There was a time when batteries were not the main concern of the mobile phone manufacturers. Sure, they were always important, but when we really think back, batteries were always just there. They needed to be charged, and it usually took several days until the need arose to do that. This is because old mobile phones didn’t have the features we’re used to from today’s extremely powerful smartphones.

With every new feature (cameras, flashlights, color displays, WiFi, etc.) the need for more powerful batteries became more and more apparent. Phones were not just devices for talking anymore, we started using them for all sort of things.

Think of it this way, in the old days, you’d get your news from television, your entertainment from the cinemas, your games from a gaming console, your photographs taken with a camera, etc. Now, consider the modern smartphone.

It has all of those features (internet for news, video players for entertainment, games from mobile games, photographs from camera phones), but we expect it to be supplied by a slightly better version of the batteries that were mainly built for supplying enough power so you could make a simple phone call.

No wonder we all get frustrated by batteries dying on us and the need to recharge them every day. It’s not the battery’s or the manufacturer’s fault. Technology is simply not catching up to our needs as quickly as we want it to. Power banks are a great bridge to get us across this issue until an answer to this power problem arises.

Simply put, a power bank is an external battery for your phone. You can charge it and then use it to charge your device when there’s no other power outlet. With this in mind, power banks have a lot in common with replacement batteries. Theoretically, you could buy a second battery for your phone and keep it charged in case your current battery runs out of juice.

However, when you think about the process of exchanging the battery, it is rather frustrating. You’d have to open your phone case, get the empty battery out, and put the new battery in. this process causes, in most phones and devices, the device to shut down.

The power bank, on the other hand, is a portable power socket that you carry with you. It is very easy to use and can (depending on the model of the power bank) provide enough power to charge your devices several times. This all depends, of course, on the capacity of the power bank.

What is the power bank’s capacity?

Every battery has a certain capacity of power it can harbor. The higher the capacity the power bank has, the more power it can retain. This means that power banks with higher capacities can charger bigger devices.

The key here is knowing the capacity of your device’s battery and the capacity of the power bank. Let’s say your smartphone’s battery has a capacity of 6000mAh, and your power bank a maximum capacity of 12,000mAh. This means that you can charge your phone to 100% twice with this power bank.

However, if your power bank has a capacity of only 3000mAh, it means that you’ll be able to charge your phone only once to 50%. Of course, those power banks with higher capacities cost more, but can come in handy on long trips or travels where there are no power outlets available.

How long does it take a power bank to fully charge?

Power banks usually charge for a longer time than smartphones or other devices of the same capacity. For example, if a smartphone battery with a capacity of 3000mAh takes 2 hours to charge, a power bank with the same capacity would take, approximately, 4 hours to fully charge. The reason for this is the different way power banks and smartphone batteries store the power.

Smartphones store power that’s going to be used immediately. It is common for phones to show a decrease of 1% or 2% right after it is fully charged and we unplug it from the charger. That’s because phones use the power to keep the operating system running and for everything else that has to do with the functionality of the smartphone.

Power banks, however, store power which is going to be used later to charge other devices. This kind of storing requires a bit more sophistication and thus takes longer. There are power banks that can charge faster, some even manage to be as fast as a smartphone when it comes to charging. However, these fast charging power banks are always a bit more expensive than the entry- or mid-level ones.

What can a power bank be used for?

The utilization of power banks has proven itself on being extremely versatile. The way we use smartphones and tablets these days has replaced a lot of other items from our everyday life. Smartphones are not just devices to make phone calls and send messages with.

They’ve become internet browsers and they’re often used in business as well.  If you start thinking about all the things you do on a daily basis on your smartphone, it will be clear to you that having an empty battery can be extremely frustrating.

Furthermore, people who travel a lot have found power banks to be extremely useful too. Finding yourself in a foreign city can be confusing and stressful. Smartphones have made this kind of adventure travelling a lot easier with GPS and online Maps that can navigate you through the most exotic places you can think of.

However, once you rely on those apps and devices, it becomes not only convenient to have a way to recharge your smartphone or tablet, but also somewhat essential to not get lost.

Power banks are easy to use, versatile in practice and create a feeling of being safe. If you rely on your smartphone or tablet on a daily basis, power banks are great investments for your peace of mind.