SmartPhone Battery Backups
Whether you are out on the trail or hunkered down in your basement during a storm, today’s latest smartphones can serve as a news provider, compass, GPS, music/movie player, communications hub, weather channel and more. But, all of these features quickly come grinding to a halt when the battery gauge on your smartphone counts down to 0% . Fortunately, the market is flooded with choices for smartphone battery backup devices.
One category would be the smaller battery backups, like the pocket sized Anker PowerCore 5000mAh portable, which is designed to give your phone an emergency power refresh on the go. One thing to keep in mind is that theses smaller, lighter backup devices are limited in how much they can recharge. Anker’s PowerCore adds about one and a half charges to your phone before it needs recharging. But, if you are stuck on the side of the road with a smoking car and dead phone battery or just forgot your charger at home, that extra power is enough to handle the emergency calls and get yourself out of trouble. They are small and light enough to disappear into the side pocket of your pack, purse or laptop bag until needed.
The larger units, like the RAVPower 32000mAh Battery Pack are certainly bigger and heavier, but also have a lot more power on tap. One thing that we have found, with some of these units, is that their advertising can be somewhat optimistic, presenting a “best case scenario” with regards to phone charging capabilities. This optimistic scenario may not accurately reflect your own gear and situations. Just like the rest of your gear, test your charging equipment before it is needed. That said, this is still the unit that I would keep in my pack when going out for a few days.
The best way to compare the storage capacity of different battery backup units is with the mAh ratings on their batteries. A 4000 mAh battery will hold twice as much juice as a 2000 mAh unit. As a point of comparison, the batteries in the back of modern smart phones are often in the 1400 to 2100 mAh range. There are other features of a battery backup to consider, such as the speed of charging and the units build quality, but comparing mAh values gives you a good starting point.
The larger battery backup units can reach 32,000 mAh or more of power storage. In addition, you should consider something along the lines of a Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger. There are many different versions of this device out there, usually ranging from about five to ten dollars. They turn a car’s cigarette lighter into a USB charging port, providing another recharging option for electronic devices when your vehicle is handy. This is also a convenient way to recharge portable battery packs when they run low. The better USB car adapters can charge pretty much any device that ships with a USB charging cable in the box. All of these devices reqire the proper cable to work. The factory cable works just fine, but keeping a spare handy is always a good idea.