Gone are the days of when we were forced to just use USB wall chargers and have our devices stay right next to the charger until they were charged to a good point. Only then were we able to take our devices with us, but then what if our devices were low in power when we were out and about? Right back to the USB charger or be stuck with a dead device.
Thankfully, those times can be the past for you because of power banks. Power banks are portable chargers that can basically be taken anywhere. With that said, because of their increasing popularity, there are lots of companies that sell power banks which means there are lots of different types on the market. It can be difficult to know what things are important to know and what parts are irrelevant. In this post, I’ll be going over the major points that you should look out for when you’re searching for a power bank to purchase.
Table of Contents
How You Plan on Traveling with it and What You’re Going to Do with it
There are two base types of power banks. Ones that have high power capacities and ones that have low power capacities. They both hold a strong place with the customer because they each have traits that make them very powerful to use.
Small Power banks – Power banks that are small are the ones that are bought and used the most. The reason for that is because they have low power capacities, which means fewer batteries are used, as well as smaller ones. As a result, the power bank is smaller. These ones are so small that these power banks are able to fit into your pocket.
With that said, the flaw that they do have is that most are really only able to charge most smartphones at least once or twice before they need to be recharged.
Large Power banks – I may be using the word “Large” just a little too freely, but there are power banks that are certainly bigger than Mini power banks. The reason for that is because these ones have high power capacities, so they have more batteries and larger ones. Not exactly the best to fit into your pocket and they also have heavier weights.
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On the bright, power banks that have high power capacities are able to charge smartphones and other devices to their full power many times over. The great thing about having a high power capacity is also that they have many charging ports, so you can charge multiple devices at once.
Lots of Other Types of Power Bank
There are many different types of power banks on the market and each of them holds their place with people that are looking for certain attributes.
Built-in Cables – There are power banks that have built-in cables and these are the ones that are the most reliable. That’s because there can be times when you forget to bring your charging cable with you when you’re headed out to your power bank. If that happens, then that renders your power bank useless. So not only do these types of power banks have a single built-in cable, but they also have multiple built-in cables that are able to charge your devices if you choose to get one of those.
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Some even have USB ports to use with any charging cable, as well as built-in methods to recharge the power bank, such as an AC Adapter or a USB cable.
Rugged – These types of power banks are very tough they’re able to withstand things that are able to damage just any normal power bank. That’s because Rugged power banks have reinforcements that can take fall onto the hard ground. They’re also waterproof when their charging ports covers are covering their ports. With that said, just because a Rugged power bank is labeled as “waterproof” does not mean that it’s fully waterproof against everything. Since there are different Enclosure levels that are able to withstand different exposures of water.
Charging, Ports and Special Charging Tech
Power banks that make use of multiple charging ports are great to use. However, many people forget to take a closer look at the charging speeds of the each of the ports. The reason for that is because there are power banks that have many charging ports, and yet each of the ports is only capable of charging at 1 Amp speeds.
When a power bank has many USB charging ports, then it’s vital that you know what each of the ports is Outputting. So you can charge each of the devices at a good charging speed and have them charge to full in a timely manner. For power banks that have 2-4 ports, each of the ports should at least be able to Output 5V/2.0A or higher. Since most smartphones and other devices have their max charging speed at or at least close to there.
There’s also special charging tech that you have to take into account because many smartphones now use Quick Charge and USB-C for charging.
Know the Max Output
The Max Output is just as important as the individual charging speed that each port has. The reason for that is because you want to use each of the ports near or at their full potential. If a power bank has 3 USB ports and each port is able to Output a charging speed of 5V/2.0 and the Max Output is 6 Amps, then that is a good output.
That’s because you’re able to charge 3 devices and still use the max power of each of the ports that those devices are charging from.
Input is Just as Important as the Output
The input means the recharging part of the power bank. Most Mini power banks have slow recharging speeds and it makes sense because they have smaller capacities to recover. However, when it comes to high capacity power banks, the Input charging speed matters a lot. Since a power bank can have a 20,000mAh+ power capacity and yet it has a single Input with a speed of 1 Amp. That is going to take a LONG time to recharge to its full power.
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2 Amp recharging speeds and beyond are the best. Some power banks even use two Input ports and that makes them able to recharge at double the speed. Then there are ones that use special charging tech like Quick Charge or USB-C to recharge and those are faster options for recharging.
Lots and Lots of Brands
There are lots of brands of power banks on the market since many companies know that power banks are popular products, there are lots of them selling. It’s a good and bad thing. There are quite a few companies that are actually innovating with their products and are offering the latest tech. Then there are companies that still sell power banks that are very outdated.
That is why it’s vital to purchase power banks from reputable sellers that know their product and have a proven track record of selling great products. One of the most notable ways to tell this is by checking their warranty and see how long it’s for and what it entails.