While mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets are great for outdoor and travel enabling you to undertake numerous task such as reading email, watching your favorite TV shows and play an endless selection of mindless games right at the palm of your hands, a major downside is that they quickly run out of power leading to massive inconveniences. Nevertheless, portable chargers also known as power bank eliminate such inconveniences by recharging your mobile device anywhere at any time without the need of an AC outlet. Shopping for a good power bank can be a daunting experience attributed to various sizes, technology, capacity and prices. What do you look for in a portable charger? Below are some suggestions:
1. Capacity over Portability
Capacity is arguably the most important spec to consider when shopping for a portable charger and it’s usually measured in milliampere-hours (mAh) as your phone battery. So, for instance, your phone battery is 3,000 mAh, a 3,000 mAh power bank is able to recharge in one charge fully. However, this is not usually the case since some power is lost due to conversion, circuit resistance and the poor quality of the charging cable. Therefore, if you have multiple devices including smartphone, tablet, music device among others, you should look for a power bank with a higher capacity preferably 20,000 mAh to effectively recharge all your devices. Higher capacity also means an increase in size, weight and overall price.
2. The Portable Charger’s Input Current
While the capacity may seem everything in a power bank, the input current is also an important factor to consider when looking for an ideal power bank. A portable charger with a high capacity takes a longer period to recharge itself. A capacity of 20,000mAh would recharge overnight to full capacity. The input current also determines the time taken to recharge. Most power banks’ input current range between 0.8A to 1.5A with high capacity power banks being on a high. In essence, if you are time conscious, you should look for a portable charger with a high input current as it takes a shorter time to recharge.
3. Number of Ports
It is also important to consider the number of ports when looking for a portable charger. You will be able to recharge multiple devices at the same time using a power bank with a large number of ports. High capacity power banks have more than two USB charging ports to recharge multiple devices at the same time. The price also increases with the number of ports, and you are likely to spend more when purchasing power banks with over three charging ports.
An essential tip while looking for power banks with over two ports is to establish the total output current. For instance, a power bank with two ports rated 2A/5V means that each port receives 1.5A when they are both connected to devices. This means a slow charging rate when all ports are connected. Other power banks have a total output of 4A meaning that they have faster charging rate in all the ports. Therefore, you should look for a portable charger with over two charging ports and with a high total output if you have multiple numbers of devices you would want to charge at the same time.
4. Quality over price
A vital aspect to look for in a portable charger is quality regardless of the price. Low-quality power banks are usually cheap and extremely dangerous as the batteries can explode leading to fatal consequences as with some reported cases of explosions. This is because the low cost eliminates the safety measure mechanism such as temperature control mechanism, overcharging and short circuit prevention mechanism.
Additionally you should buy power banks from brands or reputable vendors as they assure quality and safety. You should also look out for false specifications as some manufacturers would want to make a false claim to market their brands. For instance, a power bank claiming to have a capacity of 15,000 mAh yet is smaller than your average phone battery is obviously a false claim and you should entirely avoid it. In essence, consider high-quality portable chargers as they are safe and durable despite being high priced. Remember, cheap is expensive.
The Bottom Line
Portable chargers come in different designs, charging technology sizes, weights, capacity, number of ports among many other specifications. There are crucial factors everyone should consider when looking for a power bank regardless of their preferences. These factors include capacity, input current number of ports and the overall quality. Depending on the number of your mobile devices you would like to charge at the same time, an ideal portable charger should be of a high capacity, high input current, large number of ports and high quality with a reasonable price.