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Guide to Power Banks, explanations, terms used, what to look for and more are all covered here.

Martin Goldsmith

Need to know what does mAh mean in a battery, what it stands for or how much mAh you need for your phone then check our our guide before buying a Portable Power Bank Charger.

 

Welcome,

I think the title tells you exactly what we are looking to achieve here, if you are looking to buy a Power Bank or simply doing some general research then you should find this page helpful.

 

Why get a power Bank?

Battery life and charge options are almost as precious as gold, ever been at an airport when a plug becomes available?  Its like an Olympic hurdle race, with the below, you can sit back and relax knowing which iPhone Power Bank you you have.

 

What we will cover 

  • We will look at this from a technical aspect (the definition of mAh, what it means and some basic science)
  • Let you know todays most popular phones mAh battery size
  • What all this means in performance and longevity of your battery.
  • Compare some normal sized mAh Power Banks

 

The Science bit

So to start mAh or more accurately mAh is abbreviated for milli-Ampere-hours, or in a non tecki term how much power the battery can hold.

For example, if you have a device that will use up 1 milli Ampere of current a 1000 mAh battery will last for 1000 hours.

 

What this means is in the simplest terms is the larger the mAh your battery has, the more power it can hold.

 

So does this mean my 2000mAh phone battery will last longer than my fiends 1000mAh phone?

No, if these phones both used up the same milli-Ampere an hour then yes this would mean that.  If however, your phone used up 4 milli-Ampere an hour and your fiends phone used up 1 milli-Ampere an hour then their phone will last twice as long as yours, even though it has half the battery.

 

Battery life

The “easiest” way to know how long your battery will last is to divide the power of the battery by the current required by the device.  Yes this is the “easiest” way to work this out however knowing how much current your devices uses may not be so easy.  We all know that having Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on whilst browsing the internet is going to use up much more power than having your phone on standby sitting in your pocket.  We will be doing a follow up blog on this, sign up below to be notified of this by email and also to get offers on our portable mobile chargers.

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How much mAh has my phone got?

Item

How much mAh

iPhone 4 s

1432

iPhone 5

1440

iPhone 5C

1510

iPhone 5S

1560

iPhone 6

1810

iPhone 6 Plus

2915

iPhone 6 S

1715

iPhone 6S Plus

2750

iPad Mini 3

6471

iPad Mini 4

5124

iPad 2

6,930

iPad 3

11,560

iPad 4

11,560

iPad Air

8,820

iPad Air 2

7,340

Samsung Galaxy S3

2,100

Samsung Galaxy S4

2,600

Samsung Galaxy S5

2,800

Samsung Galaxy S6

2,500

 

 

 

What you may have noticed from the above if you compare the battery in a Samsung Galaxy S5 to a Samsung Galaxy S6, an iPhone 6 Plus to iPhone 6S Plus or an iPad Mini 3 to iPad Mini 4 is that the battery size actually went down with the newer model.  Why would this be?

Physical size

Physical battery size, of course more power means more size and in our increase desire to make our phones smaller whilst adding a better camera and other gadgetZ of course something has to give.

Battery saving technology

We said we would do a future blog on saving battery life, thankfully things are happening automatically for us.  The image below taken from Apple shows that although the batteries may have a smaller mAh, they can still get the same standby time. How??  Apple’s new A9 chipset is more efficient than its predecessors, able to do more with less, also if you have the latest iOS 9 it has several battery saving features such as battery saving mode, all helping get as much as possible.

 

Life of a battery (How many charges?)

Modern day phones use a Li-ion (Lithium ion (LIB)) battery, these are a version of a rechargeable battery.  They are called this because lithium move from the negative electrodes to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging WIKI Explanation of Li-ion

These differ to older NiCad batteries, previously we were advised to fully discharge the battery before re-charging, in a modern Li-ion battery this is the opposite and we are better off not letting our batteries to go below 20%.  Battery experts do say though that every 30 charges (once a month) to allow your battery to fully drain and charge up, this is to stop battery memory from building up.  On a very rough note, 500 charges should be easily possible from a Li-ion battery before needing to be replaced, although you will see a deterioration over time.  Sign up to our future blogs on other ways to minimalize this.

