The Best 5 Reason of Why You Need a Power Bank

You’re Using your Smartphone a Lot

One of the main reasons why power banks even exist is because lots of people use their smartphone. From the moment we wake up, we’re most likely using our smartphone nearly the entire day. There’s nothing to be ashamed about that though because smartphones are usually what we need to either communicate with other people and use as a form of entertainment. They’re even integrated into our work life.

It’s in those times, about halfway throughout your day that you may notice that the battery of your smartphone is nearly at 0% and that’s when you start to panic because your smartphone is about to die and there’s basically no way to keep texting your friends, make plans and be connected to the world. Overall, it’s a bad situation to be in.

In those times you need a source of power to charge your smartphone. You can’t exactly whip out a wall charger and start charging because you need an outlet. If you have a car charger, are you really going to just stay in your car and wait for your smartphone to charge to an acceptable power capacity? No! that’s going to waste time and you’re always on the go and have things to do. This is where a power bank comes in because you can easily just begin charging your smartphone with your power bank when it’s low on power and that will result in a constant use of a smartphone without any interruptions.

Overall, power banks allow you to always be in the zone and connected to what you’re doing; no matter if you’re sending out 1,000 texts per minutes or playing Clash of Clans from dawn till dusk.

Not that Pricy for what they offer

One of the main misconceptions of portable chargers that most people have is that they think power banks are actually expensive. That’s simply not true at all.

People usually think that power banks are expensive because they’re either purchasing it from retail stores or they’re simply looking at portable chargers that are being sold by companies that think they can fool consumers into purchasing their overpriced products. However, that’s simply not something you should be fooled by.

Most portable chargers, even the best quality ones are for very reasonable prices. Of course when the power banks make use of a higher power capacity or special charging techs like USB-C or Quick Charge, then yes it will be more expensive. Without those charging technologies, a power bank should be at a reasonable price that anyone can afford no matter what it offers. So you can always have reliable power without paying a high price.

Take a look at our post on what the best power banks brands are. Those charging electronic companies are great not only because their products are great, but also because they’re priced truthfully.

Lots of Devices Need Charging? No Problem.

Most of us own and use lots of devices. These devices can be smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices that run off a battery and always need a recharge when they’re low on power. So what happens when all of your devices are low on power and need a recharge.

Sure you could just migrate to your USB wall charger that has 5 charging ports; but what if you don’t want to move? What if you just want to stay in the same spot to charge your smartphone, tablet, and laptop at the same time. That’s when a power bank is very helpful because there is a range of power banks on the market that has multiple USB charging ports and are able to charge multiple devices at once. These are usually power banks that have 13,000mAh – 20,000mAh power capacities and those that have 21,000mAh – 30,0000mAh+ power capacities as well.

A great power bank that has such a capability of charging multiple devices at one and being able to charge them at very fast speed is the Anker PowerCore II 20000. This power bank has 3 charging ports and a max Output of 6 Amps, and with each charging port being able to Output 5V/3.0A. That means you can really charge 3 devices at once since the Anker portable charger is able to Output 30 Watts of power which can supply enough power to charge either a Macbook that uses USB-C or a Chromebook Pixel.

This is where power banks are absolutely able to dominate because not only are you able to have portable power, but you have the portable power that is able to charge multiple devices at once at very fast charging speeds that basically meet the same standard of USB wall chargers. Also, there’s enough power capacity to charge nearly all the devices that are charging at the same time to their full power capacities.

Take Every One. Anywhere.

Of course one the best reason to own power banks is because another name for power banks is the portable charger. You get to have power wherever you go and this goes every portable charger on the market.

There are indeed power banks that larger than one another, some can easily fit into your pocket like slim power banks or ones that have small power capacities. Then there are the behemoth power banks that have higher power capacities. If there’s one thing that’s important to remember is that every power bank is portable, sure some are larger and a lot heavier than others but they can still be taken with you by simply putting them into a bag or you can just hold them.

This is the beauty of the portable chargers, and there’s no better solution to providing power in the most power drained times than a power bank.

Portable Chargers to Fit your Charging Needs

Since there are a ton of different portables chargers on the market, this means that there are plenty that can serve your needs.

Here are some types of portable chargers that are able to accommodate certain charging needs:

USB-C Power Banks

These kinds of portable chargers are growing mainly because a number of devices that currently use Type-C to charge are still few but it’s steadily growing since the USB-C charging way is an overall faster way to charge. Also, if a power bank uses USB-C that also means it likely recharges using USB-C which makes it recharge faster.

Quick Charge power banks

Power banks that use Quick Charge are mainly meant for those that have Quick Charge compatible smartphones and by using compatible smartphones with it, you’re able to charge your device at blazing fast speed while you’re on-the-go. Also, these kinds of power banks are highly reliable even for those that don’t use Quick Charge because most of the time Quick Charge ports are able to charge standard devices at their max charging speeds too.

Power Bank with Built-In charging cables

One of the best reasons to get power banks is because it already has a cable built within it. This is because all you have to worry about is having the portable charger itself and not a charging cable. The negative thing about using a normal power bank is that you always need your own separate charging cable if you want to charge. Having a built-in one is able to increase portability and ease of use. Just make sure you get a portable charger that uses your specific charging cable whether it’s USB-C, Lightning or Micro-USB.

Power banks that are slim or really small

Small portable chargers are some of the most preferred ways to carry portable power around because it’s the easiest way to have it. This is because they’re really easy to hold and take really take anywhere. Just take a look at the Anker PowerCore Slim. Not only is it basically like having second smartphones but the design holds function with the ability to stack your smartphones on top of the power banks so you can use your smartphones comfortably while it’s charging.

Power banks with lots of charging ports

Portable chargers are basically on the same level as USB wall chargers and this means that you can charge multiple devices at the same time, as we also mentioned earlier in this post.

If you need one device charged then that is possible. If you need up to 6 device charging at once, then that’s also possible with a few power banks too.

