…By Pelumi Emmanuel for TDPel Media.
There is no doubt that smartphones and digital devices are ubiquitous as a result of technological advancements. However, these devices become dead weight if they run out of battery. Due to this reason, most travellers tend to carry power banks to keep their devices charged at all times without any hassle, especially if they cannot access a power outlet for long periods of time.
Power banks come in all shapes and sizes, and there are plenty of manufacturers and suppliers offering them, such as RS Components. To make sure you are buying a power bank that is suited to your needs, we have listed below a few vital points you should keep in mind.
What can power banks charge?
These battery packs are incredibly versatile and can power most things, ranging from smartphones to tablets, to even laptops and portable game consoles. That said, they are primarily designed to charge portable media and communication devices. Most can charge a smartphone multiple times and a few models even have more than one output, which gives users the option of charging a number of devices at the same time.
The foremost criteria for picking a power bank are its battery capacity. The capacity of a power bank is measured in Milliampere Hours (mAh). The higher the capacity of the power bank, the more times it can charge a mobile phone or tablet. As such, it is recommended people buy a power bank that offers a capacity that is higher than the capacity of their electronic devices. For instance, if a smartphone has a capacity of 2500mAh, you should aim for a power bank that has a minimum capacity of 5000mAh. This means the phone can be charged at least twice.
Connectivity options and number of USB ports
The more connectivity options your power bank offers, the more versatile it is. As power banks are necessary at times of emergency and are often used for a variety of devices, they should be compatible with all regularly useddevices. Power banks typically have a number of ports ranging from one to four or even more. So before making a purchase, be sure to check the number of USB ports that the power bank comes with. Consider trying a wireless charging power bank if you need to charge multiple electronic devices often.
Input and output power
Input power refers to the power that the power bank accepts when it is being charged. A power bank with a higher input allows it to charge faster so it can be used immediately when needed. This is especially necessary for power banks that have a higher battery capacity. On the other hand, output power refers to the rate at which a power bank can charge a device. Output amperage values are typically either 1 or 2 Amperes. Depending on how often you need to charge your electronic devices, you may decide to pick a power bank that has a quick charge option, so you can charge your devices in the shortest time possible.
Power banks use LED lights to help users identify their status, such as whether it is being charged or being used to charge another device. Typically, the LED lights will indicate how much charge is left in the power bank. Without it, it would be much more difficult to know when the power bank is low on battery. As such, it is better to pick a power bank that has obvious LED indicators letting you know its current status.
Another thing to keep in mind before buying a power bank is your usage patterns. The way you usually use your devices will also help determine the type of power bank to purchase. For instance, if you are a heavy user or need to travel overseas often and are away from charging outlets for long hours, you may consider getting a power bank that has a higher battery capacity even if it is slightly more bulky. However, if you are an average user who only needs to occasionally charge your devices, then you may consider buying a power bank that is lighter and has a lower battery capacity instead.
Size and weight
Typically speaking, size and weight often increase with mAh capacity. So, while a 20,000mAh model may seem like a good option at first glance, it could be too big to carry in your pocket or bag. If you are simply looking to keep your smartphone charged at an outdoor event, then you can consider looking into a pocket-sized model with at least 6,000 to 10,000mAh. For other situations that take you away from a power outlet for days, you may consider looking into larger models, although do remember they are typically too big to be placed in most pockets.
There is no doubt that power banks are an essential source of power for charging any device. One of its major benefits is its ability to offer a stable power source in times of need. There are plenty available on the market, each with its own unique features and drawbacks. As such, it is important you consider most of the above points before making a purchase.