We’ve all suffered the sudden, all-encompassing horror of a dead phone. The accusing looks and hushed criticism of family and friends. That blank screen on the commute home that leaves you at the mercy of your chatty fellow traveler. The sudden loss of Google Maps as you turn into an unfamiliar neighborhood. The sinking feeling as you realize your phone alarm didn’t go off because you forgot to plug your phone in last night. Why, oh, why must our smartphones die?
We feel your pain, and that is why we’ve been checking out some of the best portable chargers on the market. Until there is a real breakthrough in battery technology, a portable charger might be the best solution. We have something here for you, whatever your needs may be, from a bucketload of power for a camping trip to a pocket-friendly solution for your daily commute. These are 20 of the best portable chargers that money can buy.
Fuse Chicken Universal
- Capacity: 6,700mAh
- Outputs: 2 ports (USB-C PD, USB-A QC 3.0)
- Weight: 331g (11.67oz)
- Price: $85
- Time to fully charge: Around 3 hours
For all you globetrotters out there, this device is nothing short of genius. The Fuse Chicken Universal has everything you need to charge your smartphone all wrapped into one neat, portable package that’s 3 x 3 inches square and about an inch high. It’s a power bank with a 6,700mAh capacity, which is enough to charge most smartphones at least once with some power to spare. But it’s also a wireless charging pad and a travel adapter.
Tap the power button and you can see the remaining power as a precise percentage. There’s an LED that goes green when it’s ready and red while it’s charging something. There are USB-C and USB-A ports. You can charge it or charge another device with it via USB-C Power Delivery, which goes up to 18W. The USB-A port supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 standard. It also doubles up as a wireless charging pad, capable of putting out up to 10W to fast charge your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or any other Qi-certified device.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a built-in plug for a U.S. outlet, with prongs that fold neatly away. The plug part also slides off, like it does on Apple’s power adapters, and you can slide on one of the supplied plug attachments, which include plugs for the U.K., Europe, and Australia. This is a versatile device. You can plug it into an outlet and charge an iPad Pro via the USB-C and a phone via the USB-A at the same time. Or you could use it unplugged and have the power bank charge your iPhone 8 wirelessly and rapidly charge your Pixel 3 via the USB-C port at the same time. This is a thoughtful design that’s perfect for travelers.
Ted Baker Portable Wireless Charger
- Capacity: 5,000mAh
- Outputs: 2 ports (USB-A at 2.1A, USB-C 2.1A)
- Weight: 280g (9.87 ounces)
- Price: $140
- Time to fully charge: Around 2 to 3 hours
If you demand some style and class in your tech, then this portable charger from Ted Baker is for you. It feels reassuringly heavy with an attractive brushed aluminum finish in coppery brown and a top of soft Italian suede leather. It has a capacity of 5,000mAh which is enough to charge any smartphone fully at least once. It comes with a 1-meter USB-A to USB-C cable.
It has two ports on the side with a power button and four white LEDs to show remaining power. There’s also a single blue LED that lights up when it’s charging something. The first port is a USB-A output rated at 2.1A and the second is a USB-C input or output also rated at 2.1A both ways. We tested with a Pixel 3 and using the cable supplied it charged at a steady rate, but using a USB-C to USB-C cable enabled rapid charging.
The device also works as a wireless charger. Simply pop your iPhone or Android phone with Qi wireless charging support onto the soft suede and tap the power button. Testing with the Pixel 3, it charged at normal speed, not rapid wireless charging. We really like the look and feel of this charger and it’s just the right size to hold together with your phone. The only thing that would give us pause is the high price tag. You can get much higher capacity chargers for less, but this one is all about the style and quality.
Omnicharge Omni 20
- Capacity: 20,400mAh
- Outputs: 4 ports (100W, 70W, 3A, QC 3.0)
- Weight: 630g (22.2 ounces)
- Price: $250
- Time to fully charge: Around 3 hours
If you’re craving the versatility to charge any device in the room, but you still want something reasonably portable, then the Omni 20 is set to become the new object of your desire. This unassuming square with sloping corners packs a multitude of speedy charging options. While Omnicharge may have literally cut corners on the exterior, you’ll find everything you could need inside.
