We’ve all suffered the inconvenience of dead phone. However, with a breakthrough in battery technologies a portable charger is the best solution. Sometimes that’s not always convenient (or even possible) to plug the USB charging cable in to your computer or to a wall-wart transformer especially if you’re traveling or are away from home. So what is an external battery pack? In short, this device lets you charge you handy, tab or any other gadget if there’s no possibility to plug your charging cable into the wall.
Let’s have a look at the main features you should consider while choosing a portable charger.
The types of external battery packs
Portable chargers come in all shapes, forms and sizes. The latter can vary from as small as a lipstick tube to as big as a thick book. For charging small devices like smartphones or mp3-players are used portable battery packs. They are tiny and don’t weigh much. But if you want to charge your laptop such devices won’t be of any help. What you’ll need is a charger with an expanded capacity and specific connectors.
First of all you need to establish how heavy your portable charger should be. The power of stock battery with capacity from 3 000 to 16 000 mAh is enough to charge smartphones, iPads, tabs and mp3-players. If you are going to charge a laptop, you’ll need a battery capacity of at least 18 000 mAh and more. To determine what battery pack you personally need, use the following rule: your charger capacity shall produce power twice as more as your smartphone capacity. To find out how many extra charges can your external pack provide, divide its capacity into the capacity of the device you are going to charge.
Portable battery chargers for mobile devices usually feature a pattern USB-port and micro USB adapter of 1-2A and more. Some models are equipped with two 1A or 2A USB-ports. Some devices consume more juice than another. That’s why USB-ports of different power are marked in a different ways.
External battery packs for laptops usually have a round shape and are equipped with USB-port with different adapters. It allows using such packs not only for charging of laptops but also smartphones. Keep in mind that for Apple device charging your battery pack should come with Lightning port.
Since the external battery market becomes more saturated, many manufacturers have started including little extras to entice buyers.
Some portable chargers have an extra LED flashlight feature. It’s rather convenient as you use battery packs mostly when you are traveling.
The second feature is not as useful as the previous one though it’s quite interesting – build-in solar panels. This gimmick may be useful while traveling to warm countries. However, portable solar chargers are not yet perfect because it takes a plenty of time to charge a battery pack even on the clear day at the sea.
Some portable chargers feature a vehicle jump start. They may help to jump the starter of your car when it’s impossible to do it because of lack of charge in a normal car battery. Such chargers come complete with automotive clips.
Summing up, our advice is to avoid being tempted by the extras unless they offer you high-utility or save you money.