Xtar Dragon VP4 Plus review by dw1986

Review Date: 
15.06.2017

Xtar Dragon VP4 Plus

XTAR are one of the largest names within the battery industry, founded in 2006 and based out of China, XTAR manufacture and supply Li-on batteries, smart battery chargers and LED flashlights around the world. Thanks to their high standards of quality control, XTAR have achieved all major global certifications, such as CE and RoHS. They pride themselves on offering safe, high quality products. 

I’ll be looking at the Dragon VP4 Plus from XTAR in the review below, this is a four bay battery charging monster that on paper, is the most feature rich charger I have ever seen!

Specs

  • Compatible with: Li-ion 3.6/3.7v 10440, 14500, 14650, 16340, 17335, 17500, 17670, 18350, 18490, 18500, 18650, 18700, 22650, 25500, 26650, 32650, Ni-MH:  AAAA, AAA, AA, A, SC, C, D, Battery packs
  • 3 Current options: 0.5A 1A or 2A
  • Accurately Test Battery Capacity using charge and discharge, you will see if the battery is what it says it is
  • Use as Multi Meter and test your batteries internal resistance, generally speaking the lower the internal resistance the higher the maximum discharge current
  • Built in micro card that can store 64 test results so you can compare different batteries or even the same battery over time
  • Eliminate memory effect of Ni-MH batteries with the Dragon’s refresh battery discharge mode
  • Charge mobile devices using the most suitable current for your device up to 2.4A, all slots can be used simultaneously making this a powerful power bank
  • Pass through ability to charge external devices from the charger's usb port while plugged into the mains, the charger will use the mains power to charge the external device while plugged in and seamlessly change to the batteries in the charger once power is removed. So the charger can act as a back up power bank, especially useful in areas where the electricity often cuts out. Discharged cells or nearly discharged cells can also be swapped out one by one and replaced with fully charged cells with no interruption of the power it is supplying to the device that it's powering. The charger shows on the LCD display how much each cell has remaining.
  • Informative LCD display giving you all the information you need to know
  • The charger will give you audible sounds to let you know when the charge has finished, reverse polarity warning etc, this can be switched off if you wish for it to quietly do its thing
  • oV Activation, revive your over discharged batteries
  • 3 Start Charging TC/CC/CV maximises life of the battery
  • Automatic accurate current termination at 4.2v when battery is fully charged
  • Current buffering, charge current is gradually increased to reduce high current sudden impact on batteries
  • Manufactured using flame retardant materials

What’s in the Box?

Inside the XTAR Dragon VP4 Plus retail box you will get the XTAR Dragon VP4 Plus charger, a UK mains plug, VP4 Charger Pouch, multimeter probes, 3A car adaptor, user manual and a warranty card.

XTAR Dragon VP4 Plus

XTAR’s Dragon VP4 Plus boasts four battery bays for charging up to four batteries, and is compatible with the most popular battery sizes for vaping use, as well as offering compatibility with Ni-MH batteries and battery packs. It has three current options, 0.5A, 1A and 2A, automatically cuts off charging at 4.2V, and uses ‘Current Buffering’ which offers a gradual increase in charging current to reduce strain on your batteries and prolong their lifespan. It can even function as a powerbank, and charge mobile phones as well as other devices through the USB ports included on the Dragon VP4 Plus. A large pouch is included, should you wish to carry the Dragon VP4 Plus around with you.

At the top of the charger, you’ll notice the large LCD screen which displays information such as the current charging status of your batteries, battery capacity, charging current and battery type. Underneath the screen is the ‘Display’, ‘Current Refresh’ and the ‘Record Test’ buttons, as well as four LED lights above each charging bay that indicate the current status of each bay. Red will display whilst a battery is charging, green will display when the battery has finished charging or the bay is empty and blue is displayed during discharging, test mode and powerbank mode. An optional sound setting is present, which can give you an audible sound for alerts.

The ‘current refresh’ button starts a full battery refresh cycle by holding the button down, which will discharge and fully charge your battery back up. This is also a handy feature to test the true capacity of your battery. A quick tap of the ‘current refresh’ button will change the current charge setting. The ‘Display’ button is used to change the displayed slots with a short button press, holding the button down will dim the screen. ‘Record Test’ gives you the ability to record test data on your batteries and this will save up to 64 test results, this is activated by holding the button down, pressing the button once brings up previous test history. A fast double click will turn the sound function on and off.

A multimeter function is included allowing you to measure the voltage and internal resistance of your battery. Multimeter probes are included, and you simply slot the USB connector into the port on the back of the Dragon VP4 Plus, place a probe at either end of your battery and the voltage and internal resistance will be displayed. If you also want to check the true mAh capacity of your battery, you can accurately test it through the charger, and you can also revive an over discharged battery as well.

The Dragon VP4 Plus even functions as a powerbank, with the ability to charge devices at up to 2.4A, through the USB slot located at the top of the charger. When using the Dragon VP4 Plus as a powerbank, power is diverted to the external devices that are charging for safety reasons, meaning you can’t charge your batteries whilst using it as a powerbank. A JST-XH connector is also located at the top of the device allowing you to charge a 3S Li-ion battery pack too.

Conclusion

The XTAR Dragon VP4 Plus has to be the most complete battery charger I have ever used, it’s a real beast of a charger. There’s pretty much every function you could want with a charger present here, and it does everything you could possibly want it to. The power bank option is really impressive, and the data you can collect on your batteries is not only interesting, but practical too- this allows you to see how your batteries are performing over time and see when it is best to invest in some new ones. Best of all, with the inbuilt safety features of the Dragon VP4 Plus it does everything safely, giving you peace of mind. One thing that really impressed me was just how quickly my batteries charged up!

It does come at a cost however, and with the retail price being in the £70-75 region this definitely isn’t a cheap battery charger, some users out there may not need to take advantage of all of the features that are on offer here. However for those looking for an advanced, feature rich battery charger, the XTAR Dragon VP4 Plus is a superb option to look at!  You can check it out on XTAR's site here http://www.xtar.cc/products_detail/productId=155.html.

 Dan Willis
Article by Dan Willis
Dan was an early adopter of vaping as a way to quit smoking and has seen and done pretty much all there is to see and do in the vaping world! From Ego batteries to mechs and from rebuildables to pods there isn't much that Dan hasn't tried.