Best Portable Chargers 2021 | CNN Underscored

Portable chargers are a new hot device these days. By buying a portable charger, you can save a lot of money on your next smartphone. These small chargers have many benefits that come with them. Their cost is very low, they’re easy to carry around and their functionality is impressive. They work for any smartphone that has a power output of 5V and 2.1A or less.

The charger you carry is as important as your smartphone these days. Many people even carry around chargers for their laptops, which begs the question: Why do we even carry around chargers in the first place? Why not just use the smartphone and save the extra weight? Well, there is a reason why we carry around chargers. While smartphones can work with a range of power sources, the process of charging requires a cable. These can also be very bulky, preventing you from using your smartphone comfortably. So, if you are a person who is always on the go, you may want to invest in this best portable chargers list.

Portable chargers are a must-have for anyone who owns a tech device, and they’re a necessity for anyone who owns a smartphone. While a phone chargers can come in all shapes and sizes, portable chargers are typically small enough to be carried around with you, and have enough juice to get you through a day of heavy use. You can find chargers that are meant to charge all your tech devices, like laptops and tablets, or you can find chargers that are meant to charge only one device, like an iPhone. Whatever you choose, choose wisely, because an astute Power Bank can make or break your day.. Read more about best portable charger 2021 and let us know what you think.

Even if you work at home, it’s hard to find a power source because your computer, monitor, WiFi hub and other gadgets and gizmos take up all the scarce power outlets. And when you’re on the road, a reliable power source is even more important. The solution: a portable charger that allows you to fully charge your phone, tablet and other devices.

To determine the best way to avoid the dreaded low battery notification, we spent several weeks testing portable chargers – discharging them, charging them and calculating their capacity. In the end, we identified three winners, all of whom contributed to the show in their own way:

The Anker PowerCore 13000 meets all the requirements of an ideal portable charger. He was especially known for his payload. It has a capacity of 13,000 mAh (mAh is a measure of the power a device gives off in a given time), which is enough to fully charge the iPhone 11 two and a half times. It also has two USB Type A fast charging ports that allow you to charge two devices at once. While it’s not a maximum charging capacity, at only $39.99 it’s a real bargain for that amount of mAh.

The Belkin Power Pocket 5K ultraportable is almost exactly the same size as the iPhone SE, but weighs even less. And the old saying that big things come in small packages is true: It has enough power to fully charge the iPhone 11 through the single USB Type A port. The $29.99 price tag is really the icing on the cake.

The Belkin Boost Power Pocket 5K fits both your iPhone with its Lightning connector and its USB Type A connector. This means you can use the same cable to charge your phone and your battery. And not only that: It has been approved by Apple’s MFi certification program. At $39.99, you pay a little more for compatibility, but we think it’s worth it for many users.

Benjamin Levin/NCC

Simply put, the Anker PowerCore 13000 has many advantages.

With this thing, you can load a lot and fast. The PowerCore 13000 has enough power to fully charge an iPhone 11 two and a half times, or two Samsung Galaxy S20s from discharge to over 90%. The PowerCore 13000 only takes 41 minutes to charge your iPhone 11 to 50%, which is the fastest charge in our test.

While the PowerCore 13000 doesn’t quite live up to its 13,000mAh promise (we found it delivered 7918mAh), it does achieve a respectable 61% of its advertised capacity, which is about average for any battery we’ve tested. In other words: None of the portable chargers we tested lived up to their promise, and the PowerCore 13000 still has a higher charging capacity than most other devices we tested. (You can read more about how we measured mAh by scrolling down the page). Moreover, this device costs only a few dollars more than the Belkin Pocket Power 5K, with more than twice as many mAh ($31.99 and $29.99, respectively).

There are three ports on the side of the battery: two USB Type A ports for fast charging and a micro USB port for charging the battery itself. When we charged the iPhone 11 and Nintendo Switch at the same time, the battery barely got warm. Four indicator lights show how much time the charger has left to use, and a button on the edge activates the lights.

The charger’s matte plastic feels nice and is surprisingly dirt-resistant. It’s about the size of a wallet, so easy to carry around. And it’s sustainable: The charger withstood our drop tests, including a three-metre drop onto grass and a three-metre drop onto carpet, with no external or internal damage. (You can read more about our shelf life tests below).

Overall, the Anker PowerCore 13000 not only has a large mAh capacity, but it also has two ports for power transfer and is quite small and robust, offering a great value for $39.99.

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When we first saw the Belkin Power Pocket 5K, we could hardly believe its dimensions: only 5 inches long, 2.5 inches wide, and half an inch thick. There are few places this battery won’t fit, and many devices can be charged with it.

It’s the smallest and lightest charger we’ve tested; you could even mistake it for a phone in your pocket. This portable charger is truly the definition of a personal power bank, easy to take out of your pocket and keep near your mobile device.

The charging performance of the Power Pocket 5k is modest, but of all the models tested, it is the closest to the advertised performance. Although the maximum capacity is listed as 5,000 mAh, we measured it at 3,655 mAh. This is 73% of the expected value, which is 12% better than the average of our test. The capacity is low, but more than enough to bring the battery of an iPhone 11 or Samsung Galaxy S10 back to full power. The only downside we found was the loading speed: It takes just over 51 minutes to charge the iPhone 11 to 50%.

The Anker PowerCore 13000 has four LED battery charging indicators on the side, as well as a button to turn them on. In the corner are the ports: a USB type A port and a Micro-USB port for charging the battery with the included cable. Like the PowerCore 13000, the Pocket Power 5K suffered no surface or interior damage during our drop tests. And you can rest assured that even if you break the Pocket Power 5K, you’ll get a two-year warranty, as well as a generous $2500 warranty for connected devices (which covers unlikely electrical damage to devices properly connected to the Pocket Power 5K).

