Mobile phone technology has come a long way since the earliest versions of the product hit the market a couple or so decades ago. So rapid and far-reaching has been this particular technological development that the term mobile phone doesn’t even really apply anymore. Today, we are much more accustomed to saying “smartphone”, referring to everything that a mobile phone can be apart from a phone. Rather than making a call, we are far more often taking photographs, browsing the internet, messaging our friends online, and watching videos. Truly, these devices are not really phones.
Such has been the technological development that has – quite literally – transformed the mobile phone. However, there is one area where, curiously, development has not been so successful. This is battery life. Despite the fact that modern smartphones are equipped with highly advanced lithium-ion batteries, the fact that they simply have so much more to do has meant that an old late 90s Nokia, for example, actually held its charge for longer than modern smartphones do. The old Nokia only had to make calls and display a black and white screen of course, but it was much less likely to die unexpectedly.
Rise of the Powerpack
The hope is that, eventually, better batteries will be produced but, until then, many have turned to USB powerpacks to power their electronic devices beyond the limit of their battery life. As many of these products are specifically designed to be portable, the powerpack has answered this need by providing a versatile power source that can be carried around and connected without fuss.
These powerpacks are related to the docking stations of rechargeable batteries which, in a sense, were the earliest version of this technology. In this arena, this technology has also persisted and been developed. There are now highly advanced USB rechargeable smart batteries, produced by new high-tech companies like Pale Blue Earth, which can charge rechargeable household batteries via USB. It is this convenience that is at the heart of modern powerpacks.
Things to Consider When Choosing a USB Powerbank
So, if you would like to avoid running out of power in a pinch, what are the things to look out for when choosing a USB powerpack? Here are the most important:
Sure, you might be purchasing the powerpack only for yourself, but versatility is an important feature all the same. For example, a powerpack can be useful in any number of situations and with any number of devices. You probably also have a different means of connecting to your laptop than your smartphone and you will require the powerpack for both. Make sure your powerpack comes with a range of cables, ports, and connectors.
When it comes to capacity, you can check the actual rating to see how much juice the powerpack can hold. This is normally given in milliamp hours (mAh). Nevertheless, a better way of measuring this might be to consider how many times it can completely recharge your primary device (most likely your smartphone) before it runs out of juice itself. Being able to do so twice should be a minimum requirement here.
Naturally, your powerpack will be powering portable devices so it itself needs to be portable and wieldy. Some older powerbanks seem to increase pretty dramatically in size with capacity, but this is much less of a problem these days. Nonetheless, ensure you can carry it about easily.
Such are the main metrics of a good powerbank. And, until the batteries inside smartphones can get back to that 90s heyday of longevity, you might want to consider getting one.