Friday, February 17, 2017

Portable Power for Those on the Go

We’ve all had it happen….the dreaded, “Low Battery” flashing on your phone screen and you are nowhere near ready for the day to end. What are your options? Find a place to plug your phone in for a little while as it charges and be left without it? Maybe you can hunker down in a chair strategically placed by a wall outlet and actually use your phone while it charges. If you have found yourself in these situations and don’t enjoy either of them, don’t worry, there are other options! Enter the portable power charger.

A portable power charger is actually a rechargeable battery that you can use to recharge your phones and tablets. Recharging the actual charger is as simple as plugging them into a USB charger or 120V outlet; I charge mine overnight and it’s good to go. Deciding on which portable device to buy is where the issue comes in. There are so many different types. How do you know which one is the right one for you? There are 3 things you need to know about when selecting a portable power charger: milliamp hours, amps, and simple integrated circuits.

Battery’s Capacity
Every device’s battery has a certain capacity, or length of life, which is measured in milliamp hours (mAh). It will be important to know which devices you plan to charge and what their battery’s mAh are before you purchase a portable power charger, because not all portable power chargers are the same and not all will charge every device adequately.

Take for example the keychain portable charger I received from a friend. It was certainly small and handy, but it only had an 800 mAh battery and wasn’t able to come close to charging my 2915 mAh cell phone when it died. Sure, it could get me out of a jam if I was at 1%, but it wasn’t going to do much more than that. Compare that charger to the iBattz portable charger I recently upgraded to with 9000 mAh of battery capacity. Let’s do the math: I can now charge my 2915 mAh iPhone 6+ cell phone completely 3 times (2915 x 3 = 8745 mAh) without ever having to recharge the 9000 mAh power bank. I love the convenience of knowing I have something with me that has the ability to recharge my phone three times - no matter where I am.

Amperage Output
How many amps your portable power charger puts out is another important thing to consider. Amps simply tell you how fast your charger will deliver power to your device, or how fast it will charge your device. Most tablets require 2 amps to charge, so if you intend to use your charger for a tablet, you know to look for one with a minimum of 2 amps of output. Portable chargers can range from 0.5 amps and up. Obviously a charger with only 0.5 amps will take substantially longer to charge a device than one with 2.1 amps.

Simple Integrated Circuit
Finally, when looking for a portable power charger, you want to look for one with a simple integrated circuit (IC) inside. This is simply a “brain” that tells it the status of the battery it is charging so it knows the best method of charging (for example, empty batteries require a “trickle charge” before a full constant charge). Not all chargers have this capability, but it is safer for your device if the charger is aware of and responds to the status of your battery when you connect it to the charger.

Having a portable power charger has made keeping my phone charged so much more convenient. I love the fact that I am no longer tethered to a power cord when I get that dreaded low battery notice. I no longer have a need for a car charger, and when my phone is running low at night, I don’t have to find a place to sit where I am close to an outlet anymore. I just plug my phone into my portable power charger and take it with me wherever I go, whether that be running around town or simply sitting around home. I am no longer required to stay by a power outlet anymore when charging my phone. Oh the freedom!

The portable chargers work great for tablets as well. Anything that uses a USB outlet to charge can benefit from a portable power charger. One thing to note though - be sure to look at the device’s mAh before selecting a charger for your larger devices. Many tablets have a very large battery capacity and require a substantial power charger to recharge fully.

The only down side I have found so far to portable chargers is how attractive they are to teenagers and college students. Don’t be surprised if yours mysteriously “goes missing” when one is around. The only solution I found was to get them their own. Good luck to those who don’t!

We at TechnoRV have been researching different portable power chargers looking at the mAh, amps and IC to be sure we offer our customers the best. We found 3 different brands that we have been using personally and couldn’t be more pleased with. They each offer different levels of mAh and amps of output so be sure to look at the mAh level of your device before purchasing.

2600 mAh
1 amp
Compact size



6000 mAh
2.1 amps
LED flashlight
Available in red or white


6000 mAh
2.1 amps
Charges via solar or USB
Great for boondockers


9000 mAh
2.1 amps
Dual USB charging ports
Rugged, splashproof design



Common Devices and mAh Ratings
iPhone 4s 1432 mAh
iPhone 5s 1560 mAh
iPhone 6s 1715 mAh
iPhone 6+ 2915 mAh
Galaxy S4 2600 mAh
Galaxy S5 2800 mAh
Galaxy S6 2550 mAh
Galaxy Note 5 3000 mAh
Kindle 1530 mAh