The Best Portable Chargers for 2020 | Digital Trends



If you use your phone a lot throughout the day, charging it at night might not be sufficient. Using your phone with a low battery isn’t optimal since it can impact performance. There are different options to explore to ensure that you always have a full charge.

We recommend investing in a portable charger so that you can charge your phone on the go. Emergency chargers and power banks are convenient options to explore to ensure that your phone always has a full charge.

Whether you’re out in town, camping, or just anywhere away from an outlet, a portable charger is worth carrying if you’re worried your phone’s battery won’t last. But which charger should you buy? The best portable chargers are lightweight, powerful, and durable. Remember, portable chargers need charging, too — some need to be charged with electrical cords, while others get their energy from the sun. Here are some of the best portable chargers you can buy to keep your smartphone’s battery topped up.

Infinacore Pandora P3 Global Wireless Power Bank

  • Capacity: 8,000mAh
  • Outputs: Three ports (USB-C PD and two USB-A, up to 18W)
  • Weight: 326 grams (11.5 ounces)
  • Price: $40
  • Time to fully charge: Around 2 to 3 hours

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. Firstly, it doesn’t need a wire to recharge. Instead, with the built-in U.S. plug or European or British slide-on plugs, you can recharge the power bank straight from an outlet. 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. It’s certainly unlikely to slide off most surfaces.

But enough about that — what are its charging capacities? 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 it’ll recharge at a maximum of 18W. The wireless charger tops out at 10W, which isn’t bad. It works with multiple devices, too, so you can charge up multiple devices at once. It’ll pass through power while recharging, too, so you can use it as a charging adapter while it’s plugged into a wall socket.

But it’s not perfect. 8,000mAh is a little small in this day and age, and most major flagship devices will happily devour over half the capacity in a single full charge. 18W is also a little slow when flagships are pulling 25W or even 45W from their standard chargers. However, this smaller charger is the perfect accompaniment for shorter trips out or those with smaller batteries and slower charge rates. For instance, it’ll be perfect for iPhone users, as those phones have smaller batteries, and 18W fast charging matches perfectly.

Elecjet PowerPie Power Bank

  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Outputs: Two ports (USB-C PD up to 45W, USB-A up to 18W)
  • Weight: 390g (13.7oz)
  • Price: $60
  • Time to fully charge: Around 2.5 hours

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s got it where it counts — and once you see what this charger can do, you’ll want to cut yourself a nice slice of PowerPie’s power pie. It packs a massive 20,000mAh battery, which should be enough to charge most phones fully 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, which is a real rarity right now. Thanks to that hefty recharging, you can easily use this power bank with a tablet or a USB-C laptop. It’s quite heavy and chunky, but not overly so considering the capacity, and it’s finished in a plain, soft-touch, matte black plastic that’s comfortable to hold, broken only by a silver Elecjet logo.

There’s a solitary USB-C port which can be used to charge other devices and also to charge the power bank. As mentioned, the USB-C takes or puts out up to 45W, so 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 put out up to 18W, which is enough to charge an iPhone at top speed. To give a couple of examples, this portable charger can take a Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus to 70% in just 30 minutes, or it can charge an iPhone 11 Pro to 50% in the same half-hour. There’s a power button on the side and the standard four LED array to show the remaining juice next to the two ports.

Just to round out a great set of features, the Elecjet PowerPie can charge two devices at once and it 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 watch out 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.

Moshi IonSlim 10K

  • Capacity: 10,300mAh
  • Outputs: Two ports (USB-C PD up to 30W, USB-A up to 12W)
  • Weight: 236g (8.32oz)
  • Price: $100
  • Time to fully charge: Around 2 hours

If you’re seeking a power bank as a long term companion, then Moshi is a company you can trust. Moshi’s IonSlim has a truly thoughtful design with all the features you require. This portable charger is about the same size and weight as an iPhone 11 Pro and it can fully charge one up at least two times over. The IonSlim is curved for comfort in the hand and crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum. It’s also capable of putting out up to 30W, so it can charge your phone at top speed, or even charge a laptop in a pinch.

There’s a USB-A port capable of putting out up to 12W and a USB-C port capable of putting out up to 30W. Next to them, you’ll find a four LED array to show the remaining power and the recessed power button. Sometimes, it’s the little details that justify that premium price tag and the IonSlim ships with a short USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-A to USB-C cable. It has quality components inside and is capable of simultaneously charging two devices. It can also be charged up very quickly, gaining 50% back after just 45 minutes via the USB-C port with a good wall charger.

With an understated style and versatile charging capability, the Moshi IonSlim might be all you need to pack in your bag when you’re out and about. It can charge up phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices. You can find similar capacity for less if you shop around, but the build quality and reliability here are second to none.

