• Follow us

Technology

Best power banks of 2019: The top USB portable chargers for your phone

Don't leave home without one. battery pack hub Rob Schultz / IDG Table of Contents

Anyone who uses a smartphone knows the importance of carrying a backup power bank. But given the large number of options on Amazon, you might feel overwhelmed, understandably. Besides the various charging specs, ports, and even cables you have to consider, there are a ton of competing brands. It’s common to see products from Anker, Mophie, and MyCharge, but how do you know which ones deliver on their promises? Is it worth saving a few bucks if a battery pack’s performance is lacking?

As for the latter, be advised: Amazon voluntarily recalled six different models of its AmazonBasics-branded external power banks after they were found to potentially overheat.

Cheat sheet: Best power banks 2019Mophie Powerstation Plus XL: Best overall [mophie.com] Xiaomi 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank: Most portable [amazon.com] Sherpa 100AC Portable Power Bank: Best for road warriors [goalzero.com] Anker Powercore+ 26800 PD: Best for USB-C [amazon.com]

We decided to do the legwork for you, acquiring a wide range of power banks from different manufacturers, some offering unique features. We then spent weeks testing the packs (read about our testing process in detail below).

While we’ve made some top picks, be sure to read through each review, linked to at the bottom of this page, to help you find the best battery pack for your needs. (You might also be interested in our our roundup of USB car chargers if you spend a lot of time in a vehicle.)

Updated 7/01/2019 to include our review of the OmniCharge Omni 20+ Power Bank, which packs a plethora of ports as well as a wireless charging pad to meet the needs of all your devices. For all of our power bank reviews, jump to the bottom of this article.

Best overall power bank  Mophie Powerstation Plus XL

The Powerstation Plus demonstrated greater efficiency than any other battery pack we've tested. This alone helps counter some of its less appealing features.

The Mophie Powerstation Plus XL is light, easy to toss into a bag, and incredibly efficient. It’s also one of the the most expensive packs in this roundup, at $99.95. But with a 93.41 percent efficiency rating, you’re getting your money’s worth with this pack. Combine that with a built-in charging cable with multiple tips, and you have a winner. We did have an issue with recharge time, but overall this pack is the one to beat. (Read our full review).

Most portable power bank  Xiaomi 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro

At this price point and with this performance, you simply can’t go wrong with the Mi Power Bank Pro. Not only is it small enough to tote around anywhere, it's capable of charging all the things.

Xiaomi is known for producing high-quality products and selling them at an affordable price. The 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro is a prime example of that approach, hitting all the marks to make it our top pick for the most portable power bank overall. With its high efficiency, premium design, and street price of $28, it’s hard to beat. Pick up one or two of these, throw them in your bag and suitcase, and forget having to worry about running out of battery power while on the road. (Read our full review.)

Best power bank for road warriors 

If you spend a lot of time on the road and value device preparedness, the Sherpa 100AC makes a trusty, if pricey, companion. Yes, at $299.95, you’re looking at a big investment. But that buys you two USB-C ports capable of fast-charging speeds, two standard USB ports, a Qi wireless charging pad, a standard U.S. 110V outlet, a full complement of cables, and a nifty status display and buttons for controlling various functions of the pack. The pack itself can be charged in just a couple hours. (Read our full review.)

Best USB-C power bank 

Between its capacity, recharge time, charging capabilities, USB-C, and the wide range of devices it can charge, the Anker Powercore+ 26800 PD is well worth its $110 price. 

Yes, it’s big and bulky. But being able to quickly top off your phone while trekking through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch simultaneously is worth the added weight and the price. (Read our full review.)

For those looking for a smaller, less expensive USB-C option, you’re in luck: See our full roundup of best USB-C battery packs for some very competitive alternatives. Or if you’re a MacBook user, check out Macworld’s guide to USB-C power banks and USB-C power banks with Power Delivery 2.0 for chargers that can handle laptops as well as phones. 

How we tested

Determining whether a power bank lives up to a company’s promise entails more than simply connecting it to a phone and charging. Testing battery packs is done over weeks, not days, and requires extra equipment in order to ensure the batteries work as expected.

