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Best portable chargers and power banks for Android devices

Looking for a pocket-size power bank for charging your Android smartphone on the go? Here are some top picks.

Once upon a time, it seemed like everyone was purchasing battery cases to get the extra juice they needed for their phone to make it through the day. But the main problem with a battery case is that it makes your phone bulky and heavy -- and some cases hurt wireless reception, too. With phones growing bigger and bigger, the battery case just doesn't always make as much sense as it used to. In my opinion, an external battery pack is the way to go.

To that end, I've rounded up top picks for the best portable charger for Android devices. Though they cost more, I personally like batteries that have an integrated USB-C output built into them so I don't have to worry about carrying around a charging cable. (The models with built-in USB-C cables should also work for iPad Pro models.) But I've also included some budget picks for those who don't want to shell out as much. And, while we have a separate power bank roundup for iPhones, anything here without an integrated USB-C cable will work perfectly well with an iPhone (and non-Pro iPad models), so long as you provide the Lightning cable.

Read more: The best USB-C PD chargers of 2019

Best battery packs with built-in Lightning cables and foldout wall plugs

Sarah Tew/CNET

Like the PhoneSuit Journey, the $33 Ventev Powercell 6010 Plus has integrated folding prongs and an integrated USB-C cable. It houses a 6,000-mAh battery, and there's also a standard USB port so you can charge and recharge multiple devices with an extra cable.

Sarah Tew/CNET

MyCharge's HubPlus-C ($52) has an integrated foldable wall plug, an integrated micro-USB cable and USB-C cable and USB-out port. It's a little bulky, but with a 6,700-mAh battery, it can recharge the battery on most phones twice (and some three times). It also has 18 watts of output power and Qulacomm's Quick Charge 3.0 feature, which allows for faster charging of devices with USB-C.

Best high-capacity power banks with PD Quick Charge feature

Amazon

The Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux battery charger retails for about $46. Though it's thicker in size than some of the chargers in this roundup, it's one of the smaller 10,000-mAh portable chargers and has an 18-watt USB-C PD port that provides fast charging. The required USB cable for fast charging (USB-C to USB-C) is included. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Mophie's Powerstation PD is available in 6,000-mAh ($60) and 10,050-mAh ($64) versions. The 6,000-mAh model (pictured here) delivers 18 watts of power from its USB-C port for quick charging purposes. You can also charge and recharge a second device from the USB-A port.

Read more: Meet Mophie's first external battery to feature AC power

Amazon

With a price tag of around $30, the Aukey Power Bank PD 10,000 mAh is one of the most affordable high-capacity power banks that are relatively slim and offer 18-watt fast-charging from their USB-C PD port.

Best battery packs with foldout wall plug (no cable)

Anker

This Anker model is basically an oversized wall charger with a built-in 5,000-mAh battery. It's got two standard USB charging ports for simultaneously juicing up your phone and a secondary gadget (or two phones). And a little LED indicator on the side lets you check the charge level at the press of a button. It's currently on Amazon for between $23 and $30, depending on which color you choose (white, black or lipstick red). 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The MyCharge Home & Go Portable Charger has built-in foldable prongs so you can plug it right into a wall outlet for charging. The small and slim 4,000-mAh version costs around $24 and has a single USB-out (no USB-C cable included).   

Best portable wireless Qi chargers

Sarah Tew/CNET

At around $85 Moshi's Porto Q 5K (5,000-mAh) isn't cheap, but like the MyCharge Unplugged, it's a portable battery that doubles as a wireless portable charger. It's swankier and more stylish than the MyCharge Unplugged and charges via USB-C instead of Micro-USB. There's a USB-out port for wired charging, and you can charge and recharge two devices simultaneously. 

Bonus pick: Power bank with built-in speaker

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're looking for a portable battery that can also play music, the Esquire Mini 2 ($120) is a slick Bluetooth travel speaker that has a USB-out port for charging devices (no Lightning cable included). It sounds surprisingly good for its slim size, and it comes with a travel pouch.   Read full review.

Portable battery packs compared

We used all the models above in anecdotal testing during recent weeks and months. Each battery pack highlighted above are ones we recommend over the dozens if not hundreds of others currently on sale at Amazon and elsewhere, which is why we zeroed in on a handful of favorite brands: Mophie, MyCharge and Anker, with some notable one-offs from Aukey, Ventev, Moshi and Harman Kardon thrown in for good measure.

What to look for in a battery pack

Here's a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a battery pack:

  • A higher power rating (mAh, short for millamp hours) for a battery pack means more charges -- but also a heavier weight. 
  • For the latest Android phones, you should buy a battery with at least a 3,000-mAh capacity, which should give you at least one full charge. With the exception of the Harman Kardon, all the models featured above hit that mark. 
  • Multiple USB-out ports will let you charge and recharge more than one phone or device at a time.
  • These products all use lithium-ion (li-ion) rechargeable batteries, and should thus always be stored in carry-on luggage when flying. Airlines and regulatory agencies are increasingly banning li-ion batteries in checked baggage.
  • A few of the battery packs above are USB-PD (power delivery) models, which provide faster charging of phones with varying battery capacity and other USB-C products that support fast charging. These PD chargers will charge larger USB-C devices (laptops, Nintendo Switch ( $299 at Walmart ) and the like), as well as USB-C enabled iPad Pros, but sometimes at slower rates than larger-wattage wall chargers.