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Li-Po and Li-ion or lithium-polymer and lithium-ion; two heavyweights among battery discussions globally. Now, which one’s better than the other? Not just you but the whole world is swooning over the two like DC vs Marvel, HP vs GoT, Barcelona vs Real Madrid, you get the drift. Power banks these days have become a necessary accessory for smartphones these days and they use both Li-ion and Li-po batteries. Devices like power banks are shifting towards Li-po for various reasons which we will discuss later but before coming to a conclusion on which one has the upper hand in this case, let us understand the basic differences between the two.
Here, we are going to decode both the contemporaries and tell you which one’s a better option. Let’s have a look at both the power banks separately.
Lithium-ion batteries came onto the scene way before their successors and most smartphones and e-devices heavily depended on the li-ion batteries to provide power. They aren’t very big, incur not a very high manufacturing cost and have a high energy density which enables them to hold a lot of change. Another major advantage of Li-ion batteries is that they don’t self-discharge that fast. Unlike nickel-based batteries, they lack the memory effect which means difficulty in charging a device as they were not discharged sufficiently. This also means that even if you put away the device after months of unuse, it will still work.
But everything’s not as great with the Li-ion as you might reckon. It has its share of strikes as well. The batteries tend to age pretty fast and that happens even if you’re battery consumption isn’t that much. Suppose, if you’re not using your power bank too often, it will gradually lose the function to charge the device with the same vigour. Although the chances are quite slim, the chemical electrolyte in the li-ion batteries can suffer leakages or behave abnormally at extreme temperatures. You might’ve seen power banks not allowed inside the hand/carry luggage at the airport.
Lithium-polymer batteries are the new age counterparts of the Li-ion. Devices with Li-po have a higher probability of battery backup than the Li-ion. It has a gel-like electrolyte rather than a liquid electrolyte (li-ion) which makes it more flexible with a lower profile. The chances of leakage are much lower which makes them comparatively safer. They even offer designs that are more robust.
It can be considered an upgrade from the Li-ion but it has a major drawback— the manufacturing cost. A power bank with a Lithium-polymer battery type will cost you more than a li-ion power bank. Even top phone companies like Apple and Samsung haven’t implemented the Li-po batteries for their flagship phones. Only OnePlus is a brand that has allowed Lithium- polymer batteries for their smartphones. Li-po batteries also have a shorter shelf life with a lesser storage capacity of batteries for than li-ion if its the same size.
A tough call but it all depends on the usability. Both battery types have their share of pros and cons and almost an equivalent lifespan. You may get a power bank of 10000 mAh and a 20000 mAh power bank of lithium-ion or lithium-polymer and use them for a while to bet a fair idea.