We try a lot of things in Alaska in the wilderness and portable power is a top priority in remote life. We believe it is important as our Smartphone Computers are essential to our daily life now. (Try leaving it at home tomorrow)
Smartphone battery cases and portable external battery packs are popular cell phone accessories for people on the go. While battery life improves with each new smartphone, for people who have to go long periods before they can charge their phones, having easy access to a charger is critical.
How Much Do You Use Your Phone?
According to Counterpoint Research one in four smartphone owners using their device for more than seven hours a day, it’s easy to lose charge unexpectedly, especially if your phone is getting older.
Being able to charge your phone whenever you need to can also be a timesaver. There are few things as frustrating as losing charge on your phone while you’re talking to a business connection or trying to find your way to a new store.
For frequent travelers, it also can be difficult to have easy access to a reliable, safe charger. While many public places like airports often have a public charging station, you might want to think twice before using it. Experts warn that public charging stations can also be a way for hackers to upload a virus to your phone.
Smart Ways To Charge Your Smartphone Battery
In our article “Safe Ways To Charge Your Smartphone Battery“ we discuss all of the safe ways available to charge your smartphone battery.
If you find that your phone is often running critically low before you can charge it, this pattern could be harmful to your phone’s battery. Lithium-ion batteries, like those used in smartphones, wear out faster if they frequently lose all of their batteries charge.
These types of batteries do best when they are kept within 50 to 80 percent charged. So if you run your battery down frequently, you may want to find a portable battery solution.
Fortunately, people who need to keep extra battery power with them to ensure their phone doesn’t lose its charge at the wrong time have options.
Portable Options for Charging Your Smartphone
Continually using your smartphone throughout the day can wear a battery down quickly, which is stressful when you’re not near a safe outlet. Thankfully, you can bring extra battery power with you to keep your phone charged no matter where you are.
Two popular portable charging options are:
These are cell phone cases that have a built-in battery and connector. Battery cases are designed to remain on your phone at all times, like any cell phone case. But, these cases also hold an extra battery that you hook into your phone. Many of these cases charge your phone through a Micro-USB port. They typically have a visual indicator that lets you know how much battery charge the case has available.
A battery pack is a portable external battery that you can carry with you. These packs are often equipped with one or more USB ports. One nice aspect of a portable external battery is that as long as you have the right cable, you can charge any mobile device, not just your phone.
These devices allow you to charge your phone anytime and anywhere. But which is better—a portable external battery pack or a battery case?
Should You Get a Smartphone Charging Case?
You may have seen a battery case before. Many battery cases have a distinctive bump on the back of the case where the extra battery is located.
Advantages of a Charging Case
Since most people purchase a case to protect their smartphone, a case that also charges your phone is a convenient solution for anyone who finds themselves running low on battery regularly.
An advantage of a charging case is that you’ll never run off without it since it will always be on your phone.
Also, these cases are easy to keep charged. When you charge your phone at an outlet, it will also charge your battery case. Therefore, you’ll end up with both devices fully-charged. This is perfect for people who otherwise might forget to charge a separate portable battery.
Disadvantages of a Charging Case
The main disadvantage of a charging case is that it adds bulk to your phone. If you carry your phone in your pocket, the size and extra weight that a charging case, as compared to a regular cell phone case, maybe awkward. Some people report that the extra bump of the case makes it harder to get their phone in and out of their pocket easily.
However, recently, there have been some newer charging cases that have a more sleek and slim profile. Therefore, it may be possible to find a charging case that doesn’t add as much bulk as older charging case models. However, be sure that you buy a case that has a powerful enough battery for your needs. A case with a sleeker profile may not have as much battery power as a thicker charging case.
Also, if you upgrade your phone every few years, you will need to buy a new charging case each time you get a new phone.
Lastly, while there are different charging cases available on the market, you won’t have as many decorative options as if you’re buying a non-charging case. If the style of the case is important to you, then you may need to keep that in consideration.
Is a Battery Charging Cases Safe?
Although battery charging cases are convenient, are they safe for your smartphone?
