Sick of your phone biting the dust before lunchtime and not having a plug on you to charge it through an outlet?
Perhaps it’s time to invest in a portable charger - handy to keep in your bag or pocket for emergencies, you’ll kick yourself for not getting one sooner.
Whether your phone, tablet or laptop is cursed with frustratingly poor battery, if it’s compatible with USB charging, you can find a portable charger to bring it back to life. With all the gadgets we carry these days, you never know when one’s going to run out of juice.
There are charging banks of all shapes and sizes on the market, so you might struggle to know which one is right for you, but don’t worry! We’ve picked out five of the best available right now to suit a variety of customers, making your choice as simple as possible.
Our handy buyer’s guide highlights everything you need to know before you hit check out, breaking down the key features to consider and what to look for in a quality charger. There’s nothing worse than buying a product that isn’t right for you, but that won’t be a problem.
If you’ve got any lingering queries, worries, or doubts, check out the frequently asked questions section, where we’ve gathered the most common questions from customers looking to buy a new portable charger and provided the answers.
Top 5 Best Portable Battery Chargers
OUR TOP PICK
If you need to pick a portable charger in a hurry, we recommend the PowerCore 10,000 from Anker, a well-known and reputable manufacturer.
Available in black, red, blue and white, there’s a model to suit any user with USB-C, micro-USB or Lightning compatible devices.
Boasting a 10,000 mAh capacity, when fully charged you’ll be able to refuel your devices several times, powered by a quality Lithium-Ion battery, whilst still managing to be one of the smallest, sleekest chargers on the market.
Compatible with high-speed charging devices, Anker’s exclusive PowerIQ and VoltageBoost capabilities provide the fastest possible battery rejuvenation speeds for any phone or tablet, protected by their patented MultiProtect certified safety system.
- Up to three device charges from one battery charge
- Easily fits in your bag for transportation
- Supports fast charging
- Not compatible with Qualcomm QuickCharge
Why buy one charger when you can get two for the same price! Miady are kindly offering two of their 10,000 mAh portable power banks for a surprisingly reasonable price, available in a variety of color combinations. Keep both for yourself or give one to a friend!
Each charger has dual USB outports, detecting each individual device and equally distributing power to each output up to 5V/2.1 A, with reliable Li-polymer cell batteries that are lighter and safe enough to take on a plane.
At only 218g and 14mm thick, they are surprisingly powerful, with one full charge of the units providing up to three charges for your electric devices, meaning you’ll be able to use them several times before needing to take them out of your bag to charge.
- Lightweight, but powerful
- USB-C and Micro USB compatible
- Multiple outputs for charging two devices at once
- Don’t support fast charging
Standing at a whopping 25,800 mAh of capacity, Ekrist’s portable charging bank wields the ability to charge your devices up to eight times (depending on their batteries), meaning you’ll never again be caught with a dead phone, tablet or laptop when you need them.
Four LED lights demonstrate how much power the charger has left, representing 25, 50, 75 and 100 percent respectively, whilst two USB ports support simultaneous device charging and efficiently distribute equal power to each.
Marketed as ‘universally compatible’, it can charge phones, tablets and laptops, with a double li-polymer battery that allows the charger to be at full capacity in just eight hours of charging - remember, it’s going to charge your devices from your bag for months!
- Fast recharging of charger itself
- Simultaneous device charging
- Huge capacity for the greatest possible number of charges
- Not compatible with USB-C to USB-C charging cables
INIU’s portable charger is set to become the handiest gadget in your bag, packing 20,000 mAh of capacity, a flashlight and a backlit LED screen, so you’ll be all set to boost your device’s batteries - even in the dark!
Instead of trying to figure out the meaning of vague lights, this charger tells you exactly how much power it has left, so you’ll always know when it needs taking out of your pocket to refuel, watching it give power to your devices in real-time.
With up to 3 x ultra-fast charging, it delivers 18W from a 3.0 USB-C ports, with two 4.0 standard USB ports, letting you recharge up to three different devices at once, and promises a week’s work of power before it runs out of juice.
- Boosts devices from 0 to 60% in 35 minutes
- Charges three electricals at once
- Three-year warranty for your confidence
- Slightly bulkier than other devices on the list
If you weren’t impressed with what we’ve offered already, wait until you hear that this Tekpluze portable charger is solar powered! Well, the title already gave that away, but still - it’s powered by the sun! Nature’s battery charger!
Not only is it water, dust and shock-resistant, but it’s a force to be reckoned with at 30,000 mAh of capacity and an industry-standard Li-polymer battery. Dual USB outputs are compatible with the majority of phones in use right now. It even offers wireless charging!
