Charge your phone any time, any place
Power banks can save us a lot of anxiety when we are on the go. EUROPOST picks some of the best and most affordable modelsValentina Spiridonova
Perhaps you spend your entire day on the move and doing your job requires a well-charged smartphone or laptop but by midday, you regularly find yourself in the middle of nowhere with your battery at 5%? Or perhaps you are planning this weekend a three-day camping trip to a spot without electricity and you are already dreading the prospect of not being able to use your phone to even zone out with some music? Well, we know a way you can overcome the anxiety of your gadget’s battery dying.
This solution costs little and entails almost no compromises with your way of life! It is easy - all you need is to get yourself a portable charging device, or so-called power banks.
There are many options available on the market, including wireless and solar chargers. When making your choice, you should consider factors such as price, capacity and portability of such chargers as well as the type of device you may need to revive during your busy day – a smartphone, a laptop, a Nintendo game system, an e-book reader, etc. Of the abovementioned characteristics, the most important one is the battery capacity, measured in milliampere hour (mAh). The bigger it is, the more energy the power bank will be able to store.
If you want a lot of everything, Anker offers an option that would meet all your needs and above, representing an excellent example of why the company has a leading position in the field of charging technologies. Anker PowerCore III Elite has a slightly higher price compared to its competitors (it goes for about $159.99), but its specifications are through the roof!
This portable charger has a giant battery, with a capacity of 25,600 mAh, which means that you can charge your phone and tablet simultaneously and do it several times before the power bank itself needs to be recharged. Anker data shows that the model’s total power output is 100W, with the USB-C port, used for charging laptops and tablets, able to reach 60W (in other words, it would take only two hours to fully charge a MacBook or a Lenovo Yoga). The USB-A port has an output of up to 18W and offers a special mode used to charge low-current devices – watches, headphones and other smart gadgets. In this case, charging takes between an hour and two hours.
One drawback to Anker PowerCore III is that it is pretty heavy (over half a kilogram), so do not be surprised if your pants start working their way down after you stick that device in your pocket. Which is quite normal since the larger size and heavier weight are starting to become worth it for the equivalent exchange of power.
Charmast, a lesser-known company, offers similar specifications, without this big of an impact on your pocket (or pants), in its 26,800mAh Ultra Slim power bank, which costs $43.
Chinese master charger
In case you do not have a need for such a multifunctional device with battery capacity over 20,000mAh, and you do not mind saving some money, Xiaomi has an option of similar quality (surprisingly enough) at a much lower price – Mi Fast Charger Power Bank 3.
We tested it this week and if you need fast charging solely for smart devices and phones, this is the perfect solution for you. For only $17.40, you get an excellent 10,000mAh battery, two USB-A ports, in which you can simultaneously plug two phones or two tablets, and two ports for charging the power bank itself – a Micro USB standard and a Type C standard.
This power bank model supports 18W maximum fast charging, but you can also adjust the power output to accommodate low-current devices such as fitness trackers. Mi Fast Charger Power Bank 3 also has scratching, impact, overvoltage, overheating and short circuit protection, among others – a total off nine levels of protection against factors that could affect the power bank’s performance.
Energy from the sun
Besides the abovementioned type of portable storage batteries, there is another, pretty environmentally friendly, option that can help you charge your gadgets on the move – solar portable chargers, suitable for reviving your smartphone, laptop or other USB or DC devices directly from the sun.
Opting for this type of power bank has two drawbacks – they rarely have the battery capacity of standard power banks and they come at a pretty high price, even for the few ones that reach 10,000mAh. The exception to this rule is 4smarts's TitanPack Slim, which not only boasts 20,000mAh battery capacity and five USB ports (four USB-A and one USB-C) but also a built-in compass and a flashlight with an SOS signal for avid mountain hikers.
The company producer assures that the battery can also survive impact, water, mud, sand, getting dropped, etc. The power bank itself can be charged via a Micro USB cable, in case the sun does not do the trick. One huge negative should be mentioned – the maximum power output is 10W, which is about half of the output offered by the widespread fast-charging technologies at the moment, including the abovementioned ones.
The beast of wireless charging
One thing that we haven't tested yet, but can't wait to land our hands on is HyperCharge. What it is, you might ask? HyperCharge is the most recently announced device from the Chinese company Xiaomi, which uses a built-in cable, has power output of 200W and can charge a 4,000mAh storage battery in just eight minutes. With HyperCharge, the same battery goes from zero to 10% in eight seconds and from zero to 50% in just three minutes. This is an absolute record, as no other company can charge its smartphone batteries so fast.
But that was not enough for Xiaomi, which presented a wireless model of the same name, which has maximum power output of 120W. This charger takes a 4,000mAh storage battery from zero to 10% in one minute, from zero to 50% in seven minutes, and from zero to 100% in 15 minutes. This means you can literally forget about your battery-realted anxiety, whether they are on the move in town or out in nature!