Benjamin Franklin first coined the term “battery” in 1749 after experimenting with electricity. Batteries are a common staple in our favorite devices, but charging them isn’t as simple as we’d like.

There are so many modern ways to charge your phone battery it can be hard to understand them all. But when you take a closer look at all the phone charger options, some commonalities start to emerge.

If you’re looking for a new phone charger, keep reading and we’ll take you through the most common options.

Wall Chargers and Cables

Wall chargers with a detachable USB cable are the most common types of phone chargers. They measure charging output in watts (W). Most chargers range from 5W to 12W of output, but most phones need only 5W of output to charge.

USB cables are the standard when it comes to phone charging. The USB A connector is the side of the cable that connects to a power supply like a wall charger.

Three common types of USB connectors attach to phone batteries. Lightning cables are the signature connector for iPhones and Apple products. Android phones instead use the micro USB connector.

The last cable is the newer USB C. This cable is finding its way to a variety of devices as more companies seek a standard size for charging cables.

Wireless Chargers

Wireless chargers are a way to charge your phone by placing it on a power-supplied pad. These chargers aren’t as wire-free as the name suggests. You still need to connect the pad to a power source, but the upside is you don’t need cables to connect to the phone.

Most people consider them to be a slower option for a phone charger. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Technology experts recommend keeping your phone’s battery between 20% and 80% full.

This goldilocks range keeps you from overtaxing the battery. Because wireless charging is slower, there’s less risk of overcharging. And less risk of overcharging means less stress on the battery.

Power Banks

Power banks are becoming popular phone accessories for people on the go. They’re lightweight and offer a convenient phone charging option when you’re not near an outlet.

The caveat is that you need to charge the bank at home with a wall outlet before taking it with you. Some banks get around this by having a solar charging option – you can charge your phone as long as it’s a sunny day.

Some power banks double as phone cases. This chargeable case iPhone 6 version is an example of a power bank that’s connected to a phone case.

Which Is the Best Phone Battery?

Deciding the best way to charge your phone battery is up to your individual needs and lifestyle. Most of us have a trusty wall charger as our go-to. But wireless chargers and power banks offer us advantages that aren’t immediately obvious.

If you want to learn more about phones and how we power them, be sure to check out the rest of our technology blog for more!