Our modern appliances are greedy electricity. The batteries of our smartphones, camera,electronic cigarettes, gps tracker,connected watches and other transportables, all operate on the same model. A micro-USB, and a lithium power supply. The nighttime puzzle to optimize its – many – connections is however not inevitable, thanks to external batteries.
This is a small, minimalist device that contains an additional power source. You load it in advance, and you can always keep it on you when needed.
But beware, not just any. As it is important to select the best external battery in terms of capacity, ergonomics and strength, and that it corresponds perfectly to your needs, we decided at Bestlife4us to provide you with this comparison and buying guide.
We will explain the technology that governs them and teach you how to read the data sheet of an external battery. But before that, we have identified the five best external batteries available on the market, their advantages, and their disadvantages.
Finished, impromptu breakdowns in the middle of the day! And as you will see, there is no need to break the bank, as one might think when walking around the corner at the Darty. Lithium, it does not cost much more expensive, and an external battery will not necessarily cost you more than twenty dollars.
|Name||Power||Number of Usb Ports||Available in several power version|
|Poweradd Pilot 2GS||10000 mAh||2||No|
|Poweradd Slim2||5000 mAh||1||No|
|Anker PowerCore||20100 mAh||1/2 according to the model||Yes|
|EC Technology||22400 mAh||3||No|
|Power Bank X-DRAGON||10000 mAh||2||Yes|
The race to miniaturize external batteries does not take a break. This is because the compactness of the device is one of the major criteria of selection. A small external battery with great autonomy is simply more valuable than its competitors. That’s why this small business model easily climbs to the top of our comparison.
Even if this external battery is not the most efficient in terms of autonomy or charging speed, it shines with its small price and its very small size.
With a wingspan of 13.7 × 7.3 × 1.27 and weighing only 250 grams, he is doing very well. Because even if it is a little bigger than some other models, it has many options and benefits.
We particularly appreciated the quality of the materials used. It consists of only three parts, a feature that guarantees compactness, but also the durability of the device. The central part is entirely made of aluminum, a material known for its solidity and the comfort of its grip.
The first thing to talk about is of course the presence of two USB outputs, which allow to load two devices at a time. There is also a micro-USB input for recharging the external battery itself. For this price, you will see it, it is quite impressive to have two load spaces.
A trademark of Poweradd, four LEDs indicate the remaining battery life, in order to control its consumption. All these components fit on a single slice, very thin, of the device.
The capacity of this external battery is 10,000mAh. The use of a Lithium Polymer battery, however, has a conversion rate a little lower than the li-ion for example. The actual capacity is therefore about 7,000mAh.
This is a very good value for this price: you will be able to charge most smartphones two to three times. The iPhone 6 for example, has a capacity of 1.810mAh. This external battery can therefore charge an iPhone 6 almost four times.
As for the charging speed, the balance sheet is less brilliant. Indeed, the battery has 2.1 amps. If you use a single USB port, this is the standard charging speed for most smartphones that do not have Quick-Charge. But if you use both USB ports, it is limited to one amp per device, which divides the charging speed by two.
For a very competitive price, this external battery is excellent for troubleshooting when your phone or other devices are flat. Its solid aluminum construction and the presence of two load ports is an asset when needed, although its limitation in terms of amperage must be kept in mind.
The 10,000mAh of iMuto takes the elements that made the success of most good external batteries. But it is far from commonplace. Under its classic appearance, it hides very good performance, and undeniable assets.
For a very advantageous price, the iMuto manages to be small, with a size comparable to that of the Poweradd.
Indeed, it measures 12.6 × 6.9 × 1.4cm, slightly smaller than its competitor in first place, for a total weight of 210 grams. To get an idea, it’s about the length of an iPhone 6 for 60 & only width.
The construction is mainly made of aluminum, which is a real asset in terms of durability. This material, which conducts very little heat, also allows to act as thermal insulation and thus limit the heating of the device during charging.
The features are quite similar to those of the Poweradd. It has two USB outputs, as well as a micro-USB input. The ability to charge two devices at once is a real plus.
A small power button controls the battery level, indicated by four LEDs when charging.
With a native capacity of 10,000mAh, this battery starts on a good foot. The conversion rate is optimal only if only one of the two USB ports is used. It then reaches 74% or 7,400mAh actually sent to your phone.
It is therefore able to fully charge an iPad mini 2 and load a Samsung Galaxy S7 twice. However, if you plug two devices at the same time, you lose about 1500mAh of autonomy. The actual capacity of the battery then drops to less than 6000mAh.
The charging speed is also very advantageous thanks to 3.4 amperes distributed on the two USB ports. This means that unlike the Poweradd, it has 1.7 amp per USB output. However, it remains below the 2.1 amp / device that are recommended for the ideal charge of a phone or an electronic cigarette.