Clutch Charger

  • Capacity: 2,300mAh
  • Outputs: One built-in cable (Lightning)
  • Weight: 60g (2.12oz)
  • Price: $40
  • Time to fully charge: Around 2 hours

If portability is your top priority then this ultra-thin power bank is for you. This portable power bank is 3 x 2 inches and just 0.15 inches thick. It hardly weighs anything and it’s slim enough to slot into a wallet or purse easily. There’s obviously going to be a trade-off here and sure enough, the Clutch Charger only has room for a 2,300mAh capacity. That’s going to give you around 40% extra battery life, maybe a little more, for an iPhone 11 Pro.

Because the Clutch Charger has a built-in Lightning cable you can only use it to charge up Apple devices, but there is a version for Android phones in the works. There’s a Micro USB port on the bottom edge of the Clutch Charger for charging it up and a small red LED on the side flashes to indicate remaining power when you plug it in and stays on to indicate when it’s fully charged. The Lightning cable slides out easily and can be plugged into an iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

Since the capacity is low, the Clutch Charger probably works best as an emergency backup, but the fact it’s so small makes it easy to stow in your bag or wallet for when you need it. If you have a really busy day and your phone battery is flagging there’s a good chance this will give it the boost it needs to make it through to bedtime. It’s expensive if you judge it by capacity, but the svelte design is what you’re paying for here, and it really is impressively slim.

AtomXS Emergency Charger Keychain

  • Capacity: 1,300mAh
  • Outputs: One built-in connector (Lightning, USB-C, or Micro USB)
  • Weight: 38g (1.34oz)
  • Price: $35
  • Time to fully charge: Around 1 hour

The concept here is solid — the AtomXS is designed to act as an emergency top-up for your phone’s battery when it runs out, and if you stick it on your keychain, you’ll always have it on you. Unfortunately, there are a couple of quirks with the design, and the capacity is limited. It offers 1,300mAh, which the manufacturer suggests is enough to give you an extra three hours of battery life on your phone. We tested it a few times with a Pixel 4, which has a 2,800mAh battery, and it added 27% on average. That’s a handy amount in a pinch and certainly enough to enable you to call someone or squeeze a little more from your phone at the end of a busy day.

The design is simple. It’s a little chunkier than your average keychain, but not too big to fit in a pocket. There’s a sliding mechanism on the back that pushes out the USB-C, Micro USB, or Lightning connector to plug into your phone. The other end has a Micro USB port for charging the AtomXS back up, but you also hold you finger over that port for a few seconds to turn it on, which is a little unusual. A tiny LED above the port flashes or lights up red or green to indicate what it’s doing and when it’s running low; however, we found it often failed to flash red when it was running low, which it’s supposed to do. It’s finished in soft-touch plastic, so it’s comfortable to hold.

The worry with the AtomXS is how long it will hold a charge for; the manufacturer claims it can hold a full charge for up to three months. If you forget to check or recharge it periodically, there’s a risk it will be dead or low when you try to use it. It’s also very expensive for what you get, but if portability is top of your list, the AtomXS has to be worth a look.

Zendure SuperMini Power Bank

  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
  • Outputs: Two ports (USB-C PD and USB-A QC 3.0)
  • Weight: 180g (6.35oz)
  • Price: $30
  • Time to fully charge: 3 hours

The smallest offering in the Zendure range manages to pack a lot of power into its compact body. It resembles a tiny suitcase, with its durable, crush-proof design, and it’s a good choice for adventurers. There’s a USB-C port that supports Power Delivery and can output up to 18W, making it ideal to fast charge the iPhone 11 range. There’s also a USB-A port that supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 standard and can put out up to 18W. The USP for this is the pass-through capability that allows you to charge the Zendure SuperMini and a connected smartphone at the same time.

On one side, you’ll find a small power button and four LEDs that light up to indicate how much power remains. It turns itself on and off automatically when you plug in a device, so the power button is only for checking the remaining juice.

You get a short USB-A to USB-C cable in the box. It’s very portable and it holds a charge well. You can get larger sizes with greater capacity and more ports, but the SuperMini is ideal if you need a small, tough charger to give you a couple of full charges for your smartphone.

RAVPower Super-C Series Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 26,800mAh
  • Outputs: Three ports (USB-C 3A, 2.4A, and 2.4A)
  • Weight: 462g (16.2oz)
  • Price: $80
  • Time to fully charge: 4 to 5 hours

This versatile charger has three output ports and supports USB PD (Power Delivery). There are two standard USB ports, both rated at 2.4A, but the maximum joint output is 3.4A. More importantly, there’s a USB-C port that can deliver up to 30W for your laptop or tablet, or charge your phone at top speed. There’s a power button up top with four blue LEDs to show the remaining power.

