Top 5 Portable Travelling Mobile Chargers, Power Banks

Portable mobile chargers or power banks are convenient ways to juice up your mobile devices, especially when the battery enters the red zone and you are not anywhere near a power socket. However, the market is flooded with so many products that it can become difficult for an average user to pick the right product.

Although your own budget and requirements are important in picking the right product, it’s highly recommended to stick with reputable brands. Let’s start with some important things to consider before moving on to our top 5 picks for the best power banks, which have been carefully selected keeping in view how much value you are getting for your hard-earned money. 

Things to Consider When Buying a Power Bank, Traveling Mobile Charger

Buying a power bank is not such a complicated task, but you still have to consider a few things. The main purpose of buying a mobile charger is to be able to ‘quickly’ juice up your mobile device when you are not anywhere near a power socket. Power banks are not just about battery capacity anymore. Here are some of the most important things to consider in a power bank, which we’ll also use as a criterion to benchmark different products against each other.

Size and Capacity

The bigger the better is not always the best option in all situations. Battery capacity (mAh), size of a power bank and weight are all related to each other. Power banks that can easily fit in a pocket are usually good enough for completely charging a smartphone at least once. You have to strike the right balance between portability and capacity. If you need a large capacity power bank, then you also need a purse or bag to carry it around.

The easiest way to determine the battery capacity you need is to check how much charge your devices need. For example, if you only have one smartphone to charge that has a 3,000 mAh battery, then you might want to consider something around 5,000 mAh, which is considered to be a pocket-friendly size. 

When talking about battery capacity, it’s worth mentioning that you can take external batteries on board an airplane that are less than 27027mAh. Another thing to keep in mind is that there is some loss in power conversion capacity. For example, a 5,000 mAh battery pack might have a 70% conversion rate, which effectively makes it a 3,500 mAh power bank. That’s why you should consider at least 30 percent more battery capacity than what you think you need.

Charging Speed

Many consider input and output ports to be the second most important feature to consider. But charging speed becomes more important when you want to quickly get your mobile device out of the red zone (you need just one port for that). Different manufacturers use different charging technologies, which in some cases are only supported by the stock charger.

There are many fast charging technologies such as Qualcomm Quick Charge, which is supported on a variety of devices, while other technologies are proprietary such as Huawei, OnePlus and Oppo. There are two key specifications to consider when comparing different products and the charging speed.

The first is the Voltage, which is usually 5V for standard charging and 9V or 12V for fast charging. Then there is amperage, which refers to the amount of current flowing from the charger/power bank to the device. Voltage X Ampere gives you the measure of total power in Watts. The higher the wattage, the less time it should take to charge the device. 

Some manufacturers boost voltage to charge quickly, while other boost amperage, but most vary voltage dynamically for fast charging. Power banks not compatible with the fast charging technology of a particular phone are designed to be backwards compatible and charge at standard 5V, which is slower but not too bad. Fast charging requires a compatible phone, battery, cable and a charger, so if anything is missing, it won’t charge in Fast/Turbo Mode.

The charging speed also depends on the USB generation being used as shown in the table below:

USB Gen

Current

Voltage

Max. Power (Watts)

USB 1.0

0.5A

5 V

2.5

USB 2.0

0.5A

5 V

2.5

USB 3.0

0.5/0.9A

5 V

2.5

USB 3.1

0.5/0.9/1.5/3/5 A

5 to 20 V

Up to 100

Some of the most popular modern fast charging technologies include:

Fast charging Technology

Compatible with

Max Power (Watts)

Max Voltage (V)

Max Amperage (A)

USB PD (3.1)

