Most of the latest gadgets of today are power hungry. If you want to make it through a long commute or a cross-country flight without having to plug your tablet or gaming device in, you’re going to need an external battery pack to keep it going. Normally when you need more juice for your smartphone, tablet, or other mobile electronic devices, you plug the USB charging cable into your computer or any socket at home. But, that’s not always convenient if you’re traveling or otherwise away from home. This is where an external battery pack comes in handy.
However, not all battery packs are created equal and you can easily end up with an external battery pack that doesn’t fit your application and power needs. Here are some useful tips that you need to check before you go shopping for your next battery packs.
- First, Estimating your mAh. Before all else, you need to establish how much juice you need. Both device batteries and the external battery packs that top them off have capacities rated in mAh. This is the principle measuring stick you’ll use to determine how much you need to invest in your pack.
- Ports for Your Pals. If you’re shopping for just yourself, it’s OK to spend less and get a device with a single port or a 2.1A and 1A port. Need to provide a steady flow of juice to both your iPhone and your traveling companion’s Android, though? You’d better spend the extra money to get a battery pack with two high draw 2A ports. If you’re planning on setting up a multiplayer gaming huddle at 30,000 feet, you can even find battery packs with 4+ 2.1A ports.
- Know their Worth. Because the external battery pack market is pretty heavily saturated, many manufacturers have started including little extras to entice buyers. Our advice is to avoid being swayed by the extras unless the extras offer you high-utility or save you money. For example, if the pack you’re looking at costs an extra dollar and comes with an iPhone charging cable, and you were planning on buying one anyway, that’s a good value. If it costs a lot more and comes with 12 adapters for crap you don’t even own, then it’s not such a hot buy.
- Look for Extra Features. One of most favourite extra features is the inclusion of many battery packs of an LED flashlight. At first glance, it seems pretty gimmicky, but we think it’s quite clever. You use battery packs most often when you’re traveling, and since you’ll likely have the battery pack in hand when you’re rooting around in your bag or luggage looking for cables and whatnot in an unfamiliar setting, that burst of light is more than handy.