When you use a case with a battery to help you get enough fuel to keep your Android devices running all day long, you ‘re not alone. For charging and portable power, lots of people rely on them. But battery cases have some definite disadvantages — at best they make your devices heavy and cumbersome and at worst they can damage your wireless reception. Yore battery packs no longer make the same sense for charging now that phones are typically getting bigger and bigger, so the way to go these days is an external battery pack for wireless charging.
In that end, I have rounded up top picks for Android devices as the best portable charger. Although they cost more, I personally like batteries that have built-in USB-C output in them so I don’t have to worry about carrying a charging cable around for enough power for my devices. (The versions with built-in USB-C cables will work with iPad Pro devices as well.) But for those who don’t want to fork out too much for portable power and their charging needs, I have included some budget choices. And while we have a separate power bank roundup for iPhones, it can operate fine with an iPhone (and non-Pro iPad models) without an integrated USB-C cable, as long as you have the Lightning cable.
Best battery packs with built-in Lightning cables and foldout wall plugs
Unlike the PhoneSuit Journey, the portable charger and battery pack $35 Ventev Powercell 6010 Plus have built-in folding prongs and an integrated USB-C cable. It houses a 6,000-mAh battery and there’s also a regular USB port so several devices can be charged and recharged with an extra cable.
The portable charger and power bank ($60) of MyCharge’s HubPlus has an integrated foldable wall plug, an integrated micro USB cable and USB-C cable and USB-out connection. It’s a bit bulky but it can recharge the battery twice (and some three times) on most phones with a 6,700-mAh battery. This charger also features 18 watts of output power and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 functionality, which facilitates faster charging of USB-C devices.
Best high-capacity power banks with PD Quick Charge feature
The Redux portable battery charger Anker PowerCore 10000 PD will sell for about $40. While this battery charger is larger in size than some of this roundup’s charger options, it is one of the smaller 10,000-mAh portable charger models and has an 18-watt USB-C PD port that provides fast charging. It includes the appropriate USB cable for fast charging (USB-C to USB-C).
The portable Mophie Powerstation PD battery is available in the 6,000-mAh ($47) and 10,050-mAh ($48) models. The 6,000-mAh model (pictured here) provides 18 watts of power from its USB-C port to boost the battery life for fast charging purposes. A second device can also be charged and recharged from the USB-A port for charging multiple devices.
The Aukey Power Bank PD 10,000 mAh is one of the most accessible high-capacity power banks with a price tag of about $30, which is fairly slim and provides 18 watt fast charging from their USB-C PD slot.
This Anker model is essentially an enormous wall charger with a 5,000-mAh built-in battery. It has two regular USB charging ports to juic your handset and a secondary gadget (or two telephones) at the same time. Then a little lateral LED indicator lets you test the amount of charge by pressing a button. It’s actually on Amazon for $23 to $30, depending on the color you select (white, black, or red lipstick).
Best portable wireless Qi chargers
It’s not cheap at about $85 Moshi’s Porto Q 5 K (5,000-mAh) but like the MyCharge Unplugged, it’s a portable battery that doubles as a portable wireless charger. It’s swankier and more elegant than the MyCharge Unplugged and charges via USB-C instead of Micro USB. There’s a USB out port for wired storage, so two devices can be charged so recharged at once.
For your daily needs it may be overkill but this RAVPower high-capacity battery pack is perfect for long trips. It has three USB ports, and ample power to recharge most modern smartphones 6 times.
Anker’s PowerCore+ mini can hold just enough power to keep your phone alive for a couple of extra hours, but it’s so small you may even forget it’s there. This isn’t the battery you’re supposed to take on a multi-day ride, but it’s the right one to carry a night out in your pocket!
If you have devices with USB-C ports, such as the Nintendo Switch or Google Pixel 2, Xaomi’s battery pack is the best choice on this list, because it has a USB-C PD (power delivery) port that can easily charge gadgets with that connector. The battery also has a standard USB port and supports quick charging, with sufficient power to recharge an iPhone X 2.7 times.
Portable battery packs compared
Over the last weeks and months, we have used all the above models in anecdotal research. Every battery pack outlined above is one that we prefer over the thousands if not hundreds of others that are currently on sale at Amazon and elsewhere, which is why we zeroed in on a handful of favorite brands: Mophie, MyCharge, and Anker, with some notable one-offs from Aukey, Ventev, Moshi and Harman Kardon thrown in for good measure.
What to look for in a battery pack
Here’s a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a battery pack:
- With a battery pack, a higher power level (mAh, short with milliamp hours) means more charges — but also a heavier weight.
- You should buy at least a 3,000-mAh capacity battery for the new Android phones which will give you at least one full charge. All the models listed above except the Harman Kardon hit the mark.
- Multiple USB-out ports will allow you to charge and recharge can phones or devices at once.
- Such goods do use rechargeable lithium-ion ( li-ion) batteries, and should therefore always be packed in carry-on luggage while traveling. Increasingly, airlines and regulatory agencies prohibit li-ion batteries inside checked luggage.
- Some of the above battery pack options are USB-PD (power delivery) models that provide faster charging of phones with varying battery capacity, as well as other USB-C products that support quick charging. Such PD chargers can charge larger USB-C devices (laptops, Nintendo Switch ($400 at Amazon) and the like), as well as USB-C-enabled iPad Pros, but also at lower rates than higher-wattage wall chargers.
When it comes to choosing a power bank to help keep your devices charged, there are a lot of options out there. We hope that our list of the Best Powerbanks for Designers in 2020 has given you some great options worth considering,
Is there a power bank that you swear by and it’s not on our list? Let us know in the comments below.