How to Choose a Power Bank for Your Phone

How to Choose a Power Bank for Your Phone

Knowing how to choose a power bank for your phone is an important step when just leaving the house for a day, much less planning a long or overseas journey. As overseas travelers are focused on connectivity more than ever before, a reliable, affordable power bank is a must-have for anyone setting out to explore faraway lands.

As you explore the various options for power banks, here are some key questions to consider when choosing a phone power bank:

  • How many devices will need a portable charge during your travel?
  • How often do you expect to be away from easily accessible power sources?
  • How long do you need a charge to last on your devices?
  • Are there weight limitations involved with your baggage (for example, will you be hiking and carrying heavy gear and equipment during your travels)?
  • Do you have older devices that might present compatibility issues?
  • What is your budget?

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About How to Choose a Power Bank for Your Phone

First, we’ll begin by explaining how a power bank works. A portable power bank stores electrical energy supplied by an outlet and allows you to “deposit” that energy later into a mobile device. Power banks have to be charged, sometimes for a considerable period of time, but will store enough electrical energy to fully power a device several times over. It should be noted that power banks will always experience loss due to resistance, so the full capacity of the power bank is not transferred to the device, and this is a factor when we calculate and estimate how many times a particular device can be charged. Additionally, the lower the charge on your device, the more the portable power bank has to work to recharge it. So, ideally, you do not want to wait until the device is fully depleted of battery life before using a portable power bank.

Almost any device that is USB charged can be used with a portable power bank provided you remember to keep the power bank charged! It is best to remove the power bank from the charge as soon as it is full and most have an LED indicator to display full capacity. Some come with an “auto cutoff” feature as well.

When deciding how to choose a power bank for your phone, check your devices for their battery capacity, which is measured in milliamp hours (mAh). As long as your portable power bank exceeds the mAh number on the device, you will get a full charge out if it, if not several. Be sure to consider if you plan to charge multiple devices. If this is the case, you will need a portable power bank with more than one output to charge the devices simultaneously. Obviously, these models can be more expensive, but they can also save precious time during travel.

You will also need to check compatibility with the portable power banks to make sure your devices are included or you can compare its specs to your existing charger. You do not want to find out in the midst of travel that your cable and the power bank produce a very slow charge. Additionally, the output voltage of the power bank should be equal to or higher than your device.

A general guideline for the charge provided by varying mAh batteries is as follows:

  • 1500 mAh: typically one full charge of a cell phone
  • 5200 mAh: typically two full charges of a cell phone and a tablet to 50%
  • 10000 mAh: typically four full charges of a cell phone and a tablet to 100%

Higher mAh units are available as well. These will be more expensive options, but possibly beneficial to those with numerous devices to charge during travel.
Environmental conditions can affect the lifespan of a portable power bank and you should keep this in mind as you decide to invest in one. For example, if you plan to travel for long periods of time in extreme weather conditions, this may have an impact on the long-term durability of the power bank you choose.

Recommended Phone Power Banks & Portable Chargers

A few recommended portable power banks for travelers and some of their key features are outlined below and also check out How to Choose a Power Bank for Your Phone for our top tips.

Anker PowerCore 20100 Portable Charger

The Anker PowerCore intelligently identifies connected devices and can charge the iPhone 6s up to seven times, the Galaxy S6 up to five times, or the iPad mini 4 twice.

  • VoltageBoost feature ensures the charging speeds are unaffected by the use of long or old cables.
  • Comes with a portable charger, a Micro USB cable, a convenient and protective travel pouch, a welcome guide, and an 18-month warranty for users.
  • Weighs 12.56 ounces and can simultaneously charge two devices.
  • Anker PowerCore 20100 Portable Charger Review

Kuppet Wireless Charger Power Bank

The KUPPET 2-in-1 Wireless Charger and Power Bank is a little bit more expensive than the average wireless charger, but will last you for countless trips across the ocean and is absolutely loaded with features.

  • Supports charging up to 3 three devices at one time
  • You may charge wirelessly or through Type-C USB or micro USB inputs
  • Total capacity of 20,000 mAh, which allows it to fully charge the average smartphone battery in a fraction of the time of most competing products in addition to a sel charging time of almost half that of similar products
  • Kuppet Wireless Charger Power Bank Review

Samsung Fast Charge Power Bank

The Samsung is a one output charger with the capability to charge a device battery from 0% to 50% in approximately 30 minutes.

  • Samsung’s Fast Charge feature is favored by those with Samsung devices, especially the Galaxy S series phones.
  • This portable power bank works with Apple devices, but users must provide a lightning cable.
  • Handy battery charge level indicator on the power bank is available for users with a quick button press.
  • Samsung Fast Charge Power Bank Review

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Choose a Power Bank for Your Phone

Staying in touch with friends, family or work at home is a must for many globetrotters. Technology allows us to keep our loved ones connected to our journeys and we can share thrilling moments as they happen, thanks to smartphones and tablets. Since a smartphone or tablet is only as good as its battery life in many remote locations, where power outlets aren’t readily available for a quick charge, consider learning how to choose a power bank for your phone.

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