(Pocket-lint) - In an ideal world, there would be no need for battery packs. Yet, the reality is that battery life is still an issue for many users, even those with flagship devices
Getting through the day with some power remaining requires some serious discipline, which is tough if you're used to spending all your time in group chats, playing games, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, or on yet another video call.
That's where our list of the best battery packs and portable chargers for smartphones comes in. They've been around for years, which thankfully means there are hundreds of great options to pick from, and some are now starting to include capacities over 20,000mAh and support for USB-C Power Delivery. These two things together mean that you can even charge a laptop.
So, without further ado, here's our selection of the best power bank options to deliver juice back to your gadgets.
Best Portable Chargers 2022
- Anker PowerCore III Elite 25600
- Anker PowerCore 10k
- Miady 10000mAh Dual USB Portable Charger
- Anker PowerCore III 10K
- Belkin Boost Charge Plus 10K
- Baseus Power Bank 65W
- Rsoewxn 100W Travel Charger
Our Top Pick: Best Portable Charger
Anker PowerCore III Elite 25600
- Massive capacity
- 60W USB-C fast charging
- Big and bulky
If you want the best of the best, the PowerCore III Elite might be just that. It's on the larger side, and you'll certainly feel it weighing down your backpack, but that's because it's filled with enough juice to fully charge an iPhone 11 almost 6 times.
60W USB-C power delivery means that it is compatible with a wide range of laptops, and it'll charge them pretty darn quick too. Anker reckons the PowerCore Elite III can charge a MacBook Pro from flat to full in under two and a half hours, impressive stuff.
What's more, it doesn't just output 60W, it can receive it too. With a compatible wall charger, you can refill the massive 25,600 mAh capacity in just three hours.
Portable chargers that we also recommend
While the PowerCore III Elite is one of the best around, not everyone will want something so bulky or expensive. So, with that in mind, here are four more top choices.
Anker PowerCore 10k
- Well priced
- Small and easy to carry
- No USB-C
Anker has plenty of power banks to keep you charged for days on end, but the PowerCore 10000 offers a great mixture of affordability and power.
Depending on whether you have an iPhone or Android, you should be able to recharge your phone fully from dead around 2-3 times.
It also provides fast charging technology, which, of course, means the juice is delivered to your device quickly.
Miady 10000mAh Dual USB Portable Charger
- Fantastic value
- Micro USB and USB-C inputs
- No fast charging
If you're constantly on the move, it never hurts to have two portable chargers in your bag, not just one. And with Miady's pair, you can also double up for a very affordable price.
Both feature a 10,000mAh capacity, meaning you should get at least a couple of 0-100% charges from each bank, whether you have an iPhone or Android smartphone.
At just 218g each, as well, they're also not a huge pain to carry around, though it is important to keep in mind there are no capabilities for fast charging here.
Anker PowerCore III 10K
- 10W Qi-certified wireless charging
- Clever built-in phone stand
- No MagSafe support
This power bank from the ever-reliable Anker has a 10,000mAh capacity but it has a special trick up its sleeve: a charging coil on top that means you can wirelessly charge a compatible phone with up to 10W of power.
There's also 18W quick charging via USB-C, too and you can charge the pack while it's wirelessly or wired charging another device, too.
As you'd expect, there's also USB-A for maximum compatibility plus a battery level indicator, too.
Belkin Boost Charge Plus 10K
- Built-in Lightning and USB-C cables
- Pass-through charging
- No PD charging for laptops
The Belkin Boost Charge Plus is all about convenience, never forget your cable again thanks to the built-in USB-C and Lightning cables. When you're done, the cables fold seamlessly into the chassis for a clean look. There's an additional USB-C output too for when you need to charge something more esoteric.
Another handy feature is the ability to charge the power bank whilst using it to charge your phone - a complete and hassle-free charging situation without the need to pack additional wires.
It's got pocketable portability and comes in at a reasonable price, what's not to like?
Baseus Power Bank 65W 20000mAh
- 65W PD fast charging
- Very affordable for the specification
- Big and heavy
If you're looking for high wattage power delivery and don't want to spend a fortune - this option from Baseus could be the perfect power bank for you.
It's a great option for USB-C laptops like the MacBook Pro and, of course, it'll juice your phone up with lightning speed.
It's not just on the output either, when it comes time to charge the device itself, it can take advantage of a compatible 60W fast-charger to bring it back up to full in just 2 hours.
Rsoewxn 31200mAh 100W Travel Charger
- 220V AC power output
- Integrated flashlight
- Loud cooling fan
If you have a laptop that doesn't support USB-C PD, you might want to consider this option from the confusingly named company, Rsoewxn.
This is one of the few portable chargers to feature a full-size AC outlet, meaning it can be used to charge just about anything.
Of course, it can also be used as a giant capacity USB power bank, but we can't imagine that most people would be too keen on carrying it around for daily use.
Other products we considered
In the process of ranking the best portable chargers, we spent hours testing and researching. We always consider a number of factors when it comes to recommending these chargers, and try to apply the same criteria when a new device is being considered for inclusion. It's not all judged on our testing, either - we also try to factor in consumer reviews, brand quality and value.
In all of our buyer's guides, there are also many products we test that don't make the final cut. Since they may be the right fit for some people, however, we've listed them below.
How to choose a portable charger
Choosing a portable charger can feel like a monumental task, there are just so many to choose from. With such a variety of sizes, capacities, styles and specifications on the market, it's especially hard to find the right one for you.
To help narrow down your choices, here are a couple of things we recommend thinking about before you commit to a power bank.
How much capacity do you really need?
It can be tempting to go for the largest capacity available; the more juice the better, right? Well, these high capacity chargers also tend to be heavy and bulky, so they can be a bit of a pain to carry around with you. We recommend taking a moment to think about the situations you face that normally call for a power bank. If you're camping out in the wilderness for days on end, then a giant capacity charger may be just what you need - but if you're just trying to get an extra bit of battery life to see you through your commute, you'd likely be happier with a slimmer and more lightweight solution.
What do you need to charge?
While pretty much any power bank will charge your phone, laptops, in particular, are where things get more complicated. Most USB-C powered laptops will require a high-wattage USB-C Power Delivery (PD) specification. It all depends on the laptop model, but generally speaking, for laptops, you're likely to want 60W PD spec or above, especially if you want to charge the laptop while it is in use. Check your model's specifications to ensure you get a power bank that's up to the task.
If you'll only be charging phones or tablets, then any charger will work, but be aware that not all are created equal. If you want to take advantage of fast charging then it's worth paying attention to the specs to ensure that your device will be compatible. Samsung phones seem to be especially picky when it comes to fast charging, but so long as you cross-reference your manufacturer's charging specifications with the power bank's specifications, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out.
More about this story
Every product in this list has been assessed thoroughly to ensure it will perform exactly as a recommended pick should.
We've thought about everything, factoring in how each model will perform when being used with a variety of devices and in a range of locations. This meant diving into the key specs and features, like fast charge compatibility, size and weight, PD specification and more. From there, we've then crossed our judgements with each individual price tag to ensure they represent good value for money, too.
As with any roundup, it's not possible to deliver a list that works for every type of user, but we lean on the experiences and opinions of the wider Pocket-lint team - as well as thoroughly assessing the areas above - in order to do our best in this regard.
What we always tend to avoid when compiling these picks are needless spec comparisons and marketing lines; we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that gives you an idea of what each charger is like to use. Our verdicts are concise, but this is purely in the interest of brevity.