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CP12S Supercharge Power Bank 12000

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CP12S Supercharge Power Bank 12000

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Get Huawei SuperCharge, USB Power Delivery and Qualcomm Quick Charge Fast Charging On the Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank

The Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank supports its own proprietary SuperCharge Protocol charging scheme as well as major charging standards like USB Power Delivery and Qualcomm Quick Charge technologies. The Huawei power bank offers up to 40W of charging using SuperCharge for Huawei’s recent phones like the Huawei Mate20 Pro that support 40W based SuperCharge charging. This is in fact the first 40W fast charging technology by a flagship phone brand. Other non SuperCharge enabled phones will get power supplied either through USB Power Delivery or Qualcomm Quick Charge instead using the Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank. With 40W, the Huawei power bank should also sufficiently charge certain USB Type-C tablets and notebook PC’s.

Note from our own testing the Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank negotiated over USB Power Delivery but did not pull any current from a USB Power Delivery based charger. Get more details on this further below in this review.

Here we can see how the Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank looks like after it was purchased in Japan. The power bank has the TUV logo on its packaging meaning that it uses SuperCharge technology that has been certified by Germany based TUV Rheinland for safe charging compliance.

The Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank states that it supports 40 watts (10 volts @ 4 amps) and 22.5 watts (4.5 volts @ 5 amps or 5 volts @ 4.5 amps) power profiles for charging out using SuperCharge. If used with a phone that doesn’t support SuperCharge technology or supporting Qualcomm Quick Charge based charging, the Huawei power bank uses 5 volts @ 2 amps (10 watts), 9 volts @ 2 amps (18 watts) and 12 volts @ 2 amps (24 watts) power profiles.

For charging out using USB Power Delivery, the Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank supports up to 40 watts using 5 volts @ 3 amps (15 watts), 9 volts @ 3 amps (27 watts), 12 volts @ 3 amps (36 watts), 15 volts @ 2.67 amps (40 watts) and 20 volts @ 2 amps (40 watts) power profiles over the USB Type-C interface. You can also charge the power bank using these power profiles as well. Interestingly the power bank also states to support 5 volts @ 4.5 amps (22.5 watts) and 10 volts @ 4 amps (40 watts) power profiles over Type-C even though they seem more like SuperCharge based power profiles rather than USB Power Delivery based.

The Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank supports a total of 20 watts (5 volts @ 4 amps) for charging two connected devices at the same time.

The Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank comes with its own USB Type-A to Type-C cable accessory and documentation. Notice that the Type-A connector of the USB Type-A to Type-C cable is marked purple which indicates that it supports SuperCharge.

Huawei has warned not to use a cable splitter for charging multiple devices through the Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank to avoid damaging the power bank.

The Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank has a single USB Type-A output port that is marked purple which supports SuperCharge as well as Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology. This SuperCharge based port can be used to supply up to 40W for charging Huawei SuperCharge enabled phones or max 24W if connected to a phone that doesn’t support SuperCharge or supporting Qualcomm Quick Charge.

The Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank uses USB Power Delivery 2.0 technology for fast charging up to 40W over its single USB Type-C output port. The USB Type-C port serves as both the output and input for sourcing/sinking power meaning it will charge any connected device as well as getting power supplied by an external charger to charge the battery.

To set the Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank’s USB ports for charging out or to get charged by a USB Power Delivery based power source, you need to press the power button on the power bank. The LED’s beside the power button will indicate how much charge is left.

Unfortunately, despite what the Huawei 12000 40W Supercharge Power Bank claims on its box, it actually won’t charge using an external USB Power Delivery charger. Here we can see a 5V PDO contract established but no current actually being pulled.

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How to Choose the Right Power Bank?

For a longer trip, you may want to choose a power bank with a higher mAh and wattage. Power banks with higher mAh can last for more charge cycles before needing a recharge themselves. This is especially helpful for trips that have a long travel time where you may not have guaranteed access to wall outlets to power your devices.

We recommend anywhere from 20,000 mAh to 30,000 mAh and 65W to 100W for trips with extended travel time. This level of charging capacity helps give you peace of mind during travel (which is already stressful as it is) and guarantees that you will not have to rely on wall sockets for your devices or for a recharge to your power bank.

