Technology has been developing at a rapid rate recently. Nowadays we have social media, organizer, entertainment, academic, creative apps and much more all at the palm of our hands. No wonder we always want to roam around with these smart devices wherever we go. However, there is one problem that the rapid growth of technology hasn’t been able to solve – battery life. Interestingly, more features a phone has, more someone wants to use it, and faster its battery drains. This is where the power banks come in.
Battery life is one such thing which hasn’t brought a lot of satisfaction among mobile phone users till this day. As for the phone manufacturers, they have been trying their best to put in batteries of the highest capacity to suit the build and use of the phone.
Between battery capacity being increased by the manufacturers and the unquenched demand for a better battery life of a phone by the users, our phone usage has changed in an unprecedented way. And this changed behavior is causing us to yearn for more battery power from our mobile phones.
For devices that were once used solely for making calls or sending text messages every now and then, mobile phones have gone through a substantial transformation which has made them almost centric to our lives now.
Bigger screens need more battery and so does our habit of taking out the phone frequently to check for new notifications. Even the average users are finding it difficult to last more than a day on one charge because when they check the phone for a notification, they usually end up exploring a lot more before they lock the phone and return to what they were doing before.
Phone and battery manufacturers are trying their best to improve on technology that can help us out of our battery life woes. However there has not been much progress at this end – a solution which users dream i.e. the phone’s charging should last atleast a week. Quick charging has been a relief and some of the operating system tweaks like ‘Power Saving Mode’ and ‘Doze Mode’ hope to bring in some reprieve too.
Since our phone habits are yet to see a decline on usage among the majority of the population, power banks aka portable chargers and battery packs are the best bet we’ve got.
Power Banks are portable battery devices that can be charged through a wall outlet and be used later to charge mobile devices. You should also know how a powerbank works. Depending on the capacity of the power banks, they can be used to charge your phone multiple times or just once for your tablet. However, there are so many types and brands in the market, it becomes hard to choose. The following points will help you quickly decide which kind of power banks you need to end your battery charge problems forever.
Features you should check before buying a powerbank
1. Battery Capacity
The foremost thing about a power bank that comes to in our mind is the capacity. The capacity of a power bank is measured in Milliampere Hours (Yes, that’s what the mAh stands for on any battery). More the capacity of the power bank, more the number of times it can charge your mobile phone or tablet.
To put it in simple terms, A power bank with a 10,000 mAh value should be able to fully charge your mobile phone with a battery capacity of 2500mAh 4 times.
It is best to buy a power bank that offers a capacity which is higher than the actual capacity of the phone’s battery. Thus, if your phone has a capacity if 2500mAh, you should try and aim for a power bank that has a minimum capacity of 5000mAh. This will allow your phone to get charged at least twice. To account for some minor losses, go a bit higher, around 6000mAh.
While this makes sense, it is also best to keep your own usage in mind. You wouldn’t want to spend excess on your power banks when you are always near a charging port. Avoid buying power banks lower than 2000mAh unless you need your power bank to be super small and you aren’t frequently away from charging ports for long periods of time.
Also keep in mind that sometimes, cheaper brands tend to exaggerate the mAh value to a large extent while the output you receive will be considerably lower.
The next thing you would want to keep in mind is the manufacturer of the product. I have come across a lot of readers who think that the type of technology used for the battery matters more, but the truth is that the manufacturer can make a real difference.
Good companies are bound to provide you with better products unlike cheaper brands that concentrate on providing everything at dirt cheap rates. Bigger brands tend to use high quality components for their products which makes them more reliable.
Mobile phones are relatively expensive, so it is always better to connect them to a power bank which has been manufactured by a trusted company.
While the showdown between lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries continues, the fact is that both types of batteries provide almost the same performance.
An average user may not even be able to distinguish anything between the two, but some power bank users think that lithium-ion batteries can be safer than lithium-polymer batteries. However, this entirely depends on the safety measures taken by the manufacturer.
So, look for a good company which can guarantee a good quality product even if you may have to pay a little more for it because power banks of a cheaper quality may ultimately end up damaging your phone.