Waterproof, Dustproof, and Shockproof rugged power banks

Many of us fear that our power banks and of course smartphones are going to get damaged if water comes on them or if they fall. However, that fear can be taken away and basically be non-existent for some portable chargers that are indeed waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. These kinds of rugged power banks are mainly meant for those that are going into the wilderness because they’re going hiking or camping.

However, tough power banks are VERY useful for just everyday use because the fear of dropping the charger isn’t there because if you do drop it, nothing is going to happen and it’ll still work like normal. Rugged power banks like the EasyAcc or RAVPower chargers are able to complete such goals and are perfect for withstanding even the harshest of conditions.

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3 Best Ways to Choose the Best USB Wall Chargers

Just like many other charging electronics, the USB Wall charger is the most used kind of product when it comes to charging not only our smartphones but a bunch of other devices; Such as Bluetooth headsets, controllers, Laptops and much more. There are many USB Wall chargers on the market. Some wall chargers may look premium and aesthetic to look at but the tech behind them is weak. Some wall chargers are dangerous because they may have many charging outputs but they don’t have the safety tech to keep you or your devices safe. Some wall chargers are simply obsolete pertaining to their size and tech.

Charger Harbor is here to let you know what makes the best wall charger the best choice for you to get. We’ve created ways for you to find what makes a USB wall chargers a quality charging product so you’re satisfied every time you use your wall charger. Let’s get started on what to look for when purchasing a wall charger.

#1: Amount of Charging Ports / Charging speed Per Port

Current wall chargers are becoming a more multi-port product only. That means wall chargers usually have two or charging ports to them. So the first thing you’re going to need to know is how many ports do you want your wall charger to have. If you think that you may only need a single port wall charger, then that may not be the best idea because you may need to charge multiple devices in the future and if you’re searching for a wall charger that has a single port, it’s most likely going to be a Quick Charge wall charger. That’s because a single port wall charger does not give too much usability other than charging a single device with it, which is why many One port wall chargers take advantage of Quick Charge technologies.

This is why we recommend for those that get a wall charger, you should usually start with a 2 port wall charger and work your way up from there but if you absolutely only need a 1-port wall charger then get a Quick Charge one; They’re low in price and deliver the fastest charge possible even for non-Quick Charge compatible devices.

2 Port wall chargers are the sweet Spot of wall charging

On from the one port range, there is a wide range of charging possibilities that open up with every charging port that a wall charger has. Starting at the two port wall charger category is perfect because this is where many wall chargers are at their most powerful and most portable. A 2-port wall charger should have either have a maximum charging Output of 5V/2.4A or a minimum charging output of 5V/2.0A. Gone are the days of 2-port wall chargers that have a charging output of 5V/1A; That kind of charging speed is simply very slow at charging a modern device, especially for tablets.

On from 2 ports lies greater charging possibilities.

If your needs take you beyond the 2 port wall charging category then you most likely have an idea of how many devices you’d like to set on charge at any given time or you simply want many ports so all your cables are ready to be used. 3-Port and 4-Port wall chargers are where the max charging speeds of wall chargers at 5V/2.4A charging speed tends to stay the same if you’re looking for a wall charger that is able to provide an optimal charging speed for all ports.

Once you get into the higher 5-port, 6-Port and even 10-port wall chargers, the output tends to go down because the Amperage current that is going out of the wall charger generates too much heat; As a result, the Amperage must be lowered per port if/when the wall charger has many charging ports.

Where to get these Wall Chargers?

So how do you get wall chargers that are in the port ranges that we mentioned and at fast charging speeds? Simple, you must get your wall chargers from online. We’re absolutely serious when we say that wall chargers that are sold in retail stores do not hold the same quality standards that you’re able to find online. Especially if we’re talking about charging speed.

The Interconnectedness of Wall Chargers

Overall, getting a powerful and well-ported wall charger is important for your overall charging needs. Wall chargers are nearly relied upon by every other charging electronic. Power banks have to be recharged through a Micro-USB input that is connected to a wall charger. Wireless chargers still have to be connected to a wall charger to function and charge a smartphone. Tablets can charge faster when there is a higher Amp Output. This is why it’s vital to get a wall charger that is capable of fast charging speeds, so you’re able to recharge a power bank faster, increase the charging speed of a Wireless chargers and charge devices like iPads and smartphones faster.

Always remember to look at the Output of the Wall charger before purchasing.

Output charging speeds:

5V/1.0A – Slow: Wall chargers with 1 Amp charging speeds are very slow because many devices today can charge at higher Amperage speeds. You’re basically settling for a slow charging experience with 1 Amp and that goes for an all your charging needs.

5V/2.0A – Medium: 2 Amps of charging speed is faster and a more commonly used Amperage that is just fast enough to charge devices quickly. However, it won’t be pushing any charging limits, it’s a highly relied on charging speed.

5V/2.4A – Max Standard Charging Speed: The most used and most trusted charging speed that will charge nearly any device that uses a USB cable to be charged at full potential. It’s with 2.4 Amps is a device able to choose what’s the most amount of Amperage it should accept and charge at the fastest possible speed. Recharging power banks, and using Wireless chargers will provide the optimum charging experience.

5V/3.0A – Quick Charge / USB Type-C: Special charging technology like Quick Charge will charge compatible Quick Charge devices at 3 Amps speed and non-compatible devices are provided with a possible output of 2.4 Amps. The best thing about owning a wall charger that uses Quick Charge is that you can depend on it to give fast charging even when you don’t have a Quick Charge compatible device.

Type-C cables are also implemented within Wall chargers for a device that uses the USB Type-C cable for charging. A Type-C to Type-C cable can be used on wall chargers that feature a Type-C input so the device can take advantage of the fastest possible charging speed of 3 Amps.

#2: Safety Tech

Safety Tech with wall chargers is an absolute must. Safety charging tech allows you to have absolute confidence with the wall charger that you’re using because they are able to provide tech that’s going to control the entire charging process when it’s happening; As a result, charging is able to go as smooth as possible.

