Ever been someplace with your phone or laptop computer on the brink of passing away, panicking as the last couple of percent ticked away?
Of course you have; we’ve all existed. Running out of power at important times is never ever simple, whether on an crucial call, in the middle of reserving a location to remain that night, and even capturing those last couple of minutes of a video game or your preferred TELEVISION program.
We’ve utilized portable battery chargers, likewise called battery packs or external batteries, since we’ve brought our initially iPhone all those years back. These days, we never ever go on a journey without getting a minimum of a couple of external battery chargers.
In this short article, we evaluate our latest acquisition, the effective Crave PowerPack 2 external battery charger, and speak about what to look for when purchasing an external battery pack.
So, fed up with continuously browsing for a location to plug in your mobile phone, your tablet, and even your laptop computer? Well then, let’s look into the world of portable battery chargers.
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What to look for when purchasing an external battery charger
For a basic gadget, an external battery charger can have an unexpected quantity of technical information that makes picking one puzzling.
So, what’s the most crucial thing when getting a battery charger? Some state mobility nevertheless, for the majority of people, the quantity of charges it offers is simply as crucial.
When you take a look at external battery chargers, the very first thing you’ll observe is the number of mAh they’re ranked for.
What does mAh stand for?
A mAh stands for Milliamp Hours. It’s essentially a measurement of just how much charge the battery can put out over an hour.
To offer you an concept, a little lipstick sized charger normally has about 2,000 to 3,000 mAh, a basic deck of cards sized charger has around 10,000 to 15,000 mAh, while a beast family-sized external battery charger can have up to 50,000 mAh.
I like to think about mAh in regards to the variety of mobile phone charges you can get. A little 3,000 mAh battery can nearly entirely charge my existing phone a single time, while a household sized 50,000 mAh charger can charge my phone 15 times.
Of course, the quantity of charges you get will depend upon your phone or tablet size and you will lose a little portion (up to 15%) in the transfer from a portable charger.
How numerous ports does a portable charger require?
When picking an external battery pack, it’s crucial to understand which charging ports are consisted of. The variety of ports (normally USB ports type A or C) identifies the number of gadgets can be charged simultaneously. If you have a phone and tablet for instance, having 2 ports can be really handy. Multiple ports also helps when you have a partner or family using it as well.
Once you’ve decided home numerous mAh you need, and how many ports you want, then there’s size and weight to consider. Most battery packs have a similar size to power to weight ratio so if the battery pack you’re looking at seems vastly different, it could be a cause for alarm.
Built in LEDs and accessories
As well as dimensions, portable chargers can include built in accessories like LED flashlights or hanging hooks and then there are also carrying cases to consider. These aren’t deal breakers for most people, however they could tip the scales when comparing two similar models.
A typical battery charger should also have a LED display that shows its charge level. Some battery chargers will show you a few lines, while some can tell you a percentage. Most are just estimates, so always take these readings with a grain of salt.
Portable charger sizes and weights
As well as capacity, the size and weight of a charger is a huge consideration for most people. The smallest lipstick style chargers weigh virtually nothing at around two ounces. The largest 50,000 mAh chargers weigh around three pounds, and are around eight inches long, two inches wide, and five inches wide.
Not only is it wise to choose a powerful enough battery charger, you also need to purchase one that will fit your lifestyle. If all you need is a quick top up from time to time and you like to travel light, then a lipstick size charger might be fine for you. However, if you’re a work from the road kind of person, then a heavier duty charger that can top up your laptop and phone multiple times might be more appropriate.
The same applies if you love to stream video or play a lot of video games on the go. Both can eat up your batteries much quicker than simple browsing, talking or texting. If you’re having to charge your gadgets several times in one day then you definitely need a bigger charger.
People often find that the best charger for them is the one they’re most likely to carry with them regularly. Too big might slow you down but too small might leave you searching for another answer. You might also find that having one that’s more powerful as well as a lighter one works best for you depending on the day.
External charger USB port options
While portable battery chargers come in all shapes and sizes, older battery packs typically have standard USB-A ports for outputs and a micro USB port for input or to charge the battery pack. These work fine for older devices, but thankfully a lot of newer chargers come with the USB-C standard.
USB-C is easier to plug in (it doesn’t care which direction it goes in and can often be used for both an input and an output port), and generally has the advantage of letting you charge faster (though not always). Of course, if you have older devices that still use USB-A, it might be better to get a charger with that style output.
