Tired of your phone battery dying all the time? Worry no more, power banks are the new buzz which are keeping our phones alive for longer!
- 1 What is a power bank?
- 2 Measuring a power banks worth
- 3 How to select the best power bank
- 4 The 10 best power banks of 2018
- 5 Anker PowerCore+ 20100eas – Best Power Bank 2018
- 6 Kmashi 10000 mAh – Best Budget Power Bank 2018
- 7 Ravpower Ace 22,000 mAh – Best High Capacity Power Bank
- 8 Zendure A8 QC Power Bank – Best Designed Power Bank
- 9 Vinsic 20000 mAh Ultra Sim Power Bank
- 10 EasyAcc Monster 20000 mAh Power Bank
- 11 Jackery Giant+ Premium 12000 mAh Dual USB
- 12 Polanfo 12000 mAh Power Bank
- 13 Anker Powercore 10000
- 14 Zendure A2 – Best Fastest Power Bank
- 15 How to buy the best power bank for your smartphone: 13 things to consider
- 16 Final words – Wrapping it up
What is a power bank?
As if to answer the needs of millions of smartphone users, power banks are the latest “hot cakes” on the electronics market.
Simply put, a power bank is a power storage device with which you can charge your phone. It also boasts portability, your phone could charge with the power bank right beside it, in your pocket. The manufacturers add a separate smaller cable for charging your phone, though any stock USB cable will do.
Before use, you need to charge the power bank by reversing the cable ends, preferably with a stock mobile phone charger.
Measuring a power banks worth
To help you in an endeavor of searching power banks online or on the market, we’ll use some common battery capacity measuring jargon. A power bank’s capacity is usually measured and advertised in mAh-milliampere per hour.
To get a basic notion of how much it is worth, compare the capacity of a power bank to the capacity of your own mobile phone. Simple math will tell you how many times a fully charged power bank can charge your phone.
How to select the best power bank
This is a resounding question asked by people all over the Internet: What should I keep in mind while buying the best power bank? Is taking a note of the mAh enough?
If you don’t expect much for the price you’re paying, making a note of the mAh is enough. However, if you want more bang for your buck, here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Try to determine the efficiency of a power bank. The efficiency of a power bank describes how much of the charge in the power bank actually goes into the phone without any loss. Calculate the “real capacity” of your power bank by applying basic percentage mathematics
- Make sure your power bank has overcharge protection. In cheaper power banks that lack this feature, a common cause of the device breaking down is overcharging. If you’re going for a quality power bank, this feature is a must have
- Lastly, the color, size, and shape should be taken into consideration. Try avoiding bulky power banks as you can most probably find the same quality in a smaller size under a different brand
If you’re ready to shell out decent money, you’ll find an unbelievable number of power banks on the market. It’s hard to choose the better product among two when they both boast about the same qualities. We’re here to help you find the one you need with a list of the top 10 power banks for 2018.
|Power Bank||Battery Capacity||Weight|
|Kmashi MP816||10,000mAh||9.79 ounces|
|Ravpower Ace||22,000mAh||17.60 ounces|
|Zendure A8||26,800mAh||20.49 ounces|
|Vinsic Ultra Slim||20,000mAh||1.1 pounds|
|EasyAcc Monster||20,000mAh||16 ounces|
|Jackery Giant+||12,000mAh||10.4 ounces|
|Polanfo Bank||12,000mAh||9.4 ounces|
|Anker PowerCore 10000||10,000mAh||6.38 ounces|
|Zendure A2||6,700mAh||4.8 ounces|
Anker PowerCore+ 20100eas – Best Power Bank 2018
Anker is already a well-established company where power banks are concerned. A dozen other flagship power banks from the same company could have made this list. However, the Anker Powercore tends to shine a little brighter.
The word that sets this power bank apart from its brothers is speed. It has two USB ports and people might mistake one for inlet and other as an outlet. While technically, they are not wrong, the outlet port can be reversed too, so you can double the speed at which your phone charges while also doubling the rate at which it charges from an AC inlet. Set at 15 W, the charging speed of this power bank is among the best.
With a beastly capacity of 13065 mAh, Anker promises that you can charge your power bank in eight hours, which is a pittance compared to the capacity. While there is no Qualcomm Quick Charge support (a quick charging utility), the company promises that the inbuilt speeds are as fast as fast can be.
