XTAR VC2L Charger Review

Wurkkos

TimMc

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
28
Location
Melbourne, Australia
XTAR VC2L Charger Review

The charger came packed inside a retail box with a hang tag so that it can easily be displayed in a store. There's a clear photo of the charger on the front of the box, cell compatibility on the side, and specifications on the back. The photo appears to be about 80% of the actual size of the charger.

The box felt smooth and strong to hold. The photo and logo felt smooth and slightly raised.

iSwvwSF.jpg
2PNYQXu.jpg
8wcPVyA.jpg
NbTYG08.jpg


I pulled two cardboard tabs to reveal that the hang tag is also a handle for a plastic shell inside the box.

The plastic shell pulled out like a drawer to reveal:
  • XTAR VC2L Charger
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Manual
ap765Lr.jpg


EpqLadC.jpg
uYic0XN.jpg

eQSWc1S.jpg
1dCxQiI.jpg

AEkKf9y.jpg



XTAR included an anti-counterfeit sticker on the box where a unique code can be checked online on www.xtar.cc.


XTAR VC2L specifications

Model​
VC2L​
Input​
5V⎓2.1A​
Constant Current​
4.2V⎓2Ax1 / 1Ax2 / 0.5Ax2
1.45V⎓2Ax1 / 1Ax2 / 0.5Ax2​
Cut-Off Voltage​
4.2±0.05V​
Cut-Off Current​
4.2⩽150mA​
Operating Temperature​
0-40℃​

Default charging current values:
Charging Current Level​
Battery Type​
Qty​
2A​
Li-ion​
1pc​
1A​
Li-ion​
2pcs​
0.5A​
Ni-MH/Ni-CD​
1pc​
0.5A​
Ni-MH/Ni-CD​
2pcs​

Cells:
Cell Type​
Sizes​
3.6V/3.7V Li-ion/IMR/INR/ICR​
10440 / 14500 / 14650 / 16340 / 17335 / 17500 / 17670 / 18350 / 18490 / 18500 / 18650 / 18700 / 20700 / 21700 / 22650 / 25500 / 26650​
1.2V Ni-MH/Ni-CD​
AAAA / AAA / AA / A / SC / C / D batteries.​


Physical dimensions

I took the following measurements myself with some calipers:
Item​
Measurement​
Charger height​
33.6mm​
Charger width​
67.8mm​
Charger length​
136.8mm​
Shortest cell length​
31.2mm​
Longest cell length​
78.2mm​


Manual

The manual has been printed on a sheet of glossy paper and folded into sections with eleven languages.

7dg5ox8.jpg
rQcRoiP.jpg

n19rqUF.jpg
RGnv244.jpg



Initial thoughts

The display is easy to read. It shows the manually selected charging current, voltage and capacity. The tachometer-style screen looks cool but I'd rather see larger numbers for the charging current and voltage.

I was surprised to find that the charging current can be selected by pressing the button. This isn't mentioned on the retail packaging or on the www.xtar.cc website (at the time of reviewing). But it is mentioned in the manual. While charging one cell, the button cycles through 2.0 > 1.0 > 0.5 > 2.0 A. While charging two cells, the button cycles through 1.0 > 0.5 > 1.0 A. It would be nice if the charger let you manually cycle through 0.2 > 0.5 > 1.0 > 1.5 > 2.0 A.

Charging current on the display doesn't appear to reflect the actual charging current. A USB Meter may show an input voltage and current of 5 V and 0.4 A but the charger shows 2.0 A on the display. When you insert two Li-ion cells it shows 1.0 A instead of 2.0 A. Based on my observations, I assume that the charging current shown is the maximum charging current that the charger may apply but this may not be close to the actual charging current (e.g. 2.0 A may be displayed while actual charging current is 0.4 A).

I'm not comfortable with charging small cells (e.g. 10440) in this charger because the current selection only goes down to 0.5 A. I'd prefer to use a lower charging current (e.g. 0.2 A) for small cells so that I don't exceed the cell manufacturers maximum continuous charging current.


Power supply

The charger doesn't come with a power supply. 5 V 2.1 A input is recommended via the USB-C port.

