10 of the best portable chargers in 2020

Although buying a portable charger might seem pretty straight forward at first sight, once you start looking into the different models and options you can easily get caught in a quagmire of information and choice. The multitude of features and specifications can quickly lead to analysis paralysis.

This is why we put together this list of the best portable chargers currently on the market. And by “best” we mean the ones that use the latest technologies, have the most advanced features, and overall high production quality.

Here are some more details about what types of portable chargers we included in our list:

  • Fast charging technologies. Fast charging technologies are a real time-saver, helping you fully charge your devices in a much shorter time. Some of the most popular are Qualcomm Quick Charge, Power Delivery, PowerIQ, VOOC, Dash etc.
  • USB type C port. As USB type A ports start losing popularity, the USB type C port is shaping up to the port of the future being adopted by most companies in their newest devices. Even Apple is rumored to adopt it sometime in the future.
  • Fast recharging time. Nobody wants to wait 10+ hours for their portable charger to reach a full charge, so we included this aspect into our research too.
  • New technologies. Battery technology is slowly evolving. This is is why we seek to include the portable chargers that are leading the way with innovation.

1. Best overall: HyperJuice 130W USB-C Portable Charger

HyperJuice Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 27000mAh
  • Max output: 130W
  • Ports: 2 USB type C, 1 USB type A
  • Fast charging: PD, QC 3.0
  • Weight: 19.4 oz / 550 g
  • Recharging time: 1 hour
  • Price: $199.99
  • mAh/$ ratio: 135

Buy on HyperShop.com

This portable charger started as a highly successful Kickstarter campaign in which the company managed to secure more than $1.3 million from more than 7400 backers. What sets HyperJuice 130W apart is the amount of technology they managed to pack into it, basically ticking all the most important checkmarks.

First of all, it delivers an unmatched 130W total power output if you charge via two ports simultaneously. The maximum output per single port is 100W which is more than enough to power laptops such as the MacBook Pro or even the Wacom MobileStudio Pro graphic tablet which is known for being a power hog.

Then, maybe one of the most impressive feats is the fact that it charges itself from the power outlet in one hour. This is crazy fast! The next best portable chargers of similar capacities manage to do so within 3 hours. Speaking of capacity, the 27000mAh of the HyperJuice 130W USB-C Portable Charger puts it at the exact upper limit of 100Wh at which portable batteries are allowed on planes.

In terms of ports, it features two different USB type C ports with Power Delivery, having outputs of 100W and 60W respectively. It also features an 18W USB type A port with Quick Charge 3.0. The outer casing is made from airplane-grade Aluminium that looks very much like the coating on the MacBook Pro.

Overall, the HyperJuice 130W USB-C Portable Charger just cruises past the competition due to its incredible mix of powerful features.

What we like about it
  • Extremely powerful power output (130W)
  • It gets recharged in just one hour
  • It can charge up to 3 different devices simultaneously
  • Perfect for charging laptops
  • It has the maximum capacity allowed on planes
What we dislike about it
  • The most expensive device on our list
  • It’s rather heavy

2. Best mid-range: RAVPower 20000mAh 60W PD 3.0

Best Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 20000mAh
  • Max output: 60W
  • Ports: 1 USB type C, 1 USB type A
  • Fast charging: PD 3.0, QC
  • Weight: 14.4 oz / 408 g
  • Recharging time: 3 hours
  • Price: ~$50 (actual price might vary)
  • mAh/$ ratio: 400

Buy on Amazon

This is a new release by RAVPower which has seen great initial success. And rightfully so. The RAVPower 20000mAh 60W PD is maybe one of the most balanced external batteries out there. It comes with a generous capacity and a strong 60W power output, enough to charge most laptop models including some MacBook Pro models. In fact, you could charge a MacBook Pro 13″ from 0% to 60% in just 1h. Please note that it’s not compatible with the 16″ Macbook Pro though.

In terms of fast charging technology, it features Power Delivery 3.0 (which is the latest iteration in the Power Delivery series) but also Quick Charge. Each fast charging option corresponds to one if it’s two ports: one USB type C and one USB type A. In terms of power output per port, the USB C can deliver a maximum of 60W, while the USB type A can deliver up to 18W.