For a shorter trip, you may not need as much mAh and wattage in your power bank. We recommend a range of 6000 mAh to 10,000 mAh and 20W to 45W for trips with a shorter travel time. These types of power banks hold plenty of energy to guarantee 1 or 2 full charges to your smartphone without needing to be recharged. That should be plenty of power to get you to your destination and within reach of a wall outlet.

Devices are particularly important during business trips. You may need your phone to link up with colleagues and your computer to get tasks done. For that reason, you may want to choose a power bank that has a high mAh to last multiple charging cycles, and that can power a variety of devices.

We once again recommend a 20,000 mAh to 30,000 mAh and 65W to 100W power bank for business trips. It may also be useful in these cases to have multiple power banks dedicated to each of your devices. Our Baseus Blade Laptop Power Bank has a charging capacity of 20,000 mAh and 100W, making it an excellent source of energy for your laptop while your phone is linked up to another portable charger.

When it comes to parties and small day trips, you will not need a portable charger with a huge charging capacity. We once again recommend a range of 6000 mAh to 10,000 mAh and 20W to 45W. Our Baseus Magnetic Foldable Power Bank, with a 10,000 mAh and 20W capacity, is particularly convenient for parties and other outings thanks to its ability to fold up and be used as a kickstand. Easily stored in your. it utilizes a magnetic connection to secure strongly to your device, providing a fast charge without interrupting your device usage.

All You Need to Know About Power Bank

Power banks allow you to charge your devices on the go. With a power bank in hand, you can juice up and continue to use your devices without worrying whether or not there will be outlets nearby to keep you going.

Power banks, also known as portable chargers, operate in a similar fashion to your bank account, hence their name. They act as a storage facility for energy. You can use the electrical energy stored within your power bank to charge your devices anytime and anywhere. This is largely thanks to a special type of circuit contained within the power bank itself that controls the flow of energy.

The process is really quite simple and consists of 3 parts: energy absorption, energy storage, and energy release.

Before you head out on any excursion, whether it’s a business trip, a day out with friends, or any other instance where you may find yourself without ready access to outlets, charge up your power bank through an external power supply like a wall socket. The energy will be stored within the portable charger in a chemical form, ready to be passed into your device at any moment when it is connected to the charger via an output port.

A fast charging power bank is exactly what its name implies: a portable charger that can juice up your devices at a much faster rate than simple wall chargers. These power banks utilize a higher voltage and essentially increase the number of watts being pumped into your device to charge it up more quickly than average.

Wireless power banks are extremely convenient for those who hate traveling around with tons of wires. Rather than getting all tangled up in wires every time you need to charge your devices, simply rely on a wireless power bank. Though they do require a USB to charge themselves, these handy gadgets have the ability to charge your devices through contact alone, with no wired connection required. Battery cases that attach to the back of your phone are one common example of wireless power banks.

To understand the question, we first need to take a look at mAh. The unit mAh is also known as a milliamp hour, and it refers to the charging capacity of a power bank. It indicates how much energy can be transferred from your power bank to another device over time. And, of course, the higher the mAh of a power bank, the more energy it can provide.

Today’s average smartphone has a battery capacity of 2,800 mAh. With that number in mind, let’s break down the charging output you can expect from these common types of power banks:

  • 6000 mAh: 2 full smartphone charges before power bank recharge required.
  • 10,000 mAh: About 3.5 smartphone charges before a power bank recharge is required.
  • 20,000 mAh: 7 full smartphone charges before power bank recharge is required.
  • 30,000 mAh: Nearly 11 full smartphone charges before a power bank recharge is required.

The lifespan of a power bank may vary depending on various factors, such as quality, build, battery capacity, type of battery, and how the power bank is used. The average lifespan range for a power bank may be anywhere from 1.5 to 3 years or 300 to 1000 charge cycles. It’s important to remember that charge cycles are likely the most accurate representation of lifespan. This is because some may use a power bank more frequently than others, making years an inaccurate depiction of the lifespan that does not factor in usage.

To increase the lifespan of your power bank, remember to take good care of it. Here are a few useful tips to help you make the most out of your portable chargers:

  • Do not use a power bank to charge your devices above 80%.
  • Do not leave power banks in extremely hot or cold temperatures.
  • Do not let your power bank reach 0%.
  • Do not bring your power bank in contact with liquids of any kind.

