Best Portable Battery Chargers
Imagine it's the middle of the day, and after several rounds of phone tag, the name of an elusive contact pops up on your smartphone screen. Then you notice that ominous red on the battery icon: Your phone is about to die. Luckily an array of portable battery chargers is available for the rescue, and you don't have to spend big to get your hands on one of these little lifesavers.
Our Top Pick
RavPower RP-PB010 Review
- Large battery capacity of 16,750 mAh can charge a top smartphone multiple times.
- 2 ports with enough power output (4.5A total) to charge 2 tablets simultaneously.
- Comes with a travel pouch, 2 USB to micro-USB cables, and choice of black or white.
- 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 13,500 reviewers on Amazon.
- High capacity makes for a heavier power bank (10.7 ounces).
- Large battery takes a while to recharge.
Takeaway: With a 16,750 mAh battery and total power output of 4.5 amps, the RavPower RP-PB010 is capable of rapidly charging two devices at once. This large-capacity charger is also relatively slim, at just 0.9 inch thick, and reviewers like its curved shape.
Poweradd Pilot 2GS Review
- Slim shape houses a large capacity of 10,000 mAh.
- Charges devices quickly, with 2 ports and sufficient output (3.4A in total) to charge a phone and tablet at the same time.
- Can charge a phone several times before it needs recharging.
- Many buyers admire the sleek design that slips easily into a pocket.
- 4.3 out of 5 stars from more than 4,000 reviewers on Amazon.
- Heavy for such a compact device (8.8 ounces).
- Some shoppers complain that it stopped holding a charge after several months.
Takeaway: The Poweradd Pilot 2GS is surprisingly cheap given its slick design and 10,000 mAh capacity. The dual USB ports provide enough output to swiftly charge two devices at once -- always a welcome feature.
RavPower RP-PB17R Review
- Attractive design made with scratch-resistant pink or silver anodized aluminum.
- Charges devices rapidly (2.4A output).
- Lightweight, at 4.8 ounces.
- 4.6 out of 5 stars from more than 1,700 reviewers on Amazon.
- Can't charge more than one device at a time.
- Shape is compact but not very slim.
- A small number of buyers say it wouldn't recharge after a few months.
Takeaway: This nifty little portable battery charger from RavPower stores enough power (6,700 mAh) to charge a top smartphone a couple of times over, yet it fits comfortably in a pocket or purse and costs less than $20.
Aukey PB-N15 Power Bank Review
- Very large battery capacity of 20,000 mAh (good to take on long trips away from outlet power).
- Can power up a phone several times on a single charge.
- Capable of charging a phone and a tablet at the same time.
- Blocky design, available in black or white, does not appeal to some.
- A few users say it stopped working after a few months, although others report that it still works after more than a year of use.
- Weighs almost a pound, due to the large battery.
Takeaway: The Aukey PB-N15 has the capacity to charge a small arsenal of devices before it needs recharging. It stores enough juice to charge a leading smartphone at least three times and even fully charge a 9.7-inch iPad Pro on the go. The trade-off is that it's somewhat hefty to carry around.
Jackery Bolt 6000 Review
- Designed for both Apple and Android devices, with convenient built-in Lightning and micro-USB cables.
- Nice amount of power (6,000 mAh) considering its small size (4.3 x 1.9 x 0.9 inches).
- Charges devices and recharges itself quickly.
- Sturdy aluminum casing available in black, red, orange, or silver.
- Wirecutter's pick for everyday carry.
- Built-in cables don't fit well with some phone cases.
- Some iPhone users say this device doesn't consistently charge their phones.
Takeaway: With the Jackery Bolt 6000, users can charge both Android devices by micro USB and Apple products with Lightning connectors. The cables are integrated into the charger so you don't have to worry about losing them or carrying along your own.
TravelCard Charger Review
- Incredibly slim and portable -- designed to fit in a wallet.
- Good backup power source in case of emergency.
- Built-in charging cables.
- Android/micro-USB and iPhone/Lightning versions available.
- Comes in seven colors.
- Wirecutter's pick for a truly pocket-sized battery.
- Small capacity of 1,500 mAh charges most smartphones only about halfway.
- Charging time is slow compared with our other picks.
- Not sufficient for charging a tablet.
- A little on the thick side for sliding into most wallets (0.2 inch).
- Charges only one device at a time.
Takeaway: The TravelCard Charger is perhaps the slimmest, smallest portable charger available. Although the capacity is limited, it's ideal for situations when your phone battery just needs a little boost. Don't expect it to fully charge a smartphone, but it can save you in a pinch.
Flux Portable Charger Review
- Built-in micro-USB and Lightning cables.
- Slim, lightweight, and portable; easily slides into a pocket.
- Recharges itself more slowly than our top picks (1.5A input vs. 2A or more).
- Several buyers report that it stopped charging after only a few months.
- Some shoppers complain that the device breaks after a while; the charging ports seem particularly vulnerable.
Takeaway: The Flux Portable Charger has some attractive features, such as built-in cables, but its slow charging ability turns off some buyers, as does an apparent tendency to break down after a few months.
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