As 2017 draws to an end, its time for me to sum up the top 5 best portable chargers of 2017. Christmas is just around the corner and a portable charger could be the perfect gift for your tech loving friends and family. Portable chargers are such handy little gadgets, they can be useful for so many different reasons. Whether its constantly travelling, and needing to recharge devices on the run. Or perhaps for heavy mobile gamers, or people that spend a lot of time outdoors camping, hiking or fishing. Having a battery in your pocket is the solution!
Portable chargers come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and power ratings. This review contains what I consider to be the 5 best portable chargers available today. But it also has a healthy range of units with a broad range of power ratings from 3350mAh up to a whopping 20000mAh. No matter what your needs for a portable charger, there should be a unit here to suit your needs. If not, check out the rest of the portable charger reviews here. So read on and find out the pick of this year’s crop of portable chargers. You can click through to read full, in-depth reviews of each of the chargers in this list.
#1 best portable chargers 2017:
Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Portable Charger
9.3/10 | Read full review here
Anker has always been a class-leading manufacturer with its wide range of high quality portable chargers. And the Anker Astro E1 is my pick of the bunch, in fact its my favourite portable charger of 2017. The Anker Astro E1 really doesn’t miss a beat, registering consistently high scores across my four categories – look and feel, durability & construction, capacity & charging speed and value.
For starters, the Anker Astro E1 really does pack a powerful punch for such a pocket-sized device. And pocket sized it is! Anker themselves describe it as “candy bar sized”. It’s dimensions are 3.8 x 1.7 x 0.9 and it weighs in at 4.16 ounces. Its dimensions make it really easy to slip into your jacket or jeans pockets.
Perhaps more importantly than its portability, the Anker Astro E1 is very, very fast. Boasting PowerIQ technology, the charger detects the device it’s attached to and optimizes the power output for maximum efficiency. It will recharge an iPhone 7 1.7 times, and is certainly one of the fastest portable chargers I’ve ever reviewed.
Additionally its a very slick looking unit, I personally really like its understated looks. It also feels extremely well constructed, which is no surprise given Anker are known for using high quality components. Although I should mention that it is surprisingly heavy for its size. Its weight is not enough to be an issue but there are other chargers of a similar size which are lighter. Take the Yoobao 5200mAh Portable Charger in this top round up for instance. Anker also offer excellent after sales customer support – this portable charger comes with an 18 month warranty which is quite a rarity in this market.
#2 best portable chargers 2017:
Xiaomi Power Bank 20000mAh
9.3/10 | Read full review here
Its more than likely that many of you will not have heard of this brand of portable charger. But Mi (or Xiaomi as it is known in China) is an established cell phone manufacturer and has been producing an increasing number of power banks and accessories of late. I actually own a Mi smart phone, and have been super impressed with its quality and features.
Its one of the more unusual power banks I’ve reviewed in my time and boasts an impressive array of features. Its most unique quality is undoubtedly its capacity to charge the new 12″ Mac Book via USB Type-C charging. This is not something you come across every day, and if you own said MacBook then I’d certainly recommend buying it. Keep in mind that you’ll need the appropriate USB Type-C cable.
Sporting 20000mAh, this is by far the most powerful portable charger in this year’s top 5. And it backs that up with two 2.1A USB outputs, which means you may charge two devices at once (and quickly!) It does take a little while to recharge this beast, but when you’ve got 20000mAh to juice up then it is understandable. The Xiaomi does also come with Quickcharge 2.0 recharging technology. Just keep in mind, this is not exactly a pocket sized power bank – this is for power users!
Xiaomi clearly take their design seriously, as its a very nice looking piece of kit. The white, subtly textured body looks really cool, and the the Micro USB connector cable has a flat-cable design – just like Beats headphones. All up it just has a cool, premium feel to it – somewhat reminiscent of Apple products.
Rounding off the good news, Mi has opted to use high quality components, for instance batteries by Panasonic and LG. Also the USB power control and charging chips are made by Texas Instruments.
You may never have heard of Xiaomi, but this really is a great product and it comes highly recommended. Its very deservedly number 2 in my top 5 best portable chargers 2017.
