So, you are looking to buy a car battery charger. And since you are reading this, I assume you’ve already heard about NOCO before.
Well, then congratulations! You are now half-way through choosing the best battery chargers on the market. The only thing left to do is picking out which NOCO battery charger would suit you best.
I’ve got you covered, fam. In this article, I’m going to walk you through three of the most prominent NOCO chargers: the Genius1, Genius5, and Genius10.
|Charging current||1 Amps||10 Amps||5 Amps|
|Dimension||3.43 x 4.02 x 6.73||4.41 x 4.48 x 9.1||4.61 x 3.43 x 7.95|
|Weight||0.95 pounds||1.23 pounds||1.59 pounds|
|Battery capacity||30 Ah||230 Ah||120 Ah|
|Output power||15 W||150 W||75 W|
|12V Repair mode||--||✔||✔|
|12V Supply mode||--||✔||--|
|6V AGM mode||--||✔||--|
|Charging Time||50 hours||10 hours||5 hours|
|PROS||+ Compact, simple|
+ Easy to use, easy to carry around
+ Slick design
|+ NOCO flagship battery charger|
+ Reliable for everyday & advanced uses
|+ Good money value|
|CONS||- Charging time is really slow||- A bit more "pricey"||- Users have reported that 12V connectors are sometimes fiddly|
What happened to NOCO G750, G3500, and G7200?
A long time ago, NOCO used to lead the battery charger market with their G series. Namely, the G750, G3500, and G7200. And by a long time ago, I mean two years.
In 2019, NOCO upgraded those G series into the new and more powerful Genius series. The Genius1, Genius5, and Genius10 have replaced the G750, G3500, and G7200, respectively.
Not only the new Genius series are lighter and smaller, but they also pack considerably more power. Despite the power increase, they remain at nearly the same price ranges as their predecessors. And thus, of course, continue to stay on top of the best-selling battery chargers.
Key things in common of Genius1, Genius5, and Genius10
The Genius5 and Genius10 battery chargers might look the same at first glance, but they’re very different in their performance and specifications. I’ll deep-dive into those technical differences in the next section of this article. However, these battery chargers do share key features and functions that set them out as market-leaders.
All three of these NOCO models are compatible with batteries in term of:
- Voltage: 6V, 12V.
- Chemistries: lead-acid, flooded, gel, maintenance-free, and AGM (absorbed glass mat).
- Types: starter, deep-cycle, marine, and more.
Each of the three NOCO battery chargers in this review features both 6V and 12V charging modes with 4 primary selectable charging functions: 6V, 12V, 12V AGM, and 12V Lithium.
The Genius5 steps it up with a 12V Repair charging mode, while the Genius10 adds a further 12V Supply and 6V AGM charging modes to its list of available charging modes.
With built-in microprocessors, each of these three NOCO battery chargers provides protection from:
- Reverse polarity.
NOCO also backs up these three products with a 3-year hassle-free warranty.
Their built-in smart-charging microprocessor also provides automatic charging functions. Simply plug the device into the wall power outlet, connect the battery, select your desired charging mode, and the NOCO battery charger will take care of the rest. An automatic memory function enables the battery chargers to maintain a battery long-term to extend its life.
All three models can identify damaged batteries and can automatically repair them, too. This Repair Mode works by detecting sulfation and acid stratification inside the battery’s cells that hinder their performance. The microprocessor restores the lost performance through its automatic maintenance functions.
Another added feature all three battery chargers boast is an internal thermal sensor. It enables the battery charger to recharge batteries precisely. This temperature compensation feature senses overheating to slow the rate of charge until the battery’s temperature is stable once more.
In terms of design, each model incorporates a rugged exterior with rubber and plastic housings to protect their internal components. All models carry water- and dust-resistance ratings of IP60 or higher. A series of LED lights and a one-touch button operation dominate the main interface. They also package each device with interchangeable connectors and clamps with integrated eyelets for solid connections.
Genius1, Genius5, and Genius10: Let the battle begin!
I’ve already mentioned the key similarities between the Genius1, Genius5, and Genius10 models. Here I’ll deep-dive into what distinguishes these three devices in terms of design, specifications, usage, features, and performance.
Design and specifications
All three of these NOCO battery chargers are incredibly portable, thanks to their lightweight and compact dimensions. The heaviest model in my comparison is only 3.33 lbs and as large as an iPhone.
- The smallest model is obviously the Genius1. It provides 1-amp charging output, is rated for batteries with a 30Ah capacity, and has a 15W power output. It measures just 3.5” x 2.3” x 1.3” and weighs a super light 0.77 lbs (about 12 oz.).
- The middle-tier model in my review line-up boasts a 5-amp charging output, is rated for 120Ah capacity batteries, and boasts a 75W output power. Genius5 weighs 1.5 lbs and is only an inch or so longer than the Genius1 model at 4.6” x 2.9” x 1.9”.
- My top-of-the-range model, the Genius10, is nearly double the size of the Genius1. But it still only measures 7.1” x 3.6” x 2.3” and carries a weight of 3.33 lbs. It packs double as much juice as the Genius5 with its 10-amp charging output, can recharge 230Ah-capacity batteries and provides a 150W power output.
Bearing in mind that battery chargers are usually used in emergency situations, these NOCO battery charges take up minimal space. You can even store them in your car’s glove box or your toolkit in the trunk. Portability for emergencies is crucial: the last you want to stress about is how to handle your battery charger.
I select three NOCO Genius series battery chargers because they provide charging solutions for three distinct types of users. As I’ve already mentioned, these battery chargers are all compatible with charging 6V and 12V batteries (and lithium-ion batteries), different chemical battery types, and different types of batteries.