There’s a proper AC outlet, just like a wall outlet, capable of putting out 100W to power a laptop or other large devices — you could even plug a TV into it. There’s also a DC outlet that can put out 70W and two USB ports — the first is rated at 5V/3A and the second supports the Quick Charge 3.0 standard, so whatever smartphone you own it should be able to charge at top speed from this power bank.
Next to the power button, you’ll find a wee OLED screen that shows the remaining power as an amount and as a percentage. It also displays how much power is currently coming in, how much power is going out, how much time before it runs out of juice, and the temperature. On the other side of the screen, there’s a rocker to turn on the USB ports and the AC outlet. The DC port can act as an output, but it’s also the best way to charge the Omni 20 and if you use the adapter and cable provided it can charge up fully in just 3 hours — not bad for a 20,400mAh capacity device. You can also use a laptop adapter to charge it, which is handy for travelers who don’t want to pack any superfluous extras. Incidentally, the Omni 20 is FAA approved for air travel.
This is a seriously versatile device that will charge up just about anything. You can also dig into the settings using the OLED and fine tune your charging preferences, turn the fan off, turn the screen off, and tweak various other bits and pieces. It does also support pass-through charging, so you can recharge it and charge up connected devices at the same time. There are a few different versions of the Omni 20, so make sure you get the right one for you. You can pick the Omni 20 that switches a USB-C for the AC outlet for $200 and there’s a Pro version at $300 that includes extra charging cables and tips. Our Omni 20 also had plug attachments for the power adapter enabling us to use it in the U.S., the EU, and the U.K. According to some descriptions it was going to support Qi wireless charging as well, but this feature was cut.
Originally backed on Indiegogo, it’s not hard to see why people would want a feature-packed portable charger like the Omni 20 in their bag. It’s on the expensive side and quite large for the capacity offered, but as a one-stop charging solution for every device you own, it’s hard to match.
RAVPower Super-C Series Portable Charger
- Capacity: 26,800mAh
- Outputs: 3 ports (USB-C 3A, 2.4A, and 2.4A)
- Weight: 462g (16.2oz)
- Price: $80
- Time to fully charge: 4 to 5 hours
This versatile charger has three output ports and supports USB PD (Power Delivery). There are two standard USB ports, both rated at 2.4A, but the maximum joint output is 3.4A. More importantly, there’s a USB-C port that can deliver up to 30W for your laptop or tablet, or charge your phone at top speed. There’s a power button up top with four blue LEDs to show remaining power.
Not only can it charge devices with USB-C, but it can also be charged through that port, which means it’s very fast to juice up, provided you have a powerful wall charger (you don’t get one in the box). What you do get is two tangle-free USB-to-Micro USB cables at different lengths, and a longer USB-C-to-USB-C cable. It also comes with a soft mesh bag sporting a drawstring closure.
It’s not the most portable device in the world, but it’s impressively compact and light for the capacity. This is a good solution for travelers with multiple gadgets. You can expect at least five full charges for an iPhone XS, four full charges for a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, and it can even charge an iPad with change. If speed is important to you, then this is a must-have.
Anker PowerCore Speed 20,000 PD
- Capacity: 20,100mAh
- Output: 2 ports (USB-C 3A and 2A)
- Weight: 373g (13.1oz)
- Price: $100
- Time to fully charge: 4 hours
If you want something fast charging, then Anker’s PowerCore Speed 20,000 PD is tough to beat. This long, slim power bank is packing 20,100mAh, which is enough to charge your smartphone at least three or four times over, maybe more depending on the model. You can also charge an iPad with change or even charge a small laptop, though we recommend checking compatibility before you buy.
It has a sleek, understated design with the usual power button on the side and four blue LEDs to show remaining power. There are two ports: One standard USB-A rated at 5V/2A and a USB-C PD (Power Delivery) output that can deliver up to 24W. You may be thinking it looks a little pricey, but you also get a slim 30W power delivery wall charger in the box, alongside a USB-C to USB-C cable, a USB-A to Micro USB cable, and a drawstring carry pouch. That’s everything you need for fast charging on the go.
