Best portable chargers & power banks 2021

by Joseph K. Clark

Nothing can turn your great Android phone from state-of-the-art to overpriced paperweight faster than a dead battery. The best portable chargers and power banks can help recharge your tech when life plays keep-away with your power outlets. Portable chargers used to be big, bulky, and slow. Still, USB-C power banks and Power Delivery charging standards have made things much faster — fast enough to charge laptops, even — and have allowed power banks to get slimmer and better than ever. There are many options in every shape or size, but our favorite is the versatile Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless. Still, there are plenty of other choices that rank among the best portable battery packs. Here are our top recommendations that you can buy today.

portable chargers

Best overall: Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless

While most portable chargers only let you recharge your devices with wired charging, portable wireless chargers are finally becoming somewhat mainstream. There were several hurdles that early models had to overcome — finicky placement, inconsistent speeds, and the higher energy loss that inherently comes with wireless charging — but we’ve finally reached the point where wireless power banks are dependable, widely compatible, and consistent.

While most wireless power banks only charge at 5W, the Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless will charge Samsung smartphones at 10W, iPhones at 7.5W, and all other Qi-enabled phones at 5W, even smaller devices like Galaxy Buds Live or AirPods Pro. You can use the USB-C port for 18W Power Delivery charging to refill your phone more quickly when you need faster speeds.

Flexibility is paramount in an accessory that will outlive your phone, and being able to use a power bank even when you forget the cable at home is liberating. While this isn’t the thinnest power bank around, the usefulness of wireless charging coils and the sturdy design of the PowerCore III Wireless is worth the added thickness — and price.

Anker loves to slip in little details to help elevate the experience with its products, including a nicely fitting travel pouch, a high-quality USB-C-to-C cable, and a curious little clip that can extend out from one side. This kickstand allows you to slot your phone into it and keep watching while charging via USB-C or USB-A. (If you want to use the kickstand while wirelessly charging your phone, keep reading, we’ll cover one later.)

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