The storage capacity differs a little too much from the displayed value when connecting two devices. But the effort that is put in the amperage allows a good charging speed, even when this external battery powers two phones. An impressive result for such a compact model, which allows him to win the second place in our ranking!
When we exceed 10,000mAh, we expect of course that it is less compact. But it is better in passing that it has interesting features. Of course, this battery is powerful, and its price is attractive; but it is this last point which allowed him to make a place in our comparison.
Strangely, it is not so much the size that is impacted by the strong capacity of this battery, but the weight. Because if it measures only 16.5x7x2.3cm – an appreciable performance – it weighs not less than 400 grams.
It can be seen that it measures only a few centimeters more than its competitors, although it carries more than double the capacity. However, it weighs much more heavily.
The manufacturer’s performance in terms of size can be explained by a fairly smart placement of ports and diodes. Where most strive to implement everything on a slice only, this external battery is more like a USB hub. At the bottom, there are no less than three USB charging ports, but the diodes that indicate the level of charge are on the front of the battery. The micro-USB input, it is discreetly on the side.
Regarding the materials used, we deplore the lack of metal. All parts are plastic, which gives a general impression of fragility.
As we said, it has three USB charging ports. We will see it, it has the means of its ambitions in terms of technical characteristics!
The RAVPower external battery is also equipped with several security sensors, comparable to those of Anker, known in the industry. They control the temperature, the load limit and can detect the circuit-courses.
Its native capacity is 22000mAh, but its actual capacity is 18000mAh. The conversion rate is very advantageous! The amperage of this external battery reaches 5.8. If we do the math, it’s a very good score when connecting two devices. Each device has 2.4A, which corresponds to the fast-charge of some phones for example. The third port, on the other hand, only has 1A. It will be reserved for devices whose load is not very greedy, as the first connected watches for example.
If you do not have devices equipped with Quick Charge, it’s much simpler. You can charge for example three phones to just under 2A. Now the mAh value, very generous, of 18000 can charge an Iphone 6 almost 10 times, and a Samsung Galaxy S7 6 times. Not bad at all !
This external battery provides sufficient amperage for the Quick Charge on a port, and has a very large capacity. Its additional features, especially in terms of security, are really admirable in this price range. But if it easily deserves the third place in this ranking, there are some flaws, including its weight and appearance too plastic.
All major brands of external batteries have their mini model. We do not all need to connect multiple devices, and some are looking for a battery backup or a small auxiliary for low-power phones or electronic cigarettes. In this area, it is that of Poweradd that we selected.
This is a mini format that we will now deal with. The cylindrical design can be surprising because it is not common. Most builders prefer a rectangular shape to fit better in the pocket. The advantage of a cylindrical format is that it fits better in the hand and remains compact. This battery has a circumference a little too high to slip comfortably in the pocket, and we would have probably preferred a flat or rectangular shape.
The Slim 2 from Poweradd is less than 10cm long and 3.3 wide. The weight, it barely exceeds 100 grams. As you can see, going from 10,000mAh to 5,000 can be a good plan if storage capacity is not the main interest.
As for the materials used, there is no surprise. For this price, all parts are plastic. On the other hand, one must note a major advantage of the cylindrical format: it allows the battery to better hold the duration. As the set is very compact and does not have vulnerable parts (like the corners for a rectangular format) you can be less worried in case of shock or fall.
It’s a minimalist model: it only offers a single USB charging interface and a micro-USB input port. The four diodes that indicate the level of charge are also on this lower edge.
If you only want to charge one device, it is better to prefer external batteries that have only one USB port. Indeed, the amperage is better used. This is also the case of the Poweradd, which offers an ideal load thanks to its 2.1 amps. It does not support the Quick Charge, which often runs around 2.5A.
Its actual capacity is 3,700mAh, which is enough to charge an iPhone 6 twice and ensure the full charge of a Samsung Galaxy.
This external battery is an excellent choice for occasional use, if you do not rely on it to charge more than one device. Its very low price makes it an ideal companion everyday, even if we would have preferred a slightly more compact design.
We finally come to talk about Anker, one of the leaders in connectivity in the world. This is one of the best external batteries available on the market.
Few external batteries manage to offer optimal ergonomics when held in the hand. And yet Anker’s choice of a cylindrical and rectangular shape is excellent. Its size allows it to be stable at the same time when it is laid flat, to lover comfortably in the hand, and to be slipped in a pocket. Unlike the Knips design for example, much flatter, it gives more a sense of solidity. The choice to focus on thickness rather than width makes it a more compact looking device.
Its size is rather standard, with a length of 16.5, a width of about 6 and a thickness of 2cm and dust. The weight, it is surprising: more than 350 grams on the scale, it’s not nothing! It remains lower than that of comparable batteries, such as RAVPower, with a capacity barely lower.