3. Connectivity Options and Number of USB Ports
More the connectivity options your power bank offers, the better it is. Power banks are necessary at times of emergency and since you may end up using it for a variety of devices, it should be compatible with all regular gadgets and be able to charge all of them in its stipulated time.
Say you switch from an iPhone to a Samsung device and your power bank does not support your Samsung device, then your power bank may end up being useless. Considering it is an investment, look for a power bank that offers adequate connectivity options.
You can get a power bank with number of ports ranging anywhere from one to four or even more. You may want to charge more than one device at the same time. So, check the number of USB ports that the power bank comes with. You may also try wireless charging power banks which might prove to be more convenient for you.
4. Input and Output Power
Input power is the power that the power bank accepts when you are charging it. Since time is of great essence in this fast-paced world, everyone wants to charge their power banks as quickly as possible. A power bank with a higher input allows it to charge quickly so that it can be used when needed. This is especially necessary for power banks with a higher battery capacity.
If you don’t mind spending a little more on the power bank, you may notice that some manufacturers offer the quick charging option which can help you recharge them in the least possible time. Needless to say, when you are using a quick charging power bank, you must make sure that you use a USB cable that allows for the quick charging technology as well.
Output power on the other hand is the rate at which your power bank can charge a device. Output amperage values are generally of either 1 or 2 Amperes. However, some power banks offer a higher output power as well to charge your phone faster. Android devices, iPhones and iPads all require different output power. But that is not a cause of concern unless your device is heating up or charging very slowly. If you are using a power bank that features quick charge technology, then you must use the port that provides the quick charge option.
5. LED Indications
LED lights help you identify the status of the power bank whether it is being charged or being used to charge another device. It is easier to find out the charging status as the indicator lights show you how much charge is left in it. Without the LED indicators you may find it difficult to know when the power bank is nearing low battery. Most power banks, albeit a few, have charging status indicators.
6. Usage Patterns
How often have you thought of your usage pattern before buying a power bank? There are a variety of them in the market, but all of them may not meet your requirements.
If you are a heavy user or if you travel too often and are away from charging outlets for long hours, then you may need a power bank that provides more battery capacity even if it is bulky and heavy. But if you are an average user who finds his phone’s battery at about 10% by the end of the day and all you need is a charger that can help you extend the battery just for the time till you reach home then a power bank of lower capacity will be preferable.
You may find power banks with more than 50,000 mAh value as well. But they will be too bulky and heavy and thus we don’t advise you to buy it unless you feel that there is an absolute need for it.
Think about this carefully, because there is no point in buying a massive power bank when all you will be using is a fraction of its capacity on an everyday basis.
7. Quality and Safety Options
Nothing trumps quality and safety. Whether it is your safety, your smartphone’s safety or the safety of the power bank itself, all of it is very important because it provides you with a certain peace of mind when using the product. Avoid power banks that do not have clear safety details mentioned on it or if they are from an unknown brand.
When you buy a good quality product from an established brand, the safety measures taken by the manufacturer are higher. The high price of a product may mislead you into thinking that is made of good quality; but some good brands offer inexpensive options too.
Obviously, we need to make sure that we get all the best features at the most competitive and economical price. For this you need to devote some more time in comparing various models that you have shortlisted. Sometimes you may find that the same power bank proves to be more economical and sensible when bought from another site or store.
Whenever you are buying any piece of technology, it is always important to ensure that the product has been tried and tested before. This can be done easily with the help of reviews. Always ask people for their opinion on the power bank after they have used it for some time. Initial opinions might be misleading; thus, it is best to ask only those people who have used the product for significant amount of time.
When buying online, this is even more important. Reading reviews is one of the safest ways to ensure that your power bank is of good quality. However, sometimes reviews may also be irrelevent. Hence it is always good to ask people who have first hand experience about the product. If you want to buy electronic devices offline, alfa mobile store is also a good option.
We hope that this article will help you buy the right power bank that suits your needs.
Have we missed any other factors to consider here? Please let us know your views in the comments.