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Power Bank thoughts

After killing 2 large-ish power banks because I didn't use them enough*, I realized I really only needed one to top up my phone when out and about on a long travel day. It really didn't need to power up multiple devices multiple times.

Early this year I bought this small, no cord power bank. I've taken it on 5 trips this year, and it's worked well for my needs. This one is android compatible, but I know there are similar ones for Apple.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0BMPGQXT9?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title
Edited to add:
It's small and simple enough to keep at hand at home to use occasionally, thereby extending its life.

*If you read the info that comes with power banks, as I finally did, they die if not used regularly--like putting them in a drawer between trips.

Posted by
2721 posts

I like the small power bank you linked. So much easier than using my favorite larger Mophie and charging cord. BUT the Apple version says it will not fit if you use an Otter Case or similar. So it won't work for me. Thought I'd share in case others use an Otter Case.

Posted by
406 posts

Thanks Liz, it is tiny and very light. I found the model that works with my iPhone 12 and it’s even an ounce lighter supposedly. I do wonder about the little cap that covers the outlet . Any worry about losing it in your purse? It must be very small.

Posted by
103 posts

Thanks for posting. I have had one of those on my wishlist for a while. I had to buy new powerbtnks this year for the same reason, but they are heavy. I would like one of these instead but was holding off. I think I will get one before my next trip.

Posted by
2010 posts

I have an Anker power bank that has been very reliable for gosh, probably at least 7-8 years. It is heavy though, so only goes on road trips. I did just buy a new one for our upcoming trip. It is a hand warmer and power bank all in one. It is small and very lightweight.

Posted by
180 posts

I wish I known about that one before our last trip. We had an Anker which worked well for both our phone on a long travel day but was very heavy and awkward with the 6ish inch cord between the phone and the power bank. I would have like to have been able to put phone and bank in my pocket.

Posted by
350 posts

Indeed, the kinds of battery typically used in power banks these days require either frequent use, or if it's being stored long term, they should be at around 60% level of charge before left alone. But even then, I think they say visit it every month or so to top it back up to 60%-ish to 70%-ish. To me, it's a pain. This is not the kind of maintenance I'd like to add to my life; not enough bandwidth for that!

We also have a power bank (luckily it came free) that while we used a lot during our recent travel, it is now sitting unused and likely will not be until our next major trip in May of 2024! I hope battery technology improves in the near future where this issue with power banks no longer becomes a barrier.

Posted by
2330 posts

I bought the Anker version of the same style for my last trip to replace a power bank that had a battery failure for the opposite reason - the battery swelled up and nearly exploded due to being plugged in all the time. So don't do that either! The new one worked great for topping up during the day and is very compact. The Anker charger is on cyber Monday sale today, 30% off.

Posted by
2372 posts

That's good to know, CL, Anker is a good brand.
When I bought mine, that type wasn't common, but it looks like they are catching on. I didn't have a choice other than black, too.

Posted by
10212 posts

CL, thanks for sharing that Anker power bank. I just ordered 2, one for my iPhone 12 Pro that has a lightning connection and one for my iPad that uses usb-c for charging. I chose colors that would be delivered today. Most of them said delivery by Sunday, but I’m leaving Monday morning for Brussels and I don’t want to take any chances. With these I think I can leave my bigger heavier Anker power bank at home.

Posted by
818 posts

I only own Anker and will never change.

That said, I leave mine in the kitchen, so if there's going to be a storm coming through (I'm in upstate NY, so these are known in advance) the banks get plugged in and topped up overnight, just in case.

That way, I'll at least have our cell phones working and if needed, we can work a bluetooth speaker for a little, and in the summer, a desktop fan (with USB plug) can get turned on too.

Posted by
10212 posts

I wanted to give a review to the Anker power bank that CL linked. I purchased one for my iPhone 12Pro and one for my iPad. The phone has a lightning charge port and the iPad has a USB-C. The phone power bank will charge my phone approximately 1.5 times. When I charged the iPad from about 10% it brought it up to 30%. Not good. I thought maybe it was defective so I returned it and purchased another. That one takes it from 10% to about 50%. Better, but not great. It’s still better than bringing my larger and heavier Anker power bank so I’ll give it a try and return it if I need to.