USB PD* Devices

100

20

5

USB 3.0

Standard

4.5

5

0.9

Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+

USB PD, backwards compatible with older QC technologies

100

20

5

Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0

Snapdragon QC 3.0 supported devices

36

12

3

Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging

Qualcomm QC 2.0 supported devices

18

9

2

Apple Fast Charging

USB PD

29

14.5

2

Huawei SuperCharge 2.0

USB PD

40

10

4

Huawei Super Charge

USB PD

25

5

5

Oppo VooC

Select Oppo devices

25

5

5

Oppo Super VooC

Select Oppo devices

30

5

6

OnePlus Dash Charge

OnePlus supported devices (older)

20

5

4

Motorola TurboPower

USB PD

28.5

12

5.7

MediaTek Pump Express 4.0

USB PD

25

6

5

USB PD: USB Power Delivery is a modern fast charging standard (both ways) that offers power levels of up to 100W on supported devices.

Qualcomm QC: Developed by Qualcomm, Quick Charge is the most popular standard and used in devices that have a supported Snapdragon SoC. All QC standards are backwards compatible. Qualcomm QC is also used by other companies, including Motorola (Turbo Power).

Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging: Based on Qualcomm QC and compatible with QC fast chargers and power banks (previous gen).  

MediaTek: Although MediaTek is Qualcomm’s competitor, many devices with a MediaTek SoC support Qualcomm QC technology, which is great for the end users.

Oppo VooC and OnePlus Dash Charge are compatible with each other, but these technologies are proprietary and not supported by 3rd-party power banks and chargers. Same is the case with Huawei SuperCharge, but it works with Qualcomm QC on certain devices.

Input/Output Ports

smartphone

Most mobile devices can be charged using a standard USB-A and newer USB-C port. You are likely to find both types of USB ports in modern power banks, but the number of ports you need mainly depends on the battery capacity and the number of devices you want to charge. If you have a device that uses a USB-C port, then you should buy a power bank that also has a USB-C output port. That’s because USB-C ports support more fast charging protocols, but not all power banks have USB-C output functionality.

Wireless Charging and Pass-through

Some portable mobile chargers and power banks support wireless charging, which allow you to charge supported mobile devices without using any cables. Qi is the most popular wireless standard compatible with Samsung and Apple devices, so make sure that the power bank is compatible with the wireless charging standard of your mobile device.

Pass-through refers to a useful feature that allows you to charge your mobile devices as well as the power bank at the same time. This feature comes handy when both the mobile devices and the power bank are low on power and you have access to a power outlet.

Battery Type and Other Features

It’s not possible for most users to judge the quality of a power bank just by looking at it. You also need to keep in mind that power banks contain cells or batteries, which can explode in certain situations. That’s why you should always pick a reputable brand. The two key battery technologies used in power banks include lithium-ion and lithium polymer.

Both technologies are similar, but lithium polymer batteries are more flexible, robust and last longer. Li-Po batteries are also very low profile and lightweight, which means thinner and lighter power banks with more capacity.

Style and finishing is a personal preference, but it’s better to avoid weird square-shaped or soda can shaped power banks that are difficult to carry around in a pocket. Depending on your requirements, there are some other features too that you might want to consider such as support for solar charging, built-in flashlight, FM radio and docking support, but these are not the features we’ll be focusing on in this post.

Our Picks for the Top 5 Portable Traveling Mobile Chargers, Power Banks

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Anker PowerCore Slim 10000
Belkin Boost Charge 5K with Lightning Connector
Native Union Jump+ Wireless
NOVOO 85W Mobile Charging Station
Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000


1. Anker PowerCore Slim 10000


Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 PowerIQ Charging Technology

The PowerCore Slim 10000 is a lightweight and compact battery pack that weighs only 0.5 lbs. and can easily fit in a pocket. The battery pack comes with different safety features including short circuit and surge protection. Universal compatibility and auto device detection means it can adjust the output automatically, while trickle-mode works great to prolong battery life of low powered devices.  

Although the power bank features PoweIQ and VoltageBoost quick charging technologies, these might not work perfectly with all devices. It does not support Qualcomm Quick Charge technology, so you might want to consider another option if you need QC support. The max amperage is 2.4A, which is pretty decent, but not the fastest around. Secondly, the USB-C port is only for input i.e. charging the power bank and cannot be used for output i.e. charging another device. 