Upon receiving each battery pack, it was fully charged using indicator lights as a means to track charge level. Then to track efficiency, we used a DROK Micro Load Tester combined with the PortaPow USB Power Monitor.

Using the DROK load tester to drain the pack of power, we were able to test against a battery’s stated maximum current, and verify that proper shutdown mechanisms were in place should something go wrong during a charging session (such as a device drawing over the maximum amps).

By using the PortaPow Power Monitor, we were able to monitor volts and amps, total power throughput, and total amount of time to deplete a battery from full to empty.

Next, we recharged the battery, this time using the PortaPow to track it throughout and the total amount of time to achieve a full battery, based on watt-hours.

There are some hiccups using this method, however. We had to use a GoPro camera to track each battery through its charge cycle, due to the PortaPow monitor continuing to collect data after the battery was fully charged (trickle charging is normal, and unfortunately interferes with our testing).

If a battery was capable of charging through USB-C, we used that instead of Micro-USB.

We then connected each battery to a Pixel XL and LG G5 to ensure that the devices registered the expected fast-charging output for each respective device. Power source and cables

All of our tests were conducted using the same wall adapter and, when possible, USB-C or Micro-USB cable. This was done to eliminate any discrepancies with wall adapters and cable throughput.

What to look for in a portable power bank

Without fancy testing equipment, you never truly know if you’re getting what you paid for with a battery pack. Vendors, especially in Amazon listings, like to throw around a lot of terms and certifications.

Here are a few tips to help you make a decision:

For those with a compatible device, make sure the battery pack is Quick Charge 2.0, 3.0, or PD certified. Depending on your smartphone, this can make a big difference in performance. If you own a QC 2.0 device, however, ask yourself if paying extra for a QC 3.0 capable pack is worth it. Don’t put 100 percent confidence in a company’s claims of a pack being able to charge, say, a Galaxy S8 or iPhone X six times over. Battery capacity and efficiency varies based on a number of factors. Read this Macworld report on USB-C packs to learn more about batteries and capacity. Look at the specs of the battery, and ensure that its input isn’t limited to slow charging such as 5V/1A. The faster the input, the faster your battery pack rechargers, the faster you’re ready to hit the road. All of our power bank reviews

Click on the links below to read the full reviews of all the products we tested for this roundup. We will continue to review and update this article as we test more battery packs.

You may also be considering simply buying Amazon’s AmazonBasic charger, as a way of saving money. In this case, be advised: Amazon has voluntarily recalled several models because of potential overheating. Amazon has received 53 reports of the affected models—B00LRK8EVO, B00LRK8HJ8, B00LRK8I7O, B00LRK8IV0, B00LRK8JDC or B00ZQ4JQAA—overheating, and in one case causing chemical burns. You can find more information at the Consumer Products Safety Commission, as well as Amazon’s own recall site. 

At a Glance

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

PCWorld

Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective 2019-07-02 06:00:00Vacuuming is one of the most hated household chores. Here are your best choices for outsourcing it to some automated help.

Ecovacs Deebot 500 review: This budget-priced household helper 2019-07-02 06:00:00With app control plus Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, this robot vacuum packs a punch for the price.

Four reasons to buy an Always-Connected PC 2019-07-01 23:00:00 Laptops have always been a perfect blend of portability and power, making them the ideal solution for working whether you’re at home, in the of

The five devices you need to work anytime 2019-07-01 23:00:00The modern workplace is more flexible than ever before. This is mainly thanks to high-speed internet connections and the huge advancements in mobile t

Microsoft's fall release of Windows 10 will be 2019-07-01 18:25:00If you’ve been wondering what Microsoft’s next feature release of Windows 10—19H2—has in store, the answer is: not much.Micros

Tobii lands former Intel PC chip VP to 2019-07-01 17:51:00Eye-tracking tech provider Tobii said Monday that it has named Anand Srivatsa, the former vice president of Intel’s Client Computing Group, as T

