A few months ago I purchased my first portable power bank. I was quite overwhelmed by so many products on the market with technical specifications that didn’t make any sense to me, so I asked my friends on Facebook for their recommendations. The power bank that I eventually purchased has been very useful, especially while traveling (e.g. to conferences, long train trips, on multi-day hikes), and when there are power outages (or load shedding as we are accustomed to in South Africa).
Here are some tips for selecting the best power bank:
1. Purchase a good brand
Bad quality batteries can explode. It’s safer and better that you go with a well-known reputable brand. Check the reviews on Amazon or your local online marketplace’s (e.g. Takealot in South Africa) before deciding.
2. Choose a power bank with sufficient capacity to meet your needs.
The portable power bank and your mobile device’s battery both have their storage capacity measured in milliampere-hours (mAh). I purchased a Just Mobile Gum++ 6000mAh power bank for my Nokia Lumia 620 which has a battery capacity of 1300mAh. This means that I can fully charge my battery using the power bank almost 4.5 times. Generally, higher capacity power banks will be bigger in size and heavier.
3. The output current of your power bank should match the standard adapter current of your device
My power bank outputs 2.5 amps of power. This allows my phone to charge rapidly, even faster than the wall AC power adapter that my phone was supplied with. However, this has damaged my phone battery which was designed to only handle up to 1 amp of power. Read this article which explains the power output of typical USB 1.0 to USB 3.0 ports: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/115251-how-usb-charging-works-or-how-to-avoid-blowing-up-your-smartphone
If I buy another portable power bank I’ll probably buy one that outputs 1 amp of power. It will take longer for my mobile device to charge, but it’s not going to damage my battery in the long term. After using the power bank for 3 months I’d say that my mobile’s battery discharges twice as fast which means that it now only lasts for about 12 hours.
4. Get a multi-port power bank if you can
If your power bank has multiple output ports it means that you can simultaneously recharge more devices on-the-go (e.g. mobile phone, tablet, portable WiFi, camera)
The top 7 selling power banks with great reviews:
- The MiniMax 12V 7800 mAh power bank that can also jump start a car (my feature of it here)
- KMASHI 10000mAh 2.1Amp+1Amp Output,2Amp Input Fast Charging, Dual USB,
- Vinsic 20000mA Ultra-slim Power Bank,
- RAVPower 3200mAh Power Bank,
- TechMatte® 10000mAh Dual-Port,
- JETech® 10,000mAh 2-Output Power Bank Battery,
- POLANFO 20000mAh,
- Modern Portable® jHub Rock 5200mAh
Are you using a power bank? What’s your experience?