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What you need to know about Power Banks

There is a growing demand for Promotional Power Banks every day, and we would like to explain the differences of the many types of Power Banks out there.

Power Banks differ on the quality of battery. Quality relates to the type of lithium battery, cell grade, true capacity, regulated output voltage / current and protection circuitry. In fact, 70% of the price of Power Banks can be devoted to the battery quality




Capacity

The capacity of the power bank gives an indication of how much you can charge. A capacity of 2600 mAh allows an iPhone 5 (battery approximately 1570 mAh) to be fully charged; yet a Samsung Galaxy S5 (battery approximately 3000 mAh) can't be fully charged. A Power Bank at 2200 mAh will not fully charge an iPhone 5s partly due to voltage equation output.


Typical Power Bank Storage Capacities and Related Charging Capabilities

Device

Type

Battery Capacity

1800 mAh

2000 mAh

2200 mAh

3000 mAh

 4000 mAh

5200 mAh

6000 mAh

6600 mAh

8800 mAh

iPhone 4

Smartphone

1420 mAh

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

iPhone 5

Smartphone

1440 mAh

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

iPhone 5s

Smartphone

1560 mAh

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

iPhone 5c

Smartphone

1510 mAh

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Samsung Galaxy S5

Smartphone

2800 mAh

64%

71%

79%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Samsung Galaxy S4

Smartphone

2600 mAh

69%

77%

85%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Samsung Galaxy S3

Smartphone

2100 mAh

86%

95%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Sony
Xperia 2

Smartphone

2330 mAh

77%

86%

94%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

HTC One

Smartphone

2600 mAh

69%

77%

85%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

iPad 4

Tablet

11560 mAh

16%

17%

19%

26%

35%

45%

52%

57%

76%

iPad Air

Tablet

8820 mAh

20%

23%

25%

34%

45%

59%

68%

75%

100%

iPad Mini

Tablet

6471 mAh

28%

31%

34%

46%

62%

80%

93%

100%

100%

Samsung

Tab 3 10.1

Tablet

6800 mAh

26%

29%

32%

44%

59%

76%

88%

97%

100%

Samsung
Tab S 8.4

Tablet

4900 mAh

37%

41%

45%

61%

82%

100%

100%

100%

100%


What this tells us is that a Power Bank with a capacity of either 1800 or 2000 mAh is capable of FULLY Charging iPhones, but it will only be partially charging other Smartphones on the market.

Note: Small capacity Power Banks can still charge Tables, but you need to understand that they will only "top them up", and they will generally do this slower than the charger the tablet came with.


It's all about input and output

This part controls the flow of capacity into the device to be charged. You can have a very high capacity 5200 mAh yet it takes forever to charge. Think of a bucket filled with water; the smaller the hole in this bucket (output), the longer it takes for the water to run out. The output of the same Power Banks enables charging of only smart phones or tables. In general, smart phones need an output between 0.5A and 1A, while tables need at least 1A to 2A. The higher the amphere, the faster your device charges.

Dual Output Power Banks

These Power Banks allow user to charge up to Two Devices at the same time. However, the output of each port can vary from Power Banks to Power Banks.

There are 3 different types of output: 

Type 1 (Split Output):

  • Total Output of 2.1A
  • It can only deliver 1A to either port

Type 2 (Shared Output):

  • Total Output of 2.1A
  • It delivers 1A to both ports at the same time
  • It delivers up to 2.1A to a single port as long as the other one is not in use
  • How the output is shared depends on the devices connected

Type 3 (Dedicated Output):

  • Total Output of 3.1A
  • Delivers 1A to Port 1
  • Delivers 2.1A to Port 2
  • The ports are generally labelled to indicate which is which.


Dangerous Goods

Inside the Power Bank is a Lithium Battery. There is a big difference to quality depending on the battery. Cheap batteries might catch fire or even explode when over charged. The correct circuitry to prevent overheating and reverse charging must be present. Such goods should have MSDS (Material Safety and Data Sheets) when imported to Australia.


Batteries fall into 2 major groups, both of which can be "rechargeable"


Lithium ion - tends to be rectangular or cylindrical and is usually cheaper. They are hard shelled with a strong casing. They weigh a little bit more, are sturdier and are hard to puncture. They have high energy densities and cost less as they suffer from aging, even when not being used.

Lithium Polymer - tends to be thinner and come in a silver bag. They are soft shelled and can be damaged easier; they weigh less and can fit into small shells particularly the custom designed PVC molded Power Banks. You can view our range or Lithium Polymer types of Power Banks above.

Charging Rates / Timing

Most Smartphones have a maximum charging rate a 1 Amp (1A) whilst, most Tablets maximum charging rate is 2.a Amps (2.1A)

The following explains the rate of charging for different Power Back Devices:

Power Bank with a 1A Output:

  • Tables will charge at about 60-70% of their charging potential

Power Bank with a 2.1 A Output:

  • Smartphone witll charge at 100% of their charging potential
  • Tablets will charge at 100% of their charging potential


The time it takes to charge your device is all but impossible to estimate as it depends on all of the following factors, among others:

  • The make and model of the device
  • The charging potential refer above
  • The condition of the battery in your device. Batteries in good condition charge faster than those devices with degraded batteries

Batteries condition can be degraded by:

  • The number of charge cycles they have been through
  • The amount of discharge prior to charging (constant "top-up" charging can degrade your battery)

The ambient temperature of the device and the Power Bank