Best power banks of 2019: The top USB 2019-07-01 13:24:00Anyone who uses a smartphone knows the importance of carrying a backup power bank. But given the large number of options on Amazon, you might feel ove

Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-sellers on 2019-07-01 10:05:00When you’re looking for a good, cheap laptop, knowledge is power. Every budget machine (which we’re defining as Windows laptops costing $5

OmniCharge Omni 20+ Power Bank review: A one-stop 2019-07-01 06:30:00The OmniCharge Omni 20+ is a successful follow up to the Omni 20, simply because OmniCharge no longer has different models of the same charger with di

Bose Home Speaker 300 review: A versatile smart 2019-07-01 06:00:00The newest (and smallest) addition to Bose’s smart speaker line sounds sweet, speaks both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and encourages the

Best smart speakers: Which deliver the best combination 2019-07-01 06:00:00With models based on Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and others to come, we’ll help you find just the right model for you.

LG Gram 2-in-1 review: A convertible laptop with 2019-07-01 06:00:00Convertible laptops usually come with more compromises than the LG Gram 2-in-1 does.Despite having a 14-inch screen, the LG Gram 2-in-1 (model 14T990)

TechNewsWorld

Clean Energy Solutions to Lower Your Electric Bill 2019-07-01 14:47:21Utility bills can get astronomical in the summer and winter. You can reduce those costs and your carbon footprint by signing up for Arcadia Power. Acc

The Democratic Debate That Wasn't: How Tech Could 2019-07-01 08:43:36I watched the Democratic debates last week and was struck by three things: I'd likely rather watch paint dry; the application of technology to improv

NSA Admits Improper Collection of Phone Data, 2nd 2019-06-27 05:39:54The ACLU has released documents showing the NSA improperly collected Americans' call and text logs in November 2017 and in February and October 2018.

Chinese Hackers Linked to Global Attacks on Telcos 2019-06-26 13:04:05Chinese hackers likely are responsible for a series of cyberattacks against telecommunications companies around the world, security researchers have r

Next-Gen Raspberry Pi 4 Packs Power Plus Potential 2019-06-25 13:59:05The next big Raspberry Pi thing is now here, with lots more computing power and more options. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the availabili

Proposed Law Would Force Big Tech to Reveal 2019-06-25 06:15:22A Democrat and a Republican have filed a U.S. Senate bill to require companies to report to financial regulators and to the public what consumer data

6 Things We Won't Be Able to Live 2019-06-24 14:53:38Things rarely happen as fast as we think or progress as slowly as we hope. We all thought we'd have flying cars by the end of last century, for insta

Uber Drones to Make Meal Drops This Summer 2019-06-21 05:57:31Uber Elevate, the aerial arm of rideshare service Uber, will test a fast food delivery by drone service later this summer in San Diego. Delivery dest

Firefox Users Warned to Patch Critical Flaw 2019-06-20 06:23:16Firefox users should update their browsers immediately to fix a critical zero-day vulnerability. Anyone using Firefox on a Windows, macOS or Linux des

In Zuck We Trust: Facebook to Launch Own 2019-06-19 13:37:13Facebook's plans to mint its own digital coin will test the company's consumer credibility. After being savaged for months for its cavalier attitude

Instagram Targets Account Hijacking 2019-06-18 13:42:04Account hijacking has become a nettlesome problem at Instagram so it has decided to do something about it. The social media company has begun testing

Improving Digital Literacy in the Workplace 2019-06-17 18:50:57It's anticipated that in the next five years 90 percent of the workforce will require at least basic computer skills, such as using email or company

FOX News

Facebook buildings evacuated after mail tests positive for 2019-07-01 16:47:27Four buildings that receive and mail for social media giant Facebook were evacuated Monday after a bag of mail tested positive for the nerve

Soldiers use AI to fire precision grenades, guide 2019-07-01 15:50:32The Pentagon’s research and technology arm is testing a “breakthrough” AI-enabled technology for dismounted mobile combat units that

Tiny robots are ‘dominating space’ 2019-07-01 15:30:19China calls them scavengers, Russia calls them inspectors and the US calls them threats.

