Unfortunately, if you own a smartphone, you're familiar with the constant anxiety of needing to charge your beloved lifeline. Whether you're at home, on the way to the office or on vacation, you have to have some way of keeping your smartphone and other gadgets sufficiently juiced up. So we've compiled a list of the best chargers and portable battery packs for every occasion. Click the links below to find something that is sure to suit your charging needs.
What are you looking for?
- USB Type-C battery pack
- Portable charger for your wallet
- External battery for your pocket
- External charger for your bag
- Power bank for a weekend trip
- USB Type-C charger
- Micro USB charger
- Car charger
- Solar charger
USB Type-C is found on more and more Android smartphones now, like the Google Pixel, and our best external battery recommendation in this category goes to the Anker PowerCore+ 20100.
This one is our favorite because it charges fast, has a large capacity and is sturdier than its closest competitors. At around $50, it's not the cheapest charger on the list, but this isn't an outrageous price for something with a capacity of 20,100 mAh.
This amount of stored power will easily charge your Android device several times over, and it can even charge multiple USB Type-C devices at the same time! For those who are looking for standard Micro-USB charging, there's another Anker battery pack in this list too, which is ideal for a weekend away.
What's more, the PowerCore+ 20,100 features 10 LED lights on the face which display its current charge level rather effectively (some batteries only have a single on/off LED).
Yes, credit card-size batteries do exist, but the TravelCard's style and performance ensure it's our current number one for your wallet. The TravelCard charger's dimensions come in at around 3.1 x 2.1 x 0.2 inches and it weighs just 57 grams. Its incredible sleekness – it's about three credit cards thick and only a little longer – means it's perfectly capable of fitting in a normal-sized wallet.
The TravelCard comes with cables built into its body to guarantee a compact feel and its 1,500 mAh of power will fill most modern smartphone batteries by around 30-40 percent.
It’s not especially fast to load your device – largely due to limitations caused by its size and heat transfer – and it’s also expensive for the capacity it holds. What you are paying a premium for here is the convenience.
It’s a good idea, well-presented, and could help you out when you're in a tight spot. Find it at their site via the link below.
We recommend the Limefuel Blast L25X as the best pocket-sized portable charger. It measures just 3.6 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches and weighs only 2.3 oz – about the same as lip balm.
The Limefuel Blast L25X holds 2,500 mAh of power, which is not quite enough to fully charge most modern handsets but it's enough to give it a quick boost. The Blast L25X's price and portability make it a great value, no-hassle charging solution.
The EasyAcc 6000 mAh is slightly larger than the Limefuel option above, both in battery capacity and physical size, but it's still reasonably portable and slightly cheaper. We recommend the EasyAcc 6000 mAh if you want a portable power source that can fully charge your device with juice to spare, and don't mind sacrificing a little ease when it comes to portability.
It’s a cleverly designed external battery, featuring a built-in USB cable, which is neatly concealed in the side of the device, and it can charge two units at once. It's well-regarded and well-priced, and you can check it out at the Amazon link below.
For a weekend trip, we recommend the Anker PowerCore 15600. Anker is a veteran of portable power solutions, and the PowerCore 15600 combines a high energy capacity with lightning fast charge times and a durable build.
The Anker PowerCore 15600 can charge two devices at once and is still small enough to carry in a bag. With enough power to charge the Galaxy S7 four times over (five times, in theory), this should be your go-to power bank when you're going to be away from a power outlet for a number of days.
The PowerCore 15600 used to cost more, but it's a crazy good value at its current price of $19.99.
Anker's PowerPort+ 5 is a desktop charger with five ports, one of which is a Type-C connector. It delivers 30 watts and can be used for the MacBook or Nintendo Switch. In our test with the Nexus 6P, it reached an average of 3 amps - meaning that a smartphone with a 3,450 mAh battery like this one could be fully charged in around 80 minutes. Not bad! The four Type-A ports have Anker's PowerIQ technology, which mainly ensures faster charging with Apple devices, as it isn't compatible with most of the fast charging standards for Android phones.
With the UC5F, Tronsmart is offering us a Quick-Charge 2.0-capable beast of a charger. In addition to Quick-Charge, Tronsmart's Volt-IQ fast-charging technology is also used, which enables your devices to be charged as quickly as possible without Qualcomm's standard. Unfortunately, Tronsmart has not installed a Type-C connector in the Titan adapter. The maximum total load is 90 watts, thus beating all other candidates in this collection. So if you want to charge five Smartphones at the same time just using one socket, you should buy the Tronsmart UC5F.
Do you need two Quick-Charge sockets for your car? Tronsmart has exactly what you need with the CC2TF if you'd like to be able to charge two devices during your commute. Particularly advantageous is the Volt-IQ technology which allows Apple devices to charge even faster, too.
In our search for a clever solar charger, only one has been able to convince us of its performance as well as design. It is the CHOETECH 19 W Solar Charger. It can be attached to your backpack and it provides integrated pockets that you can put your power bank or smartphone into.
Two USB ports provide a combined power of up to 19 watts. However, direct sunlight is required in order to reach peak charging. Otherwise, the current is reduced and fluctuates. So, have patience and keep a power bank plugged into it at all times. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with one built-in, though.
CHOETECH 19W Solar Charger
What's your favorite portable battery pack? Have any brands gone beyond expectations or let you down? Let us know in the comments.