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What options for portable charging are there?

We have a plethora of choices today for portable charging, depending on the device you have will depend on what you need.

For example, on Amazon, you can buy a portable power bank from around £3 to £40, we purchased one of the cheaper versions however it didn’t do as promised, unfortunately something we have to be wary of if buying from abroad if a miss labeled power bank.  Whilst it was advertised at 2600 mAh, we discovered it to come with just 1,100 mAh

 

We have a range of colors available here of our tested 2600 mAh Power Banks, these if you remember from our table above will fully charge most iPhones and Samsung Phones 1 or more times, check below what you will get from various devices.  Want a discount code for when we launch our 5,000 & 10,000 mAh later this month? then sign up below.

Want to work out what portable iPhone 5 charger you need?

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Item

Charges from

2600 mAh

Charges from

5000 mAh

Charges from 10,000 mAh

iPhone 4 s

1.82

3.49

6.98

iPhone 5

1.81

3.47

6.94

iPhone 5C

1.72

3.31

6.62

iPhone 5S

1.67

3.21

6.41

iPhone 6

1.44

2.76

5.52

iPhone 6 Plus

0.89

1.72

3.43

iPhone 6 S

1.52

2.92

5.83

iPhone 6S Plus

0.95

1.82

3.64

iPad Mini 3

0.40

0.77

1.55

iPad Mini 4

0.51

0.98

1.95

iPad 2

0.38

0.72

1.44

iPad 3

0.22

0.43

0.87

iPad 4

0.22

0.43

0.87

iPad Air

0.29

0.57

1.13

iPad Air 2

0.35

0.68

1.36

Samsung Galaxy S3

1.24

2.38

4.76

Samsung Galaxy S4

1.00

1.92

3.85

Samsung Galaxy S5

0.93

1.79

3.57

Samsung Galaxy S6

1.04

2.00

4.00

 

 

What else do we need to consider when buying a portable mobile phone charger?

 

There are some obvious things and some not so.

  • Size, we discussed size before, a portable charger quite simply is a portable battery, so more mAh means more size, our 2600 mAh Power Bank is about the size of a large lipstick, others of 10,000 will probably be bigger than your device, there are even laptop portable chargers but about the same size of an iPad Mini.
  • Price, looking for something around a £5 then a smaller battery pack will come in on target, have a larger budget of £30 then of course you can get more.
  • Amps, and Watts.  Something we haven’t discussed yet but equally important.  An Amp or Ampere is how electrons move past a point every second.  Volts is the electronic potential of the electrons.

Science bit (again)

To help explain Amps, Watts and Power I will change from electricity to water (don’t mix the 2 up)

If we have a hose, think of the Amps as the thickness of the hose and the Volts as the water pressure, increase either one and more water comes out the end, increase both and more water again.

These combined = the Power output, so Volts X Current = Power.  The below chart puts this into reality.

Source

Voltage

Current

Power

PC USB 1.0, 2.0

5 volts

0.5 amps

2.5 Watts

PC USB 3.0

5 volts

0.9 amps

4.5 Watts

iPhone Charger

5 volts

1.0 amps

5 Watts

iPad Charger

5.1 volts

2.1 amps

12 watts

A USB 1.0 and 2.0 are a Black coloured port, whilst USB 3.0 is a Blue coloured port

The same can be said for your USB Power Bank on how to charge it.

 

How many Amps do I need?

Whilst you don’t NEED more Amps to charge an iPad compared to an iPhone, it will make a drastic difference in the charge time.  Ever used an iPhone plug to charge an iPad?  It may say that its not even charging (although it is, just slowly and can’t be used at the same time).  The same is true for a Power Bank, our current 2600 mAh power banks are 1A and our future Power Banks of 5,000 and 10,000 will be 2.1 Amp (sign up for discount code)

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Hopefully this has all been helpful, to see future posts like this please sign up, share, like, tweet G+1 or whatever you use.  These truly help us write this free content and we will even share our latest discounts with you.


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