Power Banks And Portable Chargers
Have you ever thought about how essential your smart phone is to your daily life? It seems that from the moment that many of us wake up to the time we go to sleep, there is something we use our phone for. When one thinks about it, the invention of the smart phone is probably one of the most influential pieces of technology that we have experienced.
Gone are the days of carrying around fold-able maps, because now, we easily look up directions on our phones. No longer do we use telephone books anymore; with a simple google search, any address or phone number appears on that little screen in the palm of your hands. Need to do some banking? Why bother to wait in an annoyingly long bank line up? Simply log into your bank app, and away you go.
Now with all of this being said, one downfall to being so reliant on a smart phone is that when it runs out of power, we can feel highly inconvenienced. So how can someone avoid the frustration of a dead phone battery? Well, aside from charging your phone to 100 per cent, having a portable charger or power bank on hand will certainly keep you connected.
We at GWA don’t want you to run out of battery juice on your smart phone as you are trying to navigate your way through the day. So we have researched some of the best power banks and portable chargers on the market. Check out the list below, and by the end of it, you will be well on your way to choosing the best power bank to suit your needs.
- Aibocn Power Bank
- Safety protection
- Jackery Bar Pocket Sized
- Slick design
- Anker PowerCore 10000
- Great safety system
- High-speed charging
10 Best Portable Chargers and Power Banks
Anker PowerCore 10000
Anker’s multi-protect safety system will ensure that you have no trouble with short circuits, overheating, overcharging and the like.
It is the smallest and lightest power bank of this capacity. Its dimensions are 3.6*2.3*0.9 inches.
At 6.35 ounces, it is quite light.
An 18-month warranty gives you a safety net and peace of mind while making your purchase.
In addition to warranty, Anker has incredible customer service
Anker’s PowerIQ and VoltageBoost ensure remarkable charging speeds.
Brilliant safety system
Cheaper alternatives available with the same capacity.
Jackery Bar Pocket Sized
6000 mAh is not the highest charging capacity you will get from a portable mobile charger, but given its size and design, the capacity is more than good enough. It can fully charge your smartphone up to 3 times and that should be adequate for most users. It also has the capacity to fully charge your Ipad Mini once.
The power bank is extremely compact and fits in the palm of your hand or pocket easily. Its dimensions are 3.8*1.8*0.9 inches. You will experience absolutely no discomfort with this little powerhouse in your pocket.
A lot of mobile power banks are made of plastic, not this beast though. This is made of an aluminum shell which will help it last longer and act as a better cushion against drops (that does not mean you should drop it too often of course!).
Very Affordable Price
It is about par with what you would expect from a good portable mobile phone charger.
At 5.44 ounces, it is very light. Definitely a big plus in its favor.
This power bank comes with a 24-month product warranty. That is a very good deal because sometimes faulty power banks tend to start showing problems within 6 months or so.
- Good capacity
- Slick design
- Quick charge
- LED light to indicate charging level
- 24-month warranty
- Bring blue LED light might be too bright for some people
- Slightly pricey given its capacity
Aibocn Power Bank 10,000
It looks amazingly compact, much more than dimensions of 6.8*4*1.4 inches would suggest. This will fit right into your pocket.
Double USB port:
This enables you to charge 2 devices at the same time.
This is one of its most impressive features. We could all use some additional light during those hikes late in the evening or during travel in general. With this power bank for company, you will not have to worry too much about light.
It is equipped with inbuilt safety protection which prevents overheating, overcharging and short circuits.
Its anti-fingerprint design will ensure that your power bank does not have a lot of marks on it. You will not need to fret about cleaning it often. Given its light color, this is particularly advantageous.
30-day money back:
There is a 30-day money back offer along with this product.
There is a 1-year limited warranty that accompanies this power bank.
9.6 ounces is decent, nothing that should concern you from a weight perspective.
At this price, it is a steal! This is one of the factors you should consider when purchasing this particular power bank.
- Low price
- Very compact
- In-built safety protection
- Anti-fingerprint design
- 30-day money back
- LED lights which light up to show charging level
- 1 year limited warranty
- Takes 5-6 hours to charge
- Wire that accompanies the device is small
ROMOSS Sense 10
With dimensions of 5.27*0.63*2.84 inches, it is quite compact. It is particularly impressive when you consider the capacity.
At 10,000 mAh, the capacity is impressive. It could potentially charge your phone even 5 times, definitely 4 times. That is as much as you can ask from your power bank.
Its wonderful design means you can actually use your phone to talk while it is charging.
At 6.88 ounces, it is fairly light and easy to carry around.
