Battery Power Banks- Are They Actually Useful?
There will inevitably be situations where your tech runs out of juice when you're out and about. Is there a feasible solution for this? The answer is yes, and no. The best way to prevent a dead battery is actually prepping in advance. Making sure that your device/s are fully charged, bringing charged spare batteries (if this is possible), planning for potential possibilities of a quick top up during breaks, when driving, etc. Battery packs, or power banks, are another possible option when it's not possible to access a charger.
So basically, a power bank is just a giant battery which you plug your device into, and it charges the device's battery. They vary in capacity, charging speed, as well as the number of devices they can charge at the same time. In general, the bigger the capacity, the bigger and heavier they are. This sometimes can be a nuisance, so getting the balance right is important. And it's also really important to get a good quality power bank, one which is able to retain its charge, both in the immediate term (ie. without the battery draining between charging at home and actually using it when you're out) and longer term (ie. the battery charge doesn't degrade after months of repeated use).
Purchasing the right configuration of power bank for your needs will solve all of your battery issues right? Well, not exactly. Power banks, in practical terms, are most useful when you can't get access to a wall charger on a break, and you just plug the device into it, just like a power brick. It is less useful when you're using the device whilst you're charging it, unless you can just rest the device somewhere as you use it. Having a corded battery dangling out of a phone is cumbersome, but it's even more problematic if you're using a camera, like a GoPro. For starters, it makes the camera unwieldy, and second, in the case of a GoPro, having the charging door open negates the waterproof capabilities of the camera. And don't forget that charging a device takes time, and we're talking not a few minutes, but an hour or more.
So yes, a power bank is useful, and may save you from a dead device, but it's not a panacea. Just remember that when you're thinking of buying one. Happy creating!
Until next time,