Eight Essentials Factors When Buying a Power Bank

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If you are looking to buy a power bank and find yourself swamped with the number of options available in the market today, this guide should help you separate the wheat from the chaff. Power banks are vital to anyone who is on the go and can be a life-saver when you see that ugly red bar on your screen. Here are the top eight things to consider before you buy a power bank.

Power Bank

1. Capacity

The main attribute associated to a power bank is its capacity.  This capacity is measured in milliampere hour i.e. mAH. You can’t exactly calculate how many times a specific power bank can charge your device, but the rule of thumb is, the more the mAH rating the more the capacity.

For example, if you have a mobile phone with a 1500mAH battery, ideally a power bank of capacity 1500mAH can fully charge it once. However, most power banks have a variation between their output written on the box and the actual capacity that they give.

A power bank with 10,000 mAH, you might think can charge your phone six times. But keep in mind that the advertised capacity of the power bank is rarely ever the actual capacity. The actual capacity is generally around 80% of what is written on the box. So, that means you could charge your phone approximately five times.

The formula is: (80% * power bank’s capacity) / Phone’s capacity

So therefore, (80% * 10,000)/1500

This is equal to about five times.

Should you decide on buying a portable charger, keep your own usage in mind.  To meet your charging needs, 11200mAh and 20,000mAH, (and higher mAh) units are available.  There are chargers that can charge almost any type of device, from all types of companies. This includes laptops, ipad, ipod, tablets, and mobile phones.

2. Voltage and Current factors

To make sure your power bank and your smartphone are a good fit you need to consider two elements:

  1. The voltage: You need to make sure that the voltage of the power bank and the voltage of your smartphone’s battery have the same voltage. If the power bank has a lower or higher voltage this can cause the device to heat up and at times can cause explosions too.
  2. The current: You need to make sure that the current factor on power bank and your smartphone match as well. Else, your phone’s not going to get that juice!

Some power banks do provide the following:

Over Current Protection: it prevents too much power going into the battery pack and the power going out to the connected equipment, protecting the delicate circuitry of both devices.

Over Voltage Protection: it protects both the power bank and the connected device by keeping the voltage within recommended safety parameters to avoid damage.

Over Discharge/Charge Protection: Some power banks consistently monitor charge states to prevent this from happening.

3. Portability

One of the reasons to buy a power bank is the portability factor. The ability to charge your devices while on the move because you can simply take a charger with you, is a huge plus. Consider however that the greater the capacity of the power bank the greater the possible weight of the power bank. So there is a trade-off.

4. Warranty

I cannot stress this point enough. Your power bank needs to have warranty. Any power bank will be susceptible to wear and tear and having a warranty as a back-up is always a good idea. Some power banks require you to register your purchase, by providing the serial number either online or via a helpline. This is a good way to activate your returns policy and to ensure your product is not a counterfeit. For something that is going to be used a lot, you definitely need a warranty.

5. Quality

The easiest way to get a quality power bank is to avoid counterfeit and dangerous ones by just buying power banks from reputed brands. While buying power banks there is a fair chance of you buying something on amazon that is very cheap. We highly recommend being very cautious about buying products just because they are cheap as it is highly likely you might receive a dud from China. Another way to ensure quality and avoid being scammed is to look for these signs.

This ensures that your power bank has been subjected to a certain threshold of standards.

6. Led Indicator

Well this point is not that important if all the other factors are satisfied. But having a led indicator to indicate the amount of power left in your bank comes in handy while both charging and discharging. It can be annoying to not know whether the power bank is charged or not.

7. Led Indicator

Be careful with the inexpensive power banks with large capacity. Many times you get what you pay for, meaning they may not charge your gadgets properly, or even worse, break down on you. As far as power banks are concerned, it is not recommended to buy the cheapest option. This is one of the times where you do indeed get what you pay for.

A mid-range to upper range price on a good brand will be a great option with no sacrifice on quality.

8. Weight

The weight of the power bank is also something you should consider. Although there is a trade-off between capacity and weight, lugging around a super heavy power bank can be an annoying experience. You should look for something that can give you good capacity while at the same time being portable.

Armed with these eight factors you should be able to breeze through the buying process and land a really good power bank that keeps you going.


Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

I am Vishal Gaikar, Software Engineer, Web Addicted, Living in Maharashtra, India. If you like This post, you can follow Tricks Machine on Twitter, also you can add me on Google+.

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