There are a few things that are more frustrating than running out of charge in an area where there is no immediate access to power outlets. Be it a phone, a tablet, or any other type of electronic device, it is inevitable that the battery will run out at some point during your trip. The solution to this is to bring a portable charger with you. These practical devices serve as a convenient backup for your device battery and are often equipped with a number of great features that contribute to boosting the overall performance of your phones, tablets, and even laptops. In this guide, we will go over the essential features of portable chargers and we will help you pick the best option on the market in 2021.
As it is the case with any type of electronic device, portable chargers come with a wide range of features and specs that can be confusing to a novice user. While some of these characteristics are essential and highly integral to the overall functionality of the unit, a great percentage of them is nothing more than superfluous functions that are used to inflate the price. To help you navigate this market and figure it out how to assess the intrinsic value of portable chargers, we have narrowed all the features that you need to focus on to these few points.
This is a fairly intuitive feature. A portable power bank is supposed to add convenience to your life by providing with quick charging for all your devices regardless of where you are. In order to achieve this, the charger needs to have the capacity to deliver a full charge within a reasonable time frame. It is also essential to keep in mind that the charging time is not entirely dependent on the quality of the charger itself. In a lot of cases, a poorly-designed or defective battery will take too long to charge even when you are using a high-end portable power bank to charge it.
The capacity of the portable charger is one of the first things that you should pay attention to. It is generally correlated with size, so the bigger the charger is the higher its capacity. The power banks that can provide enough power for more than a day of continuous use tend to be significantly bulkier and heavier than the ones destined to power a phone for a few hours.
As for the actual capacity, it is usually represented in mAh, a unit of electric charge that measures power over time. The standard capacity for small chargers is around 3,500 mAh, whereas larger models can easily exceed 20,000. If you want to power bank that can provide you with enough power when you are completely off the grid for a few days, you should be looking at a unit that boasts a minimum capacity of 15,000 mAh.
This might not seem like an important factor at first glance, but having a clear idea about the types of input and output ports that are included in a portable charger is extremely valuable. This will help determine its compatibility with your devices as well as the charging speed that it can offer. Neglecting this critical aspect will inevitably lead you to buy a charger that is not suitable for your needs.
When it comes to ports, there are only two options that you should familiarize yourself with; USB-A and USB-C. While the first option has its own set of benefits, USB-C ports are generally recommended due to their ability to deliver fast charging times. This is mostly due to the fact that both input and output are consolidated into one port, which results in quicker power transmission from the charger to the battery.
Cables are an important factor that has direct implications for the functionality of the power charger. Their quality will determine the unit’s ability to deliver a reliable charge to all your devices. More importantly, well-made cables can protect them from overheating and other power surge issues. To make sure that you are getting good quality cables, inquire about their thickness and ruggedness before making a purchase decision.
These features are extremely valuable and they add a lot of practicality to the portable charger. The pass-through charging function allows you to charge your devices while the power bank is in charge mode. This comes in really handy when you want to use your phone without unplugging it or waiting for it to be fully charged. As for wireless charging, it is mostly designed for Samsung and Apple phones. Its main purpose is to eliminate the reliance on physical wires and provide a faster and more seamless charging. The most common wireless charging standard is QI.
The screen display is a highly important component of any portable power charger. A good one should give a clear and easy reading of all the data that is relevant to the charge status of the battery. If you want to avoid the terrible user experience that is associated with poor quality displays, you need to make sure that the screen is wide enough to provide good visibility.
A common mistake that many users make is purchasing a power bank without inquiring about its maintenance requirements. It is important to note that some models necessitate constant maintenance as well as some degree of know-how and technical prerequisites, whereas others are extremely easy to maintain. In order to ensure that the charger you get is in the second category, check some of the reviews left by users who purchased the same product. This will give you a reliable firsthand account of what to expect.
Batteries of all types are exposed to a number of risks that are engendered by a power surge and electrical current issues. The most common of these include over current, over voltage, and over-charge/discharge. If you want to avoid these potential problems, your portable charger should come equipped with built-in features that safeguard the battery every time it is plugged in. These features protect the battery by regulating power output and maintaining the charge at the optimal level that is required to operate the device. Models that lack these features run the risk of encountering these issues within a few months of use.
Due to the relative complexity of these devices, it is recommended that you opt for an option that is backed by a good warranty. Power chargers are prone to experiencing several malfunctions that are related to electrical current issues, so having a comprehensive warranty that safeguards you against this potential problem is simply invaluable.
All the features that you would like to see in a charger are found in this unit. Whether it is the compact and efficient design, the relative lightness of Construction, the decent power, or the affordable price point, the Omnicharge stands out as one of the best portable charges on the market.
Considering its size and price, the power that is delivered by this charger is simply impressive. It can provide around 100W to large devices such as laptops and tablets and can even serve as a power outlet for your TV. Furthermore, it features a DC outlet that offers an additional 70W for smaller devices as well as two USB ports for charging your smartphones in a fast and convenient manner.
This unit has another practical feature than many models in its price point lack; a wee OLED screen that lets you know the amount of power that is left in the charger as well as the power that is currently coming into it. This is especially helpful when you are using it on-the-go and need to manage your power efficiently.