With the lowest charging power output but the most compact in size, the Genius1 is primarily at users requiring a battery charger that is reliable and easy-to-use in an emergency. Not every user will buy a battery charger (a NOCO branded one or any other) expecting to ever use it. The Genius1 is a backup solution, an insurance against being stuck with a dead car battery. This battery charger is also ideal for charging motorcycles, lawnmowers, and marine equipment batteries.
Genius5 vs. Genius10
The Genius5 and Genius10 models offer vastly faster charging times because of their higher power outputs. The Genius1 users can still depend on the Genius5 and Genius10 to recharge their vehicle’s dead batteries in an emergency. However, buyers of these two models will most likely use their battery chargers for more than just emergencies: they’ll also use these to help maintain their various batteries. The Genius10 packs the most punch, but you’ll sacrifice some portability when compared with the Genius5 and pay an extra premium for that added power capacity.
The most reliable Genius series battery charger is hands down, the Genius10. Many buyers use them to maintain their vehicles and heavy-duty machinery. It offers faster charging times and more power to recharge and repair a wider variety of batteries.
The Genius10, being the top model in their Genius series, is equipped with extra features that the other two models in my review don’t share. A 12V Power Supply Mode that converts AC electrical current to DC for the NOCO Genius10. This enables it to power 12V DC devices such as tire inflators, air compressors, and other accessories. Also, the clamp wires are 10 mm in diameter, allowing higher amperage outputs.
How long do they take to charge on an average?
The charging power output of the battery charger determines how long it will take to charge a battery. A general rule of thumb when calculating battery charging times is that 1-amp equals 1 hour of charging. Therefore, the lower the amp rating of the battery charger, the longer it will recharge a dead battery fully.
- The Genius1 has a 1-amp charging output. A regular vehicle battery’s size is 50-amps, meaning it will take about 50 hours to recharge fully.
- The Genius5 will take 10 hours to recharge a dead car battery thanks to its 5-amp charging power output.
- Cutting down that the charging time even further is the Genius10 with its 10-amp charging output that will complete that task in 5 hours.
How do they fare on prices?
In terms of value for money, all three Genius series NOCO battery chargers tick that important box when matched up against their product rivals. However, in determining their performance and value against one another in this comparison, your decision will most likely focus on budget and charging needs.
As I’ve mentioned, each of these NOCO battery chargers is of high quality and offers strong performance. The Genius10 is better than the Genius5 in every possible way, except in terms of size and price. It is the most expensive in this review line-up, but it does offer the best features, specifications, and performance.
The Genius1, being smaller as it is, boasts a more affordable price. Some users, myself included, also prefer Genius1’s slick design to the other two.
Which one should you buy?
If you just want a good battery charger for daily uses
- Good for maintenance functions such as trickle charging
- Compact size for convenient storage
- One-button operation
- Temperature compensation is standout feature at this price point
- Not really intended for car batteries as it only has 30Ah battery capacity rating
- Could do with more LED lights for battery level status
People usually look at a cheaper product and misjudge it. I don’t.
I evaluate a product solely based on what value it brings and how much money you have to fork over to get that value. GENIUS1 excels in both categories. It’s cheap, reliable, and it also looks good simultaneously, which I must say is quite a rare thing for a jump-starter.
If you want to own the best charger available out there
- Repair Mode is highly rated by users
- Recharges dead batteries quickly
- Can recharge even tractor batteries
- Easy-to-operate interface
- Auto memory is helpful
- Mode switching buttons are too small
The Genius10 is the ideal NOCO battery charger for a power user. If you’re looking to regularly charge and repair batteries for vehicles from cars, SUVs, pickups to large farm machinery, this is the most powerful unit and offers the best versatility and performance for your money.
The downside of Genius10 is its mode buttons. They are too freaking small! Now, before you go ahead and say I have fat fingers or something similar. Let me remind you that I wear mechanic gloves most of the time, and trying to press those buttons during said times is painful.
If you like something in the middle…
- Repair Mode saves dead batteries
- Clamps have excellent clamping force
- Automatic maintenance feature monitors battery condition
- Small size makes it highly portable
- Wall Mount and Strap are handy
- 12V connectors are fiddly
- Difficult to distinguish between pulsing green LED lights
Now, I’m not a big fan of “doing everything adequately” myself. You either want something affordable and friendly, or you want big power. The Genius5 just doesn’t stand out in any of those categories to me.
However, I understand if you need just a little bit more power than what the Genius1 can offer, but don’t want to spend that much to own a Genius10. If that’s the case then Genius5 is the one to take home.
1. What amp rating is best for a car battery charger?
While there are 12- and 15-amp battery chargers available, smaller chargers are actually better for extending the life of the battery. Even a 1-amp battery charger will help you recharge dead batteries.
Read more: How to read a battery charger amp meter »
2. Is it safe to leave a battery charger unattended overnight?
Yes, it’s completely safe. NOCO’s Genius series of battery chargers feature built-in microprocessors that prevent overcharging, overheating, short-circuiting, open-circuiting, and sparking to make it safe for overnight charging duties.
3. Can a battery charger recharge a completely dead battery?
Yes. Any of NOCO’s Genius Series battery chargers can recharge a completely dead battery back to full battery capacity.
Read more: How to recharge a completely dead battery »
4. Can I recharge a vehicle battery without removing it?
Yes, you can. The NOCO Genius Series battery chargers are portable so you don’t need to remove the batteries before recharging them.