It’s worth mentioning the fact that if you use both ports simultaneously, the total output is limited to 60W. So in this case, both ports will perform at a lower rate than they would if they’d function individually.

The 3 hour recharging time is also pretty good for a power bank this size. It’s worth mentioning though that this can only be reached if you use a 30W PD wall charger. Oterwise, it might take longer to recharge.

What we like about it
  • It has both Power Delivery 3.0 and Quick Charge
  • Generous charging capacity
  • It can charge laptops
  • One of the best mAh/$ ratios
What we dislike about it
  • For its capacity, it could have had 1-2 extra output ports

If you want to find out more details, head on to our full review of the RAVPower 20000mAh 60W PD 3.0.


3. Most advanced technology: G-PRO Series 10000mAh 60W Charger

G-PRO Series 10000mAh portable charger

  • Capacity: 10000mAh
  • Max output: 60W
  • Ports: 1 USB type C, 2 USB type A
  • Recharging time: 55 minutes
  • Price: $59.50
  • mAh/$ ratio: 168.06

Buy on RealGrapheneUSA.com

The G-PRO Series 10000mAh 60W portable charger made its way on the list mainly because of its innovative technology. It’s maybe the first-ever portable charger which comes with graphene composite battery cells. Graphene is basically a material that has a thickness of just one single Cabon atom, making extremely thin and at the same time very durable for its size. Graphene will most likely revolutionize the battery market, but it’s yet to have a wide reach.

In terms of features, the G-PRO Series 10000mAh 60W Charger has 4 different ports including a USB type C port and it also comes with wireless charging. One of the most impressive aspects is that it can charge itself in just 55 minutes by using the included 60W charger.

Yes, the G-PRO Series 10000mAh 60W Charger comes with its own 60W charger! It’s very rare for a power bank to also come with an included charger. Moreso, similarly powerful 60W chargers, cost around $30-$40 when purchased individually. So, all-in-all this is a great package for anyone considering getting a fast portable charger.

What we like about it
  • Built using the latest graphene battery technology
  • It can be recharged in under one hour
  • 60W output is enough even for charging laptops
  • It comes with wireless charging
  • Longer lifespan than regular lithium batteries
What we dislike about it
  • We don’t see any real shortcomings

4. Best compact portable charger: Xcentz 5000mAh

Xcentz 5000mAh Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 5000mAh
  • Max output: 15W
  • Ports: 1 USB type C, 1 USB type A
  • Fast charging: PD, QC 3.0
  • Weight: 4.5 oz / 127 g
  • Recharging time: 3 hours
  • Price: ~$20 (actual price might vary)
  • mAh/$ ratio: 250.12

Buy on Amazon

At 5000mAh, this Xcentz portable charger is the smallest capacity power bank on the list. But what it lacks in capacity it gains in size and weight, as it’s by far the most portable choice in our selection. The reason we included it in the list is the fact that a lot of people are looking for smaller chargers which they can easily fit in their pocket or carry around on a daily basis. It can generally provide one full charge to the average smartphone, with some leftover power.

But what’s sets it apart from other portable chargers of similar capacity is it’s charging technology. It is very rare to see a power bank of this size and capacity that has both a USB type A port with QC 3.0 AND and USB type C port with Power Delivery. From this point of view, it truly deserves a spot among the best portable chargers.

As a bonus, it comes with a powerful built-in flashlight that generates 90 to 120 Lumen. This can be a pretty neat feature that helps you out when you need some extra light.

What we like about it
  • It has both Power Delivery and Quick Charge 3.0
  • Two output ports are ideal for its size
  • Very light and compact
  • Powerful flashlight
  • Durable metal body
What we dislike about it
  • Rather small capacity

For more information, read our full review on the Xcentz 5000mAh. Or check out our extended review of the best 5000mAh power banks.


5. Best with AC plug: RAVPower PD Pioneer 20000mAh 80W

RAVPower PD Pioneer 20000mAh

  • Capacity: 20000mAh
  • Max output: 80W
  • Ports: 1 USB type C, 1 USB type A, 1 AC outlet
  • Fast charging: PD 3.0, QC 3.0
  • Weight: 23.3 oz / 660 g
  • Recharging time: 3 hours
  • Price: ~$87 (actual price might vary)
  • mAh/$ ratio: 229.91

Buy on Amazon

If having an AC plug is a big thing for you then the RAVPower PD Pioneer 20000mAh 80W is your best choice. Easily charge laptops and tablets by plugging them directly into the portable charger. It’s also a good solution for powering other devices such as drones, cameras, or gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Switch. However, household appliances such as a hairdryer are out of its maximum power output range.