Another negative aspect of the charging display system, the four-LED display is reliable for most, but an LCD screen would’ve definitely hit the ball out of the park.
You can even charge laptops and MacBooks from this power bank, though there might be a few technical difficulties along the way.
During tests, the Anker PowerCore charged an iPhone 6 from zero to full at least seven times. You need not worry about higher capacity smartphones, such as a Nexus P6, as it can reliably charge batteries of 3000mAh + at least three times.
However, efficiency is where this power bank is not on the bright side. The power bank delivers only 60-70 percent, which though decent, falls short of other power banks in the same price range.
Other perks include the power bank being waterproof, and the build quality being excellent. So you need not worry about dropping it accidentally in water. Also, the build quality, while not the sleekest among all, is certainly slim enough to fit in your pocket, though a cover is also provided as an accessory. You also receive an 18-month warranty.
Kmashi 10000 mAh – Best Budget Power Bank 2018
It is hard to define your power consumption needs for your mobile. There are power banks as huge as 20000 mAh, like the one we reviewed before, and there are power banks as small as 2000 mAh. This power bank hits the sweet spot between the extremely high and extremely low.
The Kmashi 10000 mAh charger fits all your charging needs. So if you’re planning to buy a power bank to take on a long trip for example, but don’t want to carry a lot of bulk with you, this is the smartest option.
The Kmashi 10000 charger is designed to juice your phone 4 or 5 times at the most. It also does that extremely quickly, so you don’t have to fret with cables for a long time. It has two USB ports on its front face, and allows for an astonishing 80 percent efficiency.
The mind-blowing feature that this power bank comes with is pass-through charging. This means that you can connect your smartphone to this power bank, and this power bank to a power outlet, and charge both at the same time for your needs later. All this can be done without the need for excess cables, which makes it way easier to use than other bulkier chargers.
The charger has a well-built, sturdy body encompassed with a satisfactory design. With a beautiful red strip running across two black faces, the charger, though not being the best of designs, will still not look bulky or out of place.
The Kmashi 10000 mAh charger is designed with Apple smartphones in mind. This means that you could buy this durable power bank once, and use it with any generation of iPhone which will ever be manufactured. No software upgrades within the iPhone will hamper the capabilities of this charger.
Efficiency is nothing short of brilliant. Sitting at around 80 percent, the efficiency of this power bank beats a lot of biggies in the power bank market.
This power bank applies the four LED battery indication method, which is just acceptable, but loses its value in a higher capacity charger like this one.
Also, it doesn’t support the latest Quick charge and USB-C technologies, but the stock charging speed is quick enough on its own. It is recommended to use a 5V adapter to get an appreciable charging speed; this puts the estimated time it takes to charge at around 6 to 7 hours. However, charging your phone might take only up to 1.5 hours or slightly more. It also features overcharge protection.
Ravpower Ace 22,000 mAh – Best High Capacity Power Bank
One look at the Ravpower Ace and you’ll know that this power bank literally screams family and trips. With three USB outlets, this power bank has set itself apart from any other power bank.
With the Ravpower Ace which allows three phones to be connected at once to an external battery of massive capacity, you can keep your whole family entertained during long trips.
Three phones will charge independently and reliably, though connecting more will obviously cause the battery to drain faster. That shouldn’t be a problem, as 22,000 is humongous when compared to most power banks.
The areas which have been compromised to provide all the above features are weight and looks. Though an attempt to make this power bank look good was evidently made, the manufacturers could not escape the inevitability of making a large and less intricate power bank.
The build, which though looks like ABS plastic, is actually the same alloy used in car manufacturing, so you can put your fears about strength and rigidity to rest. This, along with the size of the power bank, has made its design, somewhat inelegant.
However, if looks are not much of a selling point to you, then this is the one power bank you’ve been looking for all of your life.
Also, the whole 22,000 mAh capacity of this power bank refills in a time of just 10-11 hours. That means you’ll never run out of juice for days together just by leaving it to charge overnight.
The weight also might be an issue to some people. Weighing a massive 406g, this is the one power bank that cannot boast of being portable in your pocket.
Again, the four LED method has been applied to indicate the amount of charging present. This is one negative point because the four LEDs lose their comprehensiveness once the capacity of the battery goes beyond 20,000 mAh. This might bug some people, but it might not be such a big deal after all.