Not only can it charge devices with USB-C, but it can also be charged through that port, which means it’s very fast to juice up, provided you have a powerful wall charger (you don’t get one in the box). What you do get is two tangle-free USB-to-Micro USB cables at different lengths and a longer USB-C-to-USB-C cable. It also comes with a soft mesh bag sporting a drawstring closure.

It’s not the most portable device in the world, but it’s impressively compact and light for the capacity. This is a good solution for travelers with multiple gadgets. You can expect at least five full charges for an iPhone XS, four full charges for a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, and it can even charge an iPad with change. If speed is important to you, then this is a must-have.

Anker PowerCore Speed 20,000 PD

  • Capacity: 20,100mAh
  • Output: Two ports (USB-C 3A and 2A)
  • Weight: 373g (13.1oz)
  • Price: $100
  • Time to fully charge: 4 hours

If you want something fast charging, then Anker’s PowerCore Speed 20,000 PD is tough to beat. This long, slim power bank is packing 20,100mAh, which is enough to charge your smartphone at least three or four times over, maybe more depending on the model. You can also charge an iPad with change or even charge a small laptop, though we recommend checking compatibility before you buy.

It has a sleek, understated design with the usual power button on the side and four blue LEDs to show the remaining power. There are two ports: One standard USB-A rated at 5V/2A and a USB-C PD (Power Delivery) output that can deliver up to 24W. You may be thinking it looks a little pricey, but you also get a slim 30W power delivery wall charger in the box, alongside a USB-C to USB-C cable, a USB-A to Micro USB cable, and a drawstring carry pouch. That’s everything you need for fast charging on the go.

We tried the power bank with a Pixel 3 and found it was capable of rapid charging. The included wall charger can also rapidly charge an iPhone X or an iPad Pro (Apple’s 30W wall charger costs $49 on its own). When the power bank runs out you can fully recharge it in just four hours with the charger and USB-C cable provided. If you’re after USB-C PD support, then this package is for you.

Aukey Power Bank

  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Outputs: Two ports (3.4A total)
  • Weight: 387g (13.6oz)
  • Price: $20
  • Time to fully charge: Around 8 to 10 hours

This chunky portable charger is quite heavy but packs a big capacity of 20,000mAh. It has two USB ports for charging up your devices. Both are capable of putting out 2.4A, but if you charge two devices simultaneously your total maximum output is 3.4A. You can expect four full charges from this battery for most smartphones.

The design is an unobtrusive black in subtly textured plastic, but it resembles a brick and it feels decidedly chunky in hand. There’s a button on the top to turn it on and you will find a typical four LED battery level indicator between the ports. It can be charged up via the Micro USB port or the Lightning port, which is unusual. The idea is that iPhone owners need only take one cable to charge up both the power bank and their iPhones.

It comes with a short USB-A-to-Micro USB cable in the box and a travel pouch. Aukey also offers a 24-month warranty. While it’s not the best-looking portable charger around, the low price and the option to charge it up via Lightning cable make it worth considering for iPhone owners.

Ted Baker Portable Wireless Charger

  • Capacity: 5,000mAh
  • Outputs: Two ports (USB-A at 2.1A, USB-C 2.1A)
  • Weight: 280g (9.87 ounces)
  • Price: $140
  • Time to fully charge: Around 2 to 3 hours

If you demand some style and class in your tech, then this portable charger from Ted Baker is for you. It feels reassuringly heavy with an attractive brushed aluminum finish in coppery brown and a top of soft Italian suede leather. It has a capacity of 5,000mAh which is enough to charge any smartphone fully at least once. It comes with a 1-meter USB-A to USB-C cable.

It has two ports on the side with a power button and four white LEDs to show the remaining power. There’s also a single blue LED that lights up when it’s charging something. The first port is a USB-A output rated at 2.1A and the second is a USB-C input or output also rated at 2.1A both ways. We tested with a Pixel 3 and using the cable supplied it charged at a steady rate, but using a USB-C to USB-C cable enabled rapid charging.

This device also works as a wireless charger. Simply pop your iPhone or Android phone with Qi wireless charging support onto the soft suede and tap the power button. Testing with the Pixel 3, it charged at normal speed, not rapid wireless charging. We really like the look and feel of this charger and it’s just the right size to hold together with your phone. The only thing that would give us pause is the high price tag. You can get much higher capacity chargers for less, but this one is all about the style and quality.

Omnicharge Omni 20

Omnicharge Omni 20
Simon Hill/Digital Trends
  • Capacity: 20,400mAh
  • Outputs: Four ports (100W, 70W, 3A, QC 3.0)
  • Weight: 630g (22.2 ounces)
  • Price: $250
  • Time to fully charge: Around 3 hours

When you absolutely, positively got 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, you’ll find a wee OLED screen that shows the remaining power as an amount and as a percentage. It also displays how much power is currently 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 3 hours — not bad for a 20,400mAh capacity device. You can also use a laptop adapter to charge it, which is handy for travelers who don’t want to pack any superfluous extras. Incidentally, the Omni 20 is FAA approved for air travel.