#3 best portable chargers 2017:
RAVPower 16750mAh Portable Charger
9.2/10 | Read full review here
The RAVPower 16750mAh Portable Charger is the second most powerful portable charger in this top 5. Its a good compromise for all of you that are after bags of power but don’t want something that’s over-the-top huge. At 5 x 3.2 x 0.8 inches and 10.9 ounces its not exactly pocket-sized. It is however, entirely manageable when carried in a large purse, a laptop bag or a small satchel/backpack.
RAVPower are another brand which consistently put out fantastic power banks. This particular model uses high quality Lithium Ion batteries and feels really sturdy and well put together. Its quite a modern, techy looking piece of gear, and even comes with a flashlight. (This is one feature than many manufacturers seem to include which I can’t see a consistent use for!)
A stand-out feature is the RAVPower’s charging speed. It ships with 2 USB ports sporting a max output of 4.5A. Running simultaneously, this will probably be closer to 3-3.5A but you’re going to be impressed with its ability to recharge your cell phone no matter what. It does take a little longer to recharge the unit itself, once again this is due to the capacity. If you do purchase the RAVPower, or the Xiaomi, I’d recommend investing in a Quick Charge Wall Charger and your recharging time will be drastically shortened!
Power bank manufacturers are famous for being slightly optimistic with their power ratings. Many times the actual mAh capacity is well below the amount claimed on the box. I’m happy to say that the RAVPower 16750mAh Portable Charger breaks that pattern, and you can be sure you’re getting all the power that you’re paying for.
All up the RAVPower is a great mid-sized option providing plenty of power whilst not being prohibitive in size and weight. It represents great value for money and should certainly be on your shortlist.
#4 best portable chargers 2017:
Anker PowerCore mini 3350mAh 3rd Generation
9.2/10 | Read full review here
The portable charger market has been flooded with these “lipstick” sized devices and this is undoubtably my pick of the bunch. The Anker PowerCore mini is convenient and would make an ideal gift for someone who’s never bought a portable charger before. It measures 3.5 inches, 0.9 inches, 0.9 inches and only weighs 2.72 ounces! The long, slim, circular shape makes it really versatile as well. It will slip into a jeans or jacket pocket with ease and you’re going to barely notice it.
As mentioned above, there are a big number of competing portable chargers in this size, and they’re all rated at around 3350mAh. This appears to be the maximum power rating for a charger of this size. I’m looking forward to the day where someone is able to cram more mAh into something smaller. The Anker uses a high quality Panasonic-Sanyo NCR18650BF Lithium Ion cell. Charge times are nice and fast, although there have been some reports of overheating and efficiency loss over time. I’ve personally not experienced any issues with my Anker PowerCore mini.
Its quite a smart looking little unit, with its matte black finish (although there are 5 colours to choose from). It also appears to be well constructed, and feels solid for a unit of its size. Once again, Anker back up their goods with an 18 month warranty – which is very reassuring.
The Anker PowerCore mini is also cheap as chips, and an absolute bargain at this price. Without a doubt its the best value unit in this round up. An ideal portable charger for people who need some emergency battery back up whilst they’re on the move. If you’re looking for the ultimate in portability, then its definitely the best portable charger for you.
#5 best portable chargers 2017:
Yoobao 5200mAh Portable Charger
9.2/10 | Read full review here
The Yoobao 5200mAh Portable Charger is the wild card in this set of top 5 best portable chargers 2017. Its the first power bank I’ve reviewed from Chinese manufacturer Yoobao. I was skeptical at first, but I came away super impressed with its combination of light weight, compact size and good looks.
Check out our unboxing video review on Youtube here.
At 5200mAh, its directly competing with our number 1 pick (the Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Portable Charger). Both power banks will easily fit in the palm of your hand, and are about the same size, but the Yoobao is a little bit lighter. The Yoobao is made of aluminium, and feels really sturdy and well made. Fit and finish is top-notch.
Its also a really cool looking little charger. I’m a fan of the mottled metal finish, which catches the light nicely and offsets the subtly etched in Yoobao logo.
Charging times are lightning fast, with 2.1A input and output – although it is not as quick as the Anker Astro E1. Yoobao have also used grade AAA cells and premium chips. The combination of high quality components, and an aluminium case to keep it safe from bumps make it a really reliable, hardy little portable charger. Full credit to Yoobao for backing it up with a 12 month warranty, not something I’m used to seeing from smaller brands.
All up its a very nifty little portable charger, and comes in cheaper than the Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Portable Charger. Its well worth your consideration.