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What does mAH mean on a mobile battery and power bank?

Mobile and power banks have become one of the most essential items in daily life. Where living without power for a while can be accepted but living without connectivity is not accepted by modern peoples.


Still, there are lots of misconceptions about mobile and power bank batteries. Here in this blog, I will cover some of the misconceptions about them.


Content table:


What does mAH mean on a mobile battery?

The ‘mAh’ rating marked on a mobile battery and power bank is referring to the battery’s capacity in terms of milliAmpere hour. Here, milliAmpere hour [mAH] is a unit of electricity and the reason why the mobile batteries and power banks are rated in current instead of power is that all mobile batteries, as well as power banks, have the same output voltage [~ 3.7 volts]. And due to identical voltage and chemistry, the discharge rate of mobile batteries is identical too. Hence milliampere-hour becomes the most suitable parameter to represents the amount of electrical charge stored in a mobile battery or a power bank.


The formula for calculating the backup time of the mobile batteries is as follows.

Backup time = (mAh Rating) / (discharge current in mA)

The amount of power store in a mobile battery or any other battery is equal to, battery output voltage multiply by the battery ampere-hour rating. Hence, the formula for calculating the power store in batteries is as follows.


Mobile battery power (in watt) = battery volts x (mAh/1000)


Is a higher mAh battery better?

Yes, a higher mAh rated battery is always better than a smaller one. Here, a higher mAh rating reflects the long backup time or higher storage capacity. A Higher mAh rating didn’t reflect the high discharge rate moreover, the discharge rate of a higher mAH battery and a small battery is identical. Another advantage of a higher mAh battery is that it has a higher service life as compared to a lower mAh rating for identical charge and discharge cycles.


Let’s compare the power bank of the capacity of 10,000 mAH and 20,000 mAH.


Difference between 10,000 mAh and 20,000 mAh power bank.

The power store in a power bank is equal to the multiple of its terminal voltage with its mAh [or Ah] rating. Since the terminal voltage of both 20,000mAh and 10,000mAh power banks are the same, that is 3.7 Volt. A 20,000 mAh power bank stores 2 times more power than a 10,000 mAh battery. Hence a 20,000 mAh power bank will provide more backup times than a 10,000 mAH power bank. A 20,000 mAh power bank stores [20x3.7] 74 watts of power whereas 10,000mAh stores [10x3.7] 37 watts of power.


As you connect more numbers of mobile with a power bank, it drops the charging voltages of power banks. But a higher rating of power bank can charge more numbers of mobiles simultaneously because it stores more energy. And that’s the reason why a 10,000 mAh power bank can charge 2 numbers mobile simultaneously whereas a 20,000 mAH power bank can charge up to 3 numbers mobile simultaneously.


10000 mAh power bank

Above is the specification of a 10,000 mAh Mi power bank.


20000 mAh power bank

Above is the specification of a 20,000 mAh Mi power bank.


Let’s take another example of 4000mAh and 5000 mAH batteries.

Difference between a 4000 mAh and 5,000 mAh battery?

The power store in a battery is equal to the multiple of its terminal voltage with its mAH [or Ah] rating. Since the terminal voltage of both 4,000 and 5,000mAH batteries are the same, that is 3.7 Volt. A 5,000 mAh battery stores 1.25 times more power than a 4,000 mAh battery. Hence a 5,000 mAh battery will provide more backup times than a 4,000 mAH battery. A 5,000 mAh power bank stores [5x3.7] 18.5 watts of power whereas 4,000mAh stores [4x3.7] 14.8 watts of power.


What is the difference between an AH and a MAH battery?

The full form of ‘Ah’ is ampere-hour and the full form of mAh is milliAmpere hour. Here 1Ah is equal to 1000mAH. Moreover, mobile batteries are rated in milliAmpere hour [mAh] and on the other hand UPS batteries, Cars batteries and home inverters batteries are rated in ampere-hour [Ah].


1Ah = 1000mAh


Using the above relation between ‘Ah’ and ‘mAh”, you can easily convert any ‘mAh’ rating into an ‘Ah’ rating.


For example: 10,000 mAH = 10 Ah &

20,000 mAH = 20Ah.


Related posts:


Does more mAh mean more battery hours or battery life?

The ‘mAh’ rating of mobile means Mili-ampere not more battery. Here, one Mili-ampere is equal to 1000Ampere. The mAh rating doesn’t relate to the service life of the battery, Here the higher mAh ratings mean longer will be the backup time. However, the service life of a battery depends upon the number of chargers and discharge cycles. This means that the higher number of charges and discharge cycles lower will be the service life of the battery.


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