The output is extremely powerful at 5V AND 29V. It also makes use of technologies such as iSmart and supports pass-through charging. It comes with two micro USB cables and a carry case as accessories. The warranty is set at 18 months which is huge, just like the power bank itself. Keeping all of its pluses in mind, we’re sure you won’t believe the price.
For all that it provides, the price of this power bank is unbelievably low. If looks and weight aren’t a problem for you, and having to carry a huge power bank in a case isn’t much of an inconvenience to you, this is the power bank you should go to. This power bank is a must buy for families and if you’re planning to go on long trips.
Zendure A8 QC Power Bank – Best Designed Power Bank
If money isn’t an issue, this is one of the best power banks to buy out there. Imagine the beast-like features of the Ravpower Ace and add elegance and style to it.
The Zendure A8 QC packs a massive 26,800 mAh of capacity; you’ll never run out of battery for ages to come. With its three USB Q3 ports and a QuickCharge port, you can expect blazing charging speeds, both while charging your mobile phone and while charging the power bank itself.
The Zendure A8 QC comes in an elegant silver color; the power bank looks like a beautiful little money suitcase, great to look at but incredibly bulky at the same time. The whole package looks more sophisticated with an LCD screen located at the front end.
Due to the Qualcomm QuickCharge utility, this 26,800 mAh beast can be tamed within a paltry 10 hours. However, while performance at charging one phone is really great, multiple phones connected to this power bank do not gel with each other well. Connecting more phones will cause the speed to split between the phones. This is the selling point of the Ravpower Ace over the Zendure A8.
Despite the above drawback, the Zendure A8 is nothing short of awesome. The device is capable of powering and repowering a standard iPhone 6s over 12 times, and phones of greater capacity at least nine times or more; hence, it is a good pair with an iPhone. The device also supports pass-through charging so you can charge both your power bank and your mobile phone at the same time.
The device boasts of 90 percent efficiency, so very less power is wasted as heat or losses. The power bank also features an LCD screen so you can see the amount of charge present in your power bank much more reliably than the four LED indicators.
The bulkiness might be a letdown for some people. It weighs a massive 481g so you shouldn’t expect to be carrying this device in your pocket. Also, we have to warn you, not everyone finds the design appealing, so take a look before jumping to buy it.
The reason this power bank makes the list of bests is for style alone. If portability and style are your cup of tea, do not shy away from purchasing the Vinsic 20000 mAh power bank.
This charger is so sleek. It gives serious competition to your own mobile phone where fitting into small spaces is concerned; this means you can fit both your phone and charger in the same pocket.
It comes in a variety of colors, and with the amazing body design this power bank has, you will be left wondering how someone could fit 20000 mAh into such a sleek power bank. The body looks wholly metallic, and it shines and reflects color which makes it a treat for the eyes. The actual material used is plastic with aluminum alloy.
A lot of effort has gone into adding other quality features to this power bank. It supports overcharge, over discharge, over voltage, over current and short circuit protection.
The price is the biggest turn off this product features. If you are on a budget, it’s best to choose something else. Beyond the price, it’s still a great and reliable power bank.
With the word “monster” in its name, you can guess what is in store. This power bank looks and works just like how its name describes it—a monster power giver with a slightly bulky look.
The one feature that separates it from all the power banks we’ve reviewed so far is that this power bank has a built-in flashlight. How about that, a 20000 mAh power bank that doubles up as a flashlight! With the juice it contains, you can be sure that you can leave the flashlight on for hours and the charge won’t run out.
This power bank, keeping in league with its “monster” name, allows for four USB outlet ports. With a sleek varnished body with an orange strip on the side, this power bank is similar in design to the Kmashi 10000 power bank, all the while allowing for twice as much capacity.
The EasyAcc Monster allows for pass-through charging. It packs for a moderately good power output of 4.8W, which is good for power banks in this price range. It also has this amazing feature, by which the portable charger changes its output to be optimal for the smartphone it is connected to.
Unfortunately, the charger doesn’t support Qualcomm Quick charge. However, it does promise to fill itself up in only 6 hours. With four USB output ports available, you can charge four devices at the same time, though possibly you’ll be compromising on charging speed.
Like most other power banks, this power bank employs the four LED charging indicator system.
The Jackery Giant+ Premium power bank is the definition of balance between power and style. We are sure no characteristic of this will disappoint anyone, and that is the reason why the product makes our list.
