March 15, 2017
A Foolproof Guide to mAh Battery Life
mAh Battery Life
mAh is a term you will run across again and again when you begin analyzing the respective battery capacities of a variety of small battery operated devices. Despite its relative ubiquity within the sphere of battery capacity, many consumers do not fully understand what mAh represents and what it means to them in their search for the right capacity battery to meet their needs. mAh is an abbreviation for milliampere hours, which is a unit of electric charge used to denote the battery capacity of various small battery devices.
A common misconception among technology users is that mAh is a specific type of battery, when in fact, it is a unit of energy used to express the battery capacity present in a specific device. Keeping this information in mind, it is much easier to move forward and develop a true understanding of what mAh is, what it means in the pursuit of the right device, and how finding the right mAh battery can affect your user experience with your favorite devices. The first step to developing this understanding is to analyze what mAh is and what it means in the context of mAh battery life.
What is mAh?
mAh is a unit of electric charge that in its simplest form can be used as the measurement of the battery’s life regarding its current capacity. The higher the mAh specification on a battery, the longer the battery life of the device. This means that when selecting devices that use mAh batteries, it is important to try to get the highest mAh battery possible while still satisfying any other concerns or needs you have. Milliampere-hour batteries tell consumers how long a given battery can maintain its charge within a circuit.
This takes into consideration both how much current the circuit demands, as well as the circuit’s power requirements. The mAh specification found in many small batteries will determine how long a given device can hold a charge before it is completely discharged and needs to be connected to an external power source to be recharged. Now that you understand what mAh is, it is important to conduct an analysis of mAh batteries versus AH batteries.
mAh vs. AH
Another common unit of energy utilized in displaying battery capacity is ampere hours, which is abbreviated as AH. In addition to mAh, this is one of the most common units of measurement technology users will encounter when analyzing the various battery capacities of devices. The primary difference between these two units of measurement is that for every one-ampere hour, one thousand milliampere hours is an equivalent. Because of this discrepancy, ampere hours are most often used to denote the battery capacity of larger devices and platforms.
While mAh works well for phones, tablets, wearable technology, and external battery packs (among many others), ampere hours are better suited to higher energy requiring devices, such as laptop computers. When trying to find the right battery capacity to suit your needs, it is vital to keep this distinction in mind as the unit of measurement may switch between mAh and AH and it is in the consumer’s best interest to understand the difference between these two units of energy measurement. Next, it is vital to consider which type of battery will best suit your needs.
Types of Batteries that Use mAh Specification
When choosing the best device to provide you with the ideal battery capacity to keep you charged all day, you must consider the type of battery that will be inside your device. There are five main types of batteries that are in the current technology market, and each serves a unique purpose in fulfilling consumer needs. Each type of battery presents its individual composition of benefits and drawbacks to consider when deciding which battery type is the best choice for you.
These five main types of batteries range from heavy, high energy Lead Acid to modern, lightweight Lithium Ion, but each comprises a unique chemistry that was developed to meet the needs of an evolving technological populous. Below is a breakdown of the five main battery types that utilize mAh specification to denote their respective mAh battery capacities.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)—This is the most commonly used standard battery type against which others are measured. Though recently Nickel Cadmium batteries have fallen on respective usage, they were once the most sought after battery type. Nickel Cadmium batteries have a mature and well-understood composition, but they provide a relatively low energy density, particularly when compared to more modern battery chemistries. Nickel Cadmium batteries are often used when having an economical price is important, as well as where a long life and high discharge rate is desired.
Nickel Cadmium batteries are primarily used in professional video cameras, power tools, two-way radios, and biomedical equipment, as their chemistry and energy density function well in these platforms. Nickel Cadmium batteries are also utilized in a diverse array of other platforms. One con to Nickel Cadmium batteries that has come under scrutiny in recent years is that they contain toxic metals that can be environmentally harmful. In a society that increasingly strives to find more energy efficient and environmentally friendly means of accomplishing goals, this is one factor that has led to Nickel Cadmium batteries falling from favor.
Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMh)—Nickel Metal-Hydride boasts a higher energy density compared to that of Nickel Cadmium batteries. However, this increased energy density comes at the price of having a reduced cycle life. Nickel Metal-Hydride batteries do not contain any toxic metals, which makes them comparatively a much better environmental decision to use than traditional Nickel Cadmium batteries. One of the main mediums in which Nickel Metal-Hydride batteries are used is on mobile devices and laptop computers.
