Even though smartphone technology has significantly moved forward since the early days, battery life has not. Getting a full day of use out of your smartphone is still considered a good thing. One solution is to charge your phone throughout the day, but that’s not realistic for everyone. The next best solution is to pick up a portable battery charger. This solution has become increasingly popular over the years. Let’s dive in and take a look at the best portable chargers and power banks on the market today.
Related: Best USB Type-C Cables
What are the best portable chargers?
On the surface, picking the best power bank or portable charger sounds easy. You’ll have to pick the right battery size, depending on how much juice you need and how much room you have to spare for carrying it around. You might think a battery is a battery, right? Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
When it comes to picking the right battery pack, you want to consider a few things:
- How fast is it going to charge? You might have gotten a 50,000Ah battery but if it takes all day to charge up your device, that’s going to be a problem. The best portable charger ideally should support the fast charging standards in your phone or other portable devices. You’ll need to do a little research to figure out what fast charging standard your devices use, but in the article below, we list what compatible fast charging modes each portable charger has.
- What capacity do you need? Some of us get the biggest portable charger we can find and don’t worry if it takes up half a bag. But if you need something smaller, there are a lot of great options. That said, we don’t recommend going under 5,000mAh in most cases and think 10,000mAh is the sweet spot for portability while still offering enough juice for your devices.
- Does it have the right ports for your needs? Older or budget chargers often have less than great port options. There might just be USB type-A instead of USB-C, or there might not be fast charging as mentioned above. Figure out which ports you have on your devices and whether or not the charger that catches your eye fully supports your device.
- Is the brand trustworthy? A reputable brand is more likely to last through countless charging cycles. We highly recommend Anker and Aukey, but there are tons of other great brands. We ensure every option on this list balances price, quality, and reputation.
- What size do you need? You will also have to consider size. Do you want something that can easily slip inside a purse or backpack? Or do you want the most charging power encased in a big brick of a portable charger?
Other questions regarding portable chargers
Still have some questions before you go out and buy a brand new portable charger? Here are some other frequently asked questions that might help you figure out your power bank needs.
Q: Can you bring a portable charger on a plane?
A: Absolutely. Keep in mind, most regions will not allow you to place lithium batteries in your checked luggage (it’s a fire hazard). If you are going to bring a portable charger with you on a trip, you’re going to want to bring it via your carry on or personal bag.
Q: How do you charge a portable charger?
A: Most portable chargers recharge using micro-USB or USB-C. We recommend getting a pack that has USB-C as it’s more future proof. You can typically charge the power bank up either through a wall outlet or by hooking it up to a device like your laptop. Of course, there are unique power banks that charge using other methods like cranks or even solar energy, but they tend to do it very slowly and only as last resort method.
Q: How long does a portable charger last?
A: If you mean how long it lasts per charge, it depends on what size of battery charger you get, as well as the size of your device. If you mean how long before the battery pack stops charging correctly due to old age, a quality portable charger should last around four to five years and will even hold a charge for 4-6 months without losing much power.
The best portable battery chargers:
Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best portable chargers over time.
Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 PD
Anker’s PowerCore Slim is extremely compact, but it still provides plenty of power. With a 10,000mAh capacity, it can charge an iPhone XS or Google Pixel twice or an iPad Pro almost once. Also, if you purchase the USB-C Power Delivery wall charger, then the power bank can recharge in only 4.5 hours; if you’re using a USB-A charger and cable, charging will take a little over 10 hours.
It has dual USB ports so you can charge two devices simultaneously. Plus, it has three different charging modes to suit your needs. There’s an 18W Power-Delivery USB-C port, a PowerIQ-enabled USB-A port, and a trickle charging mode for low-power devices.
Unlike a lot of other power bank options that only come in black, the Anker PowerCore Slim comes in five different colors. And it has a super sleek, matte design so you can keep your devices charged in style. So if you want a portable battery charger that packs power, style, and affordability, this is a great option for you.
Omnicharge Omni 20 Plus
If there was ever a Swiss Army knife in the world of portable chargers, the Omnicharge Omni 20 Plus would be it.
The Omni 20 Plus features two regular USB ports, each capable of up to 15W of output and supporting Quick Charge 3.0. Also on the front, there’s an OLED display that lets you monitor the power input and output, battery temperature, DC output, and battery percentage.
The DC port features up to 100W of output and 45W of input, while the USB-C port pushes out up to 60W of output and takes up to 40W of input. Even better, there’s an AC wall socket capable of up to 100W of output. Finally, there’s even 10W wireless charging. This thing has it all.
Anker PowerCore Plus 26800 PD
As the name implies, the Anker PowerCore Plus 26800 PD features a 26,800mAh battery capacity. The two regular USB ports each feature up to 15W of output, while the USB-C port acts as an input and output port. The USB-C port pushes out up to 45W of output and supports Power Delivery.
The battery itself is enclosed in aluminum, which is a nice touch in a world of plastic-clad portable battery chargers. Another cool feature is the inclusion of a 45W USB-C wall charger with Power Delivery support.
RAVPower 15000mAh PD Power Bank
The RAVPower 15000mAh PD Power Bank is another great compact option. It’s small enough to fit in most pockets and easy to store in your purse or backpack. Despite its small size, it has great charging capacity with an LG 21700 High-Density battery pack. There’s enough power to charge an iPhone 11 three times, a Samsung S10 almost three times, or an iPad Pro once.
It has 30W total output and can charge two devices at the same time. Plus, the 18W charging input helps the device recharge up to twice as fast as standard portable chargers. You can also purchase an ultra-fast wall charger and recharging your portable battery will only take four hours.
A nice feature is the LED display on the side of the device that tells you the exact percentage of available power. This way, you can easily see how much juice you have left and know how long it’ll be before you need to recharge it.
Mophie Powerstation PD XL
Similar to the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux, the Mophie Powerstation PD XL is a miniature portable battery charger with support for Power Delivery. That means the battery features a USB-C port with up to 18W of output and 15W of input. There’s also a regular USB port with up to 12W of output.
Samsung 2-in-1 Portable Fast Charge Wireless
Samsung’s 10,000 mAh charger is unique in that it includes a wireless charging pad right on top. Capable of fast charging a compatible Samsung phone all the way up to 7.5W in wireless mode and 15W when connected via a USB cable, the charger is well designed to pair up with your all-new Galaxy S20.
Also read: Best ultra-high capacity portable chargers
The phone is Qi-compatible which means that you should have no issue using a phone like a Pixel 4 or even an iPhone with it. Unfortunately, the lack of USB-PD support means that wired charging might not be as fast as some of our other options.
Aukey 20,000mAh Portable Charger
Featuring a 20,000mAh capacity, Aukey’s portable charger features three regular USB ports. Each port tops out at 15W of output. The USB-C port features up to 15W of input and output. Finally, the Lightning port supports up to 7.5W of input.
Crave Plus Pro PD Power Bank
Crave’s Plus Pro PD Power bank boasts that it is universally compatible with all mobile devices, tablets, and even laptops that have a USB-C port. A whopping 20000mAh of power is packed into a sleek and compact aluminum case.
It uses Flat Battery Cell technology to charge your devices in the shortest amount of time. Plus, you can charge up to three devices simultaneously. You can purchase the Crave Plus Pro PD Power Bank right now for $99.99.