Last updated: August 18, 2021

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Our mission here is to help you get the best deal when purchasing the product you want. Today we are going to talk about portable charger and what you should consider when buying yours. You've probably run out of battery on your smartphone away from home and you know how frustrating it is to need to use it and not be able to.

If you also depend on your device for work or take long trips, the portable charger is the solution to this unforeseen event. So, ready to solve your problem and find out both what you need to know to buy a portable charger and the perfect model for you? Let's go!




Summary

  • The portable charger or power bank is basically an external battery that you can take with you anywhere, solving the problem of interrupting the use of your devices when the battery runs out.
  • A portable charger needs to be reliable and quality, preferably from a brand known for these features, otherwise you may end up being left in the lurch when you need it most or have your device damaged.
  • Taking into account your needs, you can decide if you need the charger or can comfortably do without it. Things like your routine and how many devices you have that need recharging should be observed.

The best Portable Charger: Our Picks

Buying Guide: everything you need to know about the best portable charger

This has probably happened to you before: you don't pay attention to the battery level of your mobile phone or camera and suddenly, when you need it most, you find you don't have more than 10% of charge left. At this time, having a portable charger is fundamental.

For those who are away from home for a long time, or for those who travel and spend hours in airports and bus stations, a power bank can also be very useful. But how to choose the ideal model? Below, we will answer some questions that will help you in this task.

pessoa segurando o celular desligado em frente a um notebook

There is nothing worse than running out of battery at the most important moments. (Source: Free-Photos / Pixabay)

What is a portable charger?

A portable charger, or power bank, is basically an external battery like the common lithium-ion battery in smartphones. The difference with a standard internal smartphone battery is that it operates by receiving and supplying power through its USB ports, allowing it to be charged to charge another device accordingly.

So it's basically a portable battery for you to carry around with you and solve your battery drain problem anytime, anywhere. Its use is significantly simple: when you run out of battery on your smartphone, tablet or other compatible device, just connect it to the portable charger and press the power button.

Imagem de carregadores cinzas em uma mesa branca.

Using the portable charger is simple: once you run out of battery on your device, just plug it into the charger and press the power button. (Source: eak_kk / Pixabay)

Depending on the manufacturer and model, in addition to the little box with external battery, USB input support and power button, chargers can contain features such as LED display marking the percentage of charging, LED torch and others. With portable charger or power bank you can use your mobile devices like smartphone, tablet, camera, iPod, MP3 and MP4 players, handheld video games anywhere anytime.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a power bank?

If you are tired of running out of battery power while away from home and suddenly find yourself unable to make calls or send messages, check Google, your email or listen to music, know that you are not alone. The situation gets worse when you rely heavily on your smartphone for work.

Being able to stay connected even when away from home or the office becomes, in this case, something not only important, but essential. One way or another, the portable charger has become a necessity. Nowadays people are increasingly connected and want to spend the whole day online and on social networks.

Imagem de uma moça segurando um café gelado e usando o smartphone.

Nowadays, the portable charger has become a necessity since most people are increasingly connected. (Source: rawpixel / Pixabay)

Therefore, it is common the fear of smartphone and tablet users, especially heavy users. And the magic solution for those who do not have an outlet available at this time, is a portable charger or power bank. Besides, with the energy of the devices lasting much less with the abundance of features that they bring nowadays, what to do in an emergency situation?

It's not uncommon for people to get lost in the bush on trails or in forests, or even in traffic, and they can't find their way around with GPS because their mobile phone is dead.

Imagem de um homem em meio à natureza consultando um smartphone.

The portable charger will be your extra battery charge when you find yourself far from any outlet or power source. (Source: Morket / Pixabay)

But in case you're not so radical, you might just be wanting to feel equipped for when you run out of battery on your smartphone during that car, bus or plane trip. The portable charger is sure to be that extra battery charge when you're away from any socket. Here in Brazil the device is being increasingly sold, and with the vast majority of them being compact, they take up little space and are very portable for you to carry with you anywhere.

As our smartphones don't come with batteries powerful enough to last as long as we want them to, the portable charger or power bank is already considered a very popular alternative for Android, Windows and iOS devices. With the portable charger, whenever you need to enjoy a few more hours of use on your device or give it a full charge from wherever you are, just plug your phone into the power bank and off you go!

Advantages
  • Portable charging of your devices (smartphone, tablet) anywhere without an outlet
  • The vast majority of chargers are compact and easy to charge
  • Original quality chargers at fair prices
  • The most powerful ones can give many charges
Disadvantages
  • Limited charging capacity
  • More powerful models can be large and too heavy
  • Many poor quality or counterfeit chargers, which can cause problems in devices

Is it worth buying a counterfeit?

Of course not. Some people say that some chargers are not what they expect, that they are often left in the lurch and that buying a power bank is just throwing money away. If you hear someone complaining, it's likely that they made the wrong purchase. Many retailers and places offer counterfeit or poor quality products and for those just looking for price, it can happen. So be aware.

Keep in mind to buy a portable charger that is reliable, because otherwise not only end up being in hand at the time you need more, your smartphone or power bank may even end up burning. But rest assured. In this Buying Guide we'll show you how the portable charger works, make comparisons, give all the tips and tell you exactly what you need to observe if you decide to buy yours!

Imagem mostra carregador portátil branco em cima de uma mesa de cor clara.

Keep in mind that one of the most important things to keep in mind when buying, is choosing a reliable portable charger. (Source: StrockSnap / Pixabay)

Taking into account factors like your routine, how many devices you have that need recharging and how important it is to you that they are always on, you can decide whether you need one or not. Although the current models on the market are very similar to each other, the features of the power bank can vary widely, so you need to observe which is the best option for your smartphone and your needs. So if you're already decided by yes, follow how the portable charger works and how to choose the ideal model for you.

