Chapter in this post:
I recently sat in a waiting room and, due to the limited selection of literature, ended up with a magazine that I normally don't read: Computer Bild. As you can see from the name, this is an offshoot of the Bild newspaper, in which the journalists are compelled to give their best on various computer topics in casual youthful language. The superficiality that one is used to from the big brother can also be found in Computer Bild, but every now and then there are obviously interesting articles.
In this issue (01/2019) there was a test of power banks that interested me simply because I use such devices almost every day. And since this test was actually measured and not just chanted, I thought the results could be presented here.
The first limitation in the test is of course the choice. Here the editors have agreed on 24 power banks from three different capacity classes. The ranges of 5.000, 10.000 and 20.000 milliamps were roughly covered for the capacity levels. And that is the first point of criticism that the testers rightly criticize: The manufacturers of the power banks do not specify the amount of electricity that can be drawn, but the amount that is necessary to charge the batteries. However, this is of secondary importance for the consumer, because ultimately they are interested in how much electricity they get to charge their smartphone or tablet.
The second point of criticism is that the specification is in mAh, which is also an inaccuracy, because the specification of the amount of energy in Wh is physically much more meaningful than the specification in mAh, since this unit does not include the voltage. After all, the watt hours are stated in the technical specifications of some power bank models, which is a first step.
At the test festival you will find battery packs from Aukey, Ansmann, GP International, Hama, Anker, Realpower, Verbatim, Intenso, Terratec, Belkin, EasyAcc, Revolt and PNY. Personally, I would have liked Zendure as a manufacturer, because I would like to use these power banks (see test of the A2 and A8) I'm absolutely thrilled, but even so the test field is nicely mixed and contains some cheap brands as well as some from the more expensive range.
For Apple users, it is practical if you can charge your power bank with the cable that you also use to supply the iPhone and iPad with power. In the entire test field, however, only one power bank supports this: the Aukey PB-Y17, which even became the test winner among the power banks with 5000 mAh.
Unfortunately this power bank is no longer available. Personally, because of the upcoming port switch at Apple from Lightning to USB-C, I would prefer a USB-C battery with Power Delivery. A good candidate that comes to mind is that Anker PowerCore 10000 PD. This can even be charged via USB-C PD, which significantly speeds up charging with the right power supply unit.
In addition to the performance data, the test also rated how conveniently charging the battery itself works. An important feature is that the power bank can be charged via USB-C. This enables the battery to be charged faster from a laptop or tablet using a more powerful power supply than would be possible via a micro-USB port.
The ability to charge the power bank while you are charging mobile devices is also an important point that comes into play, for example, when traveling. Here it can happen that you arrive at the hotel in the evening with an empty iPhone AND an empty power bank. Then it is good if you can use the load-through function to charge all devices at the same time.
The test winners in the Computer Bild test do not support all of these two features, which is why I wrote it below for the devices.
My recommendation for this question is roughly this list:
The Computer Bild editorial team determined the test winners in the capacity classes 5.000 mAh, 10.000 mAh and 20.000 mAh. I will briefly introduce you to the three best additional batteries from all three categories. I do not want to give a more precise explanation with details of how long each battery charges, which capacity was measured and which features the batteries have in detail. That would go beyond the scope of the article. You can find the details and current prices by clicking on the products below. I have linked them directly to Amazon so that you can also read the customer reviews there.
What is noticeable during the test: Ansmann has a product in the top 3 in all capacity sizes. This shows that Ansmann is on the right track with both the technology and the operating concept. Ansmann is not always in first place when it comes to the maximum power that the power bank delivers, but in my tests neither the iPad Pro nor the iPhone XS draw as much power as the power banks provide. As a result, there is no loss of loading speed in practice. In my opinion, the maximum available power is significantly less important than many other reports seem.
Perhaps another tip from my experience: Instead of buying a 10.000 mAh power bank, a small 5.000 AND a 20.000 power bank is a combination that is much more practical. Most of the time I have the small power bank with me for day trips and longer hikes and the large power bank with me on holidays lasting several days. At home, the large power bank is often used by my children when they are playing with the iPads on the sofa. A 10.000 power bank would be emptied too quickly.
To be honest, I am already flirting with a 50.000 mAh power bank so that you don't have to recharge the power bank immediately after charging the iPad twice. But here I am still looking for a good device, as the selection is unfortunately very manageable. When the time comes that I've peeked out a device, I'll be sure to write a post about it. ;-)
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.
The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de