The world of portable batteries has gotten rather crowded lately. Back in 2014, I vaguely remember hearing about power banks, but now there are companies that are built solely around this simple and useful technology. Kids, mothers, fathers, professors, and business professionals all whip out power banks and recharge on the go. Whatever we may think about power banks (at Lumsing we think they’re awesome, by the way) they’re here to stay.
Now, this all begs one question: how do I know which one to buy?
The #1 consideration should be your lifestyle:
That might sound obscure and not helpful, but first we need to figure out why we need a portable charger in the first place. Is it to charge your iPhone while you’re on the commute home? If so, you’ll have different needs from someone who uses the power bank to keep their GoPro camera charged as they go from event to event, or the person who enjoys journeying into the woods for days on end. Different activities have different requirements.
If you’re a busy professional who travels to and from the office by train, then a small 6,000mAh charger should be good because it’s sleek and can fit into your pocket easily. The most you’ll need on your commute is one, maybe two full charges.
Someone doing trips that last over a few days would probably need a power bank with at least 10,000mAh so they could charge their phone multiple times a day and keep it topped up in case of emergencies. Next: we need to discuss Milliamp Hours, or mAh. “mAh” is a unit of measurement used to quantify how long a battery will last under constant draw. In other words, mAh shows how much stored power your device’s battery contains.
Everyone usually buys the highest capacity power bank they can get, but that isn’t always necessary and sometimes it just isn’t as helpful as we think it would be.
Why? Well, the average phone has a capacity of up to 2,500-3000 mAh, while many power banks hold up to 16000 mAh! With a 16,000mAh power bank you can charge your phone five full times.
That sounds great on paper, but that really isn’t necessary for most people. If your phone is dying five times in a day, then your phone has a problem or you’re working it too hard. When it comes to size, the larger the battery capacity, the heavier the battery will weigh.
Many people who don’t travel with bags and jackets to carry their power banks are better off using a smaller power bank unless you’re going on a super long camping trip; the power bank won’t be used to its full potential. Some other are very serious about making sure they don’t kill their phones during the day, and I don’t think they are on their phones all day at work – at least, in theory, they aren’t.
There are people out there who need 16000mAh power banks because they are constantly on the move and need to stay connected all the time. Your average person probably doesn’t need 16000mAh a day, especially if their daily routine is just going from the office and back home. They’d be better served by a 3000-6000mAh charger.
When you think about buying a portable charger, instead of looking at just the size, you should also consider whether or not it fits your lifestyle. World travelers and backpackers would be best served by a higher capacity power bank. Whereas those looking for power on their commutes would be better suited with a smaller and lighter-weight portable power bank. Guess these kind of people would often run into the situation of having no power outlets for hours or even days in a row, with a need for charging multiple devices at the same time.
There are other factors that could affect one’s choice of power bank, but I think this small guide should serve as a starting point if you’re looking for extra power.