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The best portable chargers for 2022

Smartphones are getting larger and more powerful, and smartphone batteries have increased in size, too, with some phones now exceeding 5,000mAh in capacity. Most of us consistently get a day’s use out of our smartphone before it needs recharging. Heavier use pushes that down, and if you’re having a particularly active day, you may need to plug your phone into a charger or park it on a wireless charging pad for a while.

But plugging your phone into a charging outlet isn’t always possible, especially if you’re on the move, or simply far away from any power sources. That’s when a portable charger, portable battery, or power bank is a godsend. Simply plug your phone into your portable charger and top up your device without being tethered to one location. Whether you need a big, bulky charger with power for days or a slim power bank that can slip into your bag and give your phone a quick top-up, there’s a charger for you. Here are the best portable chargers we’ve found.

Nimble Champ Portable Charger

The Nimble Champ provides a 10,000 mAh battery for up to three days of power. An ultra-compact 6.4 ounces and 3 inches at its longest point, the Champ is one of the lightest and smallest battery chargers available. It can charge two devices at once via USB-C and USB-A to keep your iPhone or Android phone running for several days. It features 18W Power Delivery and QC 4.0, compatible with Apple and Android fast-charge protocols to charge up to 80% in 30 minutes. It includes a USB-A to USB-C cable but no wall adapter. The company emphasizes its ecological priorities by using certified recycled plastic for the product and biodegradable plastic-free packaging.

Imuto 20,000mAh Portable Charger

This Imuto is a 20,000mAh, high capacity beast in a compact-sized package that supports pass through charging. The portable battery charger features two USB ports, wherein both detect your device intelligently to deliver a faster charge or charge two devices simultaneously. You get around six smartphone charges or 1.5 tablet charges. It is powered by high-quality lithium polymer batteries with multiple smart protection tech, to keep your devices safe from over-charging, over-voltage, over-current, and short-circuiting. The smart digital display shows the remaining power in digital format so you always know when the unit is fully charged and how much power remains. There’s even a built-in LED flashlight for low-light locations. All this power gets a little heavy and bulky, but the benefits are worth it.

Charmast 26,800mAh Slim Portable Charger

If really want to make sure your smartphones and tablets don’t run out of juice, this power bank from Charmast comes highly recommended. With a capacity of 26,800mAh, Charmast says that it can charge the average phone five times while also charging earlier MacBooks and iPads twice or even thrice. It also requires only nine hours of charging time, so you can replenish it overnight. Even though it offers a high capacity, it’s also a surprisingly slim and manageable power bank, weighing only 15 ounces. It’s a great all-around machine, and with four outputs (USB-C and 3 USB-A) and three inputs (Micro USB, USB-C, and Lightning), it provides plenty of versatility.

Anker PowerCore Slim 10,000

One of the most reputable names in power banks and portable charging, Anker has delivered a great middle-of-the-road device with its PowerCore Slim 10,000. As the name suggests, it offers a capacity of 10,000mAh, which is enough for just over two charges of an iPhone 12. With a weight of only 208 grams (around 7.5 ounces), it’s also not particularly heavy, making it a suitably discreet travel companion. Despite being on the lightweight end of the spectrum, Anker has designed it to be durable and road-ready, so it should last year a few years. It has two ports — Micro USB and USB-C — for charging your devices, and also includes a “trickle-charging” mode for less power-hungry gadgets.

Iniu Portable Charger

Here’s a 20,000mAh power bank that won’t break that other bank you have. It offers three USB ports (two USB-A, one USB-C), two of which use QC (Quick Charge) technology, which can recharge the latest iPhones from 0% to 60% in just over half an hour. On top of this, it comes with 20,000mAh of juice, so it can help out multiple devices before needing a refill itself. One of its most noteworthy features is the digital display, which tells you just how much of its own battery it has left. Also works with a variety of other devices beyond smartphones and tablets, including AirPods, Bluetooth headphones, and fitness trackers, while all three of its ports can be used simultaneously to recharge devices.

Yelomin Solar Charger Power Bank

If you’re planning on trekking across the Sahara desert anytime soon, Yelomin’s Solar Power Bank may be the portable solar phone charger for you. With a whopping capacity of 20,000mAh, this high-capacity power bank can be recharged using a regular outlet, or you can simply point the built-in solar panel at the sky so the sun can do all the work. It comes with two standard USB-A ports that can be used to charge two devices simultaneously, although you’ll see faster performance if you charge one device at a time.

While its use of the sun is convenient if you’re stranded somewhere without an outlet, you’ll find that it takes noticeably longer than usual for the charger itself to recharge using solar power. Still, it is a highly rugged, waterproof, and reliable portable charger, made of a mix of PC, silicone, and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), with an advertised lifecycle of more than 900 recharges. It also offers an LED-based flashlight, just in case you’re without a torch.

Mophie Powerstation Plus

The Mophie Powerstation Plus is a highly compact, lightweight portable charger that still packs a considerable amount of extra power for your device. At 6,000mAh, it provides a whole extra charge for most major smartphones out there and also will give many tablets most of their energy back. The charger is particularly suited to iPhones, given it comes with a built-in Lightning cable as well as a USB-A port for other manufacturers.

The Mophie Powerstation Plus charges at an output of 2.1A and maximum wattage of 18W, and it also has an adaptive charging technology that can identify the fastest charging speed for your particular device. Mophie claims the Powerstation Plus can recharge the average iPhone from 0% to 50% in around 30 minutes, so it does its job pretty quickly. It has a slimline aluminum finish and comes in four colors.