Posted by
2372 posts

These smaller power banks don't carry a large charge.
As I mentioned in my original post, I like this as an easy to put in my day bag item to top up my phone on a long travel day. I don't use it to power my tablet during the day, or even to charge my phone more than once.

Posted by
10212 posts

Good point. Of course it won’t charge as much as I regular charger and my primary concern is my phone while I’m out and about during the day. I would probably only use it on my iPad on long haul flights.

Posted by
2330 posts

Andrea good to know how the Anker operates with a tablet. I only use the charger to top up my Pixel phone when out and about, and for that purpose it works fine. Hopefully you'll be able to make do on your upcoming trip, or at least get back to a full charging location before your tablet runs out of juice on a given day.

Posted by
206 posts

CL- I got the Anker model you cited, it’s going to be great for my IPhone 15, in case it needs a boost while we are out and about. Thanks for the reminder- I didn’t keep my old power bank juiced up. It is old tech now. The new one is more powerful and so much lighter.

Horsewoofie-I have the otter box defender case also, and this power bank came with a short cord that connects on the side(USB-C to USB-C). That is how I will connect the power supply, so it could work for you, too. The short cord can also be used to charge the power bank.

Anker is a great company. Have been using their products for many years….they do not disappoint-so far….I also ordered a 6 foot long USB-C to USB-C cord with a textured material at the connection points because the smooth ones are hard to remove from the phone’s port.

Posted by
10212 posts

I don’t take my tablet out with me for the day so I should be just fine. Like I said, I wanted it mostly for an extra boost on long haul flights.

Posted by
2310 posts

I have a similar one, with a built in usb charging cable. I always seem to forget a charging cable, so this works for me. amelema Small Portable Charger for iPhone, 5000mAh Mini Power Bank with Built-in Cable/Metal Stand, Cute Battery Pack Compatible with iPhone 14/14 Plus/Pro Max/13/12/11/XS/XR/X/8/7/Airpods (White) https://a.co/d/haCS8ns

Posted by
4597 posts

After learning that I can't let my power banks sit idly in a drawer between trips, I've started keeping them at my charging station at home. (Added benefit that they're ready for power outages.) When my phone needs topped up during the day, I rotate the 2 Anker power banks to charge it. It's just as easy for me to plug the phone into the power bank as it is to the wall.

To CLs point, I don't keep the power banks plugged in constantly, only when they need recharged.

I guess next I'll find out whether I'm wearing the batteries out from overuse.

Posted by
27072 posts

I just Googled for fuller information. This Ravpower blog suggests a full charge/discarge cycle once a month. That should be reasonably easy to remember.

Posted by
1187 posts

https://smartyfence.com/do-lithium-ion-batteries-go-bad-if-not-used/#Factors_That_Affect_Battery_Life

Overheating is the worst thing for your battery.

According to the above article, long term storage will not cause significant degradation per se. However, long-term storage of a 100% charged (or fully 0% discharged) lithium ion battery will increase degradation. It is recommended to store batteries in an approximately 50% charged state.

Repeated charging and discharging will always cause degradation over time. Charging over 80% and discharging to less than 20% will increase the degradation. For example, there are apps that you can download on your phone to set off an alarm when you discharge or charge to these levels.

I never get too fussed about charging my phone to 100%. I prefer to have the convenience of a fully charged phone. In my experience, my phones are three or four years before I start to notice the degradation in the battery and by that time I am more concerned about upgrading for higher performance in the CPU, operating system or camera.

On the other hand, if I ever purchase an electric vehicle, I would follow the 80% max charging protocol because I would want to get maximum life from those very expensive lithium batteries.

Posted by
6 posts

In my opinion, 5000mAh power bank is too small. The smallest I get is 10000mAh, but I also got a bigger capacity for longer travels. But if I were to get a new one, I would get one with wireless charging that is at least 10000mAh. It’s all about finding what works best for your lifestyle and device usage.

Posted by
32719 posts

funny how magie recommends stuff from his own gang.... nae allow'd ... for zappage I'm afraid

Posted by
1187 posts

Wireless charging is the sexy way to charge. Even EV cars are trending in that direction. However, wireless charging is slower and is less efficient (by about 10 to 30%). Something to keep in mind, as the demand for electrical charging rises exponentially in the future, we will experience more brownouts or bite the bullet and need to build nuclear power plants.