What is the ideal charging capacity for a portable charger?

Portable chargers, although the vast majority have the design and functionality very similar, have relevant features to be taken into account by the future buyer.

The battery charge capacity, for example, is one of the first things to be observed.

It is this number that will indicate how much battery of your smartphone or tablet can be charged and how many times without you need to charge the portable charger again. For example, if your smartphone has a 2,500mAh charge capacity (measured in milliampere-hours), you need to have a charger with that same measurement for a minimum recharge.

If the portable charger has 5,000mAh, you'll be able to charge your phone on it twice. If you buy a 10,000mAh one, your smartphone will be able to be charged four times. So considering buying one with a higher capacity means more recharges for your smartphone.

Imagem de um smartphone sem bateria com o aviso de que está carregando.

Consider looking for a portable charger with a higher charging capacity for your smartphone. (Source: StrockSnap / Pixabay)

It is recommended that you buy one with at least the same capacity as your smartphone's battery, information that can be checked in your phone's specifications. With it you can at least give a full charge when you need it most. But there's the question: if the idea is already to invest in a portable charger, why not buy one with some spare charges to not end up having to go through the same problem of finding yourself without the possibility of charging?

Another specification to be observed besides the capacity of the battery is its power. Your smartphone or tablet will only charge if the battery voltage is the same or higher than the power of your device. This is measured in Watts (W), and this kind of information is usually present in your device's manual, on the charger or even on the battery itself. The more power it has, the faster it will charge.

The portable charger or power bank can also come in different shapes, sizes and prices.

Buying criteria: Factors to compare laptop charger models

Here, we will talk point by point about the important criteria that differentiate the models and need to be observed to choose the one that best suits your needs.

  • Types of portable charger
  • Battery
  • Charging speed
  • Weight and size

Let's go!

Types of portable charger

There are three types of portable chargers: the external batteries with USB input (which we deal with in this article), those that come attached to cases for smartphones, and those that work with solar light.

We consider external batteries with USB inputs more functional, since they have more battery capacity, can charge devices simultaneously and for many more times.

Case-shaped chargers are known for being practical, as you won't need to carry another device with you other than your own device (such as a smartphone or tablet). But the larger the battery capacity of the charger case, the heavier the device will be with the extra case. Its battery is also only charged when the device itself is plugged into a power source.

Already an external power bank can be recharged as soon as you have another USB input to your reach, may be the computer, for example, and while she charges your smartphone can be used quietly. Solar power banks, on the other hand, are the most independent. They have, in addition to photosensitive charging cells, USB ports equal to the USB charging power bank.

Imagem mostra carregador portátil solar em cima de uma superfície de madeira.

Solar powered portable chargers are the most independent. (Source: Lukas / Pexels)

Because of this, you can use them both indoors and outdoors, but the reality is that charging can take even longer than those that charge via USB. Despite this, both the solar portable charger and the conventional USB one charge not only smartphones but other devices such as tablets, GPS, Kindle and portable speakers.

Battery

As we talked about earlier, when it comes to battery capacity, the calculation is simple. The average capacity of smartphones ranges from 1,800 to 2,600mAh (milliampere-hours). So, what you need to do is to know what the capacity of the battery of your smartphone is, which is how much minimum charge you will need.

If it is 2,000mAh, for example, a 4,000mAh charger will serve for two charges. Another issue to be observed in the battery issue is the amount of battery cycles. Every battery has a certain durability, and eventually they all start to lose their charge capacity.

Generally, batteries with 500 cycles are the ones you will want to buy, because they last up to a year and a half with daily recharges.

One care that should be taken to make the amount of cycles last longer is to avoid incomplete recharges, such as those from 10% to 100%, for example. To prevent it from having a drastic fall in battery potential, you should only recharge the portable charger when its battery is completely zeroed.

This way, the power bank does not waste unnecessary cycles, and there is also no easy way to check how much battery power it has left. The best thing to do is to buy a portable charger with a LED display.

Imagem de um smarphone sendo carregado por um carregador portátil.

A precaution to be taken is to charge the smartphone in the portable charger only when it has completely turned off. (Source: Steve Johnson / Pexels)

Charging speed

Portable chargers come with different charging speeds, and today's devices mostly range from 1 and 2A (amp). The 2A speed portable charger will charge your smartphone or tablet faster than the 1A one, as logic suggests.

But there are some cons: if the charger has two USB inputs, for example, only one of them will give you all that charging speed. If you use a USB Type-C input, which allows devices to be charged with greater power, the charging speed can be increased. In some cases it even doubles.

Imagem de um carregador portátil com mais de uma entrada USB.

If your portable charger has two USB ports, it is likely that only one of them will deliver the full charging speed of the device. (Source: deepanker70 / Pixabay)

Portability

The portable charger or power bank can also come in different shapes, sizes and weights. As mentioned earlier, the most capable portable charger will likely be larger and heavier because of all the structure needed for storage. Today, however, some models already have high charging capacity in compact versions and lower weight, which is something to be observed at the time of purchase.

For a portable device, especially as the charger or power bank that requires you to take it with you whenever you are also with your smartphone, it is more comfortable that it is lighter. If you usually carry a backpack on your back, it probably won't make that much difference, but for women who usually carry a shoulder bag, a very heavy device can end up getting in the way inside the bag.

The portable or power bank charger already comes with a USB cable for its inputs and it's detachable, so you don't need to worry about carrying multiple cables wherever you go.

Image source: jjur / Pixabay

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