The best portable chargers of 2019

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

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Aukey Power Bank

  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Outputs: 2 ports (3.4A total)
  • Weight: 387g (13.6oz)
  • Price: $20
  • Time to fully charge: Around 8 to 10 hours

This chunky portable charger is quite heavy but packs a big capacity of 20,000mAh. It has two USB ports for charging up your devices. Both are capable of putting out 2.4A, but if you charge two devices simultaneously your total maximum output is 3.4A. You can expect four charges from this battery for most smartphones.

The design is an unobtrusive black in subtly textured plastic and it feels chunky in hand. There’s a button on the top to turn it on and you will find a typical four LED battery level indicator between the ports. It can be charged up via the Micro USB port or the Lightning port, which is unusual. The idea is that iPhone owners need only take one cable to charge up both the power bank and their iPhones.

It comes with a short USB-A-to-Micro USB cable in the box and a travel pouch. Aukey also offers a 24-month warranty. It’s not the best-looking portable charger around, but there are two reasons to consider it: The low price and the option to charge it up via Lightning cable.

Omnimobile 12,800 Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 12,800mAh
  • Outputs: 2 ports (QuickCharge 3.0 and USB-C)
  • Weight: 272g (9.59 ounces)
  • Price $69
  • Time to fully charge: 3-4 hours

You don’t need something that’s big and blocky to recharge a laptop — far from it, in fact. The Omnimobile 12,800 is part of the same range as the Omni 20, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Whereas the Omni 20 is undoubtedly a charger for a bag, the Omnimobile — while still large — is designed to be slipped more easily into a pocket and carried out for day trips, rather than weekends. The rounded corners and soft-touch finish make it easy to hold in your hand, while the position of the ports at one of the flat ends makes it easy to run cables out of pockets to a phone.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a less powerful proposition just because it’s more svelte than its larger cousin; the Omnimobile 12,800 still has plenty of grunt to back it up. The 12,800 battery is enough to charge a phone three or four times, and it can even recharge USB-C laptops with the super-fast 60W USB-C port. That’s enough power to recharge the new MacBook Pro 15-inch, which is an impressive feat for a charger that fits into a pocket. Granted, it’s a large pocket, but it’s still impressive. The same port also recharges the battery, with recharge speeds of up to 30W.

The USB-A port isn’t as impressive as the USB-C port, but it’s still equipped with QuickCharge 3.0, which should make light work of recharging most fast charging-compatible phones. Best of all, the battery also has Qi wireless charging capabilities, so you can drop a phone with wireless charging on top and benefit from 10W fast wireless charging. That said, we’ve noticed the signal seems a little weak, and we had to remove protective cases to trigger charging.

There’s a power button by the ports, as well as four LEDs, which light up to show the level of charge remaining. While it’s not the cheapest portable battery around, it’s certainly among the most versatile, with the ability to charge three devices at once, and even recharge larger devices like laptops. If you need a good all-around battery for a range of devices that’s also very portable, the Omnimobile might be your best bet.

IndieGoGo

QDOS AirBank

  • Capacity: 5,000mAh
  • Outputs: 1 port and Qi wireless charging (2.4A and 5W)
  • Weight: 180g (6.34oz)
  • Price: $65
  • Time to fully charge: Around 2 to 3 hours

We’ve been seeing more and more portable battery packs that double up as Qi wireless charging pads, but this effort from QDOS has a special addition that helps keep your phone in the sweet spot, and it’s suction pads. The capacity is only 5,000mAh, so you can expect at least one full charge for your smartphone, maybe one and a half or even two, depending on your phone’s battery capacity. It’s a slow wireless charger, offering 5W, but there is also a USB port that can put out 2.4A.

The size is pretty convenient and it has a soft-touch finish, though we did notice that it picks up lint and dust very easily, and you’ll find both on the suction cups in particular if you sling it in a bag. We have noticed with some other portable chargers like this that the phone can slide off a little too easily and the wireless charging doesn’t work as well, or sometimes at all, if the devices aren’t properly aligned. The suction cups do a solid job of keeping your phone in place. We tested it with an iPhone X and found we could even turn it upside down and the iPhone stayed securely attached.

You get a short USB to Micro USB cable in the box with it, and there’s a Micro USB port to recharge the battery. The other side is home to the power button with four white LEDs to show remaining power and two blue ones that indicate whether it’s charging anything via cable or wirelessly. We’re a little disappointed by the lack of fast wireless charging and it’s fairly expensive, but the suction pads are a clever touch that works well.