The following power supplies worked successfully:
Power supply​
USB-C to USB-C​
USB-A to USB-C​
Start with Li-on cell already inserted​
Google Pixel USB-C PD​
Yes​
N/A​
No​
Laptop USB-C PD​
Yes​
N/A​
No​
Laptop USB 3.1​
N/A​
Yes​
Yes​
Netgear 5V 2.0A​
N/A​
Yes​
Yes​
XTAR PB2C​
N/A​
Yes​
Yes​
XTAR PB2S​
Yes​
Yes​
Yes​

The charger didn't power on when I had a Li-ion cell already inserted and I connected a USB-C PD power supply. I had to remove the Li-ion cell first to get the charger to power on.


Charging

I attached a USB Meter and noted down my observations while charging various cells. This testing methodology isn't professional and it won't show the actual current and voltage applied to each individual cell.


Cells that I charged:
Cell Type​
Sizes​
3.7V Li-ion​
10440 / 14500 / 16340 / 18350 / 18650 / 21700​
1.2V Ni-MH​
AAA / AA​

The initial and final cell voltages were measured using a digital multimeter.

Power supply: Google Pixel USB-C PD
USB Meter: Ruideng TC66
Digital Multimeter: UNI-T UT139C
Room temperature: 19.0 to 24.0 C


Charging two 10440 Li-ion cells (Vapcell INR10440 320 mAh)
kcWX7f3.jpg

Time​
Charger​
Cell​
USB Meter current​
USB Meter voltage​
VC2L current​
VC2L voltage 1​
VC2L capacity 1​
VC2L voltage 2​
VC2L capacity 2​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Vapcell INR10440​
1.866 A​
5.027 V​
1.0 A​
4.1 V​
4 mAh​
3.8 V​
2 mAh​
00:03​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Vapcell INR10440​
0.891 A​
5.068 V​
0.5 A​
4.1 V​
4 mAh​
3.8 V​
2 mAh​
00:20​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Vapcell INR10440​
0.945 A​
5.061 V​
0.5 A​
4.1 V​
150 mAh​
4.1 V​
147 mAh​
00:30​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Vapcell INR10440​
0.983 A​
5.045 V​
0.5 A​
4.15 V​
232 mAh​
4.2 V​
229 mAh​
00:40​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Vapcell INR10440​
0.381 A​
5.058 V​
0.5 A​
4.2 V​
278 mAh​
4.2 V​
271 mAh​
00:43​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Vapcell INR10440​
0.052 A​
5.070 V​
0.5 A​
4.2 V​
283 mAh​
4.2 V​
274 mAh​
00:43​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Vapcell INR10440​
0.052 A​
5.070 V​
0.5 A​
4.2 V​
FULL​
4.2 V​
FULL​

Initial voltage 1: 3.343 V
Final voltage 1: 4.137 V
VC2L capacity 1: 283 mAh

Initial voltage 2: 3.341 V
Final voltage 2: 4.168 V
VC2L capacity 2: 274 mAh

I pressed the button once to drop the charging current down to 0.5 A. However, the USB Meter showed 5.068 V 0.891 A. Each slot may have been getting approximately 0.5 A.


Charging a 14500 Li-ion cell (Vapcell H10 14500 1000 mAh)
7W0ZEsn.jpg

Time​
Charger​
Cell​
USB Meter current​
USB Meter voltage​
VC2L current​
VC2L voltage 1​
VC2L capacity 1​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell H10 14500​
1.624 A​
5.074 V​
2.0 A​
3.5 V​
0 mAh​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell H10 14500​
0.425 A​
5.072 V​
0.5 A​
3.5 V​
3 mAh​
00:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell H10 14500​
0.464 A​
5.064 V​
0.5 A​
3.5 V​
227 mAh​
01:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell H10 14500​
0.491 A​
5.058 V​
0.5 A​
4.1 V​
452 mAh​
01:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell H10 14500​
0.503 A​
5.054 V​
0.5 A​
4.2 V​
675 mAh​
02:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell H10 14500​
0.052 A​
5.077 V​
0.5 A​
4.2 V​
792 mAh​
02:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell H10 14500​
0.052 A​
5.077 V​
0.5 A​
4.2 V​
FULL​

Initial voltage 1: 3.024 V
Final voltage 1: 4.174 V
VC2L capacity 1: 792 mAh

I pressed the button twice to drop the charging current down to 0.5 A at the start of the charge.