With power banks and other types of batteries, the first thing you need to worry about in terms of wattage is the watt-hour. Watt-hours indicate how much energy you can get out of a battery and the rate at which that energy will be transmitted from the power bank to your device.

The second thing to worry about when it comes to wattage in your power bank is the overall energy capacity. Oftentimes, the wattage of a power bank refers to its maximum charging output. This may be higher or lower depending on how the power bank is being used. When used as a means of gaining energy from an external source, the maximum wattage output may be higher than when it is used as a power bank on its own. So, if you used a dual 45W power bank, you might expect the energy output to reach up to 45W when used as a charging station from an external source and up to 30W when used as a standalone power bank.

If you’re wondering how to charge your power bank, we’re here to help you there too. To juice up your portable charger, simply connect it to an external power source like a wall socket, just like you would with your devices. This will allow it to absorb and subsequently store electrical energy to then be transferred to your device of choice later on when needed.

Cons

This RAVPower 40W PC152 dual USB-C Power Delivery wall charger is one of the more unusual types of chargers on the market; the reason that it’s unusual is that it hits a lower charge rate than most others wall chargers that feature dynamic charging. However, in our tests, we found this lower power output to be useful for charging larger or smaller devices. It does have its flaws, though.

Output Charging:

This RAVPower PC152 wall charger has a 40W max output, features two USB-C ports, and has Dynamic charging. Dynamic charging allows you to use more or less power depending on how many devices you’re charging with the charger.

If you’re charging two devices simultaneously, then each of the USB-C PD ports will output a 20W charging speed, which allows you to fast charge to smartphones at the same time. In our case, we were able to fast charge a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and a Google Pixel simultaneously. We also charged a Microsoft Surface Go and a Google Pixel; the Surface Go was able to charge at 20W, and the Pixel was able to fast charge at 18W.

When charging only a single device with this wall charger, the USB-C PD port you’re charging from can output 30W. In our tests, the Surface Go tablet was able to charge a little faster by going up to 25W.

We did try to charge a Lenovo Flex 5 laptop with this wall charger by charging it alone. However, this wall charger was only able to charge the laptop slowly. This happens because the Flex 5 laptop is primarily compatible to charge with 45W Power Delivery chargers or higher; the 30W output is not enough to charge substantially charge the Flex 5 laptop.

However, when charging a more compatible USB-C PD laptop, the MacBook would do great with charging with the PC152 wall charger.

Many other PD wall chargers don’t feature 25W PPS fast charging that can fast charge a Samsung Galaxy S21 faster than a standard PD port; this one does have PPS.

Size and Weight:

The wall charger is tiny with a length and width of only 2 inches, and it’s only 1 inch thick. You won’t have problems being portable with this charger, especially because it has a foldable plug.

Functional Components:

It’s just like using any other wall charger, with a foldable plug, and there’s a LED power light at the front. The two ports are identical, and it doesn’t matter which one you charge from if you want to use the 30W power output, as they’re both capable of outputting 30W when charging one device.

Structure and Material:

The charger has a strong build, and the only part you have to worry about breaking is the foldable plug; even that is built well and has been perfected for the most part with wall chargers.

Tech:

The charger does get a little warm during charging, and that can be said about most wall chargers on the market as heat is a byproduct of higher wattage output, especially when you’re dealing with smaller chargers such as this RAVPower one.

Reliability

This RAVPower 40W PC152 PD wall charger is reliable to own due to its dynamic charging capabilities. You can fast charge two smartphones simultaneously, or you can opt for charging a laptop at 30W by only using one port.

The charger does not come with a cable, though.

Summary:

Charging power is pretty good for when you want to fast charge one or two smartphones simultaneously. The charger can deliver more power when charging a single device, with up to 30W available for faster charging.

The charger is tiny, and you won’t have any problems with portability.

This 40W PD wall charger is what you can expect from RAVPower with a solid build. The charger does get warm during charging, but that is the case for nearly every Power Delivery wall charger on the market.

Being able to fast charge two devices simultaneously and then charge a laptop if you’re charging only one device can be very useful. However, the single port PD charging is 30W, which is great for faster-charging tablets, and certain laptops, but not all laptops can charge via 30W.

