Home / Android / Best portable chargers and power banks for Android devices – CNET

Best portable chargers and power banks for Android devices – CNET

Once upon a time, it seemed like everybody was buying battery cases to get the extra juice they needed for their phone to make it through the day. However, the big problem with a battery case is that it makes your phone bulky and heavy — and some cases hurt wireless reception, too. With phones growing larger and larger, the battery case just doesn’t always make as much sense as it once did. In my opinion, an external battery pack is the way to go.

To that end, I’ve rounded up the best compact batteries, with an emphasis on Android devices. Though they cost more, I personally like batteries that have an integrated USB-C output built into them so I don’t have to worry about carrying around a charging cable. (The models with built-in USB-C cables should also work for iPad Pro models.) But I’ve also included some budget picks for those who want to spend as little as possible. And, while we have a separate power bank roundup for iPhones, anything here without an integrated USB-C cable will work perfectly well with an iPhone (and non-Pro iPad models), so long as you provide the Lightning cable.

Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. 

Best battery pack with built-in USB-C cable

Mophie PowerStation Plus USB-C

Sarah Tew/CNET

Mophie’s PowerStation Plus USB-C lists for $80 but can be had for around $45 online for the version that houses a 6,040-mAh battery (pictured here). With the USB-out port, you can charge two devices simultaneously.

The slimmer 4,000-mAh version costs $33.


See at Amazon


Best battery packs with built-in Lightning cables and foldout wall plugs

Ventev Powercell 6010 Plus USB-C

Sarah Tew/CNET

Like the PhoneSuit Journey, the $50 Ventev Powercell 6010 Plus has integrated folding prongs and an integrated USB-C cable. It houses a 6,000-mAh battery, and there’s also a standard USB port so you can charge other devices with an extra cable.


See at Amazon


MyCharge HubPlus-C

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MyCharge’s HubPlus-C ($80) has an integrated foldable wall plug, USB-C cable and USB-out port. It’s a little bulky, but with a 6,700-mAh battery, it can charge most phones twice (and some three times). It also has 18 watts of output power and Qulacomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 feature, which allows for faster charging of devices with USB-C.


See at Amazon


Best high-capacity power banks with PD Quick Charge feature

Anker PowerCore 10,000 PD

Amazon

The Anker PowerCore 10,000 PD retails for about $45. Though it’s thicker than some of the chargers in this roundup, it’s one of the smaller 10,000-mAh portable chargers and has an 18-watt USB-C PD port that provides fast charging. The required cable for fast charging (USB-C to USB-C) is included. 


See at Amazon


Mophie Powerstation PD

Sarah Tew/CNET

Mophie’s Powerstation PD is available in 6,000-mAh ($60) and 10,050-mAh ($80) versions. The 6,000-mAh model (pictured here) delivers 18 watts of power from its USB-C port for quick charging purposes. You can also charge a second device from the USB-A port.


See at Amazon


Aukey Power Bank PD 10K

Amazon

With a price tag of around $30, the Aukey Power Bank PD 10,000 mAh is one of the most affordable high-capacity power banks that are relatively slim and offer 18-watt fast-charging from their USB-C PD port.


See at Amazon


Best affordable slim power banks (without integrated cables)

Anker PowerCore Slim 5000

The Anker PowerCore Slim 5000 ($30) houses a 5,000-mAh battery and, as its name implies, is quite slim. Though it’s been around for a few years, it’ll work with all the latest iPhones (and Android models), but you have to bring your own cable to the charging party.


See at Amazon


MyCharge Go series

Sarah Tew/CNET

MyCharge GoExtra is a simple (pictured in the center), slim battery with an integrated fabric loop. The 4,400-mAh version costs $25 while the step-up Go Big (6,000 mAh) costs $5 more and has two USB-out ports instead of one. Additionally, there’s a 2,600-mAh Go Mini for $20, and the smallest of the bunch, the Go Style, which you can stick on a keychain (though it’s a little big for that), can be had for $10.


See at Amazon


Mophie Powerstation Mini

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Mophie Powerstation Mini is a very slim — and slick-looking — charging brick that houses a 3,000-mAh battery. No cable is included, but you can get these in a two-pack on Amazon for $30 (only the blue version is available at that price, but it does come in other color options). 


See at Amazon


Best battery packs with foldout wall plug (no cable)

Anker PowerCore Fusion Portable Charger

Anker

This Anker model is basically an oversized wall charger with a built-in 5,000-mAh battery. It’s got two standard USB ports for simultaneously juicing up your phone and a secondary gadget (or two phones). And a little LED indicator on the side lets you check the charge level at the press of a button. It’s available in white, black or lipstick red for $26 to $30. 