Charging a 16340 Li-ion cell (Sofirn 16340 800 mAh) attempt 1
AE83GWQ.jpg

Time​
Charger​
Cell​
USB Meter current​
USB Meter voltage​
VC2L current​
VC2L voltage 1​
VC2L capacity 1​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
1.781 A​
5.050 V​
2.0 A​
4.1 V​
3 mAh​
00:01​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
0.486 A​
5.056 V​
0.5 A​
4.15 V​
20 mAh​
00:07​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
0.486 A​
5.056 V​
0.5 A​
4.2 V​
FULL​

Initial voltage 1: 3.209 V
Final voltage 1: 3.467 V
VC2L capacity 1: FULL

Uh, oh! I incorrectly assumed that the charger automatically selected an appropriate current. This charger requires the user to manually select the charging current.

The charger defaulted to 2.0 A as the charging current when one 16340 Li-ion cell was inserted. The manufacturer's recommended maximum continuous charging current for this 16340 Li-ion cell is 0.75 A. I pressed the button twice to drop the charging current down to 0.5 A.

Charging stopped unexpectedly at 7 minutes. The VC2L displayed FULL. I removed the cell and measured the voltage with a digital multimeter. It read 3.467 V. Perhaps the internal resistance went too high due to the initial 2.0 A charging current for a minute.


Charging a 16340 Li-ion cell (Sofirn 16340 800 mAh) attempt 2
t5d7tNq.jpg

Time​
Charger​
Cell​
USB Meter current​
USB Meter voltage​
VC2L current​
VC2L voltage 1​
VC2L capacity 1​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
1.769 A​
5.049 V​
2.0 A​
3.8 V​
0 mAh​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
0.451 A​
5.058 V​
0.5 A​
3.8 V​
0 mAh​
00:05​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
0.462 A​
5.061 V​
0.5 A​
3.8 V​
38 mAh​
00:10​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
0.469 A​
5.059 V​
0.5 A​
3.8 V​
76 mAh​
00:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
0.474 A​
5.058 V​
0.5 A​
3.8 V​
223 mAh​
01:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
0.497 A​
5.049 V​
0.5 A​
4.15 V​
472 mAh​
01:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
0.218 A​
5.070 V​
0.5 A​
4.2 V​
638 mAh​
01:40​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
0.052 A​
5.074 V​
0.5 A​
4.2 V​
644 mAh​
01:40​
XTAR VC2L​
Sofirn 16340​
0.052 A​
5.074 V​
0.5 A​
4.2 V​
FULL​

Initial voltage 1: 3.277 V
Final voltage 1: 4.180 V
VC2L capacity 1: 644 mAh

This time I quickly pressed the button twice to select a charging current of 0.5 A after inserting the cell while the charger was powered on.

Post 1 of 3
 
Last edited:

TimMc

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
28
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Post 2 of 3

Charging an 18350 Li-ion cell (Vapcell F14 18350 1400 mAh)
BjdcU3h.jpg

Time​
Charger​
Cell​
USB Meter current​
USB Meter voltage​
VC2L current​
VC2L voltage 1​
VC2L capacity 1​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell F14 18350​
1.667 A​
4.955 V​
2.0 A​
3.0 V​
1 mAh​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell F14 18350​
0.865 A​
5.032 V​
1.0 A​
3.0 V​
3 mAh​
00:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell F14 18350​
0.962 A​
5.016 V​
1.0 A​
4.1 V​
502 mAh​
01:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell F14 18350​
0.851 A​
5.029 V​
1.0 A​
4.2 V​
1019 mAh​
01:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell F14 18350​
0.311 A​
5.064 V​
1.0 A​
4.2 V​
1255 mAh​
02:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell F14 18350​
0.052 A​
5.076 V​
1.0 A​
4.2 V​
1299 mAh​
02:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Vapcell F14 18350​
0.052 A​
5.076 V​
1.0 A​
4.2 V​
FULL​

Initial voltage 1: 2.932 V
Final voltage 1: 4.163 V
VC2L capacity 1: 1299 mAh

I pressed the button once to drop the charging current down to 1.0 A at the start of the charge.