This is a major thing to look out for with USB wall chargers that have lots of charging ports because the more devices that you have connected to a wall charger, the more current it’s outputting and the higher chance that the charger will generate more heat and cause damage to your device or to the wall charger itself.

Consider these safety tech features when you’re searching for a wall charger to purchase:

Output / Input Current Control: Amperage within chargers are the most powerful force within a charger. It’s the energy that actually charges your device and it must be controlled because if there are too many Amps being sent to your device, then your device will get damaged. A wall charger should have an Amp Current controller to make sure that the Amp current being sent out is always stable.

Voltage Regulation: Voltage is the energy that regulates the Amp current. If there’s not enough Voltage for the Amperage, then the Amperage could potentially lose control and cause damage to the wall charger itself or your devices.

Over Heat Protection: Heat is a very bad thing when it comes to charging in general. In this case, wall chargers need to have the ability to avoid generating too much by changing Voltage and Amp current. This way the generation of heat is stabilized if you’re within a warm climate and as a result, the Amp current may go down. Sure, you will be getting slower charging speed but it’s to keep the wall charger and your devices safe.

Short Circuit Protection: Avoiding a Short-Circuit is a something that should be standard on every charger. Regardless of how low quality it is. A Short-Circuit can do very severe damage because a current is being sent out without being regulated.

All of these safety tech features should be present with all wall chargers because they provide the necessary technology that will keep you worry free. Even with wall chargers that are 10-ports, these safety features are able to allow you to connect 10 devices, charge them efficiently and keep the 10-port wall charger and your devices safe from harm’s way. You should not have to worry about what’s going to happen if you plug in “Too Much” devices within a wall charger because a wall charger should already be built for what you’re going to use it for.

#3: Design & Size

Designs of a charger are important for the wall charger, it may not be an aspect that’s nearly as important but a USB wall charger should have a good design and a size that generally makes sense. These days, they’re becoming more compact, they’re more minimalistic and are very easy to travel with no matter how many charging ports they have. Some wall chargers even have retractable pins that make the wall charger very portable because when you place the plug pins within the wall charger, the charger simply becomes a cube without any outward facing obstructions.

Although we do warn you that some wall chargers with retractable plugs tend to be lower quality than others. There are some cases that the wall charger may sag down or the plug pins are placed weakly within the wall charger and as a result, the plug pins fall out.

Here are some main Design aspects that are the best when it comes to USB Wall chargers:

Charging Ports are clearly visible and labeled

Charging ports on a wall charger are what the wall charger is all about. You should be able to see the charging ports and be able to use them quickly. Vertical placement of charging ports is the best practice because it provides the most optimal room for ports. Labels on charging ports is another important aspect; Such as pointing out that a port is 5V/2.0A or features smart charging tech. Quick Charge ports on wall charger should be labeled with the Quick Charge logo or at least colored a distinctive color.

It’s with these design choices that a Wall charger will be the most straightforward to use and easy to use.

The Wall charger has a LED power light

Knowing when your devices are charging is a great way to enhance the charging experience. This is not available on many wall chargers and that’s OKAY. Although LED charging lights that indicate when Normal charging is taking place and when Quick Charge charging is taking place is good to have. There are even wall chargers that have LED charging lights that turn off when your device is fully charged and the charging itself stops as well.

This design choice is minimally used, and simply is a plus to a wall charger.

There are round corners on the wall charger

Products that have sharp edges tend to be less friendly to carry, take up more space and more prone to taking damage. With round edges, a wall charger is able to be more versatile because it takes up less space and if it falls, it’s the shock damage from a fall will be less severe because round edges are able to dissipate damage better.

Doesn’t Take up other Outlet Spaces

Taking up another outlet can be very frustrating because you may want to use the outlet next the wall charger but you can’t because the wall charger is covering the outlet next to it. Even the most efficient kind of wall chargers do this; They take up the space of an outlet either when they’re on a wall outlet or a Surge Protector. If possible, you should get a wall charger that takes advantage of its vertical shape and doesn’t block other wall chargers.

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How to Choose the Best power banks (With Infographic)

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Power banks are one of the most used types of charging electronics. There are a lot of different power banks that features lots of different aspects. It’s easy to get confused about what features you should look within a power bank. That’s why Charger Harbor has created our very own guide on what to look for in a great power bank. By looking for these features or at least considering these aspects while you search for a power bank; You will end up purchasing a power bank that delivers exactly what you needed.

What’s a power bank?

First, let’s just go over the simple topic of what is a power bank? A power bank is a device that holds batteries and the purpose of the power bank are to charge devices. What devices does a power bank charge? Any compatible device that uses a USB charging cable to charge can be used with a power bank.

Power banks come in all sorts of sizes that vary with sizes, power capacities, and different charging technologies. They’re a great solution if you find yourself with a low battery on your smartphone throughout the day because a power bank can go with you nearly everywhere.

Now let’s move onto the aspects to focus on when you’re looking to buy a power bank.

1. Capacity

Capacity EN

If there’s one thing that is very different from one power bank to another, it’s the capacity. Capacities within power banks are measured by milliampere-hour. The higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last. This is something to look out for when you’re buying a power bank because you want a high enough capacity that’s going to charge the device that you want to charge your power bank all the way.

If you’re purchasing a power bank for solely charging your smartphone, then we maybe getting a power bank in the 3,000mAh range is the best option. That’s because many smartphones have a battery capacity of at least 2,000mAh. With a 3,000mAh power bank, you’ll be able to charge your smartphone all the way and still have a little more power left over.

Then there are circumstances when you may need a higher capacity power bank because you want to charge your iPad, smartphone and other electronic devices that you think you’ll use a power bank to charge with. This is when going into a higher capacity such as 20,000mAh power banks are the best choices. Higher capacity power banks allow you to not worry about recharging the power bank until a few days after when the power is depleted. Usually, when a power bank is depleted of its power, it’s best to recharge it overnight since you’re not depending on it when you’re sleeping.

