In a matter of just last two decades, the way we used to communicate has been changed drastically! Earlier we had those wired landline phones and they were not at all mobile. Then came bulky mobile phones and over the period of time their sizes have shrunk. In 2007, Apple revolutionized mobile world with its first ever iPhone and the rest is history! Since then smartphones have ruled the mobile world, however they have a big nasty drawback. Their battery runs out too quickly.
Power bank is a portable charging device and can help in difficult times. So, what to look for in a Power Bank, while buying it? There are number of factors to look out for when buying your first portable charger. First and the foremost, you should know your personal requirements. If you just own a smartphone or two, then a low capacity power bank will be more then sufficient for you. However, if you own a number of devices like iPad, iPhone, tablets and laptop then you need to get a powerful power bank.
Buying a spare battery for each of your device is cumbersome and a costly decision. On the other hand a powerful power bank can solve all of your charging needs on the go! Below are some of the key factors to look for while buying a power bank:
Capacity – The Bigger the better:
This one is the most important aspect to look for while buying any power bank and it is always recommended the more powerful it is, the better. The capacity of a power bank or for that matter any battery is measured in mAh or milli Ampere hour. You can’t exactly calculate how many times a power bank can fully charge your smartphone, as there is a energy loss every time we charge a smartphone.
To give you a rough idea, a smartphone bearing a 2,000 mAh battery can be charged twice fully with a 4,500-5,000 mAh power bank. This assumption holds true only when you have got a good quality power bank in hand. We have seen spurious power banks with capacity of as much as 8,000 mAh, failing miserably to charge even a 1,570 mAh iPhone 5S. Another point to keep in mind is portability factor. As capacity increases so does it size, weight, charging time and hence ease of carrying. In our opinion, a 4,000-5,000 mAh capacity power bank is more then sufficient for an average user who owns 1 or 2 smartphones.
No. of output ports and their Ampere rating
Most of the power banks available in the market have only one power output port, hence you are limited to charging just one device at a time. However if you are ready to spend more, then there are power banks with as much as 3 charging ports available in the market. This will allow you to power up multiple devices at the same time.
Apart from the number of output ports, another thing that matters is the Ampere output of these ports. The single output power banks usually come with Ampere rating of 1 A. In layman’s language Ampere rating indicates the rate at which your device will be charged or capacity to charge a more powerful battery. At 1 Ampere current output, a power bank may charge a smartphone but will fail to charge a tablet or an iPad. In some of the power banks one of the output port bears an Ampere rating of 2.1 A and hence it can literally charge any device.
Build quality and type of cells used:
Build quality is of utmost importance in something as critical as a power bank. Most of the times some unbranded power banks may claim that they have a humongous battery capacity, but in reality most of the space inside the power bank may have been occupied by sand packed in a plastic bag! The picture attached below is a perfect example of a counterfeit power bank.
Apart from the less capacity, the battery may be of inferior quality in unbranded power banks. If something goes wrong these batteries may explode or leak and may cause fire or even death. As a rule of thumb, avoid buying power banks from unverified sellers or directly from China. Always buy branded power banks as these come with a warranty and a recognized company has stringent quality checks in place. Some of our recommendations are Sony, Samsung, Ever ready and Silvertec powerbanks.