Living in a wireless world has its benefits. We can get in touch with anyone we want, whenever we want. Any information we require in our day to day lives is accessible with the touch of a button. And all of this is possible without being tethered to a cord. But this doesn’t mean that our access to information is unlimited. In more ways than one, we’re limited by our battery.
Of course, the most obvious example is the fact that once our mobile devices run out of battery, we can no longer use them. But software developers are also forced to restrict the capabilities of their software in order to preserve battery life. If you’ve ever used a late model smartphone, you’ve probably realized that the battery life isn’t quite as good as it used to be. While this can be due to the age of your phone, it’s often because the apps you’re running were designed with a more powerful phone in mind. In order to keep up, your phones CPU has to run much harder than it’s used to, and all this extra power puts additional strain on your battery.
For some, the solution is simply to buy a new phone. But whether you’re planning to be away from an electrical outlet for an extended period of time, or you just want to breathe a little extra life into an older device, a power bank (for example: SUNJACK HEAT BANK ) is the solution.
These devices, in their simplest form, are just portable external batteries. They come loaded with a number of lithium ion cells that can be recharged on the wall, and used to charge up any USB powered device. There are a lot of different power banks on the market, each of which are rated by a certain capacity. In our eyes, 20,000 mAh is the best value on the market. An iPhone 7 battery has a capacity of just under 2,000 mAh. This means that a 20,000 mAh battery bank can charge it up to 10 times. For some, this can keep you going for days. Others might use it to recharge their phone, their tablet, and all of their friend’s devices as well.
Despite the incredible capacity, these battery banks aren’t quite as expensive as you may think. But it’s still important to make sure you choose the right one. Some models use poor quality lithium batteries, while others self-discharge when not in use. We’ve gone through all of the different models available to find what we believe to be the three best power banks on the market. We’ll help you understand the differences between them, and find the model that’s right for you.
Anker PowerCore II 20000
We weren’t surprised at all to find that the PowerCore II performed so well. Anker is one of the leading brands in portable USB chargers, and they have a proven track record of creating high quality battery backs that don’t break the bank. Reliability is one of the key things we expect from their batteries, as they use only the highest quality lithium ion cells that have been shown to last a long time, even under heavy load.
What You Get
The Anker PowerCore II is sold as an all-inclusive device, meaning that you won’t need to purchase any additional accessories in order to use it. Although it’s a simple gesture, we really appreciate how two micro USB cables were included. Most of these chargers require a micro USB cable in order to give it the initial charge, and they fact that they’re both included means that you won’t have to rob one off your phone, or buy another if you use Apple devices.
This allowed us to leave our standard Micro USB cables at home, keeping the included ones for on-the-go use. This reduces the chance that you’ll lose a cable, saving you money in the long run.
Aside from the cables and the device itself, the packaging was minimalist. Thanks to a smart design, you’ve still got everything you need.
Capacity & Charging Time
Although every charger on our list has 20,000 mAh of capacity, there is always some loss when power is converted from the internal voltage of the battery bank to the 5 or 9V supply that USB devices use. This particular battery is rated to charge the latest iPhone 7 times, or the Galaxy S7 4 times. For very high consumption devices like the latest iPad Pro, you can get two separate charges with the battery before it will need to be plugged in.
The PowerCore isn’t a flashy or ‘in your face’ looking battery back, but it certainly isn’t ugly. The matte black exterior has a smooth finish that feels good in the hand. If it wasn’t for small accents like the sleek edges and the blue accents on the top and in the USB ports, we’d almost think of it as minimalist.
The few parts that do capture your attention aren’t just there to look good, they also serve a purpose. The four blue LEDs on the bottom right corner are your power indicators. When 100% full, the battery has a complete charge. Each light represents 25% of the capacity, and it is turned off as the battery is discharged. On the side of the battery, right next to the power indicators, is a power button. It’s a tiny little round button that is easy to press with your thumb. If it wasn’t for the slim LED right around it, you might not even notice it was there.
The battery is easy to slip into a pocket or a backpack, making it one of our top choices.
There are a total of five USB ports on the Anker PowerCore II. The three full-size USB 3.0 ports on the front are used or charging. They all support both standard charging (5V 1.0A) and fast charging (5V 2.1A). This makes it compatible with virtually all portable USB devices on the market.
The two micro USB ports on the side are used for charging the battery pack itself. If you plug them into 2.1A chargers, the battery can fast charge allowing it to go from 0% to 100% full in as little as 6 hours. In a pinch, you can also connect them to standard USB ports (ideally on your computer or other AC supplied device) to charge it.