Given its capacity, the price is very good and about as low as you can hope for given its other features.
Fit charge technology:
This facilitates quick charging and enables efficiency in both energy consumed and time taken to recharge.
2 USB ports:
You can charge 2 devices at the same time.
It comes with an in-built safeguard, therefore you need not worry about short circuits or overheating.
There is an 18-month warranty which should be adequate to address any concerns you might have.
- Excellent capacity
- Great price
- Sleek design and compact
- In-Built safeguard
- Dual USB port
- Quick and efficient charging
- 18-month warranty
Lack of proper LED lights
Nekteck 20000mAh Power Bank
At 20000 mAh, this power bank really is a pocket monster. It can charge your smartphone 7 to 8 times. This is your ideal companion on a week long trip.
It has an in-built safety system to prevent overcharging and short circuits.
Smart IC Technology:
This technology ensures that the current automatically matches the device being charged.
This portable charger can power 2 devices at the same time up to 3.4A total maximum speed.
It is not the lowest price you will ever see for a power bank, but given its capacity, it is not exorbitantly high.
12.64 ounces is alright for a power bank of this size. Some would prefer a lighter one, but there is usually a tradeoff between compactness and capacity. With that said, this does not fare badly in terms of weight or compactness.
6.34*0.83*3.27 inches is decent for a power bank of this size. It could bulge ever so slightly from a tight pocket, but that is the trade-off you have to make if you want a portable charger of this capacity.
It comes with LED lights to indicate charging level
- Very good capacity
- LED lights to indicate charging level
- Smart IC technology to facilitate quick charging
- In-built safety system
- Decent price considering capacity
- Charging cable is slightly small
- Not the most compact (but understandable given capacity)
AUKEY 20000mAh Portable Charger
20000 mAh is ideal during travel. You do not want your device giving up on you in an unknown city at the wrong time.
AiPower enables adaptive charging. In other words, it adapts the current according to the device that is plugged in for charging.
2 USB ports:
With a combined 3.4A output, which can charge 2 Ipads at maximum speed at the same time.
there are built-in safeguards to prevent overheating, short circuits and overcharging.
There is a 24-month warranty which should alleviate any concerns you may have about the product developing faults.
This is reasonable for the capacity offered and the features available.
- High capacity
- Built-in safeguards
- User manual
- Adaptive charging
- 24-month warranty
Device takes relatively long to charge even considering the capacity.
It is not as cheap as it appears considering that its capacity will allow only 1-2 full recharges. However, it is low enough for it not to be a factor against buying this power bank.
It has 4 layers of safety protection to prevent overheating, overcharging and short circuits.
A+lithium-ion battery and premium microchips are very reliable. You can breathe easy about the quality of the power bank’s battery.
Its quality aluminum shell is considerably superior to the plastic ones used by some of the other power banks.
Dimensions of 3.7*0.9*0.8 inches bolster Jackery’s claim of “world’s smallest external battery charger”. It is very small and very compact.
2.72 ounces makes it one of the lightest power banks on the market today.
- In-built safety system
- Powerful battery
- Very compact
- Light indicator to indicate charging level
- Low capacity
- Power button has the tendency to inadvertently get pressed.
Anker PowerCore+ mini
It does not look like a conventional power bank. It has a different look and feel to it.
Anker’s PowerIQ intelligently detects your device to deliver the maximum possible current.
At 3350 mAh it is by no means the highest capacity available on the market. If you do not need your power bank to be able to charge your smartphone more than 1-2 times, then this is not really a concern.
Lipstick shaped design and dimensions of 3.7*0.9*0.9 inches make it very compact and easy to carry.
It is slightly on the higher side considering the capacity, but it is to be expected given the features including the unique design.
Anker’s 18-month warranty will take care of any production or manufacturing defects that power bank may develop.
You also have their customer service at your disposal should you feel the need to address any concerns.
- Unique design
- High powered charging
- Very compact
- Welcome guide
- 18-month warranty
- Customer service
- Travel pouch
Price slightly high considering the relatively low capacity
DULLA M50000 Portable Power Bank
It Is a good deal for this power bank given its capacity and other features.
12000 mAh is good enough for 5-6 recharges, therefore it would make a good travel companion.
It is sleek and stylish and aesthetically appealing to the eye.
Turbo fast charging:
2 USB ports mean extremely quick charging.
In-built safety mechanism means there is significant protection from charging accidents. Overheating, overcharging, short circuits, discharges are not going to be an issue.
There is a flashlight albeit not that powerful
18-month warranty on parts is available.