See at Amazon


MyCharge Home & Go Portable Charger 4,000 mAh

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The MyCharge Home & Go Portable Charger has built-in foldable prongs so you can plug it right into a wall outlet for charging. The smaller and slimmer 4,000-mAh version costs around $30 and has a single USB-out (no USB-C cable included), while the 8,000-mAh version costs $40 and has dual USB-out ports for charging two devices simultaneously.   


See at Amazon


Best portable wireless Qi chargers

MyCharge Unplugged 3K or 5K

Amazon

MyCharge’s Unplugged series comes in 3K (3,000-mAh), 5K (5,000-mAh), 8K (8,000-mAh) and 10K (10,000-mAh) models, all of which are portable battery packs with wireless charging capabilities. Additionally, they have a USB-out port or ports for wired charging with a cable (you can charge two devices simultaneously). It’s like having a wireless charging pad without the cord. 

They start at $30 for the 3K version, which is obviously the slimmest of the bunch. While the 5K is a little thicker, it doesn’t cost much more and probably delivers more performance for your money.    


See at Amazon


Moshi Porto Q 5K

Sarah Tew/CNET

At around $85 Moshi’s Porto Q 5K (5,000-mAh) isn’t cheap, but like the MyCharge Unplugged, it’s a portable battery that doubles as a wireless charging pad. It’s swankier and more stylish than the MyCharge Unplugged and charges via USB-C instead of Micro-USB. There’s a USB-out port for wired charging, and you can charge two devices simultaneously. 


See at Amazon


Bonus pick: Power bank with built-in speaker

Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’re looking for a portable battery that can also play music, the Esquire Mini 2 ($130) is a slick Bluetooth travel speaker that has a USB-out port for charging devices (no Lightning cable included). It sounds surprisingly good for its slim size.  


See at Amazon



Read full review


Power Banks for Android

Product Capacity Built-in USB-C cable? Built-in AC prongs? Fast-charging? Price Weight
Mophie PowerStation Plus USB-C 6,080 mAh Yes No No $45 5.92 oz
MyCharge Hub Mini 3,300 mAh Yes Yes Yes $80 6.88 oz
Ventev Powercell 6010 Plus 6,000 mAh Yes Yes No $38 6.72 oz
Anker PowerCore 10,000 PD 1,000 mAh No No Yes $45 6.80 oz
Mophie Powerstation PD 6,000 mAh No No Yes $60 5.20 oz
Aukey Power Bank PD 10,000 mAh 10,000 mAh No No Yes $30 7.41 oz
Anker PowerCore Slim 5000 5,000 mAh No No No $30 7.40 oz
MyCharge Go series 4,400 mAh No No No $25 2.40 oz
Mophie Powerstation Mini 3,000 mAh No No No 2 for $29 3.18 oz
Anker PowerCore Fusion Portable Charger 5,000 mAh No Yes No $26 6.60 oz
MyCharge Home & Go Portable Charger 4000 mAh 4,000 mAh No Yes No $29 4.00 oz
MyCharge Unplugged 3K 3,000 mAh No No No $30 4.80 oz
Moshi Porto Q 5K 5,000 mAh No No No $85 5.50 oz
Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2 2,200 mAh No No No $130 8.80 oz

Battery packs compared

We used all the models above in anecdotal testing during recent weeks and months. The ones highlighted above are ones we recommend over the dozens if not hundreds of others currently on sale at Amazon and elsewhere, which is why we zeroed in on a handful of favorite brands: Mophie, MyCharge and Anker, with some notable one-offs from Aukey, Ventev, Moshi and Harman Kardon thrown in for good measure.

What to look for

Here’s a few things to keep in mind when shopping for battery packs:

  • A higher power rating (mAh, short for millamp hours) means more charges — but also a heavier weight. 
  • For the latest Android phones, you should buy a battery with at least a 3,000-mAh capacity, which should give you at least one full charge. With the exception of the Harman Kardon, all the models featured above hit that mark. 
  • Multiple USB-out ports will let you charge more than one phone or device at a time.
  • These products all use lithium-ion (li-ion) rechargeable batteries, and should thus always be stored in carry-on luggage when flying. Airlines and regulatory agencies are increasingly banning li-ion batteries in checked baggage.
  • A few of the battery packs above are USB-PD (power delivery) models, which provide faster charging of phones and other USB-C products that support fast charging. These PD chargers will charge larger USB-C devices (laptops, Nintendo Switch ($299 at Amazon) and the like), as well as USB-C enabled iPad Pros, but sometimes at slower rates than larger-wattage wall chargers.

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