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How to Choose the Right Portable Battery Charger

Happiness is a fully charged battery. Of course, if you travel regularly, you know just how quickly your phone, tablet, mobile hotspot, and other gear can run out of juice. That's why it is considered to be essential to pack a portable charger, which lets you extend your runtimes without having to seek out an AC outlet (or put extra strain on your laptop by siphoning power from its USB ports).

But what kind of portable charger should you choose? They come in all shapes in sizes, with price tags to match. You may want something lightweight and inexpensive, but that's no good if it won't charge your most essential devices. So how can you pick the ideal juice-box for your carry-on?

It's all about math. A rechargeable battery's capacity is usually measured in milliamperes (mAh). For example, a Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a 2,100mAh battery, while the iPhone 5 relies on a 1,440mAh cell. It stands to reason, then, that any portable charger you buy should have at least as much capacity as your smartphone. That way you can fully recharge it from a fully drained state.

Now, let's say you're also packing a Kindle Fire HD. And a Bluetooth speaker. The former boasts a beefy 4,400mAh battery, while the latter might use a 1,500mAh cell. Assuming you'd want to be able to recharge all three devices, you'd need a charger with an 8,000mAh battery.

Information courtesy of an article on

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