ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

3 Step Guide to Buying a Portable Phone Charger.

Updated on July 2, 2016

Step One - The Size

The size and weight of a power bank is a direct indication of its charging capacity. Striking the right balance between portability and charge-ability is a sensible first step.

The capacity of a Power Bank determines how many times you can recharge your phone or mobile device. It's measured in mAh (milliamp hours). Most modern smartphones have between 2000 to 2500mAh.

The mIlliamp amount is just a guide, and not an accurate representation of how much charge you're likely to get. The actual amount is subject to its efficiency. Typically, a 10000mAh power bank will provide around 7000mAh, or just over three full phone charges.

  • Daily topping up - If you're looking for a compact phone charger to top up your phone, then a power bank with between 3000mAh and 4000mAh is ideal.
  • Longer trips (Weekends) - When you're likely to be away from a power source for a couple of days, a 10000mAh power bank is favourable. It will provide around three full charges and is in a sweet spot for size and weight.
  • Longer trips or for charging multiple devices - If you plan on being away for longer than a few days or have the need to charge more than one device, it's wise to look for a power bank with a capacity greater than 20000mAH.

A selection of popular power banks in various sizes
A selection of popular power banks in various sizes

Which size Power Bank suits you best?

See results

Step Two - The Output

There are two types of output that you need to be aware of. There's Max output, and the output from each individual USB port.

Most phones need around 1A to charge effectively. Pretty much all power banks will provide this amount from a single port. A larger device such as a tablet, will require more than 2A to charge at optimal speed.

Think about which mobile devices you'll need to charge and check their requirements. Look for a power bank that's got the correct amount of output. For a Phone and Tablet you'll need at least 3A. For two Tablets, look for a portable charger with 4A or more.

The various maximum outputs on portable power bank chargers
The various maximum outputs on portable power bank chargers

How many devices would you need to charge together?

See results

Step Three - The Technology

All power banks have safe guards and protection against over heating and short circuits. Some manufacturers offer extra technology that can further improve the performance.

  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 - Many of the latest power banks now offer Quick charge 3.0 technology. This can provide a major improvement in charging speed. To make the most out of this feature, your phone would need to be QC compatible. Apple devices aren't and never will be, but it's still worth considering, even as an iPhone user. A large capacity power bank will take a considerable amount of time to recharge once depleted. If you invest in a QC 3.0 wall adapter, you can improve the recharge time by as much as five hours!
  • Pass Through Charging - This technology allows the power bank to top up mobile devices while it's recharging from the mains. This can be useful for the overnight charging of multiple devices. Only a handful of manufacturer's offer this feature.
  • Brand specific technology - This depends on which Power Bank manufacturer you choose. They all have their own 'brand specific' terminology for fast charging ports. Anker use the term 'PowerIQ', RavPower have 'iSmart' and Zendure use 'ZEN+'. Regardless of the name, they all do pretty much the same thing. The output current is automatically adjusted to suit the connected device.

Portable Power Bank charging technology
Portable Power Bank charging technology

Which Power Bank to buy?

Hopefully this guide has helped you decide on the best size, output and features for your specific portable charging needs.

Beyond those three steps, it's also wise to consider the quality of the product. Try to choose a non-generic power bank and you'll have little to worry about in terms of efficiency, reliability and safety.

I have been product testing and reviewing portable chargers for over two year now. Of the dozens of brands I've had hands on experience with, I can highly recommend the following manufacturers:

  1. Anker
  2. RAVPower
  3. Zendure
  4. EasyAcc

Each of them have an extensive range of charging solutions and their products have proved to be consistently reliable. All four brands are available to buy on Amazon.

If you'd like to ask me any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

© 2016 Simon Tunnard


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)