The best portable chargers keep your devices going while you’re on the go. They’re capable of charging a variety of devices, including phones, tablets, Nintendo Switch consoles and even laptops when we need them most. Because you’ll inevitably find yourself out of the house with low battery life, you’ll need a reliable portable charger.
We’ve done a battery (pun intended) of tests on ten of the best portable chargers on the market, pulling from both big brands and popular competitors. Testing involved seeing how fast devices charged and how many full phone chargers each power bank stores. While these specific portable chargers regularly appear on bestseller lists, they’re all different in a number of important ways.
Our testing was performed on the same iPhone 12, with its brightness set at 100%. We tested each charger in four different ways: how much of a charge it added in 15 minutes, how much it added in an hour, the time it took to refuel an iPhone from dead to 100% and how many times it could refill the same iPhone 12 from dead.
How to choose the best portable charger for you
Finding the right charger capacity: You’ll often see a four to five-digit number, with the letters mAh following it, and that’s your first big indicator of how much this charger is right for you. If you’re constantly refueling your phone and other gadgets, go for at least 10,000mAh. For each extra device you charge, add at least 5,000 to the mAh rating you’re looking for. Just need to prevent your device from hitting 0 on late nights out? You’ll be good with something in the under 5,000 mAh rating, provided you remember to charge it often.
Be a ports authority: If you hold onto your devices forever, and don’t already know what a USB-C port is, you can probably just get whatever fits your price. But if you’re the kind who wants faster charging, look for a brick that has PD in its name. The best portable chargers, at least for my money, charge devices the fastest and use the Power Delivery (PD) standard. Also, their USB-C ports mean you can refuel these power banks with the same cords used to charge modern laptops.