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Review of the Best Power Banks

Updated on July 11, 2015

Why we need Power banks

In today's world, power banks are invaluable. With the massive amount of calling, email checking, mobile gaming, texting and internet surfing that everyone's doing, a reliable, portable charger has become essential. If you've ever been on the move and your phone suddenly went dead, you know how frustrating it is. When you’re in a park and your tablet starts warning you of its battery draining, you know how annoying it can be. If you’re going to be away from mains power for a couple of days your tablet or phone simply won’t last that long. In fact, it can barely make it through a full working day. Regardless of the brand or operating system of our gadgets, we all have one thing in common: "Our batteries can never hold enough power." What’s the solution? Portable chargers, a.k.a power banks.

Power bank Review

You know that you need a power bank, but how do you go about buying one? They come in all shapes, sizes and capacities. They range from the emergency credit-card-sized ones that just offer you a quick boost to keep you going till you get home, to the ultra-high-capacity power banks that can charge your phone up to 10 times. How do you know the power bank that works best for you? Here is a power bank review to help you decide. To start you off, let's look at the best overall power bank, the best power bank for the outdoors, and the best cheap power bank. We have chosen them based on a number of factors, from their quality, capacity and usability, to their value return for money.

Overall Best Power Bank:

Anker Astro E7 Ultra-High Capacity 25600mAh 3-Port 4A Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank with PowerIQ Technology

It's the Mac Daddy of powerbanks. It reigns supreme over them all. It's of high quality. It uses advanced technology. It has great capacity. It has excellent features. It's definitely not cheap, but it's worth every cent you pay for it. It's the Anker Astro E7 Ultra-High Capacity 25600mAh Compact External Battery Charger. It comes from Anker, a highly trusted charging brand that is used by over 10 million people. It's so popular that it's the #1 selling charging brand on Amazon. It has the highest rating, and number of reviews. So, what makes this product tick?

Let's start at the technology. It uses PowerIQ Exclusive technology, which your devices in order to deliver rapid charging. In fact, it provides speeds of up to 3 amps per port or 4 amps through its three ports individually.

What of its capacity? It has the ultra-high capacity of 25600mAh. That's a lot of power. Let's put it into perspective: it can charge the iPhone 6 a whopping 10 times, and the Galaxy S5 or the iPhone 6 Plus more than 6 times. That power is also enough to charge the iPad Air more than 2 times, and other tablets a couple of times. With such a huge capacity, no doubt it will take some time to juice up the power bank. Recharging using a 2Amp adapter takes 12-14 hours.

It's also a high quality power bank. It's made up of premium LG cells, and circuits designed by vanguard. In addition, it has a sturdy outer casing that guarantees reliability and safety. It also has a neat LED flashlight that's easy to use-all you have to do is hold or double-click the center button to activate it.

What of the cost? It goes for approximately $60.00. That's the average price for a package that includes the Anker Astro E7, a micro USB cable and a travel bag. The product comes with an 18-month warranty. It's a great-value power bank that has enough volume to keep both your electric gadgets operating away. That's why it's my No.1 overall best powerbank.

Best Outdoor Power Bank:

Gorilla Gear TM Outdoor Powerbank - 10,400 mAh Water Resistant, Shock Proof, Rugged Powerbank

Here, we’re looking for the best powerbank that can survive the great outdoors. This rugged and attractively designed power bank from Gorilla Gear (rightfully called The Journeyman) provides what you'd generally expect from external batteries. Stuff like having a series of 4 LEDs that indicate power levels and a digital display that communicates the amount of power left in the reserve. You expect that from any power bank, so that's not why it made it to the list of the best.

What distinguishes this Gorilla Gear power bank from its competitors is its unique design for the outdoors. Its anti-shock casing has a grippy external surface, and rubber port protectors on the dual charging ports. It's the same design used on those no-nonsense smartphone cases. Consequently, it can take a lot of abuse. That's exactly what you want when you’re going hiking, camping, travelling or even engaging in sports. It's literally shockproof, dustproof and disasterproof. It's specifically designed o be used in extreme conditions, but you can always use it as an everyday power backup.

Speaking of power back up, you'll be outdoors for long, and you'll want enough power to keep you sorted. The 10,400 mAh Samsung battery ensures long product life and reliable charging. That's the equivalent of charging an iPhone fully for 4 times. Fully charging this power bank takes about 8 hours. It also comes with universal compatibility- it's suitable for charging anything from cameras, GoPros and camcorders to tablets and phones.

