Once upon a time it seemed like everyone was buying battery cases for more power so their phones will last a day. However, the biggest problem with battery covers is that they make the phone bulky and heavy, and some cases even affect wireless reception. As phones grow in size, battery cases no longer have the utility or logic of yesteryear. In my opinion, an external battery pack is the solution.
Therefore, I have put together the best compact batteries, with an emphasis on Android devices. Although they cost more, batteries with a built-in USB-C output are my favorites because I don’t have to worry about taking a charging cable with me. (Models with integrated USB-C cables should also work for iPad Pro models.) I’ve also included some budget options for those who want to spend as little as possible.
Clarification: CNET may receive a percentage of the sales generated by the products we present here.
The best portable chargers with integrated Lightning cables and pull-out plugs
Like the PhoneSuit Journey, the $ 50 Ventev Powercell 6010 Plus has integrated pull-out plugs and an integrated USB-C cable. It has a 6,000 mAh battery and a standard USB port so you can charge other devices with the extra cable.
MyCharge’s HubPlus-C has a built-in pull-out plug, a USB-C cable, and a USB output port. It’s a bit bulky, but with a 6,700 mAh battery, it can charge most phones twice (and up to three times). It has 18 watts of power and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 feature, which allows devices to be charged more quickly with USB-C.
Best High Capacity Portable Chargers with PD Quick Charge Function
The Anker PowerCore 10,000 PD sells for about $ 45. Although it’s thicker than some of the chargers on this list, it’s one of the smallest 10,000 mAh portable chargers and has an 18-watt USB-C PD port that provides fast charging. The cable required for fast charging (USB-C to USB-C) is included.
Mophie’s Powerstation PD is available in 6,000 mAh ($ 60) and 10,050 mAH ($ 80) versions. The 6,000 mAh model offers 18 watts of power from its USB-C port. You can also charge a second device from the USB-A port.
Priced at $ 30, the Aukey Power Bank PD 10,000 mAh is one of the most affordable high-capacity power banks you can find. It is also slim and offers 18 watts of fast charging from its USB-C PD port.
The best portable chargers with a pull-out plug
This Anker model is basically a charger that plugs into the wall with a built-in 5,000 mAh battery. It has two standard USB ports and a small LED indicator that allows you to check the charge level at the push of a button. Its price is between $ 26 and $ 30.
The MyCharge Home & Go Portable Charger has built-in fold-out tips so you can plug it into the outlet. The smaller, slimmer 4,000 mAh version costs about $ 30 and has a single USB output port (USB-C cable is not included), while the 8,000 mAh version costs $ 40 and has two USB output ports for charge two devices at the same time.
The best portable wireless chargers
Moshi’s Porto Q 5K (5,000-mAh) isn’t cheap – it costs $ 85. But like the MyCharge Unplugged, it is a portable battery that also serves as a wireless charging pad. Charge via USB-C instead of Micro-USB. It has a USB output port for charging with cables and you can charge two devices simultaneously.
Power bank with integrated horn
If you’re looking for a portable battery that can also play music, the Esquire Mini 2 ($ 130) is a Bluetooth speaker that has a USB output port for charging devices (the Lightning cable is not included). Sounds great for its size.
Comparison of portable batteries
We have used all of the models listed above for a period of weeks and months. The batteries we highlight in this article are the ones we recommend over dozens, if not hundreds, of other models for sale on Amazon and other stores. For this reason, we have focused on some favorite brands: Mophie, MyCharge and Anker, in addition to Aukey, Ventev, Moshi and Harman Kardon.
What to consider when buying batteries
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a battery pack:
- A high power rating (mAh) means that you will get more charges, but also that the battery is heavier.
- For the latest Android phones, you need to buy a battery with a capacity of at least 3,000 mAh, which should give you a full charge. With the exception of Harman Kardon, all the models mentioned above accomplished this.
- Multiple USB output ports will let you charge more than one device at the same time.
- All these products use rechargeable lithium ion batteries, so they always have to be stored in the carry-on bag when traveling by plane. Airlines and regulatory agencies are banning these batteries in checked bags.
- Some of the batteries mentioned above are USB-PD models, which provide faster charging of phones and other USB-C products that support fast charging. These PD chargers can charge larger USB-C devices (laptops, Nintendo Switch, among others), as well as iPad Pro with USB-C, but sometimes at a lower speed than chargers that connect to wall outlets.