PowerCore Slim 10000 is affordable, compact and portable, which makes it an easy recommendation for users who want the essential features and safety features. If you don’t need extra features such as QC fast charging, wireless charging and multiple charging posts, but still want a lightweight product that covers the essentials, then this power bank comes highly recommended.

  • Battery Capacity: 1,0000 mAh
  • Weight: 0.20kg/0.46 lbs.
  • USB-A port: Variable voltage, 2.4 A max
  • USB-C port: Cannot be used for charging devices
  • Input charging speed: 5V/2A, 10W
  • Unique Selling Point: Affordable, ultra-slim, reasonable battery capacity
  • High-Speed PowerIQ Charging Technology for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and More


2. Belkin Boost Charge 5K with Lightning Connector


Belkin MFi-certified Boost Charge 5K with Lightning Connector

The MFi-certified power bank comes with a Lightning connector that can charge iPhone, iPads, AirPods as well as the power bank itself. Users can charge their iPhone/iPad and the power bank using a single Lightning cable. The Lightning connector can charge at 2.4A/5V, which translates into 12W charging. Users who already have a Lightning dock can charge the power bank using it instead of an external charger.

The power bank offers very basic functionality and is also not among the cheapest. There is a premium you have to pay for a MFi-certified product. You’ll be charging expensive devices and would not want to risk anything just to save a few bucks, which justifies the higher price tag.

The power bank is lightweight and only requires one Lightning cable to charge both the iPhone/iPad and the power bank, which makes it very portable. MFi (Made for iPhone iPad) certification gives you peace of mind that it will work flawlessly with all Apple products that have a Lightning connector. It’s very basic, but specifically designed for Apple devices, so an easy recommendation for Apple users who want the essentials at an affordable price. The same product is also available as in a 10K (10,000 mAh) variant that provides twice the juice.

  • Battery Capacity: 5,000/10,000mAh
  • Weight: 0.2kg/0.42 lbs.
  • USB-A port: 5V/2.4A, 12W
  • Input charging speed: 5V/2.4A, 12W
  • Unique Selling Point: Affordable, MFi-certified, Lightning connector


3. Native Union Jump+ Wireless


Native Union Jump+ Wireless USB-PD enabled dual port power bank

The USB-PD supported power bank can charge up to three devices at the same time, including wireless output. It’s 12,000mAh battery has enough juice to top up an iPhone 2.5 times and supports USB-PD up to 18 Watts. It supports Qi-enabled devices for wireless charging and has one USB-C and on USB-A port, which is what most users need. Dust-repellent silicone surface has a stone-finish, which not only gives it a refined look, but also adds to durability.

The Qi wireless charging speed is 5W, which means it is not suitable as the primary means of fast charging. Users who are considering the power bank for its wireless charging functionality should be aware of the limitations of wireless charging. The wireless charging functionality is more suitable for users who charge their devices overnight or those who are not so concerned about fast charging (wirelessly).

Jump+ is a great option for people who want a durable product with wireless charging support. It might not be the most feature-rich or the fastest power bank, but it covers everything mobile users expect from a quality product.

  • Battery Capacity: 12,000 mAh
  • Weight: 0.35 Kg/0.77 lbs.
  • USB-A port: QC 3.0 (18W)
  • USB-C port: USB-PD 3.0 (18W)
  • Wireless charging: Qi 5W
  • Input charging speed: 200 minutes @ USB-PD 18W charger
  • Unique Selling Point: Qi wireless charging, durable


4. NOVOO 85W Mobile Charging Station


NOVOO 85W Mobile Charging Station with ac outlet

NOVOO 85W is a multi-purpose mobile charging station that features a 85Watts AC outlet for charging laptops, cameras etc.. It supports fast charging up to 30W USB-PD via USB-C and 18W via USB-A port. The 22,500mAh battery can fully charge a MacBook Pro once or an iPhone SE 7 times.

