How to chose a power bank?

How to choose a power bank?

There are so many different power banks out there. How do you choose the right one?

I'll fill you in on what you need to know so you can choose the right power bank for you.

First of all, power banks are measured in milliamps or mAh. Most phone batteries, as well as small devices like cameras, are between 1,000 and 2,000 milliamps. So keep that in mind as you're shopping for a battery bank.

Larger phones have a battery capacity of about 3,000 milliamps. Larger devices like tablets have much larger batteries, so check your device and see what size battery it has before purchasing a battery bank. The larger the power bank is, the more times you can charge your phone or device. There is some charge loss with the transfer of power, but if you use 1,500 milliamps as a guideline, you'll know how many charges you can expect from a power bank. One rate at 4,000 milliamps will give you one to two charges, while one rated at 12,000 milliamps will give you up to seven, and so on.

Features you should check in a power bank

If you've got a large phone or are planning on charging a tablet, then be sure to check your device's battery so you know which size power bank to get. After you've got the capacity you need to be nailed down, then you should consider features like USB port output rating, a number of ports, or technology built into the device. Somehow power banks have built-in technology that will speed up charging or prevent overcharging, which are great features to have. Based on what you plan to charge, take the output rating of the power bank into consideration. 

For example, it will take about three hours to fully charge an iPhone 6 at 1 amp output. But it only takes two hours at 2.1 amps output. If you plan to recharge your tablet, you'll want one that's a higher output rating of at least 2 amps. But I'd recommend 2.4 amps or higher. This is especially important if you want to charge two devices at once.  After that, it all just comes down to your personal preference and style. There are all sorts of features on the power banks, like built-in charging cables, integrated AC wall plugs, dual device charging capability, rugged or waterproof casings and the list goes on--not to mention the look and feel of the power bank. 

Our top choices for power bank

I like Pocket Juice power banks made by Tzumi. They feature quick chip technology, which automatically detects what sort of device you're plugging into the battery bank and will output the proper amount of power to the device. Quick chip also speeds up charging and prevents overcharging to save your precious phone battery, which is very important.

To make it easy, we got a bunch of different Pocket Juice models and tested them to find our favorites. After testing, these are my top picks. First off, we've got this little guy. I like this one because it's small and portable but still capable of charging your phone twice on a single charge. It's got a nice rubberized case and a simple design, which I like as well. This one is perfect to throw in your backpack or purse to keep around in case of an emergency. I also really like the Pocket Juice Endurance AC power banks.

The 4,000 milliamp size is my go-to. It's nice and slim and light. I love that it's small enough to carry in my pocket but still has enough juice to charge a phone twice or even a tablet. My favorite thing about this battery bank is that everything is built right into it.

It's got a built-in AC wall plug. Just flip it out and plug it right into the wall. No need to carry a charging cable. There's also a micro USB port built right into the power bank. So if you've got a device that uses this to charge, you're set.

For multiple devices, or if you want to charge a tablet, I'd go with something more like the 12,000 milliamp Endurance. You can charge your phone seven times with it, or your tablet three times, on a single charge. So this is great for longer trips where you have to be away from a power source for a while. You can charge two devices at once through dual 3.4 amp USB ports.

So you can charge your iPad and your phone simultaneously, which is awesome. Like the 4,000 milliamp version, this features an integrated flip-down AC wall plug for easy charging.

If you're not feeling the flip-down AC wall plug, there are plenty of Pocket Juice options without this feature, both in a slim profile or rugged versions if you're the outdoorsy type.

All Pocket Juice power banks come with a little USB to micro USB pigtail cable to charge the battery bank. Or if you've got an Android or micro USB-enabled device, you can plug this right into your phone and charge away. The short length is great too because it can't get tangled up. I hope this helps in your decision when it comes to choosing a power bank.

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