In terms of charging technologies, besides the AC 80W output, it also features a bidirectional USB type C port with Power Delivery 3.0 and a USB type A output port with Quick Charge 3.0. It’s also super fast to recharge at only 3.1 hours if you’re using a fast-charge adaptor.

Maybe the only disadvantage of this unit is the fact that it could have had a slightly higher capacity. This is because it’s mainly meant to charge laptops and other devices that require an AC plug, which usually have higher power needs. The ideal size would have been around 27ooomAh or 100Wh which is the maximum capacity allowed on flights.

What we like about it
  • The AC socket can be very useful, especially for charging laptops
  • High output power (80W)
  • It features both Power Delivery and Quick Charge 3.0
What we dislike about it
  • Rather bulky and heavy

For more details, read our full review of the RAVPower PD Pioneer 20000mAh 80W.


6. Most stylish: Zendure SuperMini 10000mAh 18W PD

Zendure SuperMini 10000mAh

  • Capacity: 10000mAh
  • Max output: 18W
  • Ports: 1 USB type C, 1 USB type A
  • Fast charging: PD, ZEN+2.0
  • Weight: 6.3 oz / 178 g
  • Recharging time: 3 hours
  • Price: ~$50 (actual price might vary)
  • mAh/$ ratio: 200

Buy on Amazon

As the name implies the Zendure SuperMini 10000mAh is a compact portable charger that is roughly as big as a deck of cards. It too started as a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo where Zendure managed to secure almost $340.000 in funding before the actual release.

What sets the SuperMini apart is its stylish look. The sturdy metal casing with embossed ridges reminds of airplane design. Furthermore, it comes in three different colors: silver, black, and blue horizon. This makes the Zendure SuperMini a great accessory for iPhones and other high-quality stylish smartphones.

In terms of charging technology the Zendure SuperMini 10000mAh comes with two ports:

  • an input/output USB type C with 18W Power Delivery
  • an output USB type A with ZEN+2.0, also capable of delivering 18W

Furthermore, it also features pass-through charging and low current charging. The low current charging feature allows you to recharge items such as Bluetooth speakers, training bracelets, or smartwatches which typically require lower power outputs than regular portable chargers can supply.

In terms of charging time, it takes 3 hours to get the Zendure SuperMini back to 100%. For a 10000mAh power bank, this is a good recharging time.

What we like about it
  • Sleek and stylish design
  • Durable metal casing
  • It features Power Delivery and ZEN+2.0
  • Very compact and lightweight
What we dislike about it
  • It’s rather thick

For more details, read our full review of the Zendure SuperMini 10000mAh.


7. Best slim portable charger: Crave Plus 10000mAh

Crave Plus 10000mAh portable charger

  • Capacity: 10000mAh
  • Max output: 18W
  • Ports: 1 USB type C, 1 USB type A, 1 Micro USB
  • Fast charging: QC 3.0
  • Weight: 9 oz / 255 g
  • Recharging time: 2 hours
  • Price: ~$50 (actual price might vary)
  • mAh/$ ratio: 200

Buy on Amazon

Compared to the majority of power banks you can find on the market, the Crave Plus 10000mAh is not built using cylindrical battery cells. Instead, it uses a flat battery cell that allows it to be only 0.4 inches thick. Its overall size is very similar to that of an average smartphone.

It comes with Quick Charge 3.0 and has 3 different ports: Micro USB, USB type C, and USB type A. It can provide up to 2.2 charges to the iPhone XS Max, 2.4 charges to the Google Pixel 3 and 2.3 charges to the Samsung S10e.

The main appeal of this portable charger is that its highly portable due to its thin profile. It’s ideal for people that want a power bank that can fit in a laptop sleeve or in a tight backpack pocket. The Crave Plus 10000mAh is designed in the USA and build using the highest quality materials. And with its 18-month warranty, you can be sure you’re getting a solid deal.