Infinacore Pandora P3 Global Wireless Power Bank

Infinacore’s Pandora P3 is certainly worth considering if you’re looking to go truly wireless or want to accommodate a wide range of devices. There are three outputs — four if you count the wireless charger. There’s a single USB-C port with PD, a QuickCharge USB 3.0 port, and a regular USB 2.0 port, and recharges at a maximum of 18W. The wireless charger tops out at 10W. It works with multiple devices, so you can charge several at once. It’ll pass through power while recharging, so you can use it as a charging adapter while it’s plugged into a wall socket. There’s an LED screen on the device that lists the charge percentage and a power button beneath. Press the button once to turn it on, and press it three times in quick succession to turn it off. It’ll also turn off automatically after 30 seconds of inactivity. It feels solid and comes with a soft-touch coating that adds a lot of grip.

While an 8,000mAh battery is a little small and 18W also is a little slow when flagships are pulling 25W or even 45W from their standard chargers these days, this small charger is the perfect accompaniment for shorter trips or those with smaller batteries and slower charge rates.

Elecjet PowerPie Power Bank

Elecjet PowerPie Power Bank has a massive 20,000mAh battery, which should be enough to charge most phones three times over. It supports the USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 standard, so it can put out up to 45W through the USB-C port. Thanks to that hefty recharging, you can easily use this power bank with a tablet or a USB-C laptop. The Elecjet PowerPie can charge two devices at once and supports pass-through charging, so you can plug it in to charge and use it to charge another device at the same time. It ships with a short USB-C to USB-C cable, but because the supplied cable doesn’t seem to support 45W charging — to get the most from this you’ll need to use a wall charger and USB-C to USB-C cable rated at 45W. Still, at this price, the Elecjet PowerPie is an impressive bit of kit.

A solitary USB-C port can be used to charge both the power bank and other devices. Because the USB-C takes or puts out up to 45W, with the right charger you can fill this power bank from empty in just 2.5 hours. There’s also a USB-A port that supports the Quick Charge 3.0 standard and can output up to 18W, which is enough to charge an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy smartphone at top speed. A power button on the side and the standard four LED array show the remaining juice next to the two ports. It’s quite heavy and chunky, and finished in a plain, soft-touch, matte black plastic that’s comfortable to hold.

Omnicharge Omni 20

When you absolutely need to charge every device in the room, but you still want something reasonably portable, the Omni 20 is set to become the new object of your desire. This unassuming square with sloping corners packs a multitude of speedy charging options. While Omnicharge may have literally cut corners on the exterior, you’ll find everything you could need inside.

There’s a proper AC outlet, just like a wall outlet, capable of putting out 100W to power a laptop or other large devices — you could even plug a TV into it. There’s also a DC outlet that can put out 70W and two USB ports — the first is rated at 5V/3A and the second supports the Quick Charge 3.0 standard, so whatever smartphone you own it should be able to charge at top speed from this power bank.

Next to the power button, there’s a small OLED screen that shows the remaining power as an amount and as a percentage. The Omni 20 also displays how much power is coming in, how much power is going out, how much time before it runs out of juice, and the temperature. On the other side of the screen, there’s a rocker to turn on the USB ports and the AC outlet. The DC port can act as an output, but it’s also the best way to charge the Omni 20 and, if you use the adapter and cable provided, it can charge up fully in just three hours — not bad for a 20,400mAh capacity device. You also can use a laptop adapter to charge it, which is handy for travelers who don’t want to pack any superfluous extras.

This is a seriously versatile device that will charge up just about anything. There are a few different versions of the Omni 20: The Omni 20 switches a USB-C for the AC outlet for $200 and a Pro version at $300 that includes extra charging cables and tips. Our Omni 20 also had plug attachments for the power adapter enabling us to use it in the U.S., the EU, and the U.K. It’s on the expensive side and quite large for the capacity offered, but as a one-stop charging solution for every device you own, from the latest iPhone, iPad Air, or anything else, it’s hard to match.

Frequently asked questions

Are portable chargers worth it?

The answer generally depends on how often you travel. If you’re a frequent traveler (or heavy commuter) and tend to go for relatively long spells between visits to a normal charger, portable chargers definitely are worth it. While some of the heftier chargers can be fairly pricey, they’re still a good purchase if you really need to be on your phone while away from a wall socket. At the same time, many portable chargers with smaller capacities are available for reasonable prices, so even infrequent voyagers may find they’re worthwhile.

What is a good capacity for a portable charger?

The answer to this question also depends on how many devices you intend to power while you’re away from a wall charger.  If you’re using a phone and a tablet, then a portable charger with 10,000mAh or more may be worthwhile. Some people need portable chargers that offer at least 100% of their smartphone’s battery, while others need even more or less. It’s best to find out the battery size of your device (check the manufacturer’s website) and choose accordingly. For some people, even a smaller portable charger that offers 2,000mAh (around 50% of the average flagship smartphone) is enough, while some people who travel extensively will need at least 5,000mAh, 10,000mAh, or even more.

How long do portable chargers last?

Most good portable chargers should last for at least a few hundred charges before beginning to deteriorate, with the 500 cycles of the Xcentz Portable Charger being a good benchmark for units in its price range. Longevity varies among devices, so it’s best to do your research and check with a charger’s manufacturer (or seller) before making a purchase.

Can you bring a portable charger on a plane?

You can bring your portable charger onto an airplane. However, remember that any portable chargers must be taken as carry-on (i.e., hand) luggage, and should not be checked in with your larger suitcases and stored in the hold of the plane. This holds for the vast majority of airlines operating today. If in doubt, call your airline’s customer service number to confirm their policies before you fly with them.

Where can I buy a portable charger?

You can buy portable chargers from pretty much the same outlets as smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Apple and Samsung’s official websites stock a number of portable chargers, while you can also find plenty from online retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy.

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