How to choose the right portable charger


Everyone calls this item differently, but they miss it equally when the battery is low and there is no outlet nearby. The arsenal of gadgets is now not limited to a smartphone; wireless headphones, smart watches, fitness bracelets, Bluetooth speakers are often attached to it … Their owners have a particularly acute question of how to feed this whole menagerie. We will tell you how external batteries differ from each other, how to choose the right one for you and how to use them correctly.

How much do your devices consume?

You need to start by answering this very question: after all, an amateur climber to shoot with a GoPro camera and edit video on a tablet in mountain hikes needs more energy than an office manager swimming with a player in a pool. For clarity, we present the average values of the battery capacity for some types of devices:

  • action camera: 900 mAh;
  • wireless headphones: 150 mAh;
  • music player: 1800 mAh;
  • wireless speaker: 3000 mAh;
  • smartphone: 3000 mAh.

Taking these numbers as a basis, it is enough to remember which devices you use most often and plan to charge; get something like that: 1800 + 150 + 3000 = 4050mAh.

At first glance, this is the capacity that is needed in wireless charging to replenish the battery of all devices. In fact, it is advisable to multiply this number by another 20 percent in order to compensate for losses from heating, the effect of low temperatures outside and other factors. It turns out 5000 mAh.

Battery capacity data is at the end of the device specs list, like here. If the smartphone has a 4000 mAh battery, it is better to take twice as much charging in capacity – then it will be enough for two or one and a half full cycles.

The second characteristic that you need to pay attention to is the output voltage and amperage. It is not necessary to remember physics, because most chargers have an output current of 1 A or 2.4 A. The more current (A), the better. After all, smart portable technology can limit the current to the desired value, but get more – no.

In general, portable chargers are divided into five conventional categories.

How to calculate: capacity up to 3000 mAh

Such charges are a chic addition to the glove compartment of a car, a bag and a backpack, as well as an inner pocket of a skier’s jacket. They are made small and practical, and they will help when you need to add a little charge on your smartphone or power an action camera. You can choose a compact charger according to your liking in design, and it is not at all necessary to study the characteristics of the output current: often the real output current is 1 A, which means that the charging time will be about three hours.

Power bank can be safely charged for future use so that it lies just in case. The self-discharge of such devices is very slow; your portable battery will drain only 10-15 percent in a year.

How to calculate: capacity about 5000 mAh

These daily charges are most often found in the hands of passers-by and in the interior of a car, where it is possible to recharge the battery from the cigarette lighter. Convenient, compact and effective assistants for active smartphone owners who are deprived of the opportunity to change the battery in non-separable device cases. And at the same time lovers of short trips and trips on their own. Such charges should be chosen according to the output current strength from 2.1 A, and also give preference to devices of an elongated shape – the coolest battery cells resemble thick batteries in shape.

How to calculate: capacity from 8,000 to 12,000 mAh

If you are a gadget addict and you pay for purchases in a store not even with a smartphone, but with a watch, the collection of equipment can be fed with more powerful chargers. In this capacitive group, almost all devices have a strong output current, and even accelerated charging technologies, so the design and the number of ports for simultaneous feeding become the determining factor when choosing. Please note: the second USB output is often weaker than the first, so we recommend that you clarify this parameter in the specifications.

The accelerated charging technology significantly reduces the time to the cherished 100 percent on the smartphone battery. An hour, maximum one and a half – and the phone is completely ready for work. However, pay attention to what kind of accelerated charging technology your gadget supports. QuickCharge, SuperCharge, Adaptive Fast Charging are all different types that do not fit together. Thus, the smartphone can be quickly charged using SuperCharge (if it is Huawei P10), and Power Bank can support QuickCharge. In this case, it will be possible to power the gadget, but the charging time will be normal.

How to calculate: for a capacity of 15,000-20,000 mAh

Many of these portable chargers are ready to charge even MacBook 12 and other laptop models with a USB Type-C charging connector. And at the same time, and distribute energy to several devices at once without power drops on one of the USB-outputs. These charging stations are good for everyone, but there is nothing to hide their size and weight. Such an ailment limits their scope, but if you need confidence in the operation of all equipment for a few days in advance, there is hardly anything comparable to them in terms of the effectiveness of the return.

Wireless portable chargers

More and more new smartphones are equipped with Qi standard wireless charging modules and analogs – for example, Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, iPhone 8, X. It is enough to put such smartphones on wireless charging, and battery recharge will start automatically. No wires or confusion, because the technology is based on magnetic induction. Most of the smartphones that support wireless charging work exactly according to the Qi standard, and recently, fast wireless Power Banks have begun to appear suitable for them. When choosing such chargers, it is better to slightly increase the capacity margin in order to compensate for the loss of energy for such an effective transfer process. By the way, such chargers themselves can be charged from stationary sites.

Instead of output

Dealing with the variety of portable chargers is easy if you compare the model you like in terms of parameters and know what kind of capacity is required. Taking charge with a margin is impractical, because this will affect the convenience of carrying with you, without bringing much benefit. Having decided on the appearance and capacity, make sure that you have the necessary bonuses – wireless or fast charging, after which you can safely buy a convenient, practical and suitable device for you.

Contrary to popular belief, Power Bank does not damage your smartphone’s battery. Just feeling that salvation is always at hand, owners of gadgets begin to use the device more actively, charge it more often, and thus generally increase the number of charging cycles, which is limited for each battery.