What we like about it
  • Very thin profile
  • Built out of high-quality materials
  • Fast recharging time for (2h)
What we dislike about it
  • It does not feature Power Delivery for fast charging

For more information on the Crave Plus 10000mAh, read our full review.


8. Best for iPhone and iPad: Anker PowerCore+ Metro 10000mAh

Anker PowerCore+ Metro 10000mAh

  • Capacity: 10000mAh
  • Max output: 12W
  • Ports: 1 USB type C, 1 USB type A, 1 Micro USB
  • Weight: 7.7 oz / 218 g
  • Recharging time: 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Price: $59.99
  • mAh/$ ratio: 166.69

Buy on Anker.com

The Anker PowerCore+ Metro 10000mAh is specially made for powering Apple these products: the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod. With an output power of 12W, it’s perfect for powering any of these devices, however, it won’t work for charging any of Apple laptops which require higher power outputs.

Maybe the best thing about it, is that it comes with an in-built Lightning connector cable. This way you won’t have to carry around an extra charging cable. Furthermore, it also has a Lightning compatible input port, which means you can use your iPhone charger to recharge your Anker PowerCore+ Metro 10000mAh.

Anker is a solid brand with numerous high-performance portable chargers under its name.  This device lives up to the expectations by having a solid, high-quality built. The fabric exterior provides both a stylish match for the iPhone and it also acts as a superior non-slip surface.

It can provide enough power to charger the iPhone 11 2.1 times, the iPhone X 2.9 time, and the iPad mini 1.3 times. So, if you’re looking for a portable charger dedicated for charging your iPhone, then this is the one for you. Otherwise, there are some more interesting options in this list.

What we like about it
  • Specially made for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod
  • It can be recharged with a regular Apple charger
  • It features a stylish canvas exterior
What we dislike about it
  • It takes rather long to recharge (5h 30min)

9. Best for outdoors: ZeroLemon 26800mAh Wireless Portable Charger

ZeroLemon 26800mAh Wireless Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 26800mAh
  • Max output: 60W
  • Ports: 1 USB type C, 2 USB type A
  • Fast charging: PD
  • Weight: 19.86 oz / 563 g
  • Recharging time: 2 hours
  • Price: ~$80 (actual price might vary)
  • mAh/$ ratio: 335.04

Buy on Amazon

If you’re a big outdoors fan and want to have a reliable power source with you in remote places, then the ZeroLemon 26800mAh portable charger is your best bet. This device is specifically designed for outdoor enthusiasts as it has several key qualities:

  • strong and durable, with a rugged design
  • dust and rain resistant (not waterproof though, so it can’t be submerged)
  • features a very large and bright flashlight
  • comes with a survival buckle that includes: compass, emergency knife, flint starter and whistle
  • maximum accepted capacity for plane travel

But besides these great features for outdoor usage, the ZeroLemon 26800mAh comes packed with the some of latest charging technologies too. In terms of ports, it comes with an input/output USB type C with Power Delivery and two output USB type A ports. Furthermore, it also has Qi wireless charging that can quickly recharge compatible smartphones.

What we like about it
  • A rugged portable charger that can take a beating
  • Extremely fast recharging time for its capacity (2h)
  • High power output (60W), enough for charging laptops
  • Just under the 100Wh TSA limit
What we dislike about it
  • Rather bulky and heavy
  • Not the best-looking power bank

10. Largest capacity: Renogy 72000mAh Laptop Portable Charger

Renogy 72000mAh Laptop Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 72000mAh
  • Max output: 60W
  • Ports: 2 USB type A, 2 DC barrel ports, 1 cigarette lighter
  • Weight: 44.6 oz / 1264 g
  • Recharging time: 8 hours
  • Price: ~$160 (actual price might vary)
  • mAh/$ ratio: 450.02

Buy on Amazon

The Renogy 72000mAh is a beast of a portable charger. It has the highest capacity of any power bank that we know of and that still looks like one. Now, there are devices with greater capacities out there but they all have the electric generator boxy-type of frames, whereas the Renogy 72000mAh still maintains that slim profile we’re so familiar with in power banks.

This portable charger has been mainly built to power larger devices such as laptops, drones, or CPAP machines. In fact, it comes with a wide array of adaptors for various laptop models. Another important feature that sets it apart is the 12V/13A car cigarette lighter socket, which is very rare to see in a portable charger.

