The electronic gadgets we are currently using are power hungry. If the necessary power is supplied, these gadgets keep on entertaining us. However, once the battery dies, they become practically useless. Seeing the “Low Battery Notification” has become one of the most irritating things, especially if you are on a journey and there is no wall charger available.
Tablets, portable speakers, laptops, headphones and many other similar gadgets are in need of a good battery to remain functional. However, the extensive use can shorten the battery life and make it drain out faster. Without energy, all these cool and smart devices are worthless. However, recent technology advancements have come up with a great, portable solution: Power Banks.
You may need a power bank
When your gadget needs to be charged, you can mount it on a holder or plug it in a wall transformer. However, you would physically need to stay next the charger if you are planning to use your gadget while it is charging. With power banks, you will feel tension-free and charged wherever you may go.
Logo printed power banks come in various sizes: from a lipstick size (or pocket size) to paper board sizes (which deliver power boost for days). With the “paper board” type, you can connect multiple gadgets on a single module.
Types of available power banks
The most common power banks types include:
- Universal Power Banks: they are available in various sizes, depending on your needs.
- Solar-Charged Power Banks: this type includes small photovoltaic cell panels able to produce power if placed in the sunlight. However, we are talking about a rather slow charging method.
- Old-Chubby Power Banks: this type is old styled and was designed as a phone cover which was fixed on the cell phone. Currently, this type has very limited usage.
Power banks can also be distinguished on a built-in plugs basis:
- Power Card: this type comes with external charging cables and is extensively used. The USB or charging cables are also supplied.
- Cable-less: this pocket-sized type includes no external wires and is attached to the cell phone’s port via pin, instead of USB or other.
Important aspects to keep in mind before buying a power bank
Below you can find some tips that may help you choose the right power bank:
- Check the device specifications and try to determine the pack size
- Check the power bank size and your requirement, and decide if you need a pocket-sized power bank or a big one.
- Check the necessary accessories (a keychain or a flash light).
- Estimate the number of necessary ports after considering the amount of gadgets to be powered.
- Get a USB cable, an adapter, and a cover to power the device.
The latest available power banks
Currently, there are various Power Banks available on the market. However, we will focus only on a few ones so that you can get a general idea.
SOLAR POWER BANKS
Solar chargers utilize energy from the sunlight to supply direct current to gadgets or power batteries. or to the devices. This technology is based on the photoelectric effect. Solar cells come connected in a series, with the upper side of the cell dominating with negative charges and the lower side being the positively charged plate. When sunlight (or even fluorescent light) falls on the solar cell’s upper negative plate, photoelectrons are generated and travel to the positive plate, thus providing a complete current path.
In the case of Solar Power Banks, the plates of solar cells will supply the adequate current. An intelligent charge controller will sense which source (either the battery or the direct solar light) supplies more power and charges gadgets accordingly. This type of power banks can be either a single frame or multiple folding frames. However, it is important to keep present that this type of power banks is not able to supply much power.
- This type of solar banks mostly suits those people who lack access to electrical supplies during long periods of time. People who like hiking can opt for Portable Bag packers which are light in weight and can fuel batteries.
- Solar power banks are able to fuel smartphones. Depending on the requirement, they can even charge tablets (its engine is rather weak and can’t supply much).
- Power banks can be charged quicker on bright sunny days. This doesn’t mean that they don’t work on other days. It only means that they are more efficient on shiny days. However, you should make sure the device doesn’t overheat. A temperature raise can damage your phone’s battery. Find a place where it receives the maximum sunlight, then place your solar pack with its plates facing upwards. It may take several few hours to have it completely charged.
- If there is insufficient sunlight and you can’t charge the power bank, you can choose the USB charging mode and connect it to your computer. Keep in mind that solar power banks are active device themselves, able to produce their own power. It may be helpful to take advantage and power them when you have enough light.
- Solar power banks utilize sunlight to get charged. Nonetheless, if you live in an area where there is less sunlight throughout the year, then it may be wise to opt for a different type of power bank.
- Solar cells are rather difficult to handle and brittle. So make sure you opt for a shockproof product as well.
WATERPROOF POWER BANKS
The waterproof power banks type is shielded with special sheets able to protect the inner assembly. There is no need to worry if the power banks falls into water as the battery will still remain unaffected. Waterproof power banks can be carried even in a swimming pool along waterproof smartphones! This type of power banks is certified with the IPXX i.e. IP69 or IP68 certifications.
HEAVY DUTY CAR JUMPERS AND LAPTOP CHARGERS
This type of heavy duty power banks can charge laptops and even provide a power kick to dead car batteries. These power banks come with super-efficient Li-Polymer batteries which are able to provide sudden current doses and long backup without dropping their own energy levels. They have wider applications and allow you to run several devices simultaneously. They are ideal when camping or when planning to stay during long periods of time without access to outlets. Though they provide bulks of energy, there is one disadvantage: since they are heavy duty, they are rather bulky. Though you cannot store them in your pocket easily, they are outstanding when it comes to their power capabilities. However, the latest power boosters are more compact if compared to conventional models.
PORTABLE SPEAKER ENTERTAINERS
If you are in need of memorable, uninterrupted entertainment, these power banks can deliver powerful sound boosters. Due to their compact size, they can be carried in a pocket and taken anywhere you want. Speaker power banks come in different sizes and many interesting styles. Ideal for long journeys, they can even power up other power hungry gadgets such as smartphones and tabs.
PHONE COVERS POWER BANKS
We are probably talking about the smallest power banks currently available on the market. They simply fit to the backside of a smartphone, similar to a phone cover. They not only add aesthetic value to your gadgets, but they also protect them from scratches and provide small batteries that power your devices. They are available in various models and colours. Nonetheless, you must make sure that you opt for the exact model that specifically fits your device. There is one disadvantage: sometimes it may be difficult to find the exact cover for a specific smartphone.
MULTIPLE PURPOSE POWER BANKS
This type of power banks is used for simultaneously charging multiple devices such as smartphones and tablets while using Micro USB cables or standard USB. They are pocket sized and comfortable to carry around. Though they are mainly used to power up tablets and smartphones, they are capable of charging mp3/4 players and Bluetooth headphones as well.
Power banks related doubts
HOW MANY OUTPUT PORTS DO I NEED?
It really depends on the number of devices that need to be connected. For example, if you only need to charge a smartphone, then you can opt for 1 port device. For charging multiple devices simultaneously, you definitely need to choose a multiple ported power bank.
WHY DO SOME POWER BANKS TIRE SO QUICKLY?
A power bank is able to return 0-90% of its initial capacity. It may be that your power bank is too small to keep your gadget alive. It is important to carefully read your device’s battery specifications and calculate the necessary number of spells to charge up your gadget.
TIP: Make sure to disconnect the USB cable if you are not using it.
UNDERSTANDING THE OUTPUT SPECIFICATIONS
1A-1.5A output ports are designed for cell phones. The 1.5A-2.0A output was designed to fuel tablets.
WHY IS MY POWER BANK UNABLE TO CHARGE MY TABLET PROPERLY?
Tablets normally use 2.1A ports to get charged. Some power banks only include a single port i.e. of 1A. Though they charge the tablet, they will do it at a slower rate. It is advisable to opt for a power bank that comes with a 2.1A port.