If you only use your smartphone to dinosaur way – so just for calls and texts – then 1 full charge might last you the day.
But if you’re the kind who scrolls through Instagram and streams Netflix on the go, then you most probably need a power bank.
Power banks are portable chargers. Think of them like batteries for your smartphone battery: you need to first charge it before bringing it out, and then using a USB cable, use it to charge your smartphone (or whatever ‘dead’ device you have).
Here’s a rough guide on power bank prices in Singapore.
|Power bank capacity||Price range|
|5,000 mAh||$15 to $20+|
|8,000 mAh||$20 to $30+|
|10,000 mAh||$20 to $50|
|15,000 mAh||$50 to $70|
|20,000 mAh & up||$70 & up|
These are quite conservative estimates, based on the more affordable brands (that I will list below). For branded ones like Cygnett and Belkin, you can add at least 20 per cent to the prices.
I drew up the above table using the prices of power banks from places like Challenger, Harvey Norman, Xiaomi and etc. You can most definitely find cheaper, ‘no brand’ ones online, but I find those quite dangerous and would advise against it.
With poorly made ones, you run the risk of them literally blowing up in your pocket. Although power banks are generally considered safe, they can explode when they malfunction.
The branded, more ‘legit’ ones usually come with safety protection features to prevent them from over-charging and short-circuiting, but not the cheap ones.
5 AFFORDABLE POWER BANK BRANDS TO CHECK OUT
The trick is to find the sweet spot – look for something that’s reasonably-priced, yet from a decent, reliable brand. Here are 5 popular power bank brands to try.
BILITONG (BY CHALLENGER) – FROM $10
|Bilitong power bank model||Price range|
|5,000 mAh||$10 (UP $39.90)|
|6,800 mAh||$15 (UP $49.90)|
|6,800 mAh quick charge||$15 (UP $49.90)|
To be honest, I’ve never heard of Bilitong as a brand. I’ve tried Googling it, and I can’t find any information on it. All I know is that the prices are dirt cheap for ValueClub members.
ValueClub is Challenger’s in-store membership. Most people who shop at Challenger have it (well, everyone I know, at least) and a 2-year membership costs $30.
The smallest size is 5,000 mAh, and costs $10. I personally don’t think a 5,000 mAh power bank is worth your time because it only hold enough juice to charge your iPhone XS once fully.
The iPhone XS has a battery capacity of 2,658 mAh, so it would seem like a 5,000 mAh power bank could power it up twice. However, the true capacity of a power bank is usually only about 2/3 of the stated capacity.
VALUECLUB (BY CHALLENGER) – FROM $15
|ValueClub power bank model||Price|
|8,000 mAh||$15 (UP $49.90)|
|10,000 mAh||$24.90 (UP $49.90)|
The ValueClub power bank models seem slightly more premium, also still on the ‘budget buy’ side. ValueClub focuses on really more affordable gadgets, so as expected, they don’t have power banks bigger than 10,000 mAh capacity.
Their most expensive one is the 10,000 mAh one, which is only $24.90. The 8,000 mAh one is only slightly smaller yet dramatically cheaper ($15), so I would go for that instead.
I’ve actually personally bought it and it served me well for many years, so it’s a real steal in my opinion.
As with Bilitong, you need to be a ValueClub member to enjoy these prices.
PLG (BY CHALLENGER) – FROM $16.20
|PLG power bank model||Price range|
|8,000 mAh||$16.20 ($18)|
|10,000 mAh||$22.50 (UP $25)|
Yet another cheap brand from Challenger is PLG. Prices start at just $16.20 for the 8,000 mAh one, which is really reasonable. The good thing about PLG is that although the above prices are discounted for ValueClub members, the original prices for non-members are not that much more.
$25 for a 10,000 mAh power bank is really quite a good deal.
XIAOMI POWER BANKS – FROM $16.50
|Xiaomi power bank model||Price|
|5,000 mAh power bank 2||$16.50|
|3,250 mAh Mi power bank flashlight||$19.90|
|10,000 mAh Mi power bank 2S||$28.80|
|20,000 mAh power bank 2C||$48.90|
|10,000 mAh power bank pro||$52|
If you don’t have a Challenger membership, Xiaomi is your next best bet – they’re known for selling good yet affordable power banks.
The smallest size is 5,000 mAh, and costs $16.50. But as stated above, 5,000 mAh is hardly ever worth it.
Instead, the most popular size is the 10,000 mAh one, which is $28.80. The pro version is almost double the price, but is only slightly sleeker. Both support fast charging.
MINISO POWER BANKS – FROM $24.90
|Miniso power bank model||Price|
|7,500 mAh Miniso power bank (aluminium)||$24.90|
|10,000 mAh Miniso power bank (ultra thin polymer)||$26.90|
|6,000 mAh We Bare Bears power bank||$26.90|
|10,000 mAh Miniso power bank||$29.90|
|10,000 mAh MOOMIN power bank||$29.90|
|10,000 mAh quick charge power bank||$32.90|
|20,000 mAh Miniso power bank||$45.90|
I’ve also found quite affordable power banks at budget lifestyle chain, Miniso. They’re not really an electronics brand so I can’t speak for the actual quality of the power banks, but considering they have some sort of brand, their prices are quite cheap.
The 10,000 mAh one is $29.90, which is even cheaper than Xiaomi. Their most popular ones are from the We Bare Bears and MOOMIN character series, but those are slightly more expensive.
The We Bare Bears one is $26.90 for 6,000 mAh, while the MOOMIN one is $29.90 for 10,000 mAh.
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