The Jackery Giant+ power bank has the backing of the trusted company Panasonic behind it. You can smell the perfection of its manufacturer in the power banks well-rounded edges and sleek, smartphone-like design.
Housing a powerful 5V/3.1A micro USB output, the Jackery Giant+ Premium charges your iPhone battery 4-5 times. The device houses two USB outlets so you can charge two devices at the same time.
The Jackery Giant+ boasts many layers of protection to protect the powerful battery resting inside its intricate design. The smart charger also allows for pass-through charging and has an auto-on feature.
It should be noted that this is the only power bank of its kind where an enormous capacity of 10000 mAh is packed into small dimensions of 91mm x 60.4mm x 22mm. The power bank can charge a standard Samsung S6 twice and still have more than half of its battery left! This means that an iPhone can be charged at least five times.
The power bank comes with a flat white USB to micro USB cable. For a power bank which is in between big and small with respect to size, it is tough to either justify or deny the manufacturer’s decision of not supplying a carrying case. Though for us, we feel that it is sleek enough to fit in everyone’s pocket.
Again, like most others, this power bank uses the LED display method, which is a little lacking, though the display method is comprehensive enough for a 12000 mAh lithium ion battery. The beauty and price of the device make-up for its lack of quick-charging capabilities.
Are we talking hip? Are we talking cool? Are we talking beautiful? Nothing comes close to beauty when we consider the Polanfo compact power bank. And soon you’ll know why.
The Polanfo 12000 mAh power bank is the definition of making otherwise bulky stuff beautiful. This design is sleeker than the Vinsic power bank we discussed earlier. Hence, it sets a new bar where portability is concerned. With a jet black body with a white face, keeping this power bank looks as if you’re carrying one of those stylish and posh mini diaries with you.
It is very light, and you won’t feel its presence in your pocket. It employs the same sleek manufacturing standards of Apple products, consistently using materials such as anodized aluminum alloy.
This power bank has a cool looking LED finishing its modern look.
Though you might find other power banks that work slightly better than the Polanfo 12000, this power bank is still massively powerful. The emphasis in the above sentence is on “slightly” and we mean slight in the strongest of terms. It packs a decent input of 5V and an output of 2.1A and 1A. This might not be a cause of concern for a lot of customers.
The drawbacks are a pittance compared to what it has to offer. While it does not support Qualcomm Quick charge yet, it employs smart charge, rarely found in other flagships. This means it charges phones via a “brain” and optimizes its output for different phones while saving power.
The Polanfo 12000 power bank is an extremely powerful and high capacity power bank wrapped in one of the most beautiful of designs you can find. Definitely for people who wanted to take their coolness level one inch farther. Very stylish and suitable for students.
Leaving its 20000 mAh counterparts in the behinds of this list, you might wonder why the Anker Powercore makes it here. Well, it’s because unlike its 20000 mAh battery that tries to solely focus on capacity, this power bank is much better designed and feature heavy. Read on to find out how.
We’ll give it to you straight. The design isn’t as beautiful as its counterpart, the Polanfo 10000 mAh battery charger. However, the features are what you are paying for here.
While being a little huge and bulky, the Anker Powercore is still very pocketable. It consists of sturdy a metallic or aluminum body over two white plates at the edges, so you can be sure the battery is protected from rough usage.
Also, the power bank has rounded edges, so you shouldn’t worry much about it falling on an edge and damaging an edge. Its rigid, tough and sturdy design might make its looks feel a little bland, though the device isn’t really boasting its looks.
The efficiency of this power bank is set at 60-70 percent, which is very standard but falls a little short of a few other products reviewed on this list. However, it guarantees enough juice to charge your high-capacity batteries twice and a standard iPhone battery up to at least five times.
The device also supports an auto-on feature, which lets you start charging by simply plugging your device in instead of taking your power bank out of your preferred storage place and fiddling with the controls.
The power bank houses a single USB port, and a single micro-USB port, which is a little lackluster to be on a top list, but is still pretty standard.
This power bank, as if to compensate for its lack of design, is much more feature heavy compared to others in its league.
For its amazingly low price, it offers Qualcomm Quick charge support and smart charging capabilities. The quick charging nature of this device puts its charging to a very speedy time of 6 to 7 hours.