Another plus for this Gorilla Gear model is for the outdoors is its integrated small low-power LED flashlight. This makes it pretty handy when searching for essential items after dark, or when you need to find your way out of an emergency situation. It's also lightweight, which is what you need when on the road. When you're out hiking remember that this power bank is water resistant, not waterproof (it has an IP54 rating). This means that it can withstand getting splashed, but don't go dunking it in water expect it to work.

Gorilla Gear are so sure of the durability of this powerbank, that they give you a lifetime guarantee. After all this, you can see why it's my No.1 powerbank choice for the outdoors.

Best Cheap Power Bank:

KMASHI 10000mAh MP816 (2.1Amp+1Amp Output, 2Amp Input Fast Charging) Dual USB Portable External Extended Battery Pack Power Bank

Here, we're looking at the best value for the lowest price. You want the highest quality product you can get without breaking the bank. Here's why we've settled on this KMASHI product:

First, how much power does it store? It has a 10,000mAh capacity. This means that it's able to supply 1.5A at 5V for 4 hours before it shuts down. This means that it holds enough power to charge most smartphones, and it can keep your gadgets going for a couple of days and still have some juice left to spare.

When it comes to juicing it up, it takes over 14 hours with a 5V 1A power source, and just a little over 7 hours with a 5V 2.1A power source. However, it does not come with a power adapter. It only has a USB to Micro USB cable. But if you can get yourself a 5V adapter, you'll be able to increase the speed of charging. Its dual USB ports enable you to charge different gadgets simultaneously. And this powerbank can charge just about anything, from Google glasses to the 5V smartphones and below.

It also doesn't slack on the aesthetics. For a cheap power bank, it's quite pleasing to the eye. It's simple and unobtrusive features, such as one-touch status LEDs, in addition to its smooth finish, mean that you can still travel in style. It's also small in size and weighs a meager 344g. It also comes with the usual required powerbank features-an intelligent power managing IC, overcharge protection and short circuit protection.

And, of course, the cost. The price of this powerbank is lower than most other power banks with half of its capacity. You can get it for as low as $11.99. Price varies depending on where you buy it, whether it's online or from your local store. However, the price tends to stay under $15.00. With such a price, you're scoring a high quality powerbank at a huge bargain. It's definitely a keeper, and gets my No.1 spot for best cheap powerbanks.

How to Choose the Right Power Bank

When you go shopping for a power bank, you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle. They have literally flooded the market. For the past couple of years, manufacturers have been able to build numerous relatively universal external portable power banks that can be used by most of our power hungry devices. All this is thanks to power connector standardization. They can be used for smartphones, digital cameras, camcorders and even portable speakers. Basically, they can be used by any device that can use a standard USB port as a power source.

The power banks some in all types and forms, and every manufacturer claims that their product is the best. Obviously, you can't take their word for it. This power bank review will help you put things into perspective.

One of the factors to consider is capacity of the power bank. It's only you who knows how many gadgets you'll need to charge, how much power they'll need, and how frequently they'll need it. Choose a power bank that matches your needs. For instance, you can't go for a 4V power bank to charge a 5V phone.

It's also important that you note that a power bank will not deliver the full advertised capacity to your device. No, the manufacturer is not lying to you. The fact is that some energy will have to be lost though heat generation and during voltage conversion. You can thank some laws of Physics for that. Always expect around 70% efficiency. For example, a 10000mAh power bank may deliver 7000mAh of power. How do you know the number of full charges that you can expect from this? Simply check the specification on the battery of your tablet or phone and make your estimation.

You also have to look at the power bank's portability. There are those that you can comfortably slip into your pocket, while others are noticeable even when they're slung in a bag. Depending on your plans for the power bank, like where you'll be using it and all, pay close attention to its weight specifications. You don't want to be stuck with an inconvenience.

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    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 2 years ago from State of Confussion

      I have one that I got as a gift. I got it charged and brought it home. Sorry I don't know which one it is as my daughter needed it for her phone. But I have heard no complaints as of yet.

    • VationSays profile image
      Author

      VationSays 2 years ago

      Hi, here's the Xiaomi one. Sorry it took some time :)

      https://hubpages.com/technology/POWER-BANK-REVIEW-...

    • VationSays profile image
      Author

      VationSays 2 years ago

      I'll do a full review on it and post it here

    • androidfan profile image

      Rajesh Bhuin 2 years ago from India

      How is the powerbank made Xiaomi ? Have you tested the MI 5200 mAh power bank?

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