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Question Unusual sensation when phone is charging

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TRLOS

Senior Member
Nov 8, 2008
174
38
Australia
Many of you will think this is bonkers at first read, but I want to know if anyone else is experiencing this as well.

Scenario:
Take off any covers or cases you have in your phone. Make sure all the protective shrink wrap around the phone is removed.
Plug the phone to the charger like you normally would.

With a single finger, gently run it along the sides of they phone (on the casing, not the screen). Run it from the top to bottom. Either side of the phone.
Does anyone feel a weird buzzing feeling on their finger ?
Remove the charging cable and try out again. No buzzing feeling.
 
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SciDev

Member
Sep 27, 2021
8
3
My Redmi Note 4 has this issue. I don't know what it is but it feels like small vibration.
 

vinokirk

Senior Member
Mar 30, 2008
2,234
246
England
Yes, I've felt this for years on different devices with a metal body. Weird isn't it! I've never looked into it.
 

larsdennert

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2007
994
315
220v countries. Voltage leak to the casing. I got this when converting to 110v. 1+ phone in my case
 

snapper.fishes

Senior Member
Aug 7, 2010
1,792
302
Hong Kong
Your charger has a grounding issue. Many years ago the same thing happened to my iPhone 6 when I used a cheap USB charger. When it’s plugged in I can feel a weird tingling if I run my finger up and down the sides of the phone, and the fingerprint sensor in the home button stops working when plugged in. The issue disappear if I plug it into a different charger.

I don’t think poor grounding will damage your phone or injure you, but if you can afford to I would replace the charger just in case.
 

brainwash123

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2012
219
51
The chargers are not grounded so it's not a grounding issue. Rather, the EMI suppression capacitors in the power supply (charger) are designed to couple to the line wires. The sensation comes from 220V/50Hz being capacitively fed into the USB ground, but the current is only a few microamps.
There's no easy solution to this but:
- ignore it
- try various chargers
- ground the USB ground to the earth ground
- take apart the PSU and try different capacitors or remove them.
 
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In the US, and I have this tingle when its charging and stroking the spine with my finger. Our plugs have no ground. They are polorized but don't have a third pin. So not sure grounds are at issue.

It is similar to the feeling from one of those lightning globes, but a bit more intense. I was thinking it is some charged particles that leak through the spines plastic. It is an interesting feeling not really unpleasant. Would think it's harmless but it is interesting.
 

millab

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2007
325
53
Canberra
Totally normal. if I have both my laptop and phone charging and touching them at the same time then this happens, but it can be negated by switching the figure of eight plug on the laptop charger to match the phase of the usb charger
 

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  • 1
    Many of you will think this is bonkers at first read, but I want to know if anyone else is experiencing this as well.

    Scenario:
    Take off any covers or cases you have in your phone. Make sure all the protective shrink wrap around the phone is removed.
    Plug the phone to the charger like you normally would.

    With a single finger, gently run it along the sides of they phone (on the casing, not the screen). Run it from the top to bottom. Either side of the phone.
    Does anyone feel a weird buzzing feeling on their finger ?
    Remove the charging cable and try out again. No buzzing feeling.
    1
    What country are you in? This is a grounding issue I've experienced charging phones when overseas.
    1
    The chargers are not grounded so it's not a grounding issue. Rather, the EMI suppression capacitors in the power supply (charger) are designed to couple to the line wires. The sensation comes from 220V/50Hz being capacitively fed into the USB ground, but the current is only a few microamps.
    There's no easy solution to this but:
    - ignore it
    - try various chargers
    - ground the USB ground to the earth ground
    - take apart the PSU and try different capacitors or remove them.
    1
    I always feel it on every phones and laptops with aluminium even with their respective official chargers.