Durable ABS+PC materials keep it safe and sound in all weather, and its built-in solar panel is able to charge your phone up to six times at full power, so this portable charger is ideal for users looking to go on an adventure or two with a phone to document it.
- Bright LED lights for emergency situations
- Solar-powered for use in more rural settings
- Wireless charging compatible
- Most impressive charger on the list, but also the most expensive
Best Portable Battery Chargers Buying Guide
Portable chargers are hugely popular devices that are frequently manufactured; the type of device you’re looking to charge, how many hours of battery you’d like it to have and what size you’d like will all impact on which product is the right fit.
Consider the following characteristics:
Size-wise, it’s all in the name: portable chargers are designed to fit in your pocket, rucksack, or bag, taking up as little space as possible. Some are built with multiple ports to charge two or more devices at once, which warrants a bigger body, and can be bulkier.
It’s worth noting that the bigger a charger is, the more charging capacity it has, so if you’re looking to fuel a laptop or several electricals at the same time, you might want to lose a bit of portability in favor of more power.
A battery’s capacity measures how much charging time it can provide before running out, and is measured in mAh or milliamps per hour. Chargers on the smaller, more economical side tend to have a charging capacity of 5,000 mAh or less, good for one full charge.
Bigger, more powerful chargers have capacities ranging between 6,000 and 20,000 mAh, capable of giving a jump start to a laptop and powering the average phone up to ten times, depending on the device’s charging speed.
Dictating both device compatibility and charging speed, the type of port(s) your charger features is particularly important when choosing which one to go for. Most utilize a commonplace USB-A port for input and output, which is suitable for a variety of devices.
More advanced phones, laptops, and tablets are being manufactured with USB-C capabilities, however, and portable charging devices have followed suit. If you use a newer Android or smart device, it will likely have a USB-C charging port, providing power faster.
A charger’s speed is determined by its voltage and amperage (the amount of electricity flowing between the connected devices), and manufacturers might boost the amp or dynamically vary the voltage to provide ‘fast’ charging, speedier than a standard charger.
However, your phone is only able to receive as much power as the charger’s circuit is capable of transferring, so even if your device has a 5V/2A battery, if a portable charger can only carry 5V/1A, it will charge at the latter speed.
It’s also important to consider how fast the charger itself refuels when connected to an outlet, as you don’t want to have to wait around for hours before heading out in order to guarantee that your phone won’t die in the middle of your day.
Much like your phone, a portable charger is a somewhat delicate electronic device that requires a tough exterior to protect its fragile innards. Many designs implement shock-proof, waterproof, and even dust-proof casing to ensure the chargers last as long as possible.
Some are built in a similar fashion to heavy-duty phone cases and are capable of withstanding tough outdoor conditions, so consider investing in a sturdier charger if you are heading into the wilderness with your devices.
Although it’s still a relatively new product, the best and brightest new smartphones are being manufactured with wireless charging power, which means customers are looking for power banks that also enable them to charge their devices without a cable.
If your phone can charge wirelessly, it might be handy to pick up a portable charger that offers wireless functionality, because let’s face it, we all get caught without our cables from time to time and it would be great to bypass that stress.
However, as wireless charging is still reserved for the fanciest, most extravagant devices, its technology isn’t that widely available, and it does mean portable chargers equipped with that capability are going to set you back quite a bit more money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do portable chargers ruin your battery?
It’s a common misconception that using a portable charger can run down your phone’s battery life or cause long-term damage; this is not the case, as all it does is transfer power to your phone’s battery, much as an outlet would.
The problem customers might be having is overusing their chargers, which can cause your battery to wear out more quickly, but this problem occurs whether you’re using a portable charging device or plugging your phone into your home’s electricity.
Should I charge my power bank before first use?
Most power banks will come pre-loaded with at least half a charge and can be used, albeit for less time, right out of the box. However, if your phone is dead or near death, a portable charger you just got won’t be able to charge it straight away.
Before you head out on any long journeys, you should probably make sure to charge a new portable battery, just to make sure you won’t get caught without power when you need it, or if you want to use it to power a device that needs more fuel, like a laptop.
Is it safe to leave a power bank charging overnight?
It isn’t recommended that you leave any electrical device charging overnight, as most only require an hour or two of charging at most, with the newest models having smart charge capability that can have you ready to go in half an hour.
Keeping your charger plugged in for longer than is necessary runs the risk of it overheating, which could cause a fire - make sure you keep an eye on anything you’re charging and never leave them connected to power when you leave the house.