Most Android phones have rolled out support for Qualcomm Quick charge 3.0, the very utility this power bank employs. Unfortunately, the makers of this power bank themselves have disabled pass-through charging, in an attempt to protect its battery. This is a big downgrade from other power banks which allow for this feature in the same price range.
Bewildered? How does a power bank that doesn’t have an LCD display and doesn’t have USB C support makes our list? You’ll find out why.
Described by PC Advisor, a famous online electronics magazine, as the ultimate sweet spot between price, capacity, and portability, the Zendure A2 is set to prove the magazine right in every way possible.
The body comprises of a comfy plastic which feels as good as any other material you may want your power bank to be in. It looks a little rugged and has a rugged lining on its faces too, but the looks and feel of the Zendure A2 are still incredible.
Housing a powerful enough battery of capacity 6400 mAh, this power bank has the distinction of being a jack of all trades. The newest versions boast an improved battery capacity of 6700 mAh.
The body houses a simple USB output of current standards 2.1 A and a micro-USB input of 1.5A. This makes for the nature of this power bank to be described as simple beauty.
The power bank charges at a lightning speed of only 4 hours, that’s stupidly amazing for such a well-priced power bank. The power bank supports pass-through charging via its single inlet and outlet, and also use the auto on and off features. If that isn’t breathtaking on its own, the oh so inexpensive power bank also supports smart charging so you can optimize your input even at such a low price.
You can also charge multiple devices at the same time via this power bank, but the single inlet-outlet system limits your options. However, this is not a power bank designed to charge multiple devices; it is for day to day rough use.
The battery housed in this power bank boasts of charging retention of up to 6 months. So even if you throw your power bank in a bag and forget all about it, it’ll still get you out of sticky charging situations in time of need.
Up until now, we’ve seen how power bank manufacturers had to compromise in one arrear or the other if they were planning to focus on pushing a single characteristic of their product over the top. But this power bank is the holy trinity—perfect looks, perfect features at the perfect price.
This power bank attempts to push the 5000 mAh limit other power banks put themselves to. It also houses a four LED charging display system, which though falling a little low, is still a very comprehensible scale for a 6000 mAh battery. With how Zendure keeps updating their products, you can expect them to release a greater capacity version in the near future.
So you have finally decided to buy power bank! Obviously you would long for buying best power bank available for your smartphone. In addition to that you are too much perplexed even after going through some other power bank buying guide, along with the vast availability of the power banks in the popular e-commerce sites and feeling helpless rather confused which one to choose, of what capacity and even bigger question from where. What else it could be after all when you have landed to this page! Anyway, if you are in such a condition then just don’t feel low as too many are there just alike you (even I had a similar feeling while going for my first one :p ). This exhaustive, epic guide on how to buy power bank, would make you smoothly zero in on the exact portable battery pack that you need.
If you believe me, there is nothing tricky or something like you must be very gadgetaholic to find the best rather most suitable external battery pack. You are just required to keep some basic things in the mind while making the selection.
But before we start our power bank buying guide, let’s get to know what power banks are and how they function.
Power bank: What is it?
To put it simply, portable power bank is a collection of cells controlled and guided by a micro-controller enabled PCB with sophisticated casing to store energy and let you use that power afterwards to charge your devices like smartphones, tablets On-The-Go without any hassle.
Kinds of power banks:
Generally, the most available portable chargers are universal ones with USB output and micro-USB input ports. Though there exists some newer kind that is solar power bank, which in generally as the name suggests, though primarily charged by the solar power, commonly comes with a provision to charge with normal USB wired charger as well.
Types of the cells:
There exist two major types of the cells used in the power banks, Lithium-ion (mostly ‘18650’ type cell having abbreviation Li-ion) and other one is Lithium-Polymer (also called Li-Poly). Li-ion ones are cheaper than that of the Li-Poly and thus are used extensively but Li-poly do have more charge bearing capability than Li-ion per unit weight, it is also safer. You will find a detailed section about these later in this guide on how to buy power bank.
How does power bank work?
Functioning of power bank is pretty simple, as you can plug in the portable charger through its USB cable at your convenient time and place to get it charged and when done, you can carry it along with you so that you can use it when you actually need the ‘power’ to charge your smartphone but cannot find a good old plug point hanging out of the wall, readily available nearby.
Okay, Let’s now start with the points that one must be having in mind while buying best power banks, which would be suitable and thus perfect for your smartphone or tablet.