Adding to the flexibility and versatility of the Omnicharge is the multitude of settings that it comes with. You can tailor a wide array of functions to your own preferences with a click of a button. Moreover, the unit is designed to handle pass-through charging, which will allow you to recharge it as you are charging the devices that are plugged to it.
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This entry-level portable charger is surprisingly versatile and powerful. It offers three different ports and it is compatible with USB PD. With a power output of around 30W, this unit is mostly designed for powering small and medium-sized devices such as tablets, portable gaming consoles, and smartphones. However, you can still expect to charge a MacBook with relative ease since the type-C output of the RAVPower matches that of the MacBook’s original AC charger.
One of the biggest selling points of this charger is without a doubt its impressive capacity. Thanks to the multiple outputs that it is equipped with, it can charge high-end phones up to 10 times and tablets around 2 to 3 times. In addition to this, it comes with Advanced iSmart 2.0, a technology that detects and adjusts the electric current in accordance with the latest standards of safety and conductivity.
Like all models in our guide, another aspect that is worth noting is the immaculate attention that was given to securing the charger and making it as safe as possible. Some of the main safety measures include; the scratch-resistant matte finish that ensures no wires are exposed, the current surge protection that maintains the voltage levels at a safe threshold, and over-charge prevention function that prevents damage when the device is left charging for too long.
Anker is an ambitious company that is looking to make its mark in the electronics market, and this affordable portable charger is a prime example of that. For such a small unit, the PowerCore II boasts a staggering capacity of around 20,000mAh and it is capable of charging the latest Samsung phones up to 4 or 5 times. It has two USB ports and an additional PowerLQ 2.0 port that provides upward of 18W of power. As for the charging speed, it is quite decent especially if you consider the small size of the charger.
This compact model boasts a number of interesting and practical characteristics that are seldom seen in entry-level options. It features an eye-catching LED light that shows you the amount of power that is left and boasts a sturdy surface that is designed to handle any type of impact in case the charger slips out of your hand. For the money that you are paying for this unit, you are getting a tremendous amount of value and a level of durability that is extremely hard to find elsewhere.
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Some users have complained about the design of this charger, but we happen to find it quite sleek and original. Despite being one of the most affordable options in our list, the EasyAcc portable charger delivers a performance that far exceeds its entry-level price point. With a wide range of different ports and 20,000mAh of power, this model is capable of charging various small devices in a quick and efficient manner.
The charger is equipped with four LED lights that indicate the remaining power on the device. Furthermore, they can be turned into a convenient flashlight by double pressing the power button on the side of the unit. This makes the EasyAcc an ideal option for a wide range of outdoor activities, namely camping.
The EasyAcc has the capacity to provide up to four chargers for the majority of smartphones that are available on the market today. It can handle the recent iPhones just as easily as it does the latest Android models. It also supports pass-through charging, which a practical function that enables you to charge your phone while the device is plugged at the same time. If you are looking for a small and affordable unit that can deliver enough power to your phones, this option is worth your consideration.
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The final option in our list is this fairly heavy power bank from Aukey. At 20,000mAh, the amount of power that is provided by the charge is quite impressive. It features two 2.4A USB ports for changing small and medium-sized devices. If you are using it with the latest smartphones, you can expect to get four charges out of this unit.
While the design of the charger is relatively bulky, the surface is still smooth enough to provide a decent grip. Moreover, the plastic material that was used to construct it feels sufficiently durable to handle strong impacts. Overall, the design of the Aukey is both efficient and simplistic, a quality that is typically hard to find at the entry-level price range.
As far as performance is concerned, this portable power bank goes beyond what you would normally expect from a sub $40 product. The USB ports are fast and consistent and the number of charges that you can get for the newest iPhone can reach up to 6 times. It is also worth noting that the Aukey has many functions that are tailored to Apple users. The main examples of these are the ability to charge via the lightning port and the remarkably fast time that is required to fully recharge an iPad Pro.
This question is often asked by people who are not sure about the differences between these two devices. The reality of the matter is that each option is ideal for certain uses. If you feel that you are prone to forgetting your backup battery when you are heading out, a battery case might be the right option for you. On the other hand, the charging capabilities of these units are often underwhelming, especially when compared to portable power banks.
As we have mentioned previously, the best decision that you could make is to opt for an option that has low maintenance requirements. With that being said, there are still some precautions that you need to take if you want to ensure a smooth and safe use. The main one is to register your device by providing the serial number that comes with the package. This will activate your returns policy and ensure that the product you purchased is not counterfeit.
This will depend on two variables; the capacity of the charger and the number of USB ports that it is equipped with. For a unit to offer simultaneous charging of multiple devices, it needs to feature multiple ports and must boast a capacity that exceeds the 10,000 mAh mark.
After reading this guide, the importance of owning a portable charger is probably is undisputed to you. As long as you stick to the guidelines that we outlined above, you should be able to pick a premium option that satisfies a high standard of quality with relative ease. It is also worth reiterating that all the options that we reviewed in this guide are excellent, so it is up to you to pick the one that suits your budget and needs.
Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API