We recommend that you start at the 3,000mAh range because a capacity of 3,000mAh is the modern standard of a Mini capacity power bank. Mini pertaining to size and capacity of the power bank. Then go higher from there and see what suit your needs. Figure out just how much power you need through your daily life and match it up along with your power bank.

2. Charging Speed

Charging Speed EN

Power banks also have quite a few charging speeds. Knowing what charging speeds a power bank has is the difference between being extremely dissatisfied with your power bank or having your device well charged.

This is why it’s important to know how to read Output and Input levels on power banks. The Output charging is the charging that is done to the device that you’re charging . The Input charging is the charging being done to the power bank itself, so Input charging, in this case, means recharging speed of the power bank.

Let’s go over how you should choose what charging speeds mean what and what speeds you should look for; But first let’s go over two main terms.

Voltage: The voltage is basically the regulator of the charging process. The voltage is able to keep the Amp Current constant so the speed of charging is constant. The more current there is while charging, the more constant the charging speed will be.

Amperage: The Amperage is the charging speed of the charging process. Higher the current, the faster the power is delivered to the device that you’re charging. However, the Amp is regulated the by the Voltage and may not always be constant if the Voltage of the charger is low. For the Amp current to be constantly fast, there needs to be enough Voltage to support the charging speed.

Now that you know both of the main terms to actually understand what charging entails, let’s move onto charging speeds.

Output charging speeds:

Slow – 5V/1A:

Medium – 5V/2A

Fast – 5V/2.4A

Quick Charge – 9V/3A

This is the standard of Output charging. If an output charger has a 1 Amps of charging current, then you’re going to experience somewhat slow charging, but it’s mostly the Mini power banks that have a charging speed of 1 Amp, so you shouldn’t be too hard on the small power banks. Medium charging rate is at a 2.0 Amp charging current that is quite common for a lot of power banks, this is especially the case if power bank has two ports where one port may have 2A charging and the another port has 1.0A charging; Although the 2.0A rate of charging is actually starting to die out since faster charging rates are beginning to arise.

Then we move onto the higher charging bracket where the 2.4 Amp of charging is actually the latest and fastest type of standard charging that doesn’t require any special charging technology. The 2.4A charging speed is a becoming more of the standard because it heavily boasts a quality of a power bank by providing a charging speed of a wall charger within a power bank. Then there’s Quick Charge charging that pushes into the 3.0 Amps of charging. However, the Quick Charge technology is only available with devices that are compatible with Quick Charge technology and the power bank must have Quick Charge enabled charging ports as well for Quick Charge speeds to actually take effect.

Now that you know what charging speeds you can expect from power banks and know what they mean, you should be well on your way to getting a power bank that charges your devices quickly. Also, you should check if you have a Quick Charge compatible smartphone, and if you do, then you should purchase a power bank that features Quick Charge ports for super-fast charging. iPhones are not compatible with Quick Charge, though.

3. Portability

Size EN

One of the main reasons power banks exist in the first place is because they’re highly portable. That’s why their other name is known to be Portable Chargers because they can charge your device while you’re on the go.

Nearly all power banks are portable in some way, it’s just that some power banks are more portable than others. Portability is actually matched to the capacity of a power bank because when the capacity of a power bank is higher then the battery pack must be bigger; Although that is mostly true, with today’s portable chargers even though the capacity may be quite large, the size of the power bank will be relatively small. So we’re getting to the point of putting high capacities into smaller sizes.

With that said, if you wanted a power bank that would fit into your pocket or basically a small power bank that you’d take with you every day; Then you would choose a Mini power bank that is cylindrical and about 5 inches long. It’s these kind of power banks that offer optimum portability that allows you to freely charge your smartphone without feeling held back. The same goes for Slim power banks, that are about the same size of smartphones.

If you’re going into the higher capacities, then you should expect some size change, but also quite a difference in weight. Let’s give an example of 20,000mAh power bank. 20,000mAh is a lot of power as a power bank that will last you for days but it can still be portable, although not in the same manner that a 3,000mAh power bank would be. Instead, a 20,000 mAh power bank would be alright for on the go purposes but even better for taking it to a location where there isn’t a way wall charger, so you’d use your 20,000mAh power bank. Power banks that are larger aren’t always convenient to use for everyday purposes but they can be great in certain situations.

Know what you’re going to do with your power bank and where you may take it. You want to feel comfortable and confident with the portable charger that you purchase.

4. Ports

Ports EN

Different power banks have different amounts of charging Output ports. Charging ports are very connected to the amount of capacity that a power bank holds. That’s because a power bank with a capacity of 3,000mAh only has one charging port because two devices pulling power from such a low capacity doesn’t make sense since the capacity of the small capacity power bank will deplete very quickly and both devices would be barely charged.

If you wish to charge many devices at the same time freely then we recommend a power bank with many ports. Power banks with many ports can range from having two, three, four and even five ports on some high capacity power banks. These kind of multi-port power banks are also great to use for a charging hub for friends, family, at the office or even strangers in the library that are looking for a harbor to charge their smartphones. You could very well be a charging hero if you give people the power to charge their devices.

Ultimately, how many ports you want will depend on what capacity you need. Perhaps you will find that having too many ports is too much of a hassle and want a lightweight portable charger that is a plug and goes case.

5. Price

Price EN

The price point of power banks is directly related to all the aspects of power banks that we mentioned above but the price of a power bank is still part of what the power bank is and it’s also a vital way to choose a great power bank. With all the aspects mended together and the understanding what a power bank should have, then comes the price of the power bank.

This is where you need to match up the charging speed, capacity, size and the technology that the power bank uses to know for sure that the charger you’re purchasing is indeed worth the price. You should also make sure the power bank is built to standards, meaning that the charger is well built for frequent use so it doesn’t fall apart. So you shouldn’t be paying $20 dollar for a simple Mini power bank because it’s the base of all power banks and should actually have a price of $12. The same goes even for high capacity power banks within the 20,000mAh range. Some high capacity power banks are actually priced absurdly high because some companies may think that people searching for power banks may believe a 20,000mAh capacity is actually worth $80. That’s not true at all.