- Estimating the power consumption
Capacity is the primary attribute rather identity for power banks, as they are often known by it. You must be hearing and seeing the various ranges like 2600mAh, 5200 mAh, 10400 mAh and so on. These signifies the charge holding capability of the power banks. You must be able to spot the appropriate capability level which would be sufficient as per your need. But then comes how one would be able to determine the need? Don’t worry, let’s move one by one.
Capacity of the power bank is measured in mAh, the same unit as that of the battery of your very smartphone. Again why it would not be so, after all it is a collection of battery in a sophisticated manner! Anyway, to be a little technical, mAh is nothing but milli-Ampere per hour. It determines the amount of power that flow over time and thus manifests the robustness of a powerbank. More mAh signifies greater energy possessing capability.
So, the common thought about the portable charger capacity goes like why would one go for small capacity power banks then? But there are absolutely rational reasons as well for choosing the lower capacity ones as with the capacity of the power banks, the size of the power bank also get increases in general and so does the price.
Further, to be objective, portable charger is something that one is to use in emergencies or contingencies. Obviously you are not going charge your phone with it at the home for sure, right? (Unless it is power cut!) So why should we think about huge ones? Hence we have reasons for going both way, either for small capacity ones or for big-capacity ones. And the answer would be decided by the individual need of the consumption.
Now let’s concentrate on the need. So the need or power usage can be measured as the number of times you would be willing to get your smartphone charged fully with one full charge of the power bank. We do have a little formula for that but before that let’s get accustomed with a few terms quickly:
You can hear a lot of allegation that power banks do not supply charges as they claim. It is ideally thought that a battery pack with certain capacity would be able to charge a smartphone with same capacity battery fully once but that is not the case in reality as being an intermediate device of transforming energy, there are some evident losses of power and thus no power bank is capable of converting 100% of its own capacity in actuality. Here, we can have a mathematical formula about efficiency here:
Device Depletion (Health of your mobile battery):
In layman’s term, it is a measurement in percentage telling about the health and condition of smartphone’s battery. Though for sure it might be difficult to find out this figure for your smartphone, but in general when we would be going to find our need of power usage, this factor matters.
Now you can look at our master formula which determines the number of times a certain power bank can fully charge your smartphone.
Here, if we go by some example, let’s consider a power bank with capacity 6000mAh and having 80% efficiency and your smartphone’s device depletion also being 80 % with a battery capacity of 1500 mAh, you can get your mobile approximately 2.5 times charged with it.
With the help of this formula, sticking to a required charging frequency, you can arrive to some definite conclusion about what capacity can fulfill your need.
In addition to this, the capacity calculation may get also affected if you plan to charge more than one device with your power bank may be simultaneously with multiple output ports or one after another, sequentially with a single port. In both the cases, the above formula based calculation can be carried out for each devices and the resultant sum would be the requirement.
- Input ampere
As per Hardwarezone, they mentioned in their guide on how to buy power bank, “It’s easy to persuade yourself to buy a large-capacity battery pack. But one tends to forget that the higher the capacity, the longer it takes to recharge”. In fact, this is among the many factors which restrict one to go for a big capacity power bank.
The input ampere rating of a power bank is something that actually determines how long it would take to get charged and is most often found to be either 5V-2A DC or 5v-1A DC. This measurement is specified for every power bank so you can just get to know it without much hassle. To simplify the meaning of these, the one with rating input ampere 5V-2A DC would get charged twice as fast as compared to the one with input ampere rating 5V-1A DC. For sure you would never be seeking a lazy self-charging powerbank, so 5V-2A rated power banks will be more preferable always (But to get the optimum result, you must also use 2A wall charger to charge the power bank).
A simple real instance can be cited here. The PNY b-740 10400 mAh capacity power bank with 5V-2.1A DC input rating gets charged fully by 6 hours at most whereas the 5V-1A DC rated Ambrane P-1000 10400 mAh with same capacity would take almost 11 hours to get replenished in an average.
- Output Ampere
Now in this guide on how to buy power bank, we are concerned with the charging time of the smartphone rather than the portable charger, in other words the current drawing capacity of your phone. In most of the cases it is found the old phones do have a specification of 1A but the newer smartphones and tablets, particularly which do follow the Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 standard are in contrary do have a rating of 2.1A. You can get this rating from the original charger for your device or the data sheet.
You can find the Adata PV110 battery pack above with having dual USB output ports each with 1A and 2.1 A rating respectively.