RAVPower 40W Dual USB-C Power Delivery Wall Charger Model PC152 Specs

Conclusion:

This RAVPower dual USB-C 40W PC152 wall charger is a great all-around charger for fast charging small devices such as tablets or smartphones; it can also be useful for charging USB-C laptops. However, it does have limits when charging certain USB-C laptops, as shown with our test with the Lenovo Flex 5 laptop.

The best power banks 2022

Choosing a power bank can be a minefield. There are cheap ones, pricey ones, and sometimes you’re paying simply for a name – but there’s a lot more to finding the perfect portable charger than looking at price alone.

Some other things you might consider include speed, both in charging your connected device and recharging the bank when it empties. Capacity is important, too: it needs to be high enough to get your through the day with juice to spare – even share – without weighing down your or bag.

Ports and connections matter, too. What are you charging? A phone, a laptop, a watch? The number and range of ports is important, and if you want to avoid carrying multiple cables then you could look for a version with built-in cables or wireless charging.

While we care about design, it’s actually much lower on our priority list than the things we mention above – unless, of course, we have need for a particularly rugged model or something that supports solar charging because we’re going to be away from mains power for an extended period. That’s not to say we won’t appreciate added extras such as an LCD screen and waterproofing – don’t you want the coolest and most convenient power bank you can get for your money?

These days, it’s even possible to rent power banks as and when you need them (check out ChargedUp). Mind blown. To ensure you get the very best power bank for your needs, whatever that looks like, read on for more detailed buying advice below our chart.

Best power bank reviews

Zendure SuperMini X3 – Best 10000mAh Power Bank

The Zendure SuperMini X3 certainly isn’t the cheapest 10000mAh power bank around, but it makes up for that in specs.

The headline is the 45W USB-C PD charging – for both input and output. That means you can re-charge the power bank itself in just an hour or so, but also that this is fast enough to meet the max charging speeds on most Apple and Samsung phones, and can even keep many laptops running.

The same port also supports the PPS standard at up to 33W speeds.

There are also two USB-A ports, one at 18W and another at 15W, and you can use all three ports simultaneously with 15W speeds from each.

Throw in the small LCD display to report battery life and the light and compact design (in a range of four colours, no less) and it’s easy to see why you might want to spend a little extra for the SuperMini X3.

Charmast 10,400mAh Power Bank – Best Value Power Bank with LCD

There was a time when power banks with LCD displays were rather expensive, but have now come down as the screens filter through to even affordable models like this.

The power bank also has three outputs, which will come in handy if you have multiple devices to charge. There are two full-size USBs, plus a USB-C PD port that can act as both input and output, and all three support 18W Quick Charge – although only one at a time.

On the side is an additional Quick Charge 2.0-compatible Micro-USB, which can also be used for charging the bank. It will charge in about 3.5 hours with a Quick Charge/PD adapter, but about 5.5 hours with a standard 10W charger.

The downside of the design is that it’s a bit bigger than many of the super-slim, similar-capacity models on the market. This Charmast is roughly the same width as a phone, but a little shorter and a fair bit chunkier. It weighs in at 228g, which you may decide is better suited to a bag than your

Charmast supplies a soft mesh carry case and a short USB-A to USB-C cable in the box, a nice touch.

Zendure SuperMini Go

  • Interesting camera-inspired design
  • Supports 15W wireless charging
  • Strong device support
  • Available only via IndieGoGo (for now)
  • LCD is a little dim and can be difficult to read

The Zendure SuperMini Go is something a little different: a power bank that tries very hard not to look like one.

Zendure’s design is inspired by classic cameras, which is if nothing else a fun way to incorporate the large ring required for wireless charging – which here sits right where a camera lens would be. Instead of a viewfinder, there’s a rear LCD display to show battery percentage – though be warned that this is quite dim and hard to read.

It’s available in silver and black finishes, along with our more out there ‘Sunset Cyan’ gradient.

The SuperMini Go isn’t all about looks though, and it has some solid specs to match. The total capacity is 10,000mAh, and in addition to 15W wireless charging (with a magnet to keep phones steady) there’s 20W USB-C charging and 22.5W USB-A charging.

Compatibility is impressive too – not only will this work with both iOS and Android devices, but the ‘X-Charge’ mode is capable of topping up lower power devices like wearables and headphones, which not all power banks support.

