No matter how you look at it, charging is a very necessary part of our lives, because almost everyone owns a smartphone and other devices that require charging nearly every day. With that said, we’re also almost always on-the-go or at least we need power that’s not going to be limited to just a single spot. USB wall chargers, Car and Wireless chargers are very useful but the truth is that they’re very inconvenient to use when it comes to being free.
That is why power banks are continually on the rise of becoming the main charging electronic that’s used today. A Power bank is a portable source of power that you can take with you anywhere, and it’s able to charge your smartphone, tablet, and some are even able to charge your laptop. Since power banks are becoming increasingly popular, there are a lot of them being created by different companies and as a result, more innovation has been able to change up the Portable Charger game.
Also, since there are a ton power banks, a lot of people are confused about what power bank they should choose for their needs. This is why I’ve created the necessary details to know and how to understand them when you do decide to purchase a power bank.
The Power Capacity / Size
The Power Capacity
The first thing that you’re going to want to know is what you expect to do with the power bank. Are you only searching for a power bank to charge your smartphone once and get you through the day? Or do you want a power bank that’s able to charge your smartphones multiple times, and also charge tablets to their full power too?
Small Sized Power Banks
Small power banks are among the most used type of portable chargers because they’re very small and serve their purpose of charging a smartphone to its full power. So, these kinds of charges are going to have power capacities of
3,000mAh to 5,000mAh and are likely going to not charge your smartphone multiple times, unless you have a smartphone with a low battery capacity.
3,000mAh to 5,000mAh power banks usually come in two different sizes. They’re either cylindrically shaped or are flat and thin. Both of those shapes allow these power banks to be as small as possible, as they’re able to be carried in a single hand and placed into your pocket
With that said, Slim power banks are going to be the most useful of Mini portable chargers because they’re basically the size of a smartphone, can easily fit into your pocket and you can stack your smartphone on top of the power bank while you charge. In addition to having a low power capacity, they all almost always have a single charging port.
Medium Sized Power Banks
Power banks that have a Medium power capacity are ones from 10,000mAh to 15,000mAh. This is where the power capacity gets into the range of being able to charge devices multiple times over. Smartphones are able to charge about 5-6 times and tablets even with their significantly larger batteries are also able to charge a few times and the power bank will most likely have some power to spare.
Then there’s the size increase, but the thing with the size increase for power banks with these kinds of power capacities is that it’s going to matter what power bank brand you choose.
We’ll get to power bank brands a little later on in this post, but what I will say is that different companies are able to fit different power capacities into small sizes than other charging electronic brands.
The difference that it makes is a power bank that is able to fit in your pocket that’s 10,000mAh and a power bank that is very large and no way of fitting into a pocket at 10,000mAh.
High Capacity Power banks
This is the Apex of portable chargers and this mostly goes for the power side of them because these kinds power banks have 20,000mAh of power and even more than that.
This kind of power is able to charge most smartphones about 10 times, and tablets are able to charge lots of times, maybe even more than what’s necessary with a power bank.
Not only is the power capacity just large, but the power bank itself is quite big and heavy too. However, just keep in mind that it’s still a “Portable Charger” no matter how large it is and can basically be taken anywhere; the only problem is that these kinds of power banks are not going to be held and used.
Although, they will be taken places where you can charge your device comfortably.
At this point, power banks also have very powerful charging capabilities. Things like USB-C and Quick Charge technology are prevalent on most of them, so you can charge devices compatible those technologies at their max charging speeds.
Charging Speed / Amount of Ports
When power banks have a high power capacity, they also tend to have many charging ports. The main thing to look out for is that the many ports have fast charging; I’m not talking about Quick Charge, what I mean is that the charging ports have fast enough charging for smartphones and tablets to charge at a good speed.
If a power bank has a 20,000mAh power capacity, and 3 charging ports, but each of those 3 ports has a charging speed of the only 5V/1.0A, then that’s bad. Instead, what is a good speed for power banks with multiple charging ports, is that each port should have a speed of at least 5V/2.0A.
This is because most devices have their max charging speeds at 2 Amps or beyond. Newer devices are able to accept higher Amperage levels because that means faster charging.
The same rule applies for mini power banks that have 1 or 2 charging ports. A lot of old mini power banks are still being sold and as a result, most of them just have a slow 1 Amp charging speed. Keep a look out for the ones that are offering 2 Amp speeds that are still very small.
One of the best charging speeds that a USB port can Output is 5V/2.4A. This is because it’s a Max Standard charging speed that is able to charge a device that is NOT compatible with Quick charge or USB-C to charge at their max charging speed. Also, it can charge tablets like the iPad at their max charging speeds.
The two main special charging technologies that are prevalent within all charging electronics and not just power banks is Quick Charge and USB-C.
Most Android smartphones that have a Qualcomm SnapDragon Processor are compatible with Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0 versions. The charging electronic that you’re using must have the Quick Charge tech and the smartphone must be compatible for Quick Charge speeds to take effect. When that happens, then Quick Change charging speeds are able to charge smartphones from a 15% to a 60% in a matter of few minutes.
The USB-C charging method is becoming a more standardized way of charging because it’s a Input method that provides faster charging and syncing. Newer smartphones, as well as Laptops, are beginning to use the new tech. With that said, to charge these kinds of devices at their max charging speed, you must use a USB-C port and you’re going to need a USB-C to USB-C charging cable. It’s a new kind of technology but there are plenty of power banks out there that are able to make use of the tech and you can charge your USB-C compatible smartphones at their max charging speed while you’re on-the-go.
For these fast charging technologies to be taken anywhere with a power bank, that’s definitely something to take advantage of if you can make use of either of these technologies.
Know what Brand you’re buying from
Power banks are all over the market since they’re such a useful piece of charging technology and it just makes logical sense to own. The high demand increases the number of companies that sell power banks and it’s a good and bad thing.
On the bright, the absurd amount of competition is able to bring out the best innovation in a lot of companies to further portable power betterment. On the dark side, though, there’s a ton of power banks that have are advertised to have small sizes and fast charging when in reality they have mediocre charging power and very large sizes for their power capacities.
It’s best to look at companies that have a proven track record of what their power banks are capable through the reviews of the product and also what the power bank itself has to offer. Just to name a few of these companies: Anker, Aukey, and Jackery are the ones that are performing very well because they have constantly provided high-quality portable chargers when it comes power capacity, size and charging power.
This isn’t to say that you should only purchase power bank from well-known sources only, but you should know what a quality power bank has, and should not have. Just follow the rules that I’ve written in this post and you’ll be on your way to awesome portable power in an instant.
My name is Usman Haq. I'm the creator and owner of ChargerHarbor.com
. It's a website that provides reviews, news, and tips on all things charging electronics. Charging electronics are one of the most used technologies in the world, and it's vital to know what the best kinds are.
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