged into an outlet installed normally and the plug comes out of the outlet a bit, if something happens to fall down the wall and come in contact with the plug it can cause a safety hazard. This is especially concerning when you have kids crawling around.

When a North American plug is installed "upside down" the ground prevents anything from falling down and making a connection with the hot connections of the plug.

You don't get the nice eyes & nose effect, but it's a little bit safer.
I think most of the times that I've seen "upside down" outlets they were ones that were controlled by a switch (like a light switch) and basically the "upside down" installation was to essentially indicate that.
 

JoeCan

macrumors newbie
Jun 30, 2012
3
0
I think most of the times that I've seen "upside down" outlets they were ones that were controlled by a switch (like a light switch) and basically the "upside down" installation was to essentially indicate that.
Weird. Anytime I install switched plugs I split single plugs so one is switched one isn't. Unless it's for a specific purpose, or a customer doesn't want a lot of plugs in the room I'd never do it any other way. YMMV.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.