Lead Acid—Lead Acid batteries are the best choice for platforms that are attempting to power large applications that require a high output of energy. However, one of the main drawbacks of lead acid batteries is that they come at a much higher weight, which makes them most suitable for platforms that require a high output of energy output and where weight is not a concern. Lead Acid batteries are primarily used in hospital equipment, wheelchairs, emergency lighting, and UPS systems.
Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)—Lithium Ion batteries are the fastest growing battery system on the market currently and are quickly becoming the ideal choice for most companies wishing to use the most current, efficient technology to power their devices. Lithium Ion batteries are known for their high-energy density as well as their lightweight nature. The technology used to power Lithium Ion batteries is very sensitive and needs to have a protection circuit included to make sure that they can safely run.
Lithium Ion batteries are sweeping into modern devices at breakneck speed because of their high-energy density and lightweight feel, making them ideal for use in mobile phones, tablets, wearable technology, battery packs, and battery phone cases. In addition to these popular mediums, Lithium Ion batteries can be found in numerous other technological platforms.
Lithium Ion Polymer (Li-Ion Polymer)—Lithium Ion Polymer batteries are the future of battery technology. Lithium Ion Polymer batteries offer the same beneficial attributes of Lithium Ion batteries, but with the added benefit of an ultra-slim design and a much more simplified packaging. This decrease in battery size and an increase in packaging capability has made Lithium Ion Polymer batteries the preferred choice for some companies manufacturing mobile phones, as well as other types of technology.
How to Determine mAh Battery Life
One of the biggest concerns most consumers have is how to determine the mAh battery life of a device. The first piece of advice to finding out this information is to visit the manufacturer’s website and to navigate to their specifications section. More often than not, the manufacturer will provide you with the mAh battery life on their website. In addition to this, many companies offer comparison guides between the respective specifications of their products, to offer consumers the best look at their products and to find the right mAh battery life for their needs. When this information is not directly provided by the manufacturer, determining the battery life of a device becomes increasingly difficult. The reason for this difficulty is that each device pulls a different amount of power from the battery.
This means that two side by side devices may have the same size battery, but may possess a different amount of battery life based on the amount of power they pull from the battery to continue functioning. A correlating example of this is if a faucet were to get turned on and pour one cup of water out. This amount of water would run out at different speeds through a penny sized hole than a pinhole. The battery usage of various devices uses this same principle since each device possess its unique amount of power it pulls from the battery. This is what makes determining the mAh battery life of a device complex, as there are many factors and variables that must be analyzed to ascertain this information.
How to Extend Your mAh Battery Life
How long does a mah battery last? Despite the recent advancements in battery chemistries and compositions, many consumers still find themselves running out of battery life before they can get back to a traditional wall charger to return their device to full power. As careers have become more mobile and flexible, it has been increasingly problematic for modern professionals to be without connection to their devices for any extended amount of time without missing vital correspondence and notifications about their work. In response to this demand for an increased battery life, forward-thinking companies have developed several platforms to help offset battery life drainage.
One of these developments is the external battery pack, which is also referred to as a universal battery. External battery packs earned the moniker universal battery because they can charge a huge variety of devices. External battery packs can do this because they possess a variety of ports, ranging from USB to Lightning, to other similar ports. The ports offered on the external battery pack vary by manufacturer, but regardless they offer consumers the opportunity to bring a simple USB cord to recharge their favorite devices without needing to stop to find a wall charger. External battery packs are essentially super batteries that possess a much higher mAh battery capacity than their counterparts.
Once charged, an external battery pack can be kept in a bag or pocket to be with you on-the-go, and when you find yourself in need of a charge, you can merely plug in your device, flip the switch, and continue on your way. In addition to this, some manufacturers are also beginning to integrate wireless charging technology into their external battery packs as well, making the need for a charging cable an obsolete clutter of the past. In addition to external battery packs, battery cases are a great way to extend your mAh battery life.
Battery cases are designed to fit on your mobile device like a normal protective case, but they also have an additional battery within the case that can be powered on by flipping a switch or pressing a button to begin charging your mobile device when the battery begins to drain.
How mophie Can Help
mophie can help extend your mAh battery life by providing a variety of juice pack battery cases and universal batteries equipped with powerful Lithium-Ion mAh batteries specifically designed to recharge your favorite devices on-the-go. mophie knows that you need to be able to get the juice you need without halting to sit near a power outlet until your device can function, so mophie worked to combine sleek designs with powerful technology to ensure that all of your charging needs are met.
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