One common concern is noteworthy as many are found to get apprehensive, thinking if they charge their smartphone with some power bank having greater output rate than the input rating of their smartphone, would that be harming their devices? The answer you will get in this power bank buying guide is exactly no as the smartphone would just draw its required power from the source and let itself get charged, causing no damage to itself.
As far as the output ampere rating is concerned of the power banks, you would get your devices charged almost twice faster with the 5V-2.1A output port than 5V-1A ports. Nowadays most of the battery packs with capacity greater than 10000 mAh comes with multiple ports and among them at least one happens to be 2.1 A certainly. And thus for the small capacity powerbanks with single output ports, it is advisable to go for 2.1 A one.
Moreover if you are too much concerned about the safety of your phone and ready to pull up your budget on account of that then Astro pro series power banks are just made for you. These have some really smart feature of smart charging where the usb output ports provides upto 5V-3A depending upon the current drawing capacity of the device you are attaching to it.
- Number of USB slots
Never mind if you see someone being in his situation because he is not the only one on the earth forgetting to bring the wire while carrying the power bank. And being it such a common phenomenon, a number of manufacturers have come up with built in charging wire for the portable chargers like Amekette Fuel Card Portable Power Bank, though I personally am in love with its excellent design otherwise.
The limitation of these built in wire portable chargers is that they are rare than the open port ones and particularly if you do have multiple devices to charge simultaneously then you are going to find at most two wired power banks, not more than that like Atam C-26 8800 mAh portable charger.
On the other hand, if you really need of more than two USB outputs or you just do not feel to go for the wired ones then there are a lot of options available for you starting from easy available 1 USB port till 5 USB slots. But the greater is the number of the ports, the higher is usually the capacity of the power bank and so is the price.
While going for the higher number of ports, one must make sure the total amount of current allotted while simultaneous charging. It might be like if the two USB ports are there each rated as 5V-2A, the battery pack allots 2A current to the ports when charging a single device but at the time of simultaneous charring, the powerbank allots 1.5A to each port summing up, making a provision of 3A altogether or it might be that it is capable of discharging 4A current by splitting into 2A for each port.
A power bank should be easy to carry along with, this is one of the basic criteria and it gets betrayed when you would be heading towards big capacity battery packs, mostly the power banks with capacity more than 10400 mAh with a few exceptions turn up with a dimension of at least 8 cm*4 cm and weighing not less than 350 gms.
Which becomes a bit inconvenient to keep in pocket though still can be shoved inside your
backpack. But it is all a compromise that you are required to make with higher capacity and thus size because a huge capacity powerbank is always everyone would prefer but again being bulky, it would defeat the purpose of the portability and convenience.
Though a specific relationship could not be set up being particular among the capacity and the price of the power banks, still the following is a try in this power bank buying guide to depict the present trend of the market.
Obviously price does not depend solely upon the capacity of the power banks, yet it primarily depends and with capacity, price invariably increases.
- Brand and Reputation
Buying any portable charger from best brands does not entails it would be perfect for you but buying best power bank for your smartphone presupposes that it should be from the best brands. Branded battery packs are the ones you should always prefer and this point is much crucial in this guide on how to buy power bank, as you can see numerous companies popping out from nowhere in e-commerce sites and surprisingly they just do sell nothing but only portable chargers like lappymaster, Batman, Champion, Syska, Wayona, Urban Monkey and so on, they are truly endless. The bottom line remains the same, branded external batteries might cost a bit more but trusted brands are always advisable to count on.
- From where to buy
This is the point which you are going to miss for sure in any other power bank buying guide but ironically it is important as sellers matter. As far as battery pack is concerned you can trust the sellers from Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeals, Infibeam, Paytm, Ebay & Shopclues (selected cases) if you are going for online purchase and avoid like a plague askmebazaar, naaptol or any other less reputed sites as there is a high chance that you would be getting cheated as they sell fake products without any shame. Here is one instance of Shopclues selling fake portable chargers.[Update: Shopclues used to sell a lot of fake power banks not only for Mi, but also for other brands as well somedays back, but they have recently stopped that nasty practice and are in the try to be honest with their products now.]
- Warranty details
Most power banks, in fact almost all the branded power banks comes today with a warranty period of 1 year (though some comes with 5 months as well and the fake ones comes with no warranty at all, :p) and the same can be found at the product description.
