Portable chargers are a great invention that allow mobile phone and device users to take the “power” with them. Before the portable charger was invented, you had to charge your devices through the AC in your home or charge it “on the go” in your car.
Who Invented the First Portable Charger?
A threesome of tech nerds: David Wilkins, Jose Acosta, and Julian Sanchez invented the very first portable charge in 2013. So this technology is relatively new.
How a Portable Charger Works
Portable chargers (also known as portable power banks) are really nothing more than a portable battery housed in a case that will allow the user to carry the power around with them. The case has a special circuit that allows you to store electric energy until you are ready to charge your device up. Then the energy is just transferred from your power bank to your phone or another mobile device.
How the Technology is Changing
At first, external power banks were fairly slow. They used a standard USB 2.0 connection, the power bank was around 5000-10000 mAh (a unit of measurement capable of powering a smartphone for around 50 hours of use). But it took a long time to charge it up. That makes sense because you are transferring a lot of power from the power bank to the device to use later.
Now that this technology has had time to evolve, portable chargers are much faster than they used to be. Some of the reasons for this are listed below:
- Increased mAh storage capabilities in the power bank itself
- Increased speed in charging portable devices using turbocharging capabilities in some units
- Addition of USB 3.0, which is much faster than the traditional 2.0, thereby increasing the speed of both the charging of portable devices and the power bank itself
The Weakest Link
Like in any technology, an invention is only as good as its weakest link. Now that the technology has increased in speed and improved in so many ways by adding hours to your cellphone charge capability, and other ways, it is important to note how to get the most out of your portable charger.
For example, using a turbo (fast) charger is great, but if you use a standard USB 2.0 cord, you will not see a substantial difference in the charging time. Instead, invest in a 3.0 charger cord. These cords have the same fast-charging capability to draw power from your power bank as your power bank has to hold the charge. This increases both the power bank capability and the transfer “link” (cord) itself. If either of these is not up to speed, your charge time will still lag.
Tips for Avoiding Downtime
It’s a good idea to always charge your phone or another device up fully each night while you are sleeping. That way, it has plenty of power for the next day that should last you most of the day. But, if you’re like me, and your phone is almost always on, LCD screen cranked up to high, and apps running, it is going to run down much faster. Remember, charging your phone with a portable power charger does not mean that it will hold a charge longer than using traditional technologies.
The mAh refers to the amount of power that can be held in the power bank until you are ready to charge with it, not the amount of power your phone will hold once it has been charged with a power bank. That is an important distinction to make.
One More Thing
“One more thing,” as Columbo used to say as he was leaving the room. It is a good idea to invest in more than one charger. What if you have a power outage and the only charger you have to totally zapped!
Now you not only have a dead phone but a dead charger as well leaving you, well, let’s say “totally ‘in the dark!'”
A little planning is a good idea. I always keep an extra charger in my computer room, one in my bedroom at night to charge overnight, and one in my car in case my phone decides to go out while I’m in the car.
Coming out of the Dark
There’s nothing like a lightning storm and a power outage to remind you to charge your phone. It’s one thing to be in the dark. It’s completely another to be in the dark with no means of communication. Portable chargers certainly help with them. But they have to be charged to work!
Get a second charger and keep your chargers charged up. Your cell phone is part of your security. Don’t get caught without power by making sure all of your chargers are charged back to “full” once you’ve used them and keep them in a place that will help you remember to charge your phone as often as needed.