Note: Apple’s Lightning cords can have either USB-A or USB-C opposite ends, depending on the phone or tablet model you own, so you can go either way. Also note, you can get cables or adapters that work with either style charger port, so don’t fret if the model you like the best isn’t the perfect match to your current phone or tablet.
One thing we will note is that if you get one of the newer chargers that uses USB-C, it’s not a bad idea to make sure you find one with both USB-C input and output so you can use the same cable for both charging your device and for recharging the battery charger.
Fast charging options for battery chargers
For fast charging, you need a device that accepts fast charging, a cable that allows fast charging, and an external battery pack that provides fast charging.
So, what is fast charging? To understand that, you first need to understand what regular charging means. Most phone chargers are based on USB specs. Traditional USB 2.0 specs meant 5 volts and 500 milliAmps power, but then USB 3.0 came out and boosted that to 5 volts and 1 amp.
Fast charging means that not only is the power boosted from 5V to 9V (or even 12V). but the amperage can be boosted up to 2 amps and sometimes even over 3 amps. What this means is that if your device is plugged into one of these super chargers and your phone supports it, you can charge your device way faster than you used to.
Now, there are a dozen different companies that support a bunch of different protocols, so how do you know which one works best for your device? Well, your best bet is to research your own device and see what it supports.
QC3 or Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 is the most common newer protocol when it comes to fast charging, which often works across multiple brands like Samsung, Motorola and LG devices. Apple uses USB Power Delivery for fast charging. This means an 18W adapter with a USB-C to Lightning cable.
The good news is that most chargers should work with nearly every brand out there. Most will output at the default 5V/500ma power unless there’s a chip in your device that tells it that it can support higher speeds. While you’re not guaranteed to get the fastest charge without finding a compatible charger, the charger will nonetheless charge your device (albeit possibly slower than its max).
If you’re still unsure which works best with your own device, check out reviews of people using the same device as yours on the different chargers. Though not always 100% correct, they can often tell you if you’re covered.
Our Crave PowerPack Battery Charger Review
For years, our go-to charger for the family was a 20,000 mAh portable charger. It can charge two devices at once, and has high speed charging.
Since we’re a family of four, each with our own devices, we’ve found that we often need to carry at least two of these 20,000 mAh chargers to keep our phones charged on the go. It also seems like we’re constantly looking for an outlet to replenish our external battery chargers, which truly seems to defeat the purpose of a portable charger.
Since our family of four often travels complete with laptops and gaming systems, it’s obvious we need a lot of battery power. Something with a lot of power is likewise great for our travel trailer to help keep the strain off our main batteries.
For us, it was time for an external battery charger that was powerful enough to manage topping up the charge on all our devices.
Time for something bigger, with more power.
Time for the Crave PowerPack 2.
The Crave PowerPack 2 is a beast. It’s a whopping 50,000 mAh, meaning that when it’s fully charged, it can charge a typical smartphone 15 times from 0% to 100%. It can even charge a tablet over a half dozen times.
Complete with two Quick Charge 3.0 ports (the most common charging style), charging our phones has never been so fast.
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As well as just about every small device in your house, you can use it to charge your laptop (as long as it has a type-C input for charging). Our current laptop still uses the old style charger, however we’re on the lookout for a new one so having the PowerPack with those ports ready will make our decision even easier.
Tip: Crave sells a multi-tip USB cable kit on Amazon that works with older laptops. Click here to check it out.
The trade off for all that charging power is that the Crave PowerPack 2 is quite a bit bigger and heavier than our current 20,000 mAh chargers. This isn’t a charger you can pop in your back pocket and carry around town. It’s made for heavier duty uses than that.
Honestly, though, now that we’re doing more road trips, and using our rolling luggage more, the weight of the PowerPack 2 isn’t a problem.
Travel restrictions have definitely changed our style of travel. We used to travel with gear that was as lightweight as possible to make our airplane carry-ons as light as possible for our household. That said, we haven’t taken a flight since the pandemic started, electing to do more road trips and camping.
Now that we’re spending a lot more time in our travel trailer or on road trips, we can carry a little more in our bags. Honestly, I’m really liking being able to be a bit more relaxed with our packing!
Use code TBN10 to get 10% off at Crave Direct.
If you want to see what Crave sells, and how their reviews look, pop on over to see the Crave products on Amazon.
More about Crave
While Crave is best known for their external battery chargers, that’s not all that they sell.
They likewise offer screen protectors, cable televisions, cases (for Apple, Samsung, and Google), bluetooth speakers and earphones.
Use code TBN10 to get 10% off at Crave Direct.