We tried the power bank with a Pixel 3 and found it was capable of rapid charging. The included wall charger can also rapidly charge an iPhone X or an iPad Pro (Apple’s 30W wall charger costs $49 on its own). When the power bank runs out you can fully recharge it in just four hours with the charger and USB-C cable provided. If you’re after USB-C PD support, then this package is for you.
- Capacity: 23,200mAh
- Output: 4 ports (85W, 15W, QC 3.0, 2.4A)
- Weight: 749g (26.4oz)
- Price: $150
- Time to fully charge: 8 hours
It’s a hefty chunk of a power bank, but this rugged option could be ideal for camping trips or varied power needs because it includes a proper AC outlet at one end capable of delivering 85W. On top of that, you get a USB-C port that can put out 15W, a USB-A port that supports Quick Charge 3.0, and a final USB-A port that’s rated at 5V/2.4A. You can fully charge your smartphone at least four or five times with this, or even fully charge a 12-inch MacBook with change left over.
We got a sturdy USB-C to USB-A or USB-C cable in the box (the USB-A top can slide off to reveal a USB-C plug). We tested the U.K. version which doesn’t come with a wall charger, but the U.S. version does. Press the power button and you get a precise percentage readout of remaining power. You have to hold the power button down for two seconds to turn the AC outlet on or off and it’s important you do turn it off when you’re done or it will drain the power. You’ll hear a fan start up when you turn it on, which keeps it from overheating.
This is a really sturdy feeling power bank and it’s ideal if you want to be able to charge multiple devices at once. We were able to charge up a MacBook Pro from the power outlet (though not fully) and it also charged a Pixel 3 at full speed from the USB-C port. It is also TSA approved, so you can take it on a flight if you want to. It takes around eight hours to fully charge up, and sadly it doesn’t support pass-through charging.
Flux Portable Charger
- Capacity: 4,000mAh
- Output: 2 built-in cables (1A and 2.1A)
- Weight: 92g (3.2oz)
- Price: $26
- Time to fully charge: 3 to 4 hours
This is one of the slimmest portable chargers we’ve ever come across. If you’re really looking for something pocket-sized, the Flux Charger is worth more than just a glance. It’s a mere 7.8 millimeters thick and measures 108 x 62.8mm. It’s also incredibly light, but holds enough power to fully recharge your phone at least once, possibly twice. It’s finished with a durable black or white aluminum and features two built-in cables, a Micro USB cable, and an MFi-certified Lightning cable. There’s also a Micro-USB port for charging, which comes with a short Micro USB to USB cable.
Tap the small button on the side, and the four tiny LEDs light up to show remaining power. It doesn’t support fast charging, though, and we found that it took a couple of hours to charge the large battery in the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Fortunately, it should fully charge an iPhone in around an hour. The input for charging it is 1.5A, so it takes a while to fully charge, but it does support pass-through charging, so you can plug it into the wall and your phone at the same time. If you like the design, but you need more power, then check out the 10,000mAh Flux Charger Plus for $52.
Xcentz Portable Charger
- Capacity: 10,000mAh
- Outputs: 2 ports (USB-C 18W and USB-A 3A)
- Weight: 185g (6.5oz)
- Price: $22
- Time to fully charge: 3 to 4 hours
This beautifully compact portable charger has a capacity of 10,000mAh, so you can expect two full charges for most smartphones. There’s a single USB-C port for charging your smartphone at top speed and for charging the battery pack up; it supports fast charging with Power Delivery at 18W and also Quick Charge 3.0. There’s also a standard USB-A port that charges more slowly.
It’s an extremely compact design that comes in black, pink, or sandstone grey. There’s a wee display window on the side with four lights to indicate the remaining power level and a square power button sits next to it. This power bank comes with a basic USB-A to USB-C cable. Just bear in mind that you’ll need a good, fast wall charger to be able to charge it up at top speed.
You’ll find LG battery tech inside this power bank and it should retain 90% of its charge over 500 charge and recharge cycles, which is a lot better than most portable chargers in this price range. If you want something small and affordable, with plenty of power, then this is a great choice.