Anker PowerCore II 20,000

best portable chargers Anker PowerCore II
Simon Hill / Digital Trends
  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Outputs: 2 ports (18W and 12W)
  • Weight: 369g (13oz)
  • Price: $60
  • Time to fully charge: Around 5 hours

We’re big fans of Anker’s understated and practical designs. The PowerCore II packs in a huge 20,000mAh capacity without being ridiculously big, though it is something you’ll want to sling in a bag rather than your pocket. It features two USB outputs. PowerIQ 2.0 can put out up to 18W, which breaks down to 3A at 5V, 2A at 9V, and 1.5A at 12V. PowerIQ 1.0 can put out 12W up to 2.4A at 5V. Regardless of your device, you should be able to get decent charging speeds from this portable battery. The only thing it lacks is a USB-C port.

Compared to previous Anker offerings, there are a couple of new features here. The power button is now round and it houses a ring of white LEDs, which are designed to show you how much power remains. There’s also a textured surface on the outside, so it’s less likely to slip out of your hand or slide away from the back of your phone while you’re charging your device.

This battery’s robust capacity should also provide you with more than enough power to fully charge a Galaxy S9 four times, and it will charge an iPhone 8 more than six times. It’s also quick to charge, at just five hours, provided you have a decent wall charger (not included). All in all, this portable battery charger represents great value for the money.

Cygnett ChargeUp Pro

Cygnett ChargeUp Pro
Simon Hill/Digital Trends
  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Outputs: 3 ports (18W, 10.5W, 45W)
  • Weight: 450g (15.87oz)
  • Price: $130
  • Time to fully charge: 5 to 6 hours

Cygnett has revamped its power bank range and this understated offering packs plenty of power. It also boasts a USB-C port with Power Delivery support, which means it can output up to 45W — enough to charge a laptop. You’ll also find two USB-A ports — one only goes up to 10.5W, but the other supports Quick Charge 3.0 for up to 18W. You can charge up multiple devices at once, and the Cygnett ChargeUp Pro offers a maximum total output of 63W. However, there’s no support for pass-through charging, so you can’t connect other devices when you’re using the USB-C port to charge the bank itself up.

It has a soft-touch finish in teal or black with rounded corners and glossy black plastic at the business end where the power button and ports are. When you turn it on, four blue LEDs on the top give you an idea of the remaining power. There’s a very short USB-C-to-USB-A cable included in the box, but that’s all you get with it. We’re a bit disappointed with the charging speeds of this unit. The maximum input via the USB-C port is 30W and you’ll need a decent fast charger to get top speeds, but even then it’s going to take the best part of six hours to charge fully. On the other hand, the generous 20,000mAh capacity will fully recharge a USB-C laptop at least once, a tablet a couple of times, and a phone several times.

It is on the expensive side for the capacity offered, but it seems to work well. It’s a solid option if you want something to sling in your backpack that will keep your laptop and phone charged up throughout the day, as long as you don’t mind charging it overnight. You can also get this portable charger with a 10,000mAh capacity for $70 or a 6,000mAh capacity for $50.

iQunix MiniPower Portable Charger

iQunix MiniPower Portable Charger
Simon Hill / Digital Trends
Simon Hill/Digital Trends
  • Capacity: 3,350mAh
  • Outputs: 1 port (1.5A)
  • Weight: 79g (2.8oz)
  • Price: $11
  • Time to fully charge: 3 to 4 hours

Possibly the most portable pick of the bunch, the MiniPower from iQuinix is ideal for slipping into your handbag and forgetting about until you need it. Finished in brushed aluminum that comes in your choice of black, gray, red, pink, or white, this diminutive charger packs a decent 3,350mAh capacity. There is only one port, which can put out up to 1.5A, so there is no fast charging here.

It comes with a felt pouch and a short, nylon-braided, USB-to-Micro USB cable. It is quite slow to charge phones and to charge up itself with that 1.5A limit, but it is also reasonably priced, durable, and very small. When you plug it in to charge a single LED will show red if it needs to be charged further or go green when fully charged, but that’s your only indication of remaining power. It will fully charge an iPhone, but for a lot of phones with bigger batteries, you’re just looking at a top-off.

Carved Wood Power Bank

Carved Wood Power Bank
  • Capacity: 6,000mAh
  • Outputs: 1 port (2.1A)
  • Weight: 140g (5oz)
  • Price: $49-plus
  • Time to fully charge; 4 to 5 hours

This is easily one of the most attractive power banks we’ve ever seen. The frame is a soft, black plastic with an ebony layer on the bottom and an eye-catching top panel. Carved offers a wide range of different finishes, some of which consist of plain wood grain, some with fantastic designs by talented artists, and some that mix natural wood grain with splashes of colored resin.

In terms of functionality, the Carved power bank is really straightforward — you get enough power to fully charge a smartphone at least once, delivered via a single USB port that’s rated at 2.1A. All the connections and components rest at one end, including the USB port used to charge your phone, the Micro USB used to charge the power bank, the recessed power button, and a standard LED array that indicates how much juice is left. The charger also comes with a handy burlap sack and a short Micro USB-to-USB cable.

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