64 MOBILE TECHNOLOGY: POWER BANKS KNOWLEDGE IS POWER Getting to grips with the technological information surrounding power banks can seem like a daunting task. To make it simple, we provide you with an explanation of terms and key features that enable you to select the power bank that best suits your requirements. CAPACITY UNIT OF MEASURE = mAh ( MILLIAMP HOUR ) The unit of measure for internal battery capacity, it indicates the amount of energy a battery can store. The higher the number, the larger the battery capacity. Since batteries within various smartphones, tablets and mobile devices vary, the extent to which a certain power bank will charge a given device will vary too. A 2600mAh power bank may fully charge an iPhone yet the same power bank will only charge an iPad battery to 40% because the internal battery within the iPad is far larger than the iPhone battery. CYCLE LIFE One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a power bank is how many times a battery can be fully recharged and discharged before the capacity is greatly diminished to an unusable or worthless size. Always choose batteries that have true cycle ratings of 300 cycles or more to ensure that your promotional item lasts way past your desired promotional period. Nobody wants a power bank that only lasts a week, right! So, the higher the cycle life, the longer the life span of the product and the more bang you get for your marketing buck. INPUT CURRENT Indicates the speed at which a power bank recharges itself from a USB power source (such as a PC USB port or USB wall plug adaptor). The lower the number, the slower the battery will recharge itself. Generally, this is not a critical factor when selecting a power bank since most people recharge their power banks overnight, when fast recharge time is not a major requirement. OUTPUT CURRENT Indicates the speed at which the charger charges a connected device. The higher the number, the faster the charger will charge a connected device. Unlike Input Current, this is an important factor when deciding which power bank best fits your requirements or the requirements of your promotion. Most smaller smartphones (like iPhone 4 or Blackberry) will only allow charging up to 800-900mA per hour. Even if you plug them into to a faster power adaptor of 2A or 3.1A, the smartphones have circuitry inside them to restrict how much power they will receive. However, devices like Galaxy Note 3 or iPad will accept from 1400-1800mA per hour. On average, a power bank with an output speed of 800-1000mA will be a popular choice for most common handsets, but if your promotion is aimed at a customer base with a more power hungry range of smart devices (like an iPad) it’s recommended to choose a faster unit with an output speed rating of around 2000mA. EFFICIENCY Power banks also vary dramatically in energy transfer efficiency, which can range from 50% to around 82% of the rated capacity. A poor quality power bank rated at 2600mAh with a 50% efficiency will only be able to give back 1300mAh to your mobile device, whereas a 2000mAh power bank with a 80% efficiency can give back 1600mAh to your mobile device.
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