Monday, July 15, 2024

Best Portable Charger 2020: Power Banks for Extra Battery Life

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When you’re on the go, the last thing you want to discover is that your phone doesn’t have as much energy to make it through the day as you do. But, just as you can grab a cup of coffee to give yourself an energy boost, your phone can get the top up it needs from a portable charger.Even the best smartphones can benefit from having a portable power bank handy. Very few modern phones sacrifice their svelte design in favor of packing in a larger battery, and that makes it harder for them to offer battery life that can hold up over long hours of having the screen on or playing mobile games. A good power bank will make up for the lack of internal power, sometimes even giving you multiple, full charges of your phone’s battery. A good many power banks even support fast charging or may have enough juice to keep up with more demanding devices, like tablets, the Nintendo Switch, or even some ultrabooks.

So, if you’re ready to leave battery concerns behind, check out our top picks for power banks and find one that’ll give you the extra charge you need when you’ve got a long day ahead of you and no power outlets in sight.

TL;DR – These are the Best Portable Chargers:

1. Anker PowerCore II 20000

Best Portable Charger

Our Pick

Anker PowerCore II 20000

On Amazon

If you’re in the market for a portable charger, Anker’s name is going to pop up quite often. That’s because the company has a strong history of making efficient and stylish power banks. This version of the PowerCore II boasts a massive 20,100mAh capacity, so you can very easily recharge your big smartphone multiple times.

According to Anker, you can recharge your phone 6.5 times and it’ll support devices with fast-charging too. We’ve used this PowerCore II regularly and have found it to be very reliable. And its reasonable $70 price is hard to beat too.

2. Aukey Basix Mini

Best Budget Portable Charger

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Aukey Basix Mini

On Amazon

Aukey does a great job of making budget products, and that extends to portable chargers as well. The Aukey Basic Mini definitely falls on the affordable side at just $20, but it delivers strong performance and decent flexibility. The Aukey Basix Mini features a chunky little design that sports the dimensions of a credit card, albeit much thicker in the z-axis. That compact form still fits in 10,000mAh of charging potential, enough to easily recharge most smartphones and even many tablets, and Aukey makes it convenient to use.

There are both a USB-A and a USB-C port, each capable of 18W charging. The USB-A port is compatible with QuickCharge 3.0 devices while the USB-C port supports PD 3.0. That covers a wide range of devices with faster charging capabilities, including the battery bank itself, which can quickly recharge using the USB-C port. The Basix Mini even supports simultaneously charging over USB-A while being recharged over USB-C.

3. Aukey USB C Power Bank

Best Ultra Cheap Portable Charger

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Aukey USB C Power Bank

On Amazon

Aukey has you covered if you want an incredibly affordable power bank that will still net you decent capacity. This Aukey USB-C Power Bank, also known as the Aukey Basix Slim PB-N73, offers up 10,000mAh hours of juice. That should be more than enough to give your phone an extra life or two. Or, you can use the power bank to give two phones some extra life, as this device has two USB-A ports to deliver power simultaneously – no more fighting with your friends over who needs to charge more.

The Aukey Basix Slim PB-N73 can charge at up to 12W, letting you give your phones a quicker top-up than basic chargers can offer. You can even use it on tablets. Since you’ll be able to pump power out of this battery bank quickly, Aukey wanted to make sure you could pump power back into it quickly as well. That’s why this power bank features not only a micro USB port that supports 10W recharging but also a USB-C port that can accept 15W charging. That’ll let you recharge the battery bank in five hours.

4. Mophie PowerStation PD

Best Portable Charger with Quickcharge

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Mophie PowerStation PD

On Best Buy

The Mophie PowerStation PD is one of the more affordable power banks with PD-certified quick charging. This battery ekes out 18W of fast charging power so you can top off your devices 2.5 times faster than with most portable batteries.

This battery also features 6,700mAh of capacity, which allows you to extend the life of your smartphone to a total of 23 hours. If you’re looking for even more battery life, there’s also the Mophie PowerStation PD XL (see it at Amazon), which bumps up capacity to 10,500mAh and a 35-hour extension on your phone’s battery life.

5. ELECJET Apollo Traveller

Best Fast Charging Portable Charger

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ELECJET Apollo Traveller

On Elecjet

Fast charging your devices is important, but what if we told you there was a power bank you can fast charge too. ELECJET Apollo Traveller major claim to fame is the fact that it can fully recharge in just 18 minutes. That’s a critically important feature if you forget to recharge your battery pack overnight and need it topped off quickly while you get ready to go out in the morning.

The ELECJET Apollo Traveller can recharge this quickly thanks to its graphene composite battery, which can quickly store energy efficiently and safely. The only tricky thing about using the Apollo Traveller is you need a 60W power brick—which doesn’t come included—to get that insanely fast 18 minute quick charge. But once it’s ready to go you have a 5,000mAh battery ready to charge your devices with USB-C PD power bank that can output a maximum of 30W.

