Sunday, June 8, 2014

Charge It!

I'm not sure whether its that the big iPhone update earlier this year did a tune on batteries or just an indication of how much we've come to rely on mobile, but the hottest promotional item around right now the portable charger for mobile devices. The demand for these is so big at
present that the suppliers are struggling to keep them in stock.

If you're a would-be buyer of chargers for branding purposes, the amount of of choices can be confusing. And inevitably, when any promo item gains popularity - the 'we have the cheapest ones' companies will be out on the internet doing what they do.

One important thing to keep in mind however is that appearances can be deceiving. Not all chargers are alike - in fact there are significant differences in performance and quality that are easy to miss unless you read the fine print (i.e. the specs).

Among the key figures to look at:

Milli amp Hour (mAh) 
This is How you assess battery capacity. Think of it as the gas tank in a car. Not only do chargers have different capacities, so do the devices that they charge, The iPhone 5S for example has a 1560 mAh internal battery while the Samsung Galaxy S4's is 2600 mAh. 

With tablets the differences are even greater. The iPad 1's battery is 6600 mAh for example. The iPad 3's meanwhile is 11,560! 

Other Factors-

Input Current- How quickly a charger charges itself.  The lower the number, the longer it takes.
Output Current-  How quickly a charger charges a connected device.  A charger with a 1 Amp output will charge an iPhone at the same rate as the phone's wall charger.  But it won't come close to charging an iPad which requires a 2.1 Amp output.

UL/ETL Certification- Last year there were reports of people being shocked and fires even being caused by some low-end generic chargers.  UL/ETL certification comes from independent laboratories that ensure that the chargers are safe to use. Pay particular attention to this certification when buying from anyone stating 'we have the cheapest chargers'. If it's not there, you're putting your brand needlessly at risk.

Here are 3 solid choices in the 3 main price categories:


Slim and easy to carry, this charger also packs a punch -the 2,200 mAh internal battery can fully charge an iPhone and its 1A output means it charges at the same rate as the iPhone's wall charger. Price range: $13.00+

Zoom Mini
Another diminutive charger that really packs a wallop.  It fits in a pocket, but the 2800 mAH battery will fully charge all smart phones and at the same time its 2.1 Amp output speed ensures that it will put a decent (though not full) charge on a tablet.  It charges itself in 2-3 hours and will hold a charge for 900 hours - over a month,of standby time.  Also takes a full color imprint.  Price Range: $38.00+

Zoom Energy
Small and compact but this 8,400 mAh Li-Ion battery device is powerful enough to charge all generations of iPad, Kindle and other Tablet/eReader Devices. It can also charge 2 Smartphones at once because it has two USB outputs.  Plus it's "Zoom" charging technology allows you to charge at an output speed up to 2.1 Amps, so you can quickly keep all of your mobile devices operational. It fully charges in 4.5 hours and will hold its charge for 900 hours. Price Range: $95.00