Phone screens are getting bigger, and phone batteries aren’t. That means, all other things being equal, you’ll need to charge your phone more often. So, to that end, I’ve put together a list of my favourite high-capacity and-high-speed portable USB battery chargers.
I’m a big fan of the new breed of chargers with USB Power Delivery chips inside, which give your battery pack the extra oomph needed to charge a USB Type-C laptop like a MacBook. These chips are usually only in larger 20,000mAh battery chargers, though, so you’ll have to be comfortable lugging around a sizeable battery in addition to the laptop itself.
Cygnett‘s fantastic 20,000mAh ChargeUp Ultra battery charger is a traditional power bank shape at 136x71x28mm, and it’s also relatively affordable at $129.95. That width — kinda similar to an iPhone — means it fits very comfortably in a jeans pocket, even if it’s quite thick. 20,000mAh is enough to get 10 charges for a tiny iPhone battery or a couple of refills for your tablet, and it’s also pre-charged when you buy it — so it’s ready to go.
Tronsmart similarly has a 20,000mAh power bank called the Brio, but this one has a USB Power Delivery chip inside — so its USB-C port can deliver up to 45 Watts and get some serious charge into your tablet or laptop when needed. It’s big — 160x74x24mm — but you’ll get plenty of charges for even large smartphone batteries or a significant battery life boost for your laptop if you need it. You can find it for around $100 online.
Belkin makes quality accessories for your phone, and the 6600mAh Mixit USB-C Power Rockstar (what a name, right?) is no different. The standout feature of Belkin’s $89.95 Rockstar chargers is the included removable short cable, and the USB-C version comes with both a USB-C port for your new phone and a micro-USB cable for an older Android or for recharging the battery itself. And they’re sturdy as all hell, trust me.
Sony actually makes a great $129.95 USB battery pack for the modern Android generation: it’s a 10,00mAh portable charger called the CP-SC10 that has two USB-C ports, one of which can be switched to input mode to recharge its internal cells. It’s quite reasonably sized, too, at 127x65x22mm. And typically for Sony, it looks like it should be in the next Blade Runner or Star Wars flick.
Cygnett again makes the current object of my lust, the ChargeUp Pro USB-C. In teal or in black for $169.95, this wide and slim power bank measures 171x102x15mm and it’s quite heavy at 450g, but it has a bunch of charges and the same two USB-A and one USB-C ports as the Tronsmart; it’s really up to you whether that different slimmer form factor is worth the extra asking price over its cheaper competitors. I think, for me, it is.