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Comparing battery power banks

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The pace of incremental advancement and innovation in the tech we use is nothing short of incredible - except perhaps in one area.

Compared with most other hardware, the batteries in our gadgets are in effect the same as those from several product generations ago.

While there's a lot of research into the next wave of battery tech, lithium ion remains almost at a standstill in our smartphones, tablets, cameras and notebooks.

battery back up

Not to be confused with nickel metal hydride (used in rechargeable AA and AAAs), lithium ion batteries don't have a "memory effect", which is handy.

To get the most out of them, don't always do full discharges (hovering between 40%-80% is a good rule of thumb), try to keep them cool and don't overcharge them.

But what if they don't get you through the day? Fortunately, there's a vast array of battery power banks and add-ons to supplement your built-in battery.

What is it? Comsol Cylinder Power Bank How much? $15 Pros: For just $15, your phone never needs to run flat again. Admittedly, 2200mAh isn't a lot of power (roughly about one charge of a smartphone if you're lucky), but for very little outlay this tiny USB-stick-sized unit could mean the difference between on and off, which could be a life saver if you're not near a power point. Cons: Budget power banks aren't always the most reliable, and you wouldn't want to go for a smaller capacity than this. comsol.com.au

What is it? Jackery Giant+ How much? $99.95 Pros: Once you step up a little from the ultra-cheapie power banks, there's a bewildering amount of accessories on offer. At 12,000mAh, the Jackery Giant+ offers a sizeable battery capacity, enough to charge an iPhone 6s almost five times. Two ports mean you can charge two devices at once, and there's even a flashlight. Cons: At almost $100, the Giant+ might be more than most people need from their phone topper-upperer.jackery.com.au

What is it? LUXA2 P-MEGA How much? $189 Pros: If you're really serious about charging as much mobile tech as you can away from power points, look no further than the LUXA2 P-MEGA. Billed as the world's largest power charging station, this 41,600mAh beast can charge phones, tablets and digital cameras several times over. You can charge six devices at once - think of the possibilities! Cons: Hefty price and a fairly hefty unit too (about the size of a Rubik's Cube). luxa2.com

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Peter Dockrill is Money's tech expert.
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