Even higher capacity power banks are priced low than you’d think from reputable charging electronic companies. At this stage of getting a power bank, things can be a bit hazy and pricing options can be misleading; But that’s why Charger Harbor is here to help you set sail in the right direction so you can get the best power bank that you’re looking for. Just a look at our Power Bank Reviews section to get started on setting sail.

Conclusion:

Searching for the correct power bank that you need can be somewhat challenging but by following the guidelines that we’ve mentioned, we’re confident that getting a power bank is actually very easy. Power banks are at a point where they’re very advanced and lots of work is being done to advance them even further because so many people need them. You’re well on your way to getting a great power bank if you’re searching for one.

 

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Are Built in Charging Cables Good or Bad?

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Charging electronics are mostly universal which means that they have charging ports that are able to work with many different devices and all that’s needed is the dedicated charging cable that is compatible with the device that you need to charge. This is the most common type of charging electronic and is true for Car chargers, Wall chargers, and power banks. People usually want to use their own charging cables to charge their devices when using different charging electronics; Or at least many people expect to use their own charging cables.

However, that isn’t always the case. Some charging electronics actually their own dedicated built-in charging cable for certain devices. With a built-in charging cable, that means the user no longer has to carry around a charging cable and worry about bringing it with them to actually charge their device since their charger already has a charging cable. Although there can be limits to this kind of design, because having a built-in charging cable with a power bank and car charger can especially have its limits in certain situations.

Let’s take a look on why this double edge sword should be thought through before getting a charging electronic with a built in cable.

What are the Limits of getting a built in charging Cable?

Let’s get the limits of a built-in charging cable out of the way first.

1. There are limits in length

When you have a built-in charging cable with a power bank, then the charging cable length will most likely be very short. Charging cables that are built in aren’t actually cables either since they have to go into the power bank itself; The cables are more like short stems that are designed to simply change angles to come out of the power bank and go back into it. There’s not a lot of versatility with built in cables since they can’t really be bent to accommodate the location of the device that you’re charging to the way you’re holding it.

A limit with length is especially troublesome when you take into account that power banks are portable. If you want to take a power bank while you’re on the go, then you have to make sure the device and cable are placed where they’re always facing each other. It’s a tedious problem and this is where the main limits of built-in charging cables come in.

The same can be said about built-in charging cable for car chargers and wall chargers. If their cables are too short, then it’s a great inconvenience since you’re going to have to move closer to the charger itself or you’ll have to leave your device unused while it sits and charges. You realize just how convenient and awesome separate charging cables are when you realize built-in, also means “Limited Range”

2. You or someone else may want to charge an incompatible device

With so many devices that do different things better than other and people having so much different preferences over other products, it’s quite common for people to have different smartphones and tablets. When you have a built-in charging cable, the cable tends to cater to a single device and its single way of charging. This means that another device that uses a different charging cable cannot charge with a Power bank that uses a Micro USB built-in charging cable because an iPhone is not compatible with it.

This limit can pertain to you personally and to someone else that may want to use your charger but can’t because you don’t have a compatible charging cable. If you have an Android smartphone that uses Micro USB charging cable and you own a power bank that uses a built-in Micro USB charging cable, then the smartphone is perfectly fine to charge; But what if you also have an iPad, and you’re on the go with your power bank but your iPad needs charging? You’re out of luck because the power bank only accepts devices that use Micro-USB.

Another scenario could be with a car charger and this one could be a bit worse.

Having a car charger that only has a single Lightning cable built into the car charger is a good charger if a user always and only charges their iPhone with the car charger. However, you may have friend or family in the car that is running low on battery power with their smartphone and needs to charge their phone but alas they cannot because they don’t have an iPhone. As a result, the ones sitting in the car with a low battery power must have their device die. In the end, you don’t have anyone’s back when it comes to a sole charging cable that is built into a charger.

3. The charging cable may break

Normal wired charging cables are becoming more and more stronger but even then charging cables may not last long but they all have their thresholds of use and eventually break. The same can be said about built-in charging cables and more so, it’s more of a severe problem when it comes to built-in charging cables because the cable is built into the charger; Then there’s no way to replace the cable and as a result the charger becomes useless.

This is most likely someone’s biggest fear when they have a built in charging cable with their charger because once the cable breaks, there’s no way to take it out and replace it with separate charging cable. Instead, when a built-in charging cable breaks, then it renders the charger useless and in the end you’re stuck with a useless charging device.

If you’re getting a charger that has a built-in cable, make sure of these 3 things:

  1. The cable is tough
  2. The charger has a long warranty or if it has a warranty at all
  3. The charger has a USB Output port to plug a cable into for more free charging

You may have to expect the charger to be replaced a few times.

What are the Benefits of getting a built in charging Cable?

1. You are the sole user of the charger

When you’re the sole user of a charger, then you know what to expect from it. If you’re the only person that uses the charging cable that’s built into your power bank or Car charger, then you’re always going to be prepared to use it; There’s no need to carry around a charging cable separately or having remembered to take a charging cable with you when you’re heading out with your power bank. Instead, a power bank with a built-in charging cable is somewhat of an improvement because it already has a built-in cable that’s ready to charge.

Using a built-in charging cable also means that you’ve thought about what device you have and what charging you need, so there are not expectations on what is compatible to charge.

To truly benefit from a charger that uses built-in charging cables, you need to evaluate your needs for charging. If you don’t want to worry about carrying around a charging cable with you, then a built-in charging cable may be for you. It creates a convenient experience for those that are seeking a streamlined approach to charging.

2. The charger has Output Charging ports

Above, when we mentioned the limits of having a built-in charging cable, we said that there’s a limit because you can only charge single devices with some chargers. However, this is solved with chargers that have built-in charging cable AND USB Output ports that allow the user to use any charging cable that they want. This means that they can charge other devices that don’t adhere to the built-in charging cable.