But what the Renogy 72000mAh offers in sheer capacity, it lacks in the charging technology aspect. Unfortunately, it does not feature any fast charging option, nor does it feature a USB type C port. Furthermore, due to its 266Wh capacity, it’s not something you’d be allowed to board a plane with, as the maximum TSA limit is 100Wh.

What we like about it
  • It has a huge capacity
  • It comes with some unique ports
  • The best $/mAh ratio (you get the most mAh for per spent dollar)
What we dislike about it
  • Cannot be taken on flights
  • Does not have any fast charging technologies
  • Very heavy

For more details, read our full review on the Renogy 72000mAh.


Honorable mentions

Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 PD

Anker Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 20000mAh
  • Max output: 18W
  • Ports: 1 USB type C, 1 USB type A
  • Fast charging: PD, QC
  • Weight: 12.2 oz / 345.5 g
  • Recharging time: 6.8 hours
  • Price: $49.99
  • mAh/$ ratio: 400

Buy on Anker.com

Anker is one of the leading portable charger brands and this latest addition to its PowerCore series does not disappoint. Building on the success of it’s predecessor (the Anker PowerCore Essential 20000mAh), this latest release comes with Power Delivery for faster charging times.

In terms of ports it features one bidirectional USB type C and one USB type A port, whereas the previous model had two USB type A ports and one Micro USB port and one USB type C port, but which can only be used for charging. So overall, there is a definite improvement in terms of charging performance, but it would have been great if Anker would have kept both of the USB type A ports for increased versatiliy.

The Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 PD is a good choice for a mid-range power bank, especially if you’re mainly looking to use it for charging smartphones. But if you need to charge something more power thirsty such as the Nintendo Switch or the Macbook Pro, then this is not the power bank for you, as it can only deliver a max output of 18W.

Another drawback is the rather long recharging time, at almost 7 hours using a PD charger. But overall it makes up for it’s shortcomings by offering a solid mAh to $ ratio. It’s definitely an option to take into consideration!

What we like about it
  • Very good all-arodund value
  • It comes with both PD and QC in terms of fast charging
  • Compact for it’s capacity
  • Durable textured exterior casing
  • A very good $/mAh ratio
What we dislike about it
  • The maximum 18W output can be limiting
  • Rather long recharging time

INIU Ultra-Slim 10000mAh Portable Charger

INIU Ultra-Slim Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 10000mAh
  • Ports: 1 USB type C (input only), 2 USB type A, 1 micro USB
  • Weight: 7 oz / 198 g
  • Recharging time: 8 hours
  • Price: ~$17 (actual price might vary)
  • mAh/$ ratio: 588

Buy on Amazon.com

The INIU Ultra-Slim 10000mAh is one of the most popular power banks to be sold on Amazon and rightfully so. Although it’s not a high-end portable charger it does everything a power bank should do at an amazing price. Light and compact, with a unique design feature (paw print power indicator) the INIU Ultra-Slim 10000mAh is perfect for someone looking to get a decent charging experience for the least investment.

In terms of ports it features 2 USB type A ports, one Micro USB and one USB type C port which can only be used for power input. It does not feature any quick charge technologies such as QC or PD, but the two output ports are capable of delivering 3A outputs, which is higher than what average non-fast charge power banks can do.

But what is lacks in fast charging option, it compensates when it comes to portability as this is a very slim and light device. Easily tucked in a pocket, you’ll barely feel you have it on you. Futhermore, it offers an amazing mAh to dollar ratio, offering one of the best deals when it comes to the amount of power you get for your investment.

What we like about it
  • Light and portable
  • Amazing mAh to dollar ratio
  • Very cool-looking paw print power indicator
  • Incorporated flashlight
  • Huge, 3-year warranty
What we dislike about it
  • No fast charging features
  • The USB type C port is for input only
  • Long recharging time

For a more in-depth review, check out our dedicated INIU 10000mAh page.