Charging two 18650 Li-ion cells (Murata US18650VTC6 3000 mAh)
f7OtVOS.jpg

Time​
Charger​
Cell​
USB Meter current​
USB Meter voltage​
VC2L current​
VC2L voltage 1​
VC2L capacity 1​
VC2L voltage 2​
VC2L capacity 2​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
1.633 A​
5.065 V​
1.0 A​
0 V​
1 mAh​
0 V​
1 mAh​
00:10​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
1.769 A​
5.033 V​
1.0 A​
3.5 V​
175 mAh​
3.5 V​
175 mAh​
00:30​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
1.807 A​
5.024 V​
1.0 A​
3.5 V​
501 mAh​
3.5 V​
500 mAh​
01:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
1.870 A​
5.014 V​
1.0 A​
3.8 V​
1001 mAh​
3.8 V​
1001 mAh​
02:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
1.972 A​
5.004 V​
1.0 A​
4.15 V​
2005 mAh​
4.15 V​
2005 mAh​
02:30​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
1.666 A​
5.050 V​
1.0 A​
4.2 V​
2498 mAh​
4.2 V​
2472 mAh​
03:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
0.669 A​
5.024 V​
1.0 A​
4.2 V​
2791 mAh​
4.2 V​
2766 mAh​
03:10​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
0.262 A​
5.068 V​
1.0 A​
4.2 V​
2818 mAh​
4.2 V​
2812 mAh​
03:10​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
0.263 A​
5.068 V​
1.0 A​
4.2 V​
FULL​
4.2 V​
2812 mAh​
03:18​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
0.052 A​
5.073 V​
1.0 A​
4.2 V​
2818​
4.2 V​
2826 mAh​
03:18​
XTAR VC2L​
2x Murata US18650VTC6​
0.052 A​
5.073 V​
1.0 A​
4.2 V​
FULL​
4.2 V​
FULL​

Initial voltage 1: 2.909 V
Final voltage 1: 4.189 V
VC2L capacity 1: 2818 mAh

Initial voltage 2: 2.904 V
Final voltage 2: 4.178 V
VC2L capacity 2: 2826 mAh


Charging a 21700 Li-ion cell (Samsung INR21700 40T 4000 mAh)
L2d693t.jpg

Time​
Charger​
Cell​
USB Meter current​
USB Meter voltage​
VC2L current​
VC2L voltage 1​
VC2L capacity 1​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
0.147 A​
5.077 V​
2.0 A​
0 V​
0 mAh​
00:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
1.728 A​
5.036 V​
2.0 A​
3.8 V​
845 mAh​
01:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
1.863 A​
5.026 V​
2.0 A​
4.1 V​
1863 mAh​
01:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
1.902 A​
4.992 V​
2.0 A​
4.2 V​
2875 mAh​
02:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
0.874 A​
5.051 V​
2.0 A​
4.2 V​
3557 mAh​
02:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
0.398 A​
5.058 V​
2.0 A​
4.2 V​
3888 mAh​
02:47​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
0.052 A​
5.073 V​
2.0 A​
4.2 V​
3929 mAh​
02:47​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
0.052 A​
5.073 V​
2.0 A​
4.2 V​
FULL​
03:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
0.052 A​
5.074 V​
2.0 A​
4.2 V​
3929 mAh​
03:00​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
0.052 A​
5.074 V​
2.0 A​
4.2 V​
FULL​
03:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
0.053 A​
5.076 V​
2.0 A​
4.2 V​
3929 mAh​
03:30​
XTAR VC2L​
Samsung 21700 40T​
0.052 A​
5.076 V​
2.0 A​
4.2 V​
FULL​

Initial voltage 1: 2.703 V
Final voltage 1: 4.191 V
VC2L capacity 1: 3929 mAh


Charging a AAA Ni-MH cell (eneloop AAA 750 mAh)
1SYoR2g.jpg

Time​
Charger​
Cell​
USB Meter current​
USB Meter voltage​
VC2L current​
VC2L voltage 1​
VC2L capacity 1​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
eneloop AAA​
0.105 A​
5.080 V​
2.0 A​
0 V​
0 mAh​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
eneloop AAA​
0.105 A​
5.080 V​
1.0 A​
0 V​
0 mAh​
00:01​
XTAR VC2L​
eneloop AAA​
0.105 A​
5.080 V​
0.5 A​
0 V​
2 mAh​
00:07​
XTAR VC2L​
eneloop AAA​
0.254 A​
5.076 V​
0.5 A​
1.3 V​
20 mAh​
00:30​
XTAR VC2L​
eneloop AAA​
0.207 A​
5.074 V​
0.5 A​
1.45 V​
150 mAh​
01:00​
XTAR VC2L​
eneloop AAA​
0.259 A​
5.074 V​
0.5 A​
1.45 V​
319 mAh​
01:30​
XTAR VC2L​
eneloop AAA​
0.262 A​
5.073 V​
0.5 A​
1.5 V​
488 mAh​
02:00​
XTAR VC2L​
eneloop AAA​
0.274 A​
5.073 V​
0.5 A​
1.5 V​
659 mAh​
02:15​
XTAR VC2L​
eneloop AAA​
0.053 A​
5.075 V​
0.5 A​
1.5 V​
726 mAh​
02:15​
XTAR VC2L​
eneloop AAA​
0.053 A​
5.075 V​
0.5 A​
1.5 V​
FULL​

