Read This Before You Buy A Portable Power Pack

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Have you ever tried buying a portable power pack? If you have, then you know there are a lot of numbers and abbreviations. And, If you are like me you have no idea what any of them mean. Well, lucky for you, I did a little research.

Whether you are looking to buy a large storage capacity power pack or a little one this article will show you exactly what to look for and what all those numbers mean.
First, we need to explain:


What is a portable power pack?

A portable power pack or power bank is an “extra battery” or “external battery” sometimes called “portable charger”, that you can take with you to charge your smartphone or tablet. The size of the power bank is measured by “mAH”. So the higher the mAH, the higher the capacity therefore the longer the charge time. Easy right?

What does mAH mean?

“mAh” stands for “ mili ampere per hour.” For the non techie this means the storage capacity of your battery or how much energy your battery can hold. For example, if you buy a power bank with the storage capacity of say10,000 mAh, that means, you can almost charge your phone(which has battery of 2,600 mAh) 3+ times after full drain.

How did you figure that out?

Glad you asked. You can use this simple formula:
For a rough calculation of the total charge time,
Power Bank Rating (mAh) × Efficiency × Device Depletion ÷ Device Capacity (mAh)=charge time

EXAMPLE: 6000 × 0.8 × 0.8 ÷ 1500 = 2.5 charges (approximately)

Example #2: A 20000 mAh is a commonly used rate, for a branded 20,000 mAh power bank, it’s capable of charging iPhone for 7.5+ times, Samsung S6 for 5+ times or iPad mini for 2+ times.

How do I know how long it will take to charge a portable power pack with 20,000 mAh to full Capacity?

Well it depends on a few things, One, the phone charger and two, the amount of input ports.
Let’s look at amount of input ports first. This is simple, some power banks come with one input port and some come with two. Which means you can use two wall adapters to charge the power bank.

The second thing that effects the charge time is the rating of the wall mount adapter that you use. If your adapter is a 2a rated charger it would take 12hrs to charge a 20000mAh power bank to full capacity. If you use a 1A rated charger, the charging time will be doubled to around 24 hours.

Does a High Capacity Power Bank charge a phone faster than a Low Capacity Power Bank?

The simple answer is No. The charge speed is determined by output current, not the capacity.
The output current ranges from 500mA, to more than 1000 mA (1A). If the output current stays
the same, High Capacity and Lower Capacity Power Banks will charge a phone at the same rate. So theoretically, at the end of an hour, a phone will have as much charge with a High Capacity power bank as it will with a Lower Capacity Power Bank. A high capacity power bank will be able to provide more charge than a low capacity power bank over time. The next thing we need to look at is the actual battery type.

What kind of batteries are in a portable power pack?

Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer batteries are the most common rechargeable cell types found in a portable power pack. Lithium-Ion cells are generally cheaper and limited in mAh capacity, while Lithium-Polymer cells can be larger and don’t suffer from a memory effect over time.
The biggest difference between the two is the type of electrolyte used. A lithium -ion battery is a liquid electrolyte, and lithium ion polymer batteries uses a solid polymer electrolyte but can also be a semi-solid (gel)

One last thing to take in to consideration is that there will be some loss of energy during the transfer due to resistance. Think of it like this, it takes energy to pass energy.

If we missed anything you want to know send us a message. For more portable power packs visit


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