Halo Bolt 15900mAh with jump starter

Halo Bolt Portable Charger

  • Capacity: 15900mAh
  • Ports: 2 USB type A, 1 120V AC socket, 1 DC barrel port
  • Weight: 26.5 oz / 751 g
  • Recharging time: 9 hours
  • Price: ~$110 (actual price might vary)
  • mAh/$ ratio: 144.54

Buy on Amazon.com

The Halo Bolt is pretty unique as it’s a portable charer with jump starter. This can prove to be very handy to have in your car if you ever need a jump starter and you’re not close to a power source.  Another useful feature is its 120V AC outlet, which you can use to plug in your laptop or gaming console.

It also features two USB type A output ports each delivering a maximum of 2.4A. Unfotunately it does not have any fast charging technology so it doesn’t score any points at this chapter. On its side, it has a floodlight that can be useful in case of emergency or for lighting up your work area during the night time.

One of it’s other perks is that you can choose various designs styles and patterns. It’s quite rare to see a portable charger having so many different stylish options to choose from. But all-in-all this is an external battery to mainly buy as a backup jump starter. If you’re not interested in that feature, then there are better deals out there than the Halo Bolt.

What we like about it
  • It comes with a jump starter feature
  • You can choose from multiple design styles
  • It features an AC outlet plug
What we dislike about it
  • It does not have any fast charging technologies
  • Low dollar per mAh value
  • No USB type C ports

Get a better look at it by reading our full review on the Halo Bolt.


Here’s why you should trust us

At Power Bank Expert, we live and breathe power banks and portable chargers. We spend hundreds of hours researching and reviewing the latest and best portable charger models. You can find all our individual product reviews on our dedicated review page (btw you can also use our custom filter to quickly find what you’re looking for!).

During our research and review process, we come across some portable chargers that stand out for various reasons. Either because of their charging technologies, their price/quality ratio, overall build quality, innovation, etc. So it’s pretty easy for us to single them out and create this curated list of what we believe are truly the best portable chargers.

Furthermore, unlike many other sites, we continuously update this list. So if you come back in 3 months’ time, you might see a different listing altogether provided that in the meantime we found some better alternatives.

But what about objectivity? Is this list completely objective? Well, since we’re humans just like you (Hello! :*) we’re obviously prone to subjectivity and human error. However, we make a conscious effort to be as objective as possible. We think of ourselves of being manufacturer-agnostic and we try put data before brand names. However, if you think we can improve from this point of view, do get in touch and let us know.

Short buying guide for portable chargers

Whether or not you decide to get on the devices on our curated list, you might want to know what to look for when choosing the best portable charger for your needs. Please bear in mind that this short guide had been made for the average customer, not for highly experienced technical connoseurs. Our intention was to keep it as simple as possible while still delivering the most important information.

So without further ado, here are some key features you should know about:

Bettery capacity

This is basically the amount of energy that is being stored in a portable charger. It’s most commonly measured in mAh (milliampere hour) or sometimes in Wh (watt-hour). Almost all portable charger manufacturers, but also smartphone producers too, state their capacities in mAh, so it’s maybe the easiest benchmark you can use to compare different devices.

However, sometimes you might need to know the capacity in Wh, such as when flying. There is a capacity limit of 100Wh for batteries that are allowed on planes, so you should know just how many Wh your portable charger has. In case that is not clearly stated, you can use our mAh to Wh calculator to quickly figure it out. The 100Wh limit is implemented by the TSA, FAA and other aerospace regulators in order to minimize the risk of accidents due to exploding power banks.

Another fact that you should be aware of is that the stated capacity is usually around 20% larger than the actual capacity of a battery. This happens for various reasons we discuss in length here. So for example, if you have a smartphone with a 2000mAh battery and you’d like to buy a portable charger that could provide 4 full charges, don’t get a power bank that has a listed capacity of 8000mAh. Instead, get one with a capacity of 10000mAh or more. Check out this article for more details on how many mAh you need for charging your phone.

Power output and charging technologies

If capacity refers to the amount of electricity the portable charger can store, power output refers to how fast and how much it can deliver at a time. The output is usually specified in W(watts). If you’re just looking to charge a phone than an 12W or 18W portable charger should be enough. However, if you want to charge a laptop or a power-thirsty gaming console such as the Ninendo Switch, then you should get a charger that can deliver at least 60W.

In terms of fast charging technologies, the most common are Qualcomm Quick Charge and Power Delivery. There have been several versions of each of them and currently, Quick Charge is at version 4.0 (there are still no power banks with QC 4.0 though) and Power Delivery is at 3.0. So you should aim to purchase a device that ideally has the latest version.

