Never Get Stuck in the Red Again with These Phone Power Banks

Never Get Stuck in the Red Again with These Phone Power Banks
Image: Amazon
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There’s nothing worse than watching the little battery bar as it depletes into the red and you receive the dreaded “only 10% remaining” notification. The situation is only made more stressful when you’re out and about, where you can’t bring your wireless charging pad along.

While you could make use of those random charging stations that you occasionally see out in the wild, using one could put yourself at risk of “juice jacking”.

So if you want to ensure your phone’s battery stays in the green, grab yourself a portable power bank, so you always have a back up in case of emergencies.

Here’s everything you should consider when buying a portable phone charger, along with a few of our top picks

How many recharges will you get?

As smartphones have grown more advanced, with increased battery sizes and more energy-demanding tech, so too has the market for portable chargers. It’s not hard to find a portable charger, but it’s important to make sure it can meet all of your needs.

If you’re just looking to recharge your smartphone, there’s an incredibly rough calculation that you could do in order to determine the number of times you might be able to recharge your phone from a fully charged power bank.

Take, for example, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, a phone with a 5,000mAh internal battery. A 20,000mAh power bank can recharge it four times if it’s fully charged, right?

Not quite, although you should see more than three recharges if the power bank is relatively new and fully charged for sure.

The realities of power transmission are inherently lossy, and the actual transmission rate of the power will also have an effect on how much charge it’s able to put out to a given device. Just like your smartphone, over time a power bank’s internal battery will also lose capacity, so if you’re using an older model, you might not see full capacity when it comes to juicing up your devices.

How many devices do you need to keep juiced up?

power bank
Image: iStock/Anatoliy Sizov

Most high-capacity power banks feature multiple outputs, which is handy if you’re planning on powering up more than just your smartphone, or if you just want to be nice to your friends and family if they’re caught in a power bind.

It’s worth matching up connector types here too. While USB-A is the common standard, because most charging cables end with that rectangular type plug anyway, there are some power banks that offer up either USB-C or Apple’s Lightning connection points, although the latter is fairly rare in an output sense. When charging up the power bank, you should get a compatible cable whether your device uses micro USB, USB-C or Lightning, but usually not an actual plug charger.

What kind of power output do you need?

There’s a certain universality when it comes to charging smartphones from a power bank, because you can pretty much plug any phone into any power bank and get the electrons flowing.

However that’s not the full story if you want faster charging, and especially if you need a power bank to back up your laptop’s power supply. Some power banks do support standards such as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge if your phone supports that standard, meaning you can juice up your phone much faster, but there are alternative standards such as Oppo’s VOOC, which aren’t usually called out in power bank specifications. If a power bank can deliver higher wattage to your connected device you may find it charges faster, but it’s not guaranteed.

It’s a little more complex if you want a power bank to keep power flowing to a laptop or other high wattage device. What you want to look for there is a power bank that offers Power Delivery, or PD, as a standard.

With the right mix of power bank, cable and device, it is possible to deliver power to laptops, although this can be a little hit and miss, because the device and the power bank have to effectively negotiate the power delivery level that will be safely used. Many laptops may simply opt to use the power bank as an external power source – so they sap the battery but don’t actually “recharge” while in use – which is a safer option than fusing out your laptop, of course.

Our recommendations for high-capacity power banks

Anker PowerCore 13,000mAh Portable Charger ($39.99, down from $49.99)

power bank

Anker’s charger has 13,000mAh on board in a compact frame with two USB-A output sockets and up to 3A output. This is a good option if you just need a quick juice hit.

ROMOSS 20,000mAh Portable Charger ($34.99, down from $40.99)

power bank

ROMOSS’ 20,000mAh charger has QuickCharge support, three output sockets and claims compatibility to recharge the Nintendo Switch.

Charmast Power Delivery Power Bank ($53.54, down from $55.99)

power bank

Charmast’s Power Bank has 26,800mAh to share out and plenty of ways to do so, with two standard USB ports, a USB-C port and a Quick Charge compatible port as well. It’s rated for power delivery at up to 18W, and Charmast claims compatibility with the Nintendo Switch and select Apple MacBook models.

iMuto 20,000mAh Portable Charger ($49.99)

iMuto’s power bank has 20,000mAh on board, two USB-A type outputs and a simple digital display so you can easily see how much power it has left. It also features an inbuilt flashlight, so even if your phone is lacking in juice, you could still use it by itself to make your way in the dark.

OISLE Magnetic Wireless Mini Power Bank ($89.99, down from $94.99)

Credit: Amazon

OISLE’s magnetic power bank has got to be one of the most aesthetic and compact portable charger on the market. This cute little fellow comes in five colours and is about half the size of your phone. Unlike other chargers, its biggest draw is the fact you don’t have to worry about dealing with a dangling cable as you try to get from A to B. In fact, you can tuck it into your back pocket while you wait rather than fish it out of your bag.

Another cool feature is that the logo lights up in three various colours to indicate how much battery juice remains. However, in comparison to the other portable chargers mentioned, it does have a low mAh of just 4225. Translation? Slow charging speed but ideal for giving your phone a little boost as you rush to get home before its battery completely depletes.

Anker PowerCore 20,000mAh Portable Charger ($78)

Anker is one of the best-regarded consumer tech brands around. If you’re after a portable charger with a bit more juice, the Anker PowerCore 20,000mAh portable charger is a solid battery option. This power bank has two USB-A ports for dual-charging, with a 2.4A output for each port.

Zhonghang 26,800mAh Solar Power Bank ($59.49, down from $89)

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time in the great outdoors, you know how it important it is to have enough battery power. With a battery capacity of 26,800mAh, the Zhonghang power bank can achieve five to six full charges for most iPhone and Samsung models.

You’re able to recharge this power bank with sunlight, and it even has a in-built LED flashlight. This charger is also waterproof, dust proof, and shockproof, so it’ll withstand whatever is thrown at it.

ZHAM Solar Power Bank ($79.99)

Image: Amazon

Awfully similar to the Zhonghang previously mentioned, the ZHAM Solar Power Bank boasts a 33,500mAh which allows it to charge your iPhone 13 six times or your Samsung S8 seven times.

Dubbed the “outdoorsy man’s favourite battery bank”, it features an LED flashlight. Even though you’re tempted to say “my phone already has a torch”, your phone definitely doesn’t have four strobe light modes which can help you send an emergency signal if you’re ever in a pickle. Boom.

Plus, if you join Amazon Prime, you can get an additional 15% off with a coupon when you purchase this product.

Editor’s note: Descriptions and features are as taken from manufacturer/seller claims and user reviews on Amazon.