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3 secrets to buying a smartphone battery pack

3 secrets to buying a smartphone battery pack
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Your smartphone is always close at hand. You use it to talk to friends, play games, listen to music, follow turn-by-turn GPS directions, and so much more. Which is why it's so frustrating when your battery dies. Not to mention when it dies and you have no way to recharge it.

Smartphones have a short battery life of about one day. If you frequently use battery draining apps it could last even less than a day. Are you tired of seeing that dreaded low-battery alert pop up at inconvenient times? You should consider purchasing an external smartphone battery pack.

These handy battery packs are fairly cheap, durable, and can be real life-savers. They vary in battery capacity, amps, built-in charging cables, and size. It's hard to go wrong with an extra battery pack. However, there are some factors that can help you pick the right one for you.

Let us take the guesswork out of your purchase. Here are the three secrets you need to know about battery packs.

Make sure amp count is over two

Chances are you don't want to wait all day for your phone to charge, so pay close attention to amp count. Amp count is the most important number to remember because it measures how fast the battery is charging. Look for labeling that is a specific number (such as 2.4) or says something along the lines of "fast charging".

Know your battery capacity

Capacity is related to the physical size of your phone's battery back. Very large phones like the iPhone 6s Plus or Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge have a much bigger capacity than say, the iPhone 5. Determine how many times a day you'll want to charge your phone. If it's just for emergencies, stick to a manageable pocket-sized pack. If you're planning to recharge multiple times a day and share the pack with your family, shoot for something bigger.

Some of the largest-capacity battery packs can handle up to 16,750 mAH. To put that into perspective, the iPhone 6s Plus has a battery capacity of 2,750 mAH.

Shoot for an all-in-one pack

The downside to an external battery packs is they also need to be recharged. Before you know it, you have to lug around your phone, your external battery pack, your cable to connect your phone to the pack, a wall charger, and another cable to charge your battery pack. How annoying!

Avoid all that hassle by purchasing an external battery pack that has a wall charger built in. They're still relatively inexpensive and, considering how convenient they are, they're worth it. For example, Monoprice makes nice ones with prices staring around $15. Zagg makes one for about $25.

Even if you know all the secrets to extend battery life, it's still good to have an external battery pack handy. You never know when you or someone around you will need it.

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