This is a seriously versatile device that will charge up just about anything. You can also dig into the settings using the OLED and fine-tune your charging preferences, turn the fan off, turn the screen off, and tweak various other bits and pieces. It does also support pass-through charging, so you can recharge it and charge up connected devices at the same time. There are a few different versions of the Omni 20, so make sure you get the right one for you. You can pick the Omni 20 that switches a USB-C for the AC outlet for $200 and there’s 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. According to some descriptions it was going to support Qi wireless charging as well, but this feature was cut.

Originally backed on Indiegogo, it’s not hard to see why people would want a feature-packed portable charger like the Omni 20 in their bag. 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, it’s hard to match.

Xcentz Portable Charger

Xcentz Portable Charger
  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
  • Outputs: Two ports (USB-C 18W and USB-A 3A)
  • Weight: 185g (6.5oz)
  • Price: $22
  • Time to fully charge: 3 to 4 hours

This beautifully compact portable charger has a capacity of 10,000mAh, so you can expect two full charges for most smartphones. There’s a single USB-C port for charging your smartphone at top speed and for charging the battery pack up; it supports fast charging with Power Delivery at 18W and also Quick Charge 3.0. You will also find a standard USB-A port, though it charges more slowly.

It’s an extremely compact design that comes in black, pink, or sandstone grey. There’s a small display window on the side with four lights to indicate the remaining power level and a square power button sits next to it. This power bank comes with a basic USB-A to USB-C cable. Just bear in mind that you’ll need a good, fast wall charger to be able to charge it up at top speed.

You’ll find LG battery tech inside this power bank and it should retain 90% of its charge over 500 charge and recharge cycles, which is a lot better than most portable chargers in this price range. If you want something small and affordable, with plenty of power, then this is a great choice.

EasyAcc MegaCharge D30

EasyAcc MegaCharge D20
Simon Hill / Digital Trends
  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Outputs: Four ports (two USB-C, two USB-A, 3A each)
  • Weight: 468.5 grams (16.5 ounces)
  • Price: $35
  • Time to fully charge: Around 5 hours

This chunky battery pack in black plastic has a distinctive orange stripe around it. We’re not in love with the look, but it contains a whopping 20,000mAh of power at a relatively low price and sports an unusual array of input and output ports. There are two black USB ports capable of up to 3A, and there are also two USB-C ports that can deliver the same. Move around to the side, and you’ll find a Micro USB port and another USB-C port for charging the battery inside. Interestingly, these inputs can be plugged in simultaneously to enable you to charge the battery faster — bringing charging time down to around four hours, which is pretty impressive for this capacity.

The standard four LED array on the top shows you the remaining power in 25% chunks. There’s a power button on the side, and you can double press it to fire up the LED flashlight, which is a handy little extra that makes this a good choice for camping trips or to keep in the trunk of your car. EasyAcc includes a short 24-inch USB-to-USB-C cable and a USB-to-Micro USB cable that’s the same length in the box. It does support pass-through charging, so you can plug it in to charge and plug your phone into it to charge at the same time.

We think you can expect at least four full charges for the majority of smartphones out there and probably more than that for phones with smaller batteries, like the iPhone 8. Weighing up the complete package, we think this is a good value for the money and worth considering if you need a lot of power and want a power bank that won’t take all night to charge up.

Nimble 10K Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
  • Outputs: Three ports (2 USB-A QC 3.0, 1 USB-C PD 18W)
  • Weight: 255g (9oz)
  • Price: $80
  • Time to fully charge: 2 to 3 hours

What makes Nimble stand out from the competition is its use of sustainable materials. The Nimble 10K employs bioplastics derived from sugarcane and corn. Nimble’s packaging is also 100% biodegradable and compostable. You’ll also find a small recycling bag that ships with each product. With this bag, you can mail in old electronics to be recycled.

In addition to two USB-A ports, one of which supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 standard, there’s an 18W USB-C input or output port. With an additional port, you can easily charge another device. One of our favorite features is the detachable magnetic cable management strap that attaches to the bottom of the battery pack for convenience. The LED lights on the side tell you how much juice is left and show if your device is charging fast. There’s a 12-inch USB-A to USB-C cable in the box, but you don’t get a wall charger.

If you want a higher capacity battery pack from Nimble, the company also has 13,000mAh, 20,000mAh, and 26,000mAh battery packs available.

Portable power banks have come a long way since their inception. You no longer need a clunky battery pack to charge your phone while on the go. In some cases, solar power is all it takes to get your smartphone or tablet back to a maximum charge. With this range of charging options, you may never worry about low battery emergencies again. That is unless you forget to charge up your battery pack.

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