The SuperMini Go is available now for backers on IndieGoGo with discounted launch pricing from 44 (down from an official price of 69), but with Zendure’s track record it’s very likely this will be in stores including Amazon before long.

JIGA 30,000mAh Power Bank – Most Versatile Power Bank

JIGA is a new name to us in terms of power bank tech, but its 30,000mAh power bank is interesting for a number of reasons – and not least the huge capacity, which will be some comfort on trips away from mains power.

While it’s something of a throwback to power banks from a couple of years back, with its built-in LED flash (certainly useful for camping trips) and durable but plasticky design, it also takes us back to the days where you didn’t have to sacrifice ports for portability.

It’s surprisingly small for such a high-capacity bank, but it’s more bag- rather than.friendly.

The JIGA has USB-C, Micro-USB and Lightning inputs, allowing you to fill its battery using whatever cable you have to hand. It’s a shame that the USB-C port doesn’t also work as an output, but there are three full-size USB-A outputs, each rated at 10.5W.

This isn’t the Power Delivery speeds we’re becoming increasingly familiar with today, but it’s plenty fast for charging a phone (or multiple phones).

If all you need is a healthy stream of power to keep topped up a number of mobile devices, this JIGA power bank will be a very handy device to have around.

Anker PowerCore Essential 20,000 PD – Best 20,000mAh Power Bank

Hailing from Anker, a respected brand in the power bank market, this 20,000mAh portable charger represents very good value at this capacity.

The 345.5G Essential is a black plastic brick, though relatively compact for the amount of power it can hold. It has a textured top surface that improves grip in the hand, as well as the overall appearance.

We’re pleased to find support for Power Delivery, but do note that it’s only up to 18W, and therefore not likely to be sufficient to charge a USB-C laptop. Still, for quick-charging a phone or tablet, this is a useful device.

A full-size USB output that uses Anker’s PowerIQ smarter charging algorithm is joined by a USB-C port that is both input and output. On top is a power button with four integrated LEDs that reveal remaining capacity, and you can use this to enter a trickle-charging mode suitable for smartwatches and earbuds.

A USB-C to USB-C cable and soft mesh carry case are provided in the box, which is a nice touch.

Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless – Best Wireless Power Bank

The Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless is a Qi wireless charger with a special feature: you can use it as a portable power bank, too, which can be super handy.

You can use it at home or work plugged in, and carry it around with you for wired or wireless charging when you are away from a power socket. Because it’s wireless, there’s no need to carry a cable around with you.

As the name suggests, the PowerCore III 10K has a decent sized 10,000mAh battery, which should offer at least three charges from the power bank before it needs recharging itself.

power, bank

The wireless charger is rated at 10W. Place your device on the centre of the circle. We didn’t find the placement too sensitive, as some wireless chargers can be. It’s not auto-start, though – as a power bank it requires you to push the button first.

You can also charge from the two USB-A ports at one end – at a total of 18W, so charging two or three (one wireless, two wired) devices will split that power output.

Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K – Best MagSafe Power Bank

This portable wireless charger is one of the best accessories you can get for your iPhone.

In essence, it’s a 5,000mAh palm-sized power bank that will charge your compatible iPhone simply by snapping it onto the back with MagSafe.

It works through some cases, charges over USB-C, comes in a range of colours and, even if you don’t have MagSafe, can be used to charge almost anything via cable.

A handy set of LEDs indicates how much charge the PowerCore has remaining.

Moshi IonGo 5K Duo – Best Design

It’s expensive, but you’ll pay out for the IonGo 5K Duo from Moshi if style is as important to you as is functionality.

Almost identical in design to the IonGo 5K before it, but here with both USB-C and Lightning cables built-in (hence the name Duo), the Moshi is an undeniably cool-looking power bank that comes tucked away inside a vegan-friendly soft leather case with a magnetic clasp and an anodised aluminium faceplate.

The additional cable means it’s now suited to Android as well as iPhone users, although as before this is Made For iPhone-certified.

This is a truly premium device with a colossal 10-year warranty going a long way to account for its higher asking price. It’s also possibly the dinkiest 5,000mAh power bank we’ve seen, suggesting there are some serious high-tech components inside.

At this capacity, expect a full charge for any Android phone, and potentially two for iPhone. Moshi claims the bank will also retain that power for up to 27 months when left unused.

