The list of things that we use our devices for nowadays is endless – streaming music on our phones, taking notes on our tablets, checking emails on the go and of course, texting friends and family. There are so many amazing things that our phones and tablets can do, but what happens when our batteries start to run low before we can get to an outlet? Well, I’ve got good news – the days of stalking available outlets at coffee shops or idling your car are numbered. There’s a new wave of power coming our way, in the form of portable chargers!
So what are the important things to consider when looking at purchasing a portable charger? Here are four things to keep in mind.
Of course, the number one thing we’ll want to know is how much extra juice the portable charger will provide. Battery size & power is labeled in milliamp hours, or mAh. The bigger the device, the more power you’ll need to charge it. For a minimum capacity charger you should expect at least 5,000 mAh, which will give you one to two full charges for a smart phone. To deliver power to bigger devices or to have more full charges in reserve, you can look to portable chargers offering around 15,000-20,000 mAh.
For a high capacity try the instaCHARGE Dual-Plug 20,000 mAh Portable Tablet and Phone Charger with LED Flashlight, Pouch and AC Adapter
2. Type of Outputs
Portable chargers use USB ports to connect the battery with your device, and just about any mobile device with a USB port can be charged via a portable charger. It could also use a Micro USB port, or a Lightening port (specialized for Apple products). If you have more than one device, you’re going to want to look for a charger that has more than one output option. With diverse output options on the charger itself, you’ll be able to charge numerous devices at once! (Hint: More outputs is also an indicator of greater capacity.)
For a charger that will let you multitask on more than one output, try the instaCHARGE Portable 6,000mAh Tablet, Phone and Device Charger with Pouch.
3. Battery Life of the Charger
Some portable chargers will hold their reserved (charged up) power better than others (most will hold months or years). When purchasing a portable charger, look for specs provided by the manufacturer on how long they say the device will hold it’s charge when not in use, and how long it takes to fully re-charge after it’s been depleted. Also, make sure to check if the portable charger’s charger (ha, a charger for a charger!) comes with an AC adaptor to plug into your regular outlets – or if you need to charge it through a computer.
For a charger that comes with an adaptor, try the PowerNOW! Portable 6,600 mAh Tablet, Phone and Device Charger.
If you’re anything like me, size is an important thing to consider. We want a portable charger that is convenient to carry around with us. Finding something small enough to tuck into your bag or back pocket is completely doable, but there is sometimes a small compromise between size and capability. Bigger, heavier chargers usually have more capacity to power up larger and more complex devices. If you only need an emergency backup for your smartphone, a small pocket charger will suffice.
If you want a small, lightweight charger just as a backup for your phone, try the Pearl 3000mAh Compact Mirror with Portable USB Tablet, Phone and Device Charger. It is conveniently also a compact mirror!
Portable chargers are definitely great to have stored in your car, office, or suitcase when traveling (I never travel without one, that’s a fact!). What mobile device do you use the most that you’d use this charger for?