Initial voltage 1: 1.19 V
Final voltage 1: 1.482 V
VC2L capacity 1: 726 mAh

I pressed the button twice to drop the charging current down to 0.5 A. Ni-MH was displayed instead of Li-ion.


Charging two AA Ni-MH cells (eneloop pro AA BK-3HCCE 2450 mAh)
4fzZ0Ig.jpg

Time​
Charger​
Cell​
USB Meter current​
USB Meter voltage​
VC2L current​
VC2L voltage 1​
VC2L capacity 1​
VC2L voltage 2​
VC2L capacity 2​
00:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.160 A​
5.080 V​
1.0 A​
0 V​
0 mAh​
0 V​
0 mAh​
00:10​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.190 A​
5.072 V​
0.5 A​
1.3 V​
39 mAh​
1.3 V​
39 mAh​
00:30​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.463 A​
5.065 V​
0.5 A​
1.3 V​
149 mAh​
1.3 V​
149 mAh​
01:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.464 A​
5.064 V​
0.5 A​
1.45 V​
325 mAh​
1.45 V​
323 mAh​
02:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.471 A​
5.064 V​
0.5 A​
1.45 V​
662 mAh​
1.45 V​
659 mAh​
03:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.370 A​
5.064 V​
0.5 A​
1.45 V​
1007 mAh​
1.45 V​
1001 mAh​
04:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.211 A​
5.069 V​
0.5 A​
1.45 V​
1346 mAh​
1.45 V​
1339 mAh​
05:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.212 A​
5.063 V​
0.5 A​
1.5 V​
1684 mAh​
1.5 V​
1677 mAh​
06:00​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.446 A​
5.059 V​
0.5 A​
1.55 V​
2012 mAh​
1.55 V​
2005 mAh​
06:20​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.053 A​
5.069 V​
1.0 A​
1.55 V​
2268 mAh​
1.55 V​
2257 mAh​
06:20​
XTAR VC2L​
2x eneloop pro AA​
0.054 A​
5.069 V​
1.0 A​
1.55 V​
FULL​
1.55 V​
FULL​

Initial voltage 1: 1.199 V
Final voltage 1: 1.464 V
VC2L capacity 1: 2268 mAh

Initial voltage 2: 1.198 V
Final voltage 2: 1.468 V
VC2L capacity 2: 2257 mAh

I didn't press the button but the charging current dropped from 1.0 A to 0.5 A. At six hours into the charge I pressed the button to increase the charging current to 1.0 A.
 

TimMc

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
28
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Post 3 of 3
Summary

The charge terminates at approximately 4.20 V for Li-ion cells and approximately 1.50 V for Ni-MH cells.

The capacity displayed approximately matches the advertised cell capacity when a Li-ion cell is initially discharged to around 2.7 V, or a Ni-MH cell is initially discharged to around 1.19 V.

It would be nice if 0.2 A could be selected as a charging current for 10440 Li-ion cells. 0.5 A is too high for 10440 Li-ion cells.

10440 cells with a slightly recessed negative terminal due to insulation (wrap) are difficult to position in the VC2L so that they charge. eneloop AAA Ni-MH cells fit easily by placing them at the bottom of a slot but 10440 cells may need to be carefully positioned toward the top of a slot.

The charger doesn't power on when a Li-ion cell is inserted and a USB-C PD power supply is connected. The cell needs to be removed first for the charger to power on.


Pros
  • USB-C to USB-C input.
  • Manual current selection.
  • Display is easy to read.

Cons
  • No automatic current selection.
  • The lowest charging current option (0.5 A) is too high for small cells (e.g. 10440).

Notes and links

XTAR held a reviewer recruitment drive via social media and I offered to provide an amateur review from the perspective of a torch enthusiast. XTAR provided this VC2L for free to review. I was not paid for this review.

Manufacturer's product page:
http://www.xtar.cc/product/XTAR-VC2L-Charger-177.html
 

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