Imagine you’re on a solo trip and your phone’s battery goes off in the middle.
That’s a tough situation, isn’t it?
How would you book a cab? How would you call your mother and tell her that you’re doing fine? How would you even look into the map and see that you’re in the right direction?
So, you see how your life completely depends on your phone. Once its battery is drained, everything will stop.
That’s why most travelers prefer carrying a portable power bank with them during traveling so that they can always keep their phone on charging and prevent such unwanted situations. It’s an important accessory for travelers which should be carefully chosen.
However, most of us end up buying wrong battery banks and then regret later and are forced to buy a new one. We just neglect a few small yet crucial things about who we’ll talk in this blog.
Have a look:
Why you need a Power bank?
Like I said earlier, smartphones play an important role in our lives. Most important things like calling, messaging, bank transactions, and map navigation need phones. Even if the smartphones are coming with larger battery capacities, their constant use and running multiple apps drains even the largest battery capacity cell phones much before the day ends.
The moment its battery drains is the moment your world stops and you certainly wouldn’t want that.
That’s why you need a power bank so that your phone is always on charging and you can seamlessly continue with important tasks.
How to select a quality Power bank?
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Low-capacity Power banks
These power banks come in small size but low battery power. The best thing about these power banks is that you can easily carry them in your pocket. On the other hand, they can only charge your phone for once or twice. Their usual capacity is below 5000mAh. Usually they have single input and dual output. You need to charge these almost everyday but the charging time is only like 3-4 hours.
While I would be happy to use them as a backup charging source at home or in office, they’re not an efficient option to consider during traveling. These are usually very small size that fit easily in your backpocket without the bulge.
The price range is usually below Rs 1500 for good quality ones.
High-capacity Power banks
These power banks come in a large size over 10,000mAh and are bulkier than the former.. Also, they can charge multiple devices at the same time or a single device multiple times over. These have multiple input and output ports. This makes great them a great option during traveling. Also, while you can carry them in your pockets due to their big size they look a bit protruded. So, you can carry them in your backpack. The good thing about these power banks is that once you charge these they can last a couple of days and sometimes even a week (for 20,000 mAh) and you need to charge them once in a week or so. The flipside is that these take 6-8 hours to charge themselves depending on whether they have Type C or Qualcomm QC input charging.
The price range is usually below Rs 2000 for good quality 10,000 mAh power banks and below Rs 2500 for 20,000 mAh power banks.
Types of Input Ports and Number of Output ports
Your power bank should support all major types of input and output ports like USB, Type — C, and lightening. Multiple inputs ensure that with any cable you can charge your battery bank using any wall adaptor. While Multiple output ports ensure that all types all types of phones, iOS and android, smart gadgets like headphones, mp3 players, digital cameras, etc can be charged with your power bank.
These options assure you that your power bank will stand up for you when you need it the most.
LED power indicator lets you know the status of charge left in your power bank and whether it is charging or not when it blinks or changes color. It also lets you know if your power bank is fully charged so that you don’t end up overcharging it. So, make sure your power bank has an LED indicator.
Many good quality power banks come with LCD panel which shows exact percentage of battery capacity left in the power bank. This prevents any nasty surprises to you when you want to use your power bank to save your day.
Weight to mAh ratio
Another thing you have to keep in mind while choosing a power bank is the weight to mAh ratio. It represents the ratio of weight of a power bank to the batteries it has.
A powerbank is considered to be good if it has lesser weight and higher mAh. For example: If you’re getting a 20,000 mAh power bank in lightweight, you should go for it, you’ll thank your decision later.
Another thing you have to make sure while buying a power bank is that It’s right size.
However, this does not mean that your power banks should be always pocket-friendly as in case you need pro-level service from it or want to use it on a trek with multiple gadgets depending on that single power bank. You can cut down on the weight of your backpack by reducing other unwanted stuff but not the power bank. In other cases, you wouldn’t want to buy something that’s a trouble to carry.
Ideally if your budget allows, buy two power banks, one heavy duty for long trips and one light weight ninja for day-to-day use.
We all want instant gratification and cannot imagine using a slow charging power bank. So an important thing that plays an important role during the selection of a power bank is its charging speed. You would definitely want to go for a power bank that can get charged faster as well as charging connected devices with an equally fast speed.
Some of the factors that you have keep in mind are Input W rating (remember school days? W=VxA) which calculates how fast a power bank can charge to 100% and Output Ampere x Volt (=W) rating which calculates how fast it charges the connected devices.
The batteries used in the power bank also play a significant role. While the original Samsung/LG batteries last for significantly safer, longer and better performance, the local batteries get destroyed fast but they are cheap. They are also very unsafe. Remember a power bank is a potential explosive we carry in our pockets so better use best quality and do not cut corners there.
Lithium-ion Vs Li Polymer Power banks.
There’s always a discussion if Lithium-ion battery is good in a power bank or a Li Polymer battery. You might be wondering this too.
Well, the thing is that both batteries come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Lithium ion batteries are less costly and have high power density. This means they will not suffer charging issues.
However, their drawback is that these batteries are highly unstable, suffer from aging, and are highly unstable.
Lithium Polymer batteries on the other hand, are highly flexible and robust. But they’re highly costly and suffer from charging issues.
So, keeping these things in mind, you have to choose a power bank that’s meeting your needs.
The only thing that will help you in case your power bank stops working is the warranty you’ll get it. If your power bank has a warranty, it will be repaired or replaced. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy a new one. Always register the product you buy on the company website to ensure it’s original. Now a days some companies give extra freebies on registration.
So, make sure your power bank comes with a warranty and avoid duplicate brands.
While you want your power bank to work effectively, you wouldn’t want it to look like something ugly. So, your power bank should have a finish that doesn’t fade. Ideally glass finish looks sleek but mat or textured finish offers better grip.
Last but not the least! Don’t forget safety measures like Overcurrent Protection. They will prevent your power bank from overheating or getting damaged.
Here are some additional guidelines that you can follow:
- Use your power bank in a ventilated area so that it doesn’t get overheated during use
- Don’t use your power bank with wet hands
- Avoid using the power bank if it’s damaged or broken
- Keep the power bank away from direct heat, sunlight, or humidity
- Avoid exposing the power bank to dust
- Don’t attempt to repair your power bank on your own. Doing so is dangerous and can potentially destroy it
Mistakes to Avoid
Settling for a poor quality power bank just because it fits your budget
- Not doing enough research before buying
- Paying more attention to size and design than other features that matter (battery capacity, types of ports, charging speed, safety measures, etc.)
- Completely ignoring safety measures like overcurrent protection
Wrapping it up
Usually, choosing a good quality power bank isn’t easy and it’s an important decision. But with the help of this guide will definitely help you choosing the power bank that’s worth your time and investment. Do share if you think there are other important factors based on your own experience.