It’s Car chargers, Wall chargers, and power banks that have a built-in charging cable and Output charging ports are the best to get. In some cases, it may actually be better to get a charger that has a built-in charging cable and has Output port because it’s always a sure-fire way to have your most reliable and used charging cable on hand.

We recommend car charger with built-in charging cable because you will always have your cable in the car, while there are other ports for other people to use. Same goes for power banks, with your cable always on hand and if someone else wants to charge their device, they can plug their cable into the Output ports.

Should You Get a Built-in Charging Cable Charger?

It depends on what you’re circumstances are. You must know what you expect from your charger. If you’re going to be the sole person using the charging cable, then we say go for it. If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t take really good care of their cables, then you may want to rethink getting one.

However, we are very big advocates for Built-in charging cables when they come along with a car charger that has Output charging ports. That’s because it gives more options to the sole user of the charger and gives other chances to take advantage of the charger. If you own an iPhone, then purchasing a car charger or power bank that features a built-in Lightning cable is a good option, only if the chargers have Output charging ports. The same goes for devices that take Type-C and Micro-USB cables. By having Outputs along with your built-in charging cable, it’s a fallback plan just in case the built-in cable were to get damaged.

Pros & Cons of getting a Built-in Charging cable charger:

Pros:

  • If you’re the sole user of the charger
  • The charger with the built-in charging cable comes with Output charging ports

Cons:

  • The charging cable may be too short
  • A charger with a sole built in charging cable renders the ability to charge different devices useless
  • If the built-in charging cable breaks, then the charger ultimately becomes useless if it has no output charging ports.
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Why it’s bad to buy charging electronics from Retail stores

Generic Chargers

If you’re out shopping and you see a charging cable, you think to yourself: “Hm, I could really use that cable, my cable is getting damaged and this one might be better than my last charging cable”.

DO NOT get the cable! Going into a retail store is part Purposeful and part Impulse. The purposeful part is the things that you planned on getting in the first place. The Impulse purchases are things that you purchase because you think you might need them because they caught your attention as something that could be very detrimental but the truth is that Impulse purchases are nearly the worst financial decisions that you can make.

An Impulse buy is a waste because you don’t know what you’re getting before you buy it and sure, the chances of getting something of quality may be high for some products but if we’re talking about the category of charges, then that is not the case. You will be purchasing an overpriced product that will not live up to expectations, which will either end up with disappointment and wasted money. Or a return to the store, wasting gas and then disappointment with for the Impulse buy.

At Charger Harbor, we’re here to alleviate any Impulse purchases that you may be craving because we know that you’re better than that and we want your products to hold quality.

How do retailers get their products?

All retail products are not bad, they can be good if you know what you’re getting or if many customers have gotten the same product and have given it good ratings.

But what about the low-quality products? Here’s the thing, retailers are just a front for entrepreneurs, meaning that retailers sell the many products of other companies. It’s a supply chain you see.

 

Supply Chain 1.0

 

The supply chain is basically the entirety of what makes up the entire business side of thing and the consumer experience.

The manufacturer is the one who actually produces the product, this means that manufacturing is as specific from the minerals that were mined or resources that were harvested for the product to come together. Then taken to the factory to actually be made. Once the products are produced, they’re sold off directly to suppliers/wholesalers for cheap prices.

The supplier/wholesaler is a company that holds many products of different variety because they have bought it for a relatively cheap price, so they have lots and lots of products from different categories. Since the supplier has so many products, they are able to organize them in such a way that that can make it easy for a retailer to choose what products they want to sell.

Does the retailer want to specialize in electronics? Then the retailer can simply choose the electronics section with the supplier and choose what products they’d like to purchase and sell those at their own store.

You’re most likely thinking: “Wait, the retailer is just purchasing and reselling”. Yes, that’s what exactly is happening, the retailer purchases products at wholesale prices, which means that the products are quite cheap since they’re being bought in high quantities. Then when the retailer purchases the products from the supplier, they increase the price higher from the price they bought it for. This is then considered the retail price, which is the price that customers see at a store.

Why are retail products so bad?

Well as we said before, not all retail products have poor quality but some do. This is because when the retailer wants to sell something, they don’t care about the quality too much, all the retailer knows is that they want to sell a product and that’s really it. Looking into the details of a product is not a concern or willing to say something about the improvement of a product is not what a retailer does most of the time.

For example A retailer wants to sell charging cables. The retailer is really thinking about just a plain charging cable that is either for Android devices or for Apple products. Once they find a product from a supplier that fits their desired product to sell, they purchase it. There isn’t any further investigation about whether the product is of good quality, what material is it made of or how long the cable will last.

The same can go for power banks. Many suppliers don’t have 3000mAh mini power bank and yet the standard is 3000mAh capacity for mini power banks. Suppliers don’t have power banks that are equipped with smart tech charging or Quick Charge. What options do retailers have? Retailers settle with the generic power banks that offer no value other than serving as a normal power source. In the end, retailers settle for products they don’t know a better alternative to and ultimately the consumer is the one that is left with highly mediocre products.

Take a look at these two products.

Apple Authentic USB Wall Charger & Lightning to USB Cable                Anker PowerPort 2

$12.15                                                                                                      $10.99

Pic 1        

Walmart sells a one port wall charger with a Lightning cable. All of that is for $12.15.

Anker sells a PowerPort 2 that features PoweriQ for both ports for $10.99.

Walmart seems to think that by showing their potential customer that they sell a “Genuine” Apple product, then more people will buy it. Walmart doesn’t understand that wall chargers no longer need to fit the standard of Apple anymore because many charging companies have matched or surpassed the standard of Apple products. Not only that, people don’t want Apple products other than their main products such as iPhones, Macs, and iPads. Going to Apple for products such as chargers and cables is bound to end with spending tons of money and plain products with just normal capabilities.