One concern is whether the continual charging of your phone causes your phone’s battery to degrade faster. However, lithium-ion batteries naturally degrade over time. Additionally, the rate that a lithium-ion battery degrades will vary due to multiple factors, including how often your phone’s battery goes to zero charge.
Additionally, today’s Smartphones are designed to regulate their charging cycles. They will stop charging when the battery is full. Overall, experts agree that leaving your phone plugged into the charging case won’t lead to overcharging.
Another common question is whether a battery charging case causes a phone to overheat. According to Apple, their battery case may cause iPhones to become a little warmer when charging. Added warmth when charging is common, regardless of whether you use a charging case or not.
No matter what case you use, if your phone is getting too hot, try taking your phone out of your case to allow it to cool down. Be sure your charger is not located in a place that receives a lot of direct sunlight, or that is near a heat source. Move your charging station to a cooler situation if necessary.
Overall, Battery Charging Cases are Safe.
What to Look For In a Battery Charging Case
When shopping for a battery charging case, there is more to consider than the capacity of the battery. Be sure to find a smartphone case that:
- Fits comfortably in your pocket, bag, or purse, so it is convenient to use,
- Has charging features you want such as wireless charging or quick charging abilities,
- Has a battery that is compatible with your smartphone and has MFi certification if you use an iPhone,
- It has good drop protection.
Should You Get an External Battery Pack?
External battery packs are a convenient way to charge your phone when you’re on the go. Most battery packs charge devices using a Micro-USB cable. Having portable power helps ensure you won’t have to put your phone into low power mode or have it lose charge completely.
Advantages of External Battery Packs
The main advantage of portable battery packs is how versatile they are. A battery pack not only charges your phone but can charge other small electronics or accessories like Bluetooth headphones that are compatible with the battery pack. This battery pack advantage is a plus for anyone who is traveling or keeps a variety of electronic devices with them most days.
Some portable packs have more than one USB port allowing you to charge multiple devices at a time and this can be a huge time saver.
You also can save the day for friends or colleagues whose phone or other mobile device needs more power.
Often, battery packs have more capacity or battery power than battery cases, which is helpful, especially if you’re using it to charge multiple devices.
Lastly, portable battery packs come in multiple sizes and with a varying number of USB ports. Therefore, you can find the type of battery pack that best fits your needs.
Disadvantages of External Battery Packs
Unlike a smartphone battery case, you have to remember to bring the external battery pack with you consciously. For some people, having one more thing to grab in the morning as they head out can be a problem.
You also need to remember to charge the battery pack. If you keep your battery pack in a bag when you’re not using it, you may not remember to charge it. Then, unfortunately, the next time you need to use it, it may not have the charge that you need.
Please see some of our other articles “How to Disinfect Your Smartphone In A COVID 19 Pandemic” and “Smartphone Camera Accessories That Can Help Improve Your Photos.”
What to Look for in an External Battery Pack
A portable battery pack can be great for people who have multiple devices they need to charge on the go. If you’re thinking of purchasing a battery pack, keep in mind:
- What types of devices you want to use it with so you can find a battery pack that is compatible with your different electronics,
- The number of USB ports that you’d like to have, especially if you want to be able to charge multiple devices at once,
- The size you need, which may depend on whether you plan to store it in a bag or a pocket.
Having Extra Battery Power Helps You When You’re On the Go
We rely on our smartphones for assistance with everyday tasks, and having our phone run out of battery is not an option. Plus, using your phone until it loses power isn’t healthy for the battery. So, if you’re someone who doesn’t have the opportunity to charge your phone or other electronic devices during the day, having an extra battery power source with you can be critical.
The type of portable battery source you use largely depends on your needs. If you typically only need to charge your smartphone and don’t want to have to carry (or remember to bring) additional items each day, then a smartphone charging case may be the right solution for you.
However, if you often need to charge a variety of devices on the go or only need an extra boost of power occasionally, then an external battery pack may work best for you.
Regardless of the solution you choose, be sure to select a quality product that is compatible with your smartphone and other devices, if applicable.