Portability is not the priority of this model, which shines above all by its power and the quality of its construction. Like many Anker batteries, it relies on the density of the elements that compose it for impact resistance. On the other hand, the materials used are essentially plastic. It’s a shame, for a battery of this category. It is better not to multiply falls on hard floors.
One of the positive elements of this external battery is the strength of the USB ports. There is nothing more irritating than a port that comes loose, moves or does not hold the cable after a few months of use. The Anker ports have stronger ties: it takes a little more effort to plug in, but it does not come off easily.
Two USB ports and a micro-USB input: for 20,100mAh, it’s an excellent compromise. We will see in the next section if the Anker external battery performs well, but these characteristics are promising.
On the top of the battery, four LEDs indicate the charge level. The single button, located on the right edge, allows to check the battery life.
Several security features are included in this unit. Charging stops automatically when it reaches 100%, preventing common overheating and battery damage on poor quality models.
Unlike large-capacity competitors, who rely on triple-USB, Anker is committed to providing an efficient and ideal load. 4.8A means that each device connected has 2.4A. Except Quick-Charge, it’s the standard speed for the fastest charge possible.
The distribution of amps on both ports allows to load two iPads at the same time! We prefer a modest battery that offers only two charging ports, but makes them as efficient as possible.
As for the conversion rate, ie the difference between the displayed capacity and the one that will actually be sent to your phone, the result is a little more mixed. This is actually 14,874mAh available. It is considerable, but it is below what we could expect. We can charge an iPhone 6 eight times, and an iPad Air one and a half times.
Two ports at 2.4A is a success and the guarantee of a timeless external battery and really useful. If we add to that a generous mAh value despite the conversion rate a bit low, an innovative design that focuses on comfort and reliability, it is an external battery that will not disappoint you.
There are all shapes, sizes and abilities. But in the world of mAh, amps and USB ports that are multiplying, it can be difficult to navigate. Which external battery is best for its use? How to sort? We have decided to help you with this buying guide.
Several values are displayed on the data sheets of external batteries. First of all, you have to understand what we are talking about!
The capacity of a battery is the value milliampere / hour, noted mAh. It’s basically the amount of energy it can hold. Ideally, choose a battery that can at least charge 2.5 times the device you want to connect, for two reasons. The first is to compensate for the conversion rate – which we will discuss later. The second is to continue using your battery for several years, despite its decline – natural.
The second important value is the amperage. Attention, a larger amperage is not always the sign of a good quality battery. You need to check the amperage of the device you want to connect most often, and make sure your battery can provide at least what it needs. The amperage will determine the speed at which your phone can be charged by an external battery. Small electronics need 1A. Smartphones, they require between 2.1A to 2.4A minimum to load faster.
The Quick Charge, supported by the Motorola Moto M, the Samsung Galaxy A7, the Nokia 6 and many others, is calculated differently. Google’s smartphone, the Pixel of 2016, could support up to 3,33A for example. Qualcomm’s Quick-Charge technology uses 4A, while Apple’s requires only 2 … It’s easy to understand that it’s not the amperage you have to look at, but the voltage. We spare you the mathematical formulas that make it possible to determine it. The important thing to remember is that an external battery that does not explicitly mention “Quick-Charge” will not be able to provide this service.
It’s even more important to know that each brand has its share of labels and patents supposed to charge your phone faster. With few exceptions, these promises are essentially marketing and do not reflect a real increase in performance. This brings us to the second question.
The market for external batteries is very saturated, which has pushed many manufacturers to stand out with labels more or less relevant. Our advice? Do not be seduced too easily. We looked for features that really matter; and the ones we thought were perfectly useless.
One of the most interesting options that it seems, is the LED lamp sometimes included. An external battery is mainly used when traveling or traveling, contexts in which a lamp may be useful. It is thought that such a feature would drain the battery, but the RAVPower model equipped with a lamp can operate it for more than 800 hours when fully charged. Not bad !
In second place, there are LEDs indicative of the battery level. We have specified on each model, but this little extra is not always included. Yet there is nothing more frustrating than thinking of the battery charged, all this to see it snap between your fingers at the worst moment!
Finally, it may be advantageous to keep an eye on the security features. It is important, in particular, that your external battery has an automatic shutdown of the load when it is complete. The first generations were not equipped, and there was a risk of damaging the connected device as well as the external battery.
There are several ways to make sure that an external battery will not break at the first shock!
The first is the alloy of materials used for the hull. It is of course advisable to avoid plastic, except for a very attractive model – less than 10 – and compact. Aluminum is more expensive, but it is a safe bet in terms of durability.
The second is the shape of the battery. In an effort to compete in compactness, manufacturers have designed models increasingly fine and increasingly flat. They are, however, more vulnerable since they are likely to be bent or damaged at the corners. A slightly rounded design, like that of Anker or RAVPower, are often stronger over time.