Available in 4 different colors
30-day money back guarantee:
This means if the product does not live up to your expectations then you can get a full refund subject to terms and conditions.
Professional customer service of high quality is readily available
- Decent price
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Superfast charging
- In-built safety mechanism
- 18-month warranty on parts
- Available in 4 colors
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Professional customer service
- Above average dimensions
- Above average weight
- Slightly prone to scratches
Goal Zero Venture 30 Power Bank
While a little on the pricier side for 7800Ah, but the strength of the charger itself it is certainly a good deal.
7,800 mAh is enough to give you 2-3 full recharges. There is also a built-in microUSB cable as well as 2 high-speed 2.4A USB ports so you can power multiple electronics at once.
Dimensions of 4.5 X 3.25 X 1 inches make it a mid-high range power bank in terms of size, it is not the smallest portable charger out there and some people might find that slightly inconvenient.
8.8 ounces is not the lightest weight you will find and while you will want something just a touch lighter if you are travelling, it is still alright; perhaps a touch on the heavier side.
This charging bank is as strong as they come. It's weatherproof so you can take it to the beach, leave it in the rain, or get caught in a sand storm. It can also take a few hard drops thanks to its nylon and rubber exterior.
There are LED lights to indicate charging level. Also doubles as a flashlight.
- Fair price
- Good capacity
- LED lights/ flashlight
- Extremely strong and durable
- Could be lighter
- Could be smaller
Criteria used for the evaluation
A power bank typically has several features. There can be no hard and fast rules for choosing the best power bank as each one of us has different needs. For example, someone who does not travel much may not care too much about the weight of the power bank as most of the charging will then likely take place at home or office and not on the movie. Someone who has to go on a long trip with not much access to charging points will obviously need a power bank with as much capacity as possible, etc. With that being said, there are a few criteria that are imperative for anyone and everyone looking to use a power bank. These may be listed as follows:
This has to be in the top 3 criteria for everyone looking to use a power bank. Capacity here refers to the number of times the power bank will charge the phone for you. A full charge is known as a cycle. If you are working in or traveling to a remote location where there is limited access to charging points, then obviously you will need a portable charger with a higher “mAh” (more on this in the FAQs section). In other words, you will need a power bank which will give you many recharges when fully charged as opposed to just 1 or 2.
At this point, you may be forgiven for asking why should you just not blindly go for the one with the highest capacity as more is obviously better, right?! Well, yes and no. Being able to recharge more often is obviously a plus, but it comes with a trade-off or two. Usually, the power banks with the highest charging capacities tend to be the most expensive. Therefore, if you seek a portable charger that has above average charging capacity, be prepared to shell out a few extra dollars. High capacity power banks also tend to be bigger in size and heavier than their counterparts with lower capacity and that should also be factored in. This becomes particularly important if you plan to carry it around with you all the time.
Regardless of your plan to use your power bank, it would be in your best interests to get one that it is not too big. Compactness is key when it comes to power banks as it is possible or even likely that you will be carrying it around with you a lot. A few extra inches may not seem like much in isolation, but at the end of a long and tiring backpacking trip, it all adds up; trust me!
Another issue with a power bank that is bigger than average is that it makes it difficult to stash it away in your pockets. Tight and uncomfortable pockets do not make for pleasant experiences, whether you are on a hike or at a party. If it is too big for your pockets you will probably have to put it away in a bag. This will take up precious space in your travel or work bag that could have been used for something else.
In a nutshell, the smaller and more compact it is, the better.
This goes hand in hand with size. Your ideal power bank should be as light as possible. While a few extra ounces may not seem like much, just like with size it all adds up at the end of a tiring day or a long hike or something similar. As with virtually everything in life, there is a trade-off though. The heavier ones are usually more sturdy and durable. This makes them less vulnerable to damage if they are dropped. Of course, if you drop any power bank enough times it will break or get damaged in some way, but the key takeaway here is that the heavier ones are more damage resistant. Therefore, if you are someone who tends to drop things a lot or rough handle your possessions, then it might be safer and wiser to invest in a power bank that is more durable and stronger.
Inbuilt safety mechanisms
One of the biggest issues that will confront you as you browse through power banks is the sheer number of options available. You may get overwhelmed and buy a random one without much thought and if you do that you leave yourself prone to risk.
Faulty power banks are not uncommon. There have been cases where faulty power banks have caused voltage problems, overcharging and overheating issues and even electric shocks. This is why it is imperative that you carefully examine the safety features of the power bank you are interested in buying. A good power bank with adequate built-in safety mechanisms will greatly minimize the aforementioned risks. Therefore, ensure that your power bank has enough safety mechanisms inbuilt to counter potential charging accidents and incidents.