In association to warranty, this guide on how to buy power bank would advise you to just make sure that the post purchase service is tangible from the corresponding brand.
While on the verge of buying best power bank, you already know that there are two types of battery cells comprising power banks likely lithium-ion and lithium polymer. Choosing between these two depends again on the nature of your usage like if you are going to use too often your power bank, would not mind about the weight and have a lower budget then lithium-ion is better. Again if you are going to use the charger not too frequently and you prefer safety over money then Lithium-polymer would be the right choice. [Here comes a very helpful article from powerseedus, besides this how to buy power bank guide on why and when a battery pack can explode]. Obviously I have no intention to frighten you, but it is always better to be aware of the safe usages.
- Quality and Safety:
Quality and safety are the non avoidable points in any power bank buying guide and are also important to look upon for buying best power bank. Portable charger comprises of the battery cells and you should be scrupulous and concerned with it’s safety. To do that ensure the following protections in your ‘would be’ power bank:
What is Short-Circuit Protection?
This protection enables to protect your power bank from getting damaged when the output and input of the battery pack is shorted. Generally such a shorting would make the power bank try to charge itself and end up discharging quickly and generating heat. But while your powerbank have such a short-circuit protection, you can remain tension free as detecting a short circuit, your external battery pack would cease to discharge.
What is over Voltage Protection?
With over voltage protection, you can get your power bank discontinued from getting charged if the voltage level of the charge source goes up the threshold.
What is over current protection?
In the same way if the charging source of the power bank provides current more than the required, the battery pack would cease to get charged with over current protection.
What is over charge protection?
If you have over charge protection in your portable charger, then the power bank would not get charged even if it is plugged in, if it detects its own power voltage getting over a certain safe level.
What is over discharge protection?
Again with over discharge protection, the power bank would cease to discharge detecting its power level in terms of voltage getting down below a threshold limit.
What is overheat protection?
Overheat protection in your power bank would make the battery pack refrain from discharging or getting charged if it finds the temperature of the battery pack has gone beyond a predefined boundary. Again for the same reason many apprehend about the explosion of power banks which is not completely baseless. Though Lithium-ion portable chargers are not going to explode until you mishandle it, yet if you are too much concerned here, then I recommend in this power bank buying guide that Lithium-Polymer powerbanks would be a good choice being less prone to explode.
- Pass Through Charging
Now what does that mean? Before clearing it further let me ask you whether it had ever come to your mind or even if you have experimented by trying to charge your power bank and then in turn trying to charge your smartphone at the same time by it? It may sound weird, but time comes when both of your power bank and smart phone goes off, and you need to get them charged fast and again you have only one charging option (say a single wall charger). In such a case power banks with not having pass through charging feature would make your face the trouble.
So precisely pass through charging makes you charge your device from the power bank while the power bank itself is getting charged. Most of the external battery packs lack this feature, thus it is better to go for the ones coupled with this trait if you face such situations often.
- Shape and Design
Isn’t it cool? Sure it is, you would be possibly dying to get one of such sleek power bank and show it off in your circle. But unfortunately such sleek, compact handy powerbanks in most of the cases are not actually functioning ones unless you have already spent more than $100. So if you see while going to buy the best power bank, some 10400 mAh power bank having a superb slim design and compact size at $50, be sure that is either having capacity at most 4000 mAh (might be even less) or it is only for show.
Hence to sum up, the bottom line of this guide on how to buy power bank while buying best power bank goes like this:
- Don’t go for fake ‘Best’ ones
- Estimate what capacity power bank you need
- Mind the input rate
- Pick higher o/p rated power banks
- Calculate number of ports you require
- Fix up a budget not too low
- Go for trusted, reputed brands
- Buy from trustworthy sellers
- Check the warranty details
- Find the quality of battery
- Ensure standard safety protections
- Consider pass through charging, if required
- Prevent getting persuaded by the look and price of power banks
In addition to the above list, hopefully you would find this visual infographic from powerbanky useful as well which would additionally sum up pictorially the points.
Final words – Wrapping it up
The list, though extensive, is not exhaustive. There are at least a dozen power banks out there that might equally compare to those on our list. We just wanted to show you what we think are the best ones.
We hope you’ll keep your battery needs and your smartphone in mind before making a purchase. After all, power banks are something which will stick with you for the same duration as your smartphone.