How to Choose an External battery

Tech Tips
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The external battery is an often under-appreciated piece of tech that has gained some recent popularity due to the intense battery drain caused by running Pokemon Go for long periods of time. There are a lot of options when it comes to deciding what external battery to choose, so we thought we’d try to help by looking at characteristics of external batteries and then examining some of the more popular choices on Amazon.

 

Measuring an external battery

The easiest way to measure the power of a power bank is to look at the energy capacity. Batteries are measured by Milliamp Hours or mAh. A milliamp Hour measures the amount of electric power over time. The more mAh a battery has the longer it will last.

 

It is difficult to determine exactly how much electric power your phone will use. It has most to do with how frequently you use it and what programs you run. Manufacturers provide internal battery capacities and estimates to give users a better idea how long their phones will last. The iPhone 6s has a battery capacity of 1715 mAh and the Samsung Galaxy S7 has a capacity of 3000 mAh. In order to charge your phone to capacity (or to charge multiple devices or one device more than once) the external battery would have to have a capacity higher than that of the internal battery on your device.

 

Sometimes judge by size

Tiny USB chargers are easy to find and many companies like to use them as promotional tools, but those typically only hold around 1500mAh which will not charge your device very quickly or very long. If the size of your external battery is important to your decision, there are plenty of options that will charge your phone completely but still fit in your pocket. The Anker PowerCore+ mini is the size of a lipstick tube but has 3350mAh and the Anker Astro E1 has 5200mAh and is the size of a candy bar. They both sell for around $12 on Amazon which brings us to our next point…

 

More expensive does not necessarily mean better

When you look at the most popular portable power banks on Amazon, they paint an interesting picture about the consumers. Three of the top six banks are under $15 and the other three are just under $40. It’s true that the more expensive banks have higher capacities than the smaller ones, but not by very much. The KMASHI External Battery Power Bank has 10,000mAh, which is enough to power a single device at a relatively high speed. If you’re not an avid phone gamer and just want to be able to keep your phone charged through a long night out or on a flight, banks like this one are all you really need. They’re a easy-to-manage size and you don’t have to spend very much. On the other hand, if you are an avid phone gamer or want to embark on a lengthy Pokemon spree, splurging on a 20000+ mAh charger, like the Anker Portable Powercore or the RAVPower Portable Charger, will be worth your while.

 

Bank on it

Not everybody has the means to create an awesome external battery Pokedex case, but the good thing about shopping for an external battery is that once you know what you are looking for, it is easy to find the right option at a good price.

 

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