How many mAh do you need to charge your phone?

Basically, the amount of capacity (mAh) you need to charge a phone depends on the capacity (mAh) of the phone’s battery. Some phone models need more mAh to get charged while others require less.

If you ask any person who is looking to purchase a power bank, the first feature that they’ll mention is the capacity thanks to the common belief that the more the mAh, the bigger is the charging capacity of the device. While this is true, when buying a power bank most buyers ignore is that their advertised capacity is misleading, so they usually get tricked and end up with a power bank that is short of their expectations.

To prevent this from happening to you, we have designed an easy guide so that you can better choose a power bank based on the actual capacity of your smartphone.

Real vs advertised capacity

From a technical point of view, the main reason behind this disparity is represented by power losses; however, we cannot overlook the business-savvy nature of manufacturers, who disguise the real capacity to boost their sales.

To learn in detail about this difference in real and advertised capacity, check our article “Why is there a difference between rated and real battery capacity?

How to calculate the actual capacity before buying a power bank?

As we’ve learned this mismatch of power between smartphones and power banks leads to confusion, which is why it’s not so uncommon to see many users buying power banks that can’t even supply a full charge to their devices.

To avoid this, we’ve stuck to the general rule of thumb of the 2/3 of the power bank’s advertised capacity. This time, using in the following way:

minimum capacity required for 1 charge = smartphone capacity * 1/(2/3) 

minimum capacity required for 1 charge = smartphone capacity * 1.5  

The explanation behind this equation is simple. As we know, the actual capacity of a power bank is close to 2/3, which is the result after the energy lost in the voltage conversion and transfer. Although the advertised capacity of the power bank is unknown to us, we do know the battery size of our smartphone.

In this sense, we need to look for a power bank that outputs this value, so this number should make up for the 1/3 loss in the transfer and voltage conversion. For this reason, we use the multiplicative inverse of 2/3 or 0.666, which in this case is 1.5.

This indicates that the power bank needs to be 1.5 bigger in capacity than the one of our smartphone.

Should you want to calculate how many mAh the power bank needs to have to supply more than 1 charge, let’s say 2 or 3, simply multiply the result of the first equation by the number of times, as this next equation shows:

minimum capacity required for X charges = smartphone capacity *  1.5  * X

How many mAh to charge iPhone smartphones?

The following table contains all the iPhone models released since 2017.

In case you still own an iPhone 6, just make sure to find the battery capacity and use our formula to do the corresponding calculation.

How many mAh to charge Samsung smartphones?

Likewise, the following is a table with the most popular and latest Samsung models.

As seen, just as the iPhone list, this one contains only models from 2017 onwards and leaves out many other models, including the J and M series. On top of that, as dynamic Samsung is, we can only expect more new releases in the upcoming months. So, if your model is new or has not been listed, check its battery size and then do the math using the formula previously explained.

How many mAh to charge Google Pixel smartphones?

Lastly, here’s the table with all the Google Pixel smartphone models so far on the market.

Smartphone Model Pone battery capacity Power bank capacity for 1 charge Power bank capacity for 2 charges
Google Pixel 4 XL 3700 mAh 5550 mAh 11100 mAh
Google Pixel 4 2800 mAh 4200 mAh 8400 mAh
Google Pixel 3a XL 3700 mAh 5550 mAh 11100 mAh
Google Pixel 3a 3000 mAh 4500 mAh 9000 mAh
Google Pixel 3 XL 3430 mAh 5145 mAh 10290 mAh
Google Pixel 3 2915 mAh 4372.5‬ mAh 8745 mAh
Google Pixel 2 XL 3520 mAh 5280 mAh 10560 mAh
Google Pixel 2 2700 mAh 4050 mAh 8100 mAh
Google Pixel XL 3450 mAh 5175 mAh 10350‬ mAh
Google Pixel 2770 mAh 4155 mAh 8310 mAh

Finding the right power bank for your cellphone

As seen in tables, the values are estimations, so it’s highly unlikely to find a power bank that matches that exact number. Therefore, what we advise is to choose a power bank with a capacity that is slightly bigger than the one the table indicates. This way, you can ensure you’ll have a power bank capable of recharging your smartphone a certain number of times.

For example, if you’re looking for a power bank with enough power to charge your at least two times, you should then pick one with a capacity of over 12000 mAh. Thus, we found that the 3-in-1 hybird portal charger is able to do so satisfactorily.

So, you must be asking how we found the right charger. A simple but useful tool in which you can specify the capacity, as other as other important features such as the number of ports and charging technology.

Final Thoughts

Despite false claims by manufacturers, choosing a suitable power bank for your smartphone has never been this easy, as it is with this helpful guide.

However, focusing exclusively on capacity is not ideal, as you can end up choosing a power bank that does not work at all with your phone or that charges it slowly. Thus, pay close attention to other important elements when picking the most suitable power bank, such as the charging technology and compatible ports.

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