The complete power bank buying guide
8 months ago Sachin Khanna 1
According to Wikipedia, “A power bank is a portable device that can supply power from its built-in batteries through a USB port”. Remember the time when your mobile battery is discharging and that too when you need your mobile the most. That is the time when you think that if only you could have carried a device that could charge your mobile there and then. This is where mobile power chargers also known as Power Banks, come into the picture. In this post, we would be detailing the steps that one needs to keep in mind while buying a good power bank thus providing the complete power bank buying guide.
Table of Contents
There has been a tremendous technological growth in the smartphone segment, but the technology growth that powers batteries, tend to remain more or less stagnant. In order to compensate for this, the mobile manufacturers have to take steps to prolong the battery life, be it through tweaks in the Operating system or by developing better processors, like Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, which has the ability to offload tasks from CPU to DSP. Then there are innovative methods to quicken the charging times like DASH or Quick charge. So this shows how necessary and useful a power bank can be at times.
Top Power Banks reviewed
Xiaomi Mi 10000mAH Power Bank
A power bank that ensures that the device remains temperature resistant so that the batteries operate in a safe range.
It also provides Input/Output overvoltage protection.
Mi 10000mAh upto 93% conversion rate and thus are quite efficient and durable.
With Nine layers of chip protection which enhancing efficiency, this power bank is available in a strong and lightweight aluminium case.
Xiaomi Mi 20000mAH Power Bank review
Xiaomi Mi 20000mAh power bank comes with a power packed 20000 mAh battery capacity and supports fast charging.
This device comes with 2 ports to charge 2 devices simultaneously.
An auto power feature that cuts off the charging when it is complete thus saving power and the device. The device is claimed to charge from 0 to 100% in 7 hours using a quick charge 2.0 charger.
TP-Link 10400mAh TL-PB10400 Power Bank
TPLink has come up with this 10400 mAh battery capacity, dual USB ports which has inbuilt circuitry to quicken up the charging.
The power bank provides several safety features like short-circuit prevention, over-voltage protection, overcurrent and overheating protection.
This device is compatible with most of your devices and also has a torch light.
Before you go ahead and buy a power bank, be sure to check out the capacity of the battery that your smartphone has. It is necessary that you know the exact mAh of your phone’s battery, and only then you may decide, what would be the power bank’s capacity needed for your use.
Take for an example. The iPhone 6S comes with a 1715 mAh battery and you aim for a power bank with a rating of 2000 mAh for this device. According to the rule book, the power bank should charge the phone fully. But it doesn’t happen that way in real world scenario. In the real world, there are voltage boosting etc which tend to help the energy getting lost. In reality, the phone might charge anywhere between 75-80%. You don’t get full 100% charging as promised on the booklet. While buying a power bank for your mobile, one should aim for a power bank with capacity that is around 30% more than your phone’s battery capacity.
You can always aim for higher power bank rating because if you buy a larger capacity battery say a 4500mAh , then in our iPhone example above, after getting fully charged, this power bank would charge your 1750 mAh iPhone 6S twice (1750 x 2=3500mAh) which is what the power bank is capable of delivering if used twice without the need of getting recharged). In simpler terms, getting a higher capacity power bank ensures that you can charge your phone multiple times.
Rule of thumb: Go for a power bank with as large capacity as your budget allows and never lesser than the battery capacity of your smartphone
Check your phone’s charger to know what is the current draw for it. Most newer phones like those supporting faster charging, have a current draw of 2.1 A as compared to the older phones with smaller draw say 1 A. Getting to know how much the power draw is for your phone, will ensure you in buying a power bank which supports it. iPhones and iPads have still higher power draw of 2.4 A. Check your phone’s original charger to know the ratings.
The higher the input power for the power bank, the faster it will be able to recharge itself. Make sure, the input power is anywhere between 2A over 5V. At least you don’t want yourself buying a higher rating power bank which would need 2 days to recharge. Some power banks come compatible with Qualcomm’s Quick charge input port. This means that there would be a quick recharging which is always a good to have feature. This would be worth looking into when going for a buy.
Power banks essentially use Li-Ion or Li-Polymer batteries as their source.
Li-Ion vs Li-Po battery
Li is the short form of Lithium. Li-Ion stands for Lithium Ion or Li-Po for Lithium Polymer, Ion or Polymer referring for the cathode. Li-Ion has a carbon cathode and a liquid electrolyte. Li-Po has solid electrolyte and you guessed it right, a Polymer cathode. Both batteries are rechargeable with Li-Po being the newer technology in the market with better specs and safety.While Li-Ion batteries are cheaper, Li-Polymer is expensive but provides twice the charge density per unit weight. So what this means is that you get a lighter weight power bank with higher charge capacity.
Always go in for a reputed brand while buying a power bank. Saving in on a few bucks and going in for the street vendor stuff, might not be safe. There have been several instances, wherein batteries have exploded on overcharging. So it is advisable to go in for reputed brands. Name brands have safe protective coverings, that tend to protect the batteries. So it is very important to go in for good brands.
Again check on for some features like over charge protection (OCP) or over voltage protection (OVP) or over temperature protection (OTP) before buying a power bank.
If you are not that technical sound while buying power bank, it is safe to go in for a name brand.
The power bank is an additional device that you may carry when going out, so it needs to be lightweight and small in size so that it fits well in your bag. It should not be bulky and spacious that it becomes an additional burden to carry and manage. Several power banks are available in rubber casings, which make them good to look at and easy to carry.
Buying a power bank for your phone can be at times a bit tricky. Hope this complete power bank buying guide has helped you in providing knowledge so that you would be able to pick the best power bank that suits your need and pocket.