Charging a phone on the move has been made a lot easier over the years with the development of various different portable chargers and battery packs. These include portable battery powered chargers, solar powered chargers, and even hand crank chargers. One of the most effective, however, is the external battery power bank.
About External Power Banks
External power banks are small, portable devices that are charged from the mains, and then used to charge mobile phones and other portable devices when needed. They range hugely in power, size, design, recharge times, and so on. When buying one for travel purposes, one of the most important factors is to find a compromise between size, weight, and power.
Different power packs will have different power ratings, and the length of time that any battery will last before needing to be recharged will relate to its mAh rating, and the functions being used. For example, an average battery might have a rating of about 1500 mAh. When on standby, the phone may be pulling about 18.75 mA from the battery. As such, the phone will last about 80 hours before needing to be recharged if not in use. However, if the phone is being used to make calls, this may pull roughly 450 mA from the phone per hour, giving about 3.3 hours of talk time. Other functions of modern phones will take up more power, therefore, draining the battery even faster. Consequently, batteries need to be more powerful to deal with these functions. When looking at an external battery power bank, therefore, it is important to consider the mAh rating of the battery. The higher the rating, the more charge the power bank will provide. Ideally, powerful smart phones will work best with power packs with batteries of 10,000 - 20,000 mAh or more. This will have a direct impact on how much charge the pack can provide. Some will only offer an additional 3 hours or so of talk time: this may relate to an extra 30 or 40 per cent of charge for the phone. Others, however, will have much more powerful batteries and will, therefore, provide enough energy for multiple chargers - this may be up to a dozen or more depending on the power pack.
Size and Weight
It is important to look at the size and weight of the power bank as well. The more power it has, the bigger and heavier it will be in general. Naturally, this makes sense given that more power means more cells. When using a power pack to travel, therefore, it is important to think about the amount of charge that may be needed, and how portable the power pack needs to be. While even the most powerful options will still be portable, and may be a similar size to an iPad, others will be small enough to slip in a pocket or handbag without causing discomfort.
Characteristics of External Battery Power Bank
There are several other characteristics to consider when searching for a portable power pack to be used for travelling and when on the move. These will include:
When buying any device, it is essential to determine whether it is compatible with the right mobile phone. Many portable packs are specific to certain devices, whereas others are universal and will work with a variety of different phone brands, and other devices like iPads, Kindles, and so on.
Some devices are also multi-purpose, and will allow users to charge 2 or more devices at once. For example, some will allow users to charge both their iPhone and iPad at the same time. Bear in mind that this will drain the external battery's power more quickly, and large devices will take up more charge than smaller ones. However, this can be very useful for those travelling with several different devices.
Once the battery charger has been depleted of charge itself, it will need to be plugged into the mains and charged up to be used again. With some chargers, this will take a couple of hours. With larger, higher capacity models, however, this can take upwards of an entire day. These larger models will, however, provide multiple charges for any phone or larger device. As such, while they will take longer to charge, they will not need to be recharged as often. This can be very beneficial when travelling because it helps to simplify things. Smaller chargers will only provide a small about of recharge to a phone, and therefore will need to be recharged each day when used frequently. Larger chargers, however, can be used over and over, and then simply left to charge up overnight once fully depleted.
Picking the Right External Power Bank
Different people will have their own criteria when searching for an external power pack. If using the power pack on the move, size may become a more important factor to consider. This is especially the case if it needs to be popped into a pocket or transported around in a small carry on bag when boarding planes. Those who have a little more space allowance and don't mind the idea of carrying around a larger, bulkier pack, may want to go with one that offers a much higher charge capacity.
Another element that may be important to any shopper will be cost. Again, there will be a direct correlation between the price of the pack and its features. Those with higher mAh ratings, and numerous connection ports, for example, will cost a lot more than smaller ones that only work with one or two devices.
Buying OEM or non-OEM
While shopping it is also essential to consider whether to shop for an OEM or non-OEM power pack. OEM stands for 'Official Equipment Manufacturer', and this basically means that the product is created by the original manufacturer. Usually, these will be well known mobile phone brands such as Samsung or Nokia. Non-OEM products will be made from third party manufacturers, however, and these will commonly be lower quality, but cheaper. When shopping, it is essential to conduct sufficient research into the product and seller to determine whether the power pack is actually worth investing in. Any low quality products on the market should be flagged up by negative customer reviews and ratings. As such, this makes it easier to avoid products that may not live up to expectations and requirements.
Buying an External Battery Power Bank on eBay
The process of finding high quality products and sellers is made easy using eBay. When looking for listings for external battery power packs, click on the category on the homepage called Electronics & Technology. When this page loads, click on Mobile & Home Phones, and then Mobile Phone Accessories. Now check down the list of accessory categories on the left of the page and look for some appropriate categories. External battery power packs could either be found in the Batteries section, or in the Chargers & Docks section. Check them both and search for relevant listings. In order to get more specific, turn to the search function. Type some specific words into the search field and then a list of results will appear. In this case, type in corresponding phrases such as 'External Battery Power Banks'. Look to see if any targeted listings appear. If not, charge the wording around and try again. Do this until several different possible products are found - now it is simply a case of comparing them to find the best options.
When on the move external power banks are hugely useful. Just plug in the phone or compatible device and the power bank will act as a portable charger. The amount of charge that the pack provides will depend on its power, with larger packs generally delivering more charge. Naturally, when on the move, portability is an important factor to consider, so always try to marry a suitably powerful pack with one that is relatively small.