Civil rights activists slam Facebook's 'insufficient' attempts to 2019-07-01 12:48:20Facebook's latest update on its ongoing companywide civil rights audit has been criticized by activists who say that the social network needs to do m

Facebook cryptocurrency, life-saving smartphones and more: Tech Q&A 2019-06-30 07:00:55Please help me solve a debate. I say my smart TV can get bit by malware and viruses. My buddy says I am a dope. Who’s right? A six-pack is ridin

4 chilling lessons from a tech hotline scam 2019-06-29 07:00:32Some people think they’re immune to cybercriminals. “I’m not even on their radar,” they think. “What are the chances tha

Seedy app that 'undressed' women sparks backlash, taken 2019-06-28 15:36:41A seedy app that used a type of artificial intelligence to “undress” images of clothed women has been taken offline by its developers.

Apple moves production of $6G Mac Pro to 2019-06-28 09:50:19Apple is manufacturing its new Mac Pro computer in China, according to people familiar with its plans, shifting abroad production of what had bee

Google Maps can now tell you how bad 2019-06-28 09:35:00Three weeks after Google announced Google Maps updates to help you stay safe in the event of a natural disaster, the company detailed a solution for a

iPhone designer Jony Ive to leave Apple for 2019-06-28 08:38:38(Photo by Qi Heng/VCG via Getty Images) Jony Ive, the major designer behind the iPhone, is leaving Apple later this year to start his own company.

Apple wants to make Oscar-worthy movies to beef 2019-06-17 12:50:56Apple has Oscar envy.

Google wants next billion users, but has no 2019-06-17 11:09:24Google CEO Sundar Pichai said his company doesn't have plans to launch in China, but that doesn't mean the tech giant wants to ignore its hundreds o

Thetechhacker

Google has open-sourced its ‘Web Crawler’ after two 2019-07-02 04:57:50If you are a web developer or publisher, you would have heard about robots.txt. For the people who are unaware, Robots.txt is Google’s Robot Exc

Samsung announces Galaxy Note 10 ‘Unpacked’ launch event 2019-07-02 02:39:00Samsung has finally announced the launch date of its upcoming flagship in the Note series. After last year’s Galaxy Note 10, we will see the Sam

Monday.com Review – Visually stunning work management platform 2019-07-01 11:14:49Managing a project is a hard task. It involves so many meetings, deadlines, progress tracking, employee management, and many more. To run a project sm

Beecaro Teatro BM03 is an IPX5-rated Bluetooth Speaker 2019-07-01 07:52:43We all know that everyone loves music, be it the old generation or the younger generation. Therefore, the one thing that we have in common are speaker

OpenID Foundation says users exposed to security and 2019-07-01 03:06:45At the recent Apple WWDC 2019 event, we heard about a lot of new features from Apple. There were many features related to privacy and security announc

Microsoft Teams found vulnerable to download and run 2019-06-29 02:56:01We know that no software is perfect and there are nuances and security vulnerabilities to each one of them. But we know that some software apps are mo

Google awarded a patent for foldable device which 2019-06-29 02:23:48We have seen all kinds of designs for foldable smartphones as well as foldable devices in general. Also, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X

Recover Your Corrupted GoPro Video that Won’t Play 2019-06-28 13:44:41It’s the end of June already and we’re quickly approaching the middle of the summer – a great time to take a vacation and go traveli

Hackers are exploiting Microsoft Excel’s features for their 2019-06-28 03:21:39Microsoft Excel is one of those products from Microsoft that is the most boring for some and very interesting for others. Now, the people who find it

Your Google Maps can now predict how crowded 2019-06-28 03:03:04One of the most used services in recent times by everyone is Google Maps. We know that Google’s Maps beat the Apple Maps and other similar servi

Pentagon has a laser to identify people from 2019-06-28 02:45:46One fact that humans have is that everyone has a different heartbeat pattern. This is similar to have a different iris as well as a fingerprint. These

WhatsApp may soon let you share Status directly 2019-06-27 03:32:49We have known that you can share your Instagram Status to WhatsApp and Facebook. However, there is currently no ability to do the same on WhatsApp. In


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.