6. RAVPower 26800mAh PD Power Bank

Best Portable Laptop Charger

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RAVPower 26800mAh PD Power Bank

On Amazon

If you’re going to carry around a heavy power bank, it might as well be able to charge more devices than just your phone. That’s where the RAVPower 26800mAh PD Power Bank comes in with a nice bit of extra power for the biggers device you might have on hand.

This RAVPower unit manages more capable charging with a USB-C PD port capable of delivering up to 30 watts of fast charging. That’s enough to juice up some lower-power laptops, tablets, and even a Nintendo Switch. With a 26,800mAh capacity, it has enough power to share with a number of devices, which makes the extra two USB-A ports all the more handy. Since it has such a big battery inside, RAVPower has even made it possible to use the 30W USB-C port to recharge the bank in as little as 4 hours.

7. Omni 20+

Best Portable Charger With AC Power

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If you need a serious power bank to charge your laptop, you can’t go wrong with the Omni 20+. Anything plugged into this portable battery’s AC port can feed on up to 100W of power, which is more than enough to recharge even the biggest MacBook Pro and even some gaming laptops. It far outpaces any of the other AC plug-equipped batteries we’ve seen that usually top out at an 80W max.

There’s also a universal barrel port on the opposite side of the AC plus that outputs 100W for another laptop and a USB port for 60W power delivery. With 20,000mAh on hand, this portable charger will get you through a full day without ever having to touch a wall plug.

8. Anker PowerCore Lite 10000mAh

Best Slim Portable Charger

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Anker PowerCore Lite 10000mAh

On Newegg

The Anker PowerCore Lite 10000mAh is essentially the little brother of our top pick above. It’s much smaller and lighter, to the point it’s almost the same size as your smartphone.

Although it has about half the amount of capacity compared to most 20,000mAh portable charger, this power bank can still juice up most modern smartphones more than 2.5 times over. And it only costs $30.

9. Aukey Power Bank with Lightning Port

Best iPhone Portable Charger

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Aukey Power Bank with Lightning Port

On Amazon

In regards to bang-for-the-buck, the Aukey Power Bank is easily one of the best on this list. Not only does it feature a big 20,000mAh capacity battery capable of charging a big iPhone XS Max 5 times over, but it features a Lightning port. You can actually use the same Lightning cable to both charge the Aukey bank and then to charge your iOS device from the power bank.

Carrying around fewer charging cables is always a welcome change of pace for portable devices. And if you’re charging a non-iOS device, Aukey also includes a Micro-USB charging port. Best of all, the whole package is only a little over 30 bucks.

10. Anker PowerCore Nintendo Switch Edition

Best Nintendo Switch Power Bank

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Anker PowerCore Nintendo Switch Edition

On Amazon

Anker is well-known in the power bank world, and its first Switch-approved charger looks pretty awesome. Unlike most stand-alone power banks, the Anker PowerCore lets you charge the Switch while you’re using it, which sets it apart from most power banks, and makes it a lot more useful too.

This officially-licensed charger is good for 1.7 charges of your switch, according to Anker, which should equal about 10 hours of playtime total. Even with the new Switch and Switch Lite extending the battery life of the original Nintendo handheld, a power bank is still an essential Nintendo Switch accessory.

What to Look for in a Portable Charger

When shopping for a power bank the most important spec you should look out for is capacity. This figure is always followed closely by a mAh unit, which stands for milliamp Hour. Given that most ultra-thin flagship phones have a 3,000mAh battery inside of them already, you’re going to want to find a portable charger with at least that much capacity, so you can double the battery life of your handset—unless of course, you’re looking for an extremely portable battery.

As you may have noticed most portable chargers these days come in a 10,000mAh capacity or higher, and this is pretty much the standard we see on power banks today. Portable batteries of this size should give you three-time or more charge while you’re on the go.

After considering the capacity of your charger, you’re going to want to think about charging speeds and the ports that deliver those speeds. Not all chargers are created equal, with some offering much higher charging capabilities with increased voltages and amperages. Some chargers may use standards like Power Delivery (PD) to connect with your device and send the maximum energy possible. So you’ll want to compare what output capabilities the charger has with the charging speeds your phone or other electronics supports. Also, check which ports offer which of those speeds, as you may find some ports offer much higher charging than others.

Doing this, you can find chargers that support the quick charging of your phone or even find chargers that will be capable of delivering enough power to keep even your laptop running for some extra time. You’ll also want to consider this same aspect but for the charger itself. After all, it has a battery that needs recharging, too. If you have a 20,000mAh battery, but it only supports 5W input, it’s going to take a long time to fill it back up.

More Expert Tech Roundups

Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark


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