A wall charger with two ports that features smart charging is less than the price for just a one port wall charger and a Lightning cable. It’s clear to see that buying the Anker PowerPort 2 is the better option because you can get the wall charger and purchase a charging cable that will make the price equivalent to the price of the Walmart option. This way you can get a great wall charger and a charging cable. That is what retail stores cannot offer. 

Then where should I purchase products that have a high chance of being bad at a retail store?

The best option to get a quality product is by ordering it from an online store. Online shopping is overall better because online retailers know better about what people want since the internet is the second front of people’s live. People spend most of their time on the internet, it’s where they sell out most of their wants and needs about what they want with their products. Consumers say much more when it comes to the internet rather than real life, which is why it’s best to get products that aren’t a good quality in retail stores, from online.

To know more about why it’s better to get products from online, check out this explanation here.

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What’s the difference between Lithium Ion & Lithium Polymer

Lithium Ion L Polymer

There are two main battery types that you’ve probably heard of. One being Lithium Polymer and the other being Lithium Ion. Many devices use either one, but what’s really the difference between the two battery types and should you really care what battery your device has?

Lithium Polymer

Lithium Polymer is the more flexible kind of battery type, meaning that it can be more versatile with the way it’s designed and package. The main reason that it’s called Polymer is because the package that the battery is encased in is made up of Polymer, however, the battery itself is a liquid/gel type of substance that makes it easy for it to be packaged into battery packs.

This is sometimes why Lithium Polymer is such a favorable choice for some companies to use it. If the battery can be versatile in design, then the product itself can be designed with more freedom. This can lead to more flat designs with a product because the battery can be spread out or more packed in one place by choice.

Lithium Polmer EN

By doing so, a product can be what the creator had in mind. Lithium Polymer batteries can be lightweight due to their liquid gel form and how they can be placed in a spread out manner. Polymer batteries, being a gel can actually produce gas while it’s charging, so manufacturers should make the design to allow for the expansion of the battery, so if the battery does expand nothing will get damaged.

Lithium Polymer batteries can be more costly to produce due to their versatility by design and their energy density is not as good as Lithium Ion, which means that their battery level will decline quite quickly when it’s being used.

Lithium Polymer batteries can mainly be used for designing a product that is meant to be quite slim, or have a design that is not traditional this way, the manufacturer can make their product the way they envisioned. If the product doesn’t need a unique design, then Lithium Ion will be used.

Apple MacBook                                                               Apple MacBook Pro 15″ 5600mAh Li-po Battery

Pic 1                                       Pic 1

A great example of where Lithium Polymer batteries are used are MacBooks. MacBooks tend to be very slim, then the batteries also have to be slim. Companies take advantage to produce Lithium Polymer batteries and Lithium Ion batteries because both of them tend to degrade and they know some people prefer one over the other.

Lithium Ion

Lithium Ion batteries are the most commonly used type of batteries that is in many electronics. Ion batteries are the opposite of what Lithium Polymer batteries are in the way they are designed. Lithium Ion batteries are densely packed together and the end product is a rectangular battery pack.

Ion batteries have high density and low discharge energy, because of that they are used a lot since they can last longer when a device is in use.

Lithium Ion

 

However, the main flaw with Lithium Ion batteries is the degradation of the battery even when the battery is not in use. Lithium Ion can also be damaged depending on their environment, especially in high temperatures Lithium Ion batteries can be damaged quite heavily.

Ion batteries are popular to use and will be continued to be used for a long time because they are simple to make and can last a long time in the short term, even though the long-term quality of the battery degrades, improvements are being made to make Ion batteries better.

Samsung Galaxy S5                                                                   Samsung Galaxy S5 Lithium Ion Battery

Pic 2                                                   Pic 1

Lithium Ion is commonly used with many laptops and phones because it can be compressed quite a lot and if needed, the owner of the battery can more easily replace the battery. Lithium Ion batteries are a more squared shape shaped and are completely solid since the small Lithium Ion packs are tightly compressed into the casing. It’s common for companies to sell phone replacement batteries because Lithium Ion batteries can degrade over time and may need replacement because the battery is too damaged to make a long enough battery life.

Conclusion:

Lithium Polymer and Lithium Ion are not exactly different types of batteries, they’re more different types of designed batteries. They function similarly, but the way they come to be are different and what kinds of devices they are inputted into are basically the only difference between the batteries.

You really shouldn’t worry about your devices having either one since both of them are primarily the same, although Lithium Ion is still dominating, there isn’t any logical sense to use Polymer instead.

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What’s a Power Bank / Portable Battery Charger?

Portable Chargers

When you’re on the go and without an outlet nearby and your phone always in use, the problem of having low battery power is always present. Even with today’s newest smartphones boasting large capacity batteries, the ultimate fate of a phone being heavily used is for the battery to die out and rendering the phone useless. Since constant movement will always stay constant and the need to use the smartphone will always be necessary, the current and best solution is to use a Power Banks, also called a Portable Battery Charger.

Portable chargers are chargers that you can take with you nearly everywhere because of their compact size and clever designs. Portable chargers have only one purpose and that is to charge. Charging can be for a smartphone or possibly for any other compatible device that the portable charger can work with.

There are plenty of portable chargers that come in different sizes, colors, features and most importantly capacity of the portable charger.

How is the capacity of a portable charger measured and why is it important?

Portable chargers come with different capacities and it’s measured through Mili Ampere Hour (mAh). When a portable charger is 1000mAh then it can supply power for 1 hour.

Not only is it important to know the capacity of a portable charger but it’s also very important to know the battery capacity of the phone that you use.

Let’s use the iPhone 6s for this example: The iPhone 6s has a battery capacity of 1715mAh and although that’s quite a lot, you wouldn’t want a portable charger that is 1000mAh because it wouldn’t even charge the phone fully if the iPhone6s were at a low battery power. This is why it’s always good to have a portable charger that is well above the battery capacity of the phone you’re using to ensure that you can use it many times and that the portable charger stays useful.