Charging is up to 15W over USB-C and 12W over Lightning. Use Lightning and USB-C together and you’ll see slightly slower charging speeds, with a max total output of 3.4A (17W).

You can also use the USB-C cable for recharging the bank, again up to 15W. Better still, the Moshi supports passthrough charging, allowing you to charge both it and a connected device at once, but given that there’s no separate input here that’s going to work only with iPhone.

The Duo is currently out of stock at Amazon, but you can still pick up the iPhone model.

Chargeasap Flash Pro / Flash Pro Plus – Fastest Charging Power Bank

  • Unbeatable recharging speed
  • High-capacity (25,000mAh)
  • Range of outputs
  • 5-year lifespan
  • Expensive
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Attracts fingerprints
  • No charger or cable supplied

These graphene-composite power banks are able to charge cooler than ordinary lithium-polymer batteries, and thus can do significantly faster: you’ll get to 80% of these 25,000mAh batteries in just 45 minutes.

In addition to this there is a healthy smattering of ports, with three USB-Cs running at 100W, 60W and 20W, a 50W USB-A that supports Quick Charge 3.0 and SVOOC, plus wireless charging. You get a 15W MagSafe pad and a 5W Apple Watch charger in the Flash Pro Plus, and a 15W Qi charger in the Flash Pro.

Down sides include an expensive price tag, and a bulky, heavy design, but for sheer performance and functionality the Chargeasap banks are among the most capable we’ve ever tested.

FAQ

What capacity power bank do I need?

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a 3,000mAh power bank will give your 3,000mAh battery smartphone a full charge, and that a 9,000mAh power bank will charge it three times. No portable charger runs at 100% efficiency. In truth, most average between 60- and 70%, with the best-performing models able to reach 80- or 90%. Wireless charging models may be less efficient still.

To work out what capacity bank you need, first check the spec of the device you want to charge to find out its battery capacity, then decide how many times you want to be able to charge it. For a rough estimate, calculate Connected device battery capacity x Number of recharges x 1.6 = Minimum power bank capacity you should look to buy.

As a rule of thumb, a 5,000mAh bank is a single-charge device, 10,000mAh hits the sweet spot between capacity and portability, and you want to look for closer to 20,000mAh for a laptop. We’ve got some of those high-capacity power banks here – just don’t try to stuff any of them in your !

How long does it take to recharge a power bank?

The time required to recharge a power bank will depend on its capacity, what you are using to recharge its battery and whether or not it’s empty.

For the fastest charging you should look to the new breed of power banks that support graphene technology and charge over a DC input (such as the Chargeasap Flash Pro – a 25,000mAh bank that can get to 80% in 45 mins and 100% in 70 mins), but these tend to be pricey.

For mainstream power banks, the fastest you’ll find is a USB-C inout/output that supports Power Delivery. This standard now goes up to a maximum of 240W, but in portable chargers you should expect to find an 18W port. Using such a port, the average 10,000mAh power bank might recharge in 2-3 hours from empty.

The cheapest models still tend to charge over Micro-USB, usually at around 10-12W. Avoid 5W power banks like the plague unless they are very low in capacity or you’re not in a rush.

What is passthrough charging?

Passthrough charging allows you to simultaneously charge devices connected to a power bank and the power bank itself. It’s a very handy solution if you are short on mains power outlets and need to get multiple devices charged up overnight, for example. However, not all power banks support it, so be sure to check the spec of your portable charger before you buy.

How do I know how much power is left in my power bank?

Assuming you know how much capacity it had when full, you can work out how much power remains either through a series of LEDs on the casing (usually activated by plugging in a device to charge or pressing a button on the side), or via the LCD if your power bank supports one. LCDs are preferrable, because they give a more accurate readout, particularly when it comes to higher-capacity power banks.

What are GaN power banks?

GaN is short for gallium nitride. It requires fewer components than traditional silicone chargers, which means power banks that use the technology can be less bulky and more efficient. If portability is your primary concern, then as well as considering the power bank’s capacity you should also look for one that uses GaN.

What charging speed should I look for in a power bank?

The first power banks on to the market ran at 5W, which is the same speed as the original iPhone chargers (aka slllllloooooowwwww). We wouldn’t recommend anything below 10W these days. This speed is known as ‘fast charging’, and it’s still rather common in cheaper models, but it’s not really the fast charging we’ve become accustomed to today. So many of the latest smartphones now support super-fast wired charging, and it seems crazy not to buy a portable charger that supports that top speed if possible.

