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The best power banks are, at least iat first sight, simple batteries that accumulate energy that you can then supply to your mobile devices (mobile phones, tablets, etc.) when their battery life is about to end.
Reading our guide on how to choose the best portable USB chargers, you will discover technical features that are new to you, and which are very important when you are about to purchase a new power bank.
Portable chargers are not all the same, and there is a lot of difference between the best power banks and the less qualitative ones. Our aim is to help you make the best choice, and spend the budget you have at best.
What Are Power Banks Used For?
Let’s see some possible scenarios of use of the best power bank:
- when you have to travel a long way and plan to use your tablet to have some fun (for example on a plane where there are no sockets to charge your devices)
- when you are on vacation and spend the whole day exploring a new city, and use your smartphone to take photos, consult maps, navigate, etc.
- on occasions when you plan to take many flash photos with your mobile phone
- on days away from home when you have to make intensive use of your smartphone
- if you have a cellphone or tablet a little old and whose battery runs out quickly
- on any occasion you need to extend the autonomy of your devices and have no power outlets available
The use you intend to make of the best portable batteries is important to understand the characteristics that the model you are going to buy should have, in terms of capacity for example.
For example, I often use a portable battery during my frequent business and leisure trips. In fact, during these trips I often leave the hotel early in the morning and come back in the evening. So it happens that I don’t have power outlets available for most of the day. I therefore always carry a power bank in my bag with enough capacity to recharge my portable devices.
How To Use a Power Bank?
The use of the best power bank is very simple. Just connect the portable battery output to your phone or tablet via a simple USB cable. This way it will start recharging.
The fastest way to recharge the power bank is by connecting its USB input port to a wall socket. The best power banks are equipped with a charge level indicator, so you can easily see when it’s fully charged.
Another aspect that we want to emphasize right now is the importance of buying a quality external battery. In fact you will need to connect it to your precious devices to recharge them and therefore it is important that the supplied power is always the right one in order to avoid any type of damage to your phone or tablet.
Well, now let’s see what we in the NextLevelTips.com editorial office consider to be the best power banks on the market today!
What Are the Best Power Banks?
How To Choose the Best Portable USB Charger?
When you are going to buy your new portable battery, remember to consider these aspects:
- Dimensions and Weight
- Value for Money
What is the Capacity of the Power Banks?
Capacity is probably the main feature of the best power banks. Let’s then understand what capacity is and how it is measured.
The capacity of portable USB chargers is measured in milli Ampere hour (symbol: mAh). Capacity is the current intensity that the device is able to deliver in an hour.
The best power banks usually have capacities between 2000 mAh up to 30000 mAh.
There are therefore batteries with a much higher capacity than others. But in practice, why should you spend more to buy a power bank with more capacity? And what can you do with a larger capacity?
Increased capacity of your portable charger will allow you to:
- completely recharge larger devices: for example, a tablet normally requires more energy to be fully charged than a mobile phone
- make multiple charges of your portable device
- recharge multiple devices at the same time (if the portable charger allows it)
Not surprisingly, the capacity of mobile phone and tablet batteries is also measured in mAh. For example, there are mobile phones with 1500 – 3000 mAh batteries and tablets that have batteries having a capacity of over 4000 mAh.
Best Power Banks: Declared Charge vs Actual Charge
You must therefore evaluate the capacity of your next power bank based on:
- the type of devices you want to recharge
- how many recharges you want to be able to make
Pay attention that while the charging of tablets and mobile phones via USB requires a voltage of 5 V, the internal voltage of the power bank is lower, usually it is 3.7 V. This means that, inside the power bank, voltage gets transformed from 3.7 V to 5 V, with consequent energy dispersion.
That’s why if you buy e.g. a 10000 mAh power bank, you won’t be able to completely recharge a 2500 mAh cell phone four times. As an approximation consider that the charge you have available in your portable battery is around 70 – 75% of the declared capacity. So a 10000 mAh battery bank will provide you with about 7000 – 7500 mAh.
Best Power Bank: Dimensions and Weight
Along with capacity, another key feature is portability.
In the vast majority of cases you are buying a power bank to be able to carry it around with you as comfortably as possible. You are therefore looking for a compact and light battery charger.
Obviously the smallest and lightest portable chargers are usually those that have low capacity, while as capacity increases, size and weight increase.
Relying on the best power bank brands, you will have the best compromise between capacity and portability. Given the capacity, the best portable USB battery chargers are lighter and smaller than the less qualitative ones.
Best Power Bank: Ports
A portable battery charger must have at least a USB input port (usually a micro USB port), in order to be recharged, and a USB output port. Connect USB output port to the USB input of your phone or tablet to recharge.
Some of the best power banks allow you to simultaneously charge two or more devices: in this case charging time increases. Of course these portable chargers have two or more output ports.
It is also important to evaluate the type of USB ports. Commonly the output ports are type A USB ports, which are fine for charging many mobile phones or tablets. The most common input port type is the micro USB. Sometimes, other types of ports may be present, such as USB type-C or Lightning.