Another example would be the Samsung Galaxy S7 with its 3000mAh battery capacity. The Galaxy S7, no doubt hold a boastful battery capacity but once again, you should look for a portable charger that is either 3000mAh or beyond that point to charge your Galaxy S7 multiple times just in case. The worst scenario for your phone is to have no options of staying on.

Lastly to reuse a portable charger once it’s used all its power is to use the Micro-USB output slot to recharge it. Does this mean that you will need a Micro USB charging cable to recharge a portable charger? Most likely.

One thing that is very true about portable chargers is that they are very helpful to use.

The EasyAcc Monster 26000mAh is a portable charger that holds a massive charge and with it, comes 4 USB Ports to charge 4 devices at the same time. All the ports hold Smart Technology charging from EasyAcc. It’s a truly a great example of what a portable should be.

What other great qualities to portable chargers have?

As noted before how Wall Chargers are truly the innovative front of the charging world, so are portable chargers.

  • The first thing to mention is that portable chargers are increasingly getting into higher and higher capacity sizes. Something like a 1000mAh portable charger that we mentioned just doesn’t logically make sense to buy because of the capacity of modern smartphones.
  • Sizes of portable chargers are beginning to become smaller and becoming more stylish. Stylish meaning that that portable chargers are able to look aesthetic by the way they look with their smaller physical sizes and easy to carry designs.
  • Just like Wall Chargers, portable chargers now have great technology implemented within them to make them a greater asset. Many companies have put their Smart Charging technology into portable chargers and Qualcomm Quick Charge is very well implemented into portable chargers for super fast charging on the go.
  • Most portable chargers feature LED lights to indicate power amount so you know when energy is running out on it. Recharging a portable charge is easy with just a Micro USB cable. The compactness is becoming more compact as the power capacity becomes greater. Also, power banks have small touches of amenities such as LED flash lights, as you can see above.

If you’re thinking about getting a power bank and worried if it’s really worth it; It is very worth getting a portable charger because the quality they are at currently is very good and can only get better.

Different forms of portable chargers?

Portable chargers come in a few different designs but it’s important to remember that a portable charger is just meant to hold energy and charge a device that needs power.

Solar Portable Chargers

Solar portable chargers are your normal portable chargers that have USB outputs and also a Micro USB output so you can recharge the solar charger to it’s fullest. Features such as LED lights for the battery gauge will most likely be present on a solar charger as well.

The main difference from a Portable charger to a Solar portable charger is that the Solar charger has solar panels implemented atop of the charger so the portable charger can recharge via solar energy from the sun. Solar portable chargers are also built more rigid because this way someone can easily take the charger with them if they were to go camping or hiking where there is a higher chance of damage to the portable charger.

 

In some ways, solar portable chargers are better than normal portable chargers because:

  • Charging the portable charger can be done through the Micro USB port or via the sun
  • They are built for better protection from fall damage, dust and water damage.

One of the flaws of a Solar charger though are the Solar panels that make the portable charger solar. Solar panels are not very cheap and in order to capture sunlight energy, solar panels have to be good at what they do. Since the solar panels are expensive, it tends to raise the price of a portable charger that makes it solar.

Battery Cases

Another sect of portable chargers is called a Battery Case and although a Battery Case is a form of a portable charger, it would better to understand it under a different post. Learn about Battery Cases here.

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What are USB Wall Chargers?

USB Wall Charger

Chargers come in many different sizes and provide different technologies but one of the most used types of chargers is the USB Wall Charger. Why is the Wall Charger so commonly used? It’s because of the versatility behind the charger. USB Wall Chargers will usually have many variants with plenty of USB ports for charging and this means that many people can charge their devices at the same time.

Wall chargers are exceptionally portable with now smaller sizing in the past, it’s easier than ever to take a 5 port Wall Charger anywhere and have people around you depend on charging with your wall charger.

Even though Wall Chargers are popular and easy to use, the use of a charging cable is mandatory because every wall charger has USB sockets and a charging cable has to connect into the sockets to actually use the wall charger. Wall Chargers are quite possibly the most advanced space in the charging tech area with innovation being constant.

Take a Look at this USB Wall Charger

 

The above is Anker’s PowerPort+3 Quick Charge 3.0 wall charger. You’ll notice that the bottom two USB ports feature Anker’s PoweriQ and the top USB port uses Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology that is able to charge devices that feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Processor technology. You can find out more about Quick Charge tech here.

Wall chargers now feature options and these options now create innovation to fast charging. Wall chargers can no longer be seen as just wall chargers that you’d buy at a local store because there are now companies that create better tech and overall wall chargers are now a quality based product. If you were to buy off the brand charger with 5 ports, plug in 5 devices into the wall chargers and expect them all to charge at maximum capacity, then you’re in for a disappointment.

Some wall chargers even feature USB Type-C outputs so you can charge devices like the Nexus 5X and 6P at 3.0A speeds. Doors are opened through wall chargers and it brings transparency to basically anyone seeking to charge their device, regardless what kind of a device they have.

Surge Protection

Safety features such as Surge Protections and Short Circuit Prevention are technologies that are now mandatory when using charging tech such as wall chargers because they are the most common of devices to have safety issues due to the insane amount of devices that you can charge at the same time. However, with companies like Anker, the protection of your devices is assured with their safety tech.

 

USB Chargers come in different forms as well, just because it doesn’t look like a wall charger doesn’t mean it’s not one. Take a look at the above image, you’ve already figured out that it’s a USB Wall Charger but what its main selling point is that it’s a phone holder AND a charger. This is what has meant that Wall Chargers are versatile in their tech and the way they can be designed.

With intelligent tech being added to wall chargers, an evolutionary design being enabled through how they’re used and their insanely cautionary implemented tech features, wall chargers are a product that will stay and move forward far into the future of charging.

To figure out where to chart out your own wall charger to get, sail with Charger Harbor’s upcoming reviews of USB Wall Chargers and set sail!

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