At every corner, on every street, young or old, everyone now owns a smartphone. It has become the first thing that some reach for in their bag or pocket, an important item that one never leaves home without and some keep it close by even when they sleep (it is used as an alarm clock). Besides checking one’s social media account, some also use their smartphones to check emails and log on to mobile games. With smartphones having to endure constant, heavy use, portable power banks is an important accessory to carry regularly.
In a market that is saturated with many power bank brands and models, doing a bit of homework about them helps ensure that you end up with a quality power bank, not a crummy imitation or something that is not compatible with your smartphone.
1) Find out your smartphone’s battery capacity
Know you the battery capacity of your smartphone before buying a power bank. You do not want to end up with a power bank that has insufficient capacity and is unable to support your smartphone. A smartphone battery is commonly measured in mAh (Milliamp Hour) and is usually shown on the box or manual, although some manufacturers like Apple do not openly show such numbers.
For example, the Samsung Galaxy S7 has a 3000 mAh battery. A power bank for the S7 should have a larger battery capacity such as 5000 mAh because there is no perfect and equal power transfer – there is always energy lost when charging.
Xiaomi 10000 mAh power bank internals. Source: Xiaomi
2) Know what goes in and what goes out
This means knowing the input and output power of the smartphone and power bank respectively. These input and output rates are usually measured by Ampere over Voltage, e.g. 1A/5V. A power bank which outputs energy at a lower rate compared to your phone input, will make your phone operate very slowly.
To know your smartphone input power, take a look at the charger that comes with it – most common outputs for these chargers are 1A or 1.5A. So, make sure that your power bank output matches the phone’s input or is higher. Some phones are also designed to take in higher input power, such as the iPhone 6S’s capability to receive up to 2.1A input, even if it comes with a 1A charger.
3) Do not forget to charge the power bank itself!
It works the same way with smartphones: a power bank needs to be charged properly so it can be used on the go. You would not want your power bank to charge really slowly. Imagine how long it will take to charge a large 20,000 mAh power bank with a measly 1A input – it will take a whole day or more. Therefore, make sure your power bank has a high input rating of at least 2.1A if it has a big capacity.
4) Consider the number of charging ports
If you use more than one smartphone at a time, do consider a power bank with more than one charging port. Larger power banks typically have at least two charging ports so you can charge two different devices at the same time. Some of these power banks also have smart charging ports which can detect what device they are charging and alternate the power output to match it.
5) Always buy from a reputable brand and manufacturer, seriously.
This should be at the top of your list when purchasing a power bank. Because of the popularity of power banks, there have been many imitations and fakes flooding the market. These are bad not just because they are imitations, but because of the dangers that come with it, namely, they lack proper circuitry and electronic protection. The lack of such protection can harm your smartphone, electronic items as well as yourself. Such imitation power banks are not immune to heating up or exploding.
With the many brands and models currently in the market, checking them out on iprice, while keeping in mind the points mentioned, will help when buying a power bank that is compatible with your smartphone. One popular brand is Huawei, which have compact but powerful power banks. Some other brands to consider are Xiaomi , Asus , and Samsung.