Other fast charging technologies are more brand-related and have a more reduced spread. Some of the more popular ones are PowerIQ, iSmart, VOOC, Dash, etc.

Input and output ports

In terms of ports, you should also choose the latest technology if possible. In this case, it’s the USB type C which is slowly being accepted as the new standard as the USB type A slowly fades away. So it does not really make sense to invest in portable chargers that only have USB type A ports if you plan on keeping the device for several years.

The number of ports is also a factor to consider. It can be very useful to have several ports available in some situations in which you need to charge more than one device simultaneously.

Last but not least, you might be interested in other ports than simply an USB type C. Some of the external batteries we reviewed have Lighning ports for iPhones and ohter Apple products, AC outlets or even car ciggaret lighter ports. So depending on your actual needs, the port layout of a portable charger can be a decisive factor.

Recharging time

Another very important aspect is to look for a power bank that doesn’t take ages to recharge. There are some situations in which you definitely need to get your charger topped up fast, for example in an airport while waiting for your flight. If you have a portable charger that takes up to 8 hours to get to 100%, then it won’t be of much help to you.

However, if you have a device that recharges in one hour, such as the HyperJuice power bank described above, then you have much more flexibility. In general, any portable charger that takes 3-4 hours or under that to recharge is a good choice.

And remember that due to the nature of batteries in general, the charging rate from 0% to 80% is higher than the charging rate from 80% to 100%. So in case you’re in a hurry, charging your power bank to 80% will make the most of your time.

Portability

When it comes to portability you need to pay attention to 3 main things:

  • Volume: Do you want to fit in your pocket? Then you need to get a device with a small volume. This usually means a smaller capacity too.
  • Weight: Do you mind carrying the equivalent weight of brick in your backpack? If yes, then you should take this aspect into consideration before making that buying decision
  • Capacity in Wh: Do you want to be able to take the portable charger on a plane? Then you need to make sure it has a capacity of under 100Wh

Overall the more portable a device is, the most likely it is that you’ll need to sacrifice on the capacity side of things. It’s up to you to decide which is the perfect balance between portability and capacity.

Other aspects

Here are some other things to look for in a portable charger that might influence your buying decision:

  • Case Material. Usually, power banks with a metal case are more durable and scratch-resistant than ones made out of plastic.
  • Safety Features. Check if the device has in-built safety features to prevent it from overcharge, surcharge, short-circuit, overheating, etc.
  • Charging cycles. Not many manufacturers disclose how many charging cycles on average their devices can last. But some do. If you find a power bank that is guaranteed to get at least 1000 cycles before it dies out, then you’re golden. 500 cycles are the lower acceptable limit in this case.
  • Warranty: Aim to get a portable charger that has a long warranty. Generally speaking, 18 to 24 months is the upper limit when it comes to power banks. Power banks that offer warranties for 3 or more years, are very rare.

A word on wall chargers

One of the aspects that not all prospective buyers are aware of, is the fact that almost all portable charges come without accompanying wall chargers. If a wall charger is included in the package, this is very visibly advertised and it’s also reflected in the overall price.

Some people purchase external batteries thinking that they also come with wall chargers and end up being unpleasantly surprised when their package finally arrives. Unfortunately, this is due to an unrealistic expectation on the side of the buyer. But if you’re educated on the subject, you should avoid having such unpleasant surprises.

Another important fact to know about wall chargers is that they can greatly influence the charging speed of your power bank. It doesn’t matter if the portable charger features the latest fast charging technology, if you’re using a low-quality wall charger that can deliver just 2A of power, then it will take a long time for your device to get to 100% charge.

The solution is to invest in a fast-charging adaptor, which can deliver a lot of power in a short amount of time. A fast charger can help you to save time when charging both your power bank and your smartphone or any of your other devices. For this reason, we created an article about the best GaN wall chargers and another one on the best wall chargers with QC 3.0 and 4.0. Any fast charging adaptor listed in either of the two articles should help you achieve the quickest recharging times possible on both your phone and portable charger.

Frequent questions:

Final note: Is there something you don’t agree with on this list? Do you think a specific portable charger should have made the list but it’s not present? Do let us know!