The Best Portable Chargers and Power Banks for Phones and Tablets – The New York Times

Our pick

Zendure SuperMini 20W

This is the smallest and lightest 10,000 mAh power bank we’ve tested. It has USB-C PD and USB-A ports, it comes in several colors, and its rounded edges make it easy to slip into a pocket.

Buying Options

The Zendure SuperMini 20W is about as small and lightweight as a power bank can possibly be while still offering enough capacity to juice up most smartphones up to three times. Its USB-C Power Delivery (PD) port can charge most handheld devices (and recharge the power bank itself) at top speed with the included USB-C cable and a compatible wall charger (the one that came with your phone will work). The USB-A port can handle any older, non-USB-C devices you might have kicking around, too. The SuperMini’s rounded edges make it easy to hold and slip into a pocket, and unlike most power banks, it comes in a wide range of colors: red, green, black, silver, blue, and pink.

Key specs

Rated capacity: 10,000 mAh (36 Wh)
Weight: 6.4 ounces
Tested input: 19.3 watts (USB-C PD port)
Tested output: 18.6 watts (USB-C PD port) and 16.6 watts (USB-A port)

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Also great

HyperJuice 18W USB-C + Lightning Battery Pack (10000mAh)

This power bank has just as much capacity (10,000 mAh) as our top pick, and it’s nearly as small and lightweight. Plus, it adds two built-in charging cables (Lightning and USB-C) to declutter your purse or pocket.

Buying Options

If you prefer a power bank with built-in cables, unbridled by separate charging cables that take up space and can easily get tangled or lost in a cluttered bag, the HyperJuice 18W USB-C + Lightning Battery Pack (10000mAh) is the best you’ll find. It costs the same as our top pick (at this writing), but it has just one port (an input-only USB-C) to the Zendure’s two. However, it adds two built-in charging cables (USB-C and Lightning) that slide seamlessly in and out of their holsters on either side of the unit. It has the same 10,000 mAh capacity rating as the Zendure, and while it weighs a bit more (7.9 ounces versus the SuperMini’s 6.4 ounces), it’s about as compact as an iPhone SE. It also has a sophisticated look and a comfortable, dimpled texture that makes it easy to grip.

Key specs

Rated capacity: 10,000 mAh (36 Wh)
Weight: 7.9 ounces
Tested input: 15 watts (USB-C PD port)
Tested output: 18 watts (built-in USB-C PD cable or built-in Lightning cable)

Also great

TravelCard Charger

This ultraslim power bank fits in a wallet or pocket, can charge most phones to at least a third full, and is available in Lightning, Micro-USB, and USB-C versions.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $30.

The TravelCard Charger is the best portable charger for someone who wants to have an emergency boost of power always on hand. It has the lowest capacity of any power bank we’ve tested—it’s able to charge most phones from empty to around only 30% to 50% full—but it’s unmatched in weight (under 2 ounces) and size. It’s bigger and thicker than the average credit card but not by much, so it fits easily in a wallet or pocket. It has a built-in USB-A cable for you to charge it up and a built-in output cable (either Lightning, Micro-USB, or USB-C, depending on which version you get) to top off your phone or another handheld device with a little boost of power.

Key specs

Rated capacity: 1,500 mAh (5.4 Wh)
Weight: 1.7 ounces
Tested input: 5.8 watts (built-in USB-A cable)
Tested output: 7.1 watts (built-in Lightning cable), 5.9 watts (built-in USB-C cable), and 5.1 watts (built-in Micro-USB cable)

Also great

Anker PowerCore III Fusion 5K

This palm-sized power bank charges your devices on a USB-A port and a speedy USB-C PD port, and recharges itself via the USB-C PD port or through a fold-out AC plug.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.

The Anker PowerCore III Fusion 5K is handy if you want a single, reliable charger that you can plug in the wall to charge your devices overnight and then pack up and carry with you during the day. Its 5,000 mAh capacity is half that of the Zendure and HyperJuice models, but that’s still enough to fully charge most smartphones more than once (and at 6.4 ounces, it’s just as lightweight as our top pick). The Fusion 5K recharges quickly via its USB-C PD port or fold-out AC plug—most models we tested have just one or the other—and it offers fairly fast charging for two devices at a time on the USB-C PD and USB-A ports. If you want a power bank that doubles as a wall charger, this is the best option we’ve found.

Key specs

Rated capacity: 5,000 mAh (18 Wh)
Weight: 6.4 ounces
Tested input: 10.9 watts (built-in AC plug) and 18 watts (USB-C PD port)
Tested output: 18 watts (USB-C PD port), 13.5 watts (USB-A port when plugged in), and 12.5 watts (USB-A port when unplugged)

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