It’s often frustrating when you’re on the go and your smartphone or tablet dies.

This is where having a portable power bank charger can make a huge difference in keeping your devices fully powered wherever you are. With the increase in their usage for staying connected, there is a need to keep them charged at all times.

Here are 4 key considerations to help you choose the right portable power technology that best suits your travel and power needs.

1. Capacity

If you’re not carrying too many devices when you travel, then you will only require a portable bank with a low capacity to charge your phone. If you’re charging larger devices, such as an iPad or tablet, then you’ll require a higher capacity power bank.

The higher the milliampere hour (mAh), the more capacity the power bank will have. If you have a cell phone with a 1500mAh battery, then a capacity of 1500mAH can fully charge it once. Here is a usage guide:

1500mAh battery: Mobile phone (1 full charge)

5200mAh battery: Mobile phone (2 full charges), Tablet (50% charge)

10000mAh battery: Mobile phone (4 full charges), Tablet (1 full charge)

Higher mAh unit power banks are also available, and there are charges that can power almost all devices, including laptops, iPads, tablets, iPods, action cameras and all mobile phones.

2. Cost vs. Quality

Batteries can explode. Some battery pack makers will tell you on the packaging where the batteries are sourced from.

So, while the cheaper brand-less battery pack sounds like a great deal compared to a branded one, its almost impossible to tell if it cuts any corners with the short circuit, over charging, and temperature protection mechanisms in order to pull off the low price.

3. Portability

Most power banks come with a built-in USB cable, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your devices USB cable at home.

To cater for iOS users, some power banks contain a built-in Lightning cable instead. These often tend to cost more than USB options because they cater for Apple products, where licensing and certification program fees have to be paid.

Higher capacity banks usually come with more than one USB charging port. The biggest advantage of having multiple charging ports is that you can charge more devices at the same time.

If you’re using more than one port, identify the total output current of the battery pack. For example, if you’re using a battery pack with two 2A/5V ports, an output of 2A will be used when only one port is being occupied.

If two ports are connected, the total output may be limited to 3A, with each port getting 1.5A. If a power bank has a total output of 4A, then both devices will be able to charge as fast as they can.

4. Power output

The output of the charger should be equal to the input battery voltage requirement of your device. If it’s lower, you may drain your device’s battery, rather than charging it.

Most power banks will charge mobile phones and mp3 players, but only a selected few can fully recharge your laptop battery.

Larger electronic devices such as this may require a 12V – 24V output rating that is available in larger portable battery packs.

If you’re constantly on the go for business or pleasure, a power bank is definitely worth investing in.


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