The standard your phone uses to achieve its top charging speeds is important here. Some have proprietary technologies that work only with accessories manufactured and sold by that company. Some offer fast charging through Quick Charge or Power Delivery. Some support neither Quick Charge nor Power Delivery, but do support protocols such as PPS (Programmable Power Supply) or SCP (Super Charge Protocol). Make sure the portable charger you buy matches the fast charging standard supported by your phone.

The term Power Delivery does not in itself denote a performance rating. It could be capable of delivering anything between 18W and 240W. This is particularly important if you’re looking to charge a USB-C laptop – anything under 30W won’t cut it, many laptops will refuse to play ball below 45W or even 60W, and some larger laptops might require 90W. You will need to check the spec of your laptop to know what speed it requires.

At the other end of the scale, if you need to charge a low-power device such as a smartwatch or a pair of wireless earbuds, look out for a power bank that is certified for low-power devices. Many of those that are not will simply cut out when you try to charge these devices, because they aren’t able to detect a significant drain on the battery.

Power bank manufacturers rarely provide the speed of their outputs in watts. Instead you’ll see a rating in amps, which you multiply by the voltage rating (usually five) to get the rating in watts. So 2A x 5V = 10W.

What is Power Delivery?

USB-C and USB PD are often confused, but the important thing to remember is that USB-C is a reversible connection type, while USB PD is a power delivery specification, overseen by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) and often expressed simply as ‘PD’. With version 3.1 of the specification, Power Delivery is able to carry up to 240W of power plus data over USB-C (previously limited to 100W), but devices that support Power Delivery can range from 18W right up to 240W.

What is Quick Charge?

Quick Charge is a Qualcomm fast-charging protocol that runs on the Snapdragon processors we see inside many smartphones, hence it has become commonplace in the mobile market.

The latest version is Quick Charge 5, which operates at up to 100W and supports USB PD PPS. However, while they are often seen together, Quick Charge and Power Delivery are not the same thing.

Quick Charge 5 is a massive jump up from Quick Charge 4/4, more efficient and able to run cooler and safer, and Qualcomm says it can get a device to 50% in just 5 mins. It is backwards-compatible with earlier versions of the protocol, including 18W Quick Charge 2/3, which are still very common in power banks.

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Which outputs should I look for in a power bank?

The type and number of outputs you will need on a power bank depends entirely on what device or devices you want to charge. Pretty much all power banks have a full-size USB output that you can use to plug in your own cable, but it’s not always going to be the fastest way to deliver a charge to your device. You’ll also find USB-C and Lightning outputs, magnetic wireless charging pads and AC outlets if you shop around. Some power banks even have built-in cables to stop you needing to carry around your own, though you will still need one handy to recharge the power bank itself.

Why is the maximum output of a power bank important?

Some power banks have multiple outputs for charging your connected devices, but few power banks are able to simultaneously support all of them at the top advertised speed. Watch out for those that have a lower maximum output than the sum of all ports together. Also be wary of those that have multiple outputs but a very low capacity – these aren’t really designed for plugging in multiple devices, only to be versatile.

What happens when my power bank is more powerful than my connected device?

There is no need to worry about plugging devices into ports that are capable of delivering more power than the device is able to accept, since USB devices will draw only the power they need. Many power banks include technology that is able to intelligently dole out this power among ports more appropriately, depending on what devices you are attempting to charge (often known as Power IQ or similar).

Can I take a power bank on a plane?

Yes, but it must be in your hand luggage, and if it is higher in capacity than 27,000mAh (100Wh) you will need to check with the airline before flying. Make sure you take it out your bag as you pass through security. If a power bank is damaged then it will not be allowed on the plane as it could become a safety hazard. You should also ensure the specifications are clearly printed on the side of its case, as is the norm.

We’ve put together a range of articles to help you choose the best charging tech for the mobile devices you carry everywhere. You’ll also like:

  • For charging away from home:Power banks for laptops | Travel adaptors
  • Best Wall Desktop Chargers:For phones tablets | For laptops
  • For convenience:Best wireless chargers
  • Best charging cables:Micro-USB | USB-C | Lightning

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