Warranty and customer service
All good power banks are thoroughly examined for defects before they are introduced into the market. However, due to the very nature of power banks, there is the odd defective piece from time to time. Not only that, sometimes the defect takes a while to develop and is only apparent from considerable usage. This is where a warranty comes in.
When you buy a power bank, look for at least a 1-year warranty, preferably an 18 month or a 2-year warranty. Inherent flaws and defects in the power bank may take a while to develop. It would be a shame if you were deprived of your right to exchange only because of lack of warranty/expiration of warranty despite it being no fault of your own. One crucial point here is that the warranty is usually limited to manufacturing or production defects. Therefore, if the charging cable is too small and you use it to transfer more electricity than it can handle resulting in it malfunctioning, then it would not qualify for a free repair or replacement even if it happens to be under the period of warranty. Some power banks also come with a 30-day money back guarantee or something similar wherein you can return the power bank within the stipulated period if it does not meet your expectations; obviously this is subject to a few terms and conditions. Good customer service is always welcome and essential to being able to claim your warranty. Make sure that the company whose power bank you plan to buy has good and professional customer service.
The amount of time it takes to charge your power bank
In this case, obviously, the power bank that takes the least amount of time to get fully charged is most preferable. Whether you are using it on an airplane on a holiday or using it just before work in the comfort of your house, the faster your power bank recharges the better it is for you.
Number of USB Ports
If you are someone with a hold of devices that need to be charged at the same time, then you will need a power bank with more than 1 USB port. Typically power banks come with dual USB ports. The bigger power banks have more than two USB ports to enable you to recharge 3 or 4 devices at a time. A power bank with that many USB ports will usually be bigger in size, therefore that has to be kept in mind as well.
LED lights to indicate charging level
Most power banks on the market do come with this feature, but there are still a few that do not. Make sure that your power bank has LED lights that indicate how charged a power bank is and how much charge it has left before it gives up on you. The last thing you want is for you to mistakenly assume that your power bank is fully charged only for it to give up on you at the wrong time.
Sometimes the power banks with LED lights also come up flashlights which can definitely come in handy especially when you are on the move.
Q: What is mAh and what is its relevance?
A milliampere is abbreviated to mAh. It indicates the capacity of the battery to hold charge. A power bank with 20000 mAh has more capacity than a power bank with 10000 mAh, a power bank with 10000 mAh has more capacity than a power bank with 3000 mAh and so on.
Q: How many times can I charge my smartphone using the power bank?
This depends on the capacity of the power bank you have and the device you intend to charge. For example, if the power bank you own has a capacity of 12000 mAh and the device you want to charge has a battery capacity of 2000 mAh, then your phone can be charged 6 times using the power bank (12000/2000).
However, there is an important point that needs mentioning here. In the aforementioned example, your phone can only be recharged 6 times in theory. In reality, it is unlikely to be able to charge your phone more than 5 times because there is some energy/charge that is lost during the whole charging process, which means full efficiency is not reached.
Q: Can you charge tablets, Ipads or laptops using power banks?
Yes, absolutely. You will find that your power bank works just as well for these devices as it does for your smartphone. However, tablets, Ipads, and laptops typically have much longer battery spans than a smartphone. Hence, even a 20000 mAh power bank may only give you two recharges at most.
Q: What does the output specification mean?
1A-1.5A is usually for smartphones. On the other hand, 2A is generally for tablets.
Q: How long will your power bank last?
This entirely depends on you and how well you take care of your power bank. Assuming reasonably good care and prudent use, your power bank should be good enough for about 500 uses.
Q: There is no cable to charge your phone or tablet. Is that normal?
Yes, this may or may not be normal depending on the specifics of your power bank. Make sure to check thoroughly the box of the power bank you intend to buy. If the list of contents makes no mention of such cable then you will not get it. Please note that this is different from the cable that is used to charge the power bank, which you will most certainly get regardless of which power bank you choose.
Q: Is it better to buy 2 smaller power banks or 1 large one?
Again, this depends on your needs. Two power banks with a capacity of 5000 mAh will likely not give you as much charge as a 10000 mAh power bank for the reasons already mentioned. The difference will be marginal in isolation but over the lifecycle of the power bank those little differences will add up.
A larger power bank is also likely to be cheaper. However, I do not think that price is that big a factor when it comes to power banks as the difference is not more than a few dollars. For something that should last you a year or more, that is insignificant compared to other factors such as quality, compactness etc. which is why it is excluded from the criteria list before the FAQ section.