Being a multi-purpose, high-capacity power bank, NOVOO Mobile Charging Station is bulky and isn’t the type of portable charger you can carry inside a pocket. Another downside of the product is that the USB ports can get blocked when you plug a cord into the AC outlet.

Despite some minor inconveniences, the charging station is a great all-rounder if you can handle the extra weight and size. It can also be used for low-power AC appliances during power outages, which in addition to other features makes it a great overall deal in the price range.

  • Battery Capacity: 22,500mAh
  • Weight: 0.75Kg/1.66 lbs
  • USB-A port: 18W, Supports QC
  • USB-C port: 30W USB-PD
  • AC outlet: 110V/85 Watts
  • Input charging speed: USB-PD up to 30W (USB-C)
  • Unique Selling Point: Comprehensive charging solution with 85W AC outlet


5. Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000


Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000 2-in-1 hybrid charger

Anker PowerCore Fusion is a hybrid charger with a built-in 5,000mAh battery. Its main advantage is its size and form factor. It allows users to conveniently carry and use it as a wall charger as well as a battery pack. You get dual-port, high-speed wall charging and a portable battery in a compact package.

Better portability and a compact form factor means a compromise somewhere, which in this case is the battery capacity. 5,000 mAh is only good for charging a phone 1.5 times after which you have to plug the device into a socket. The battery pack is only good for smartphones and occasional/partial charging of other devices such as tablets. According to the manufacturer, when connected to an AC outlet, it charges the connected devices first before recharging the built-in battery (takes around 2.5 hours), which can be a pro or a con depending on who you ask.

Fusion 5000 is an affordable 2-in-1 solution that offers the reliability of wall charging as well as the convenience of on-the-go charging. It’s a smartphone-focused product that delivers on the Anker quality promise.

  • Battery Capacity: 5,000mAh
  • Weight: 0.2kg/0.42 lbs.
  • USB-A port: 5V/3A x 2 ports (when not plugged)
  • Input charging speed: 5V/2A, 10Watts
  • Unique Selling Point: Affordable, compact hybrid charger


 

  Anker PowerCore Slim 10000Belkin Boost Charge 5K with Lightning ConnectorNative Union Jump+ WirelessNOVOO 85W Mobile Charging StationAnker PowerCore Fusion 5000
Battery Capacity1,0000 mAh5,000/10,000mAh12,000 mAh22,500mAh5,000mAh
Weight0.20kg/0.46 lbs.0.2kg/0.42 lbs.0.35 Kg/0.77 lbs.0.75Kg/1.66 lbs0.2kg/0.42 lbs.
USB-A portVariable voltage, 2.4 A max5V/2.4A, 12WQC 3.0 (18W)18W, Supports QC5V/3A x 2 ports (when not plugged)
USB-C portCannot be used for charging devicesUSB-PD 3.0 (18W)30W USB-PD
Wireless chargingQi 5W
AC outlet110V/85 Watts
Input charging speed5V/2A, 10W5V/2.4A, 12W200 minutes @ USB-PD 18W chargerUSB-PD up to 30W (USB-C)5V/2A, 10Watts
Unique Selling PointAffordable, ultra-slim, reasonable battery capacityAffordable, MFi-certified, Lightning connectorQi wireless charging, durableComprehensive charging solution with 85W AC outletAffordable, compact hybrid charger
 

Conclusion

Picking the right power bank or travelling charger depends on a number of factors, with battery capacity and portability being the most important ones. A 10,000 mAh battery pack is considered to be the sweet spot between portability and battery capacity, which makes Anker PowerCore 10,000 and Native Union Jump+ great candidates. The choice becomes easier if you need specific features such as wireless charging or a Lightning port connector. You cannot go wrong with any of the power banks covered here, but it’s still important to consider your own requirements to ensure you are buying the right product.