Belkin’s tiny Pocket Power 5K is impressive in its size. The capacity, while small, is more than enough for most personal devices, and it’s small enough to carry in your pocket anywhere.

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The Belkin Boost Charge Power Pocket 5K has slightly less capacity than the Belkin Power Pocket 5K, but it fits right on top of the iPhone – and it charges faster.

On one side of the Belkin Boost Charge is a USB Type A port and a Lightning port (MFi approved) for charging the battery. This is very important – it’s the same connector as your iPhone. In other words: If you have an iPhone charging cable (which we assume you do), you also have a battery charging cable. The consolidation of cable is a great victory in our eyes. This charger also fits the phone better because it is lighter than the Anker 13000 and has a more rectangular shape, making it more comfortable to hold.

The Boost Power Pocket 5K charge is more than enough to fully charge your iPhone 11. It also took just over 45 minutes to charge the iPhone 11 to 50 percent, six minutes longer than Belkin’s Pocket Power 5K. The capacity of the BOOST Power Pocket 5K is advertised as 5,000 mAh, in our test we measured about 3,415 mAh. This represents almost 70% of the declared value. This puts it in the top 3 of the batteries we tested when it comes to delivering on its promises (the average is about 61%).

Overall, the Belkin Boost Charge Power Pocket 5K is a great personal charger for your iPhone. With its MFi certification and wired connection via the Lightning port, it should catch the attention of iPhone users. And for $39.99, it’s your iPhone’s best friend.

We ran a series of tests on each portable charger. We fully charged each battery, ran it dry by running one or more devices, calculated its capacity and compared its charging speed. We considered features such as weight, size, build quality and visual design. Whether it’s a bulky battery that can charge all of our tech devices or a sleek, stylish battery that’s good enough for an iPhone, we put these devices to the test.

Read on for the breakdown of all our test categories.

Battery life

  • Battery Size : We noted how many milliampere hours (mAh) each battery promises.
  • Appropriate assessment : Here we have measured the number of mAh that each battery can actually deliver. To do this, we charged a different device with each battery and noted how much (in percentage) the Battery Life increased for each device. When the unit was about 95% charged, but the battery was not dead, we immediately exchanged it for another unit. Once the battery was discharged, we calculated how many mAh it had delivered in total across all charged devices, and then divided the promised total by the recorded value. This allowed us to know what percentage of the total promised charge each battery delivers. We used a universal Nomad 0.3M cable that plugged into the battery’s USB-A port to charge any device (when fast charging is available). The devices we chose to charge were the iPhone 11, iPhone 8, Fire HD 10 tablet, Nintendo Switch and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.


  • Design and materials : We looked at what materials each battery is made of and how many colors are available. We also checked the quality of manufacturing of each battery. Visually, we looked at how each device looked next to the different technologies, whether it looked too big or too small next to it, and whether you could hold the battery and the phone in the same hand or pocket. We chose the following devices: the iPhone 11, the Fire HD 10 tablet and the Nintendo Switch
  • Size and weight: We checked the size, volume and weight of each battery. In our ranking, we preferred the smaller and lighter devices.


  • Dust Resistance : We have checked whether and to what extent the product meets the requirements for dust protection. This test was included in our drop test below. We dropped it on the lawn and watched how much dust and dirt it picked up. We also verified that these particles can be removed from the ports by shaking the device or using compressed air.
  • Drop test: We conducted two drop tests: 1 meter on grass and 1.5 meters on carpet. The first simulated the likely scenario of an outdoor fall, the second simulated an indoor scenario. After each test, we checked the battery to make sure it had not sustained any superficial damage and that it was still working.


  • Number of ports : We have calculated the number of ports on each device that can supply power. We have marked each type of connection, which may be one of the following: USB Type-A, USB Type-C micro-USB or Lightning. We also noted how many USB Type A ports support fast charging, if any.
  • Wireless Charging: We noted whether the device supports wireless charging.
  • Load Current : We charged the iPhone 11 from about 5% to 50% battery and tracked the duration of the process.


  • Warranty: We checked the warranty period of each device.

Each device we tested is divided into the subcategories above. And the total score for each subcategory was equal to the maximum possible score for that category. Of course, the greatest attention has been paid to the battery life. But we also put a lot of emphasis on design – batteries that were too big or too heavy ended up losing out.

  • Battery life was rated at 30 points: Battery Size (10 points) and Conformity Assessment (20 points).
  • There was a maximum of 20 points for the design: Design and materials (10 points) and size and weight (10 points).
  • Longevity was scored with a maximum of 10 points: Dustproof (5 points) and drop test (5 points).
  • Connections received a maximum of 10 points: Number of ports (5 points), wireless charging (1 point) and charging speed (4 points).
  • The guarantee can be up to a maximum of 5 points: Warranty (5 points).

Otterbox Otterspot ($99.95;

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The Otterbox Otterspot is unlike any other portable charger we’ve seen. The system works as follows: The disc shaped charging station can wirelessly charge mobile devices and the included disc shaped battery via charging contacts. The battery, which can stack up to three per tablet, can charge devices wirelessly or with a cable and then charge them on the tablet. In wireless mode, it delivered 2,519 mAh on the iPhone 11 alone. When wired, it delivers a capacity of 3,134 mAh. That’s significantly less than the 3,655 mAh of, say, Belkin’s Pocket Power 5K, which also promises 5,000 mAh. Overall, the Otterbox Otterspot is a great concept that could use some tweaking in terms of capacity.

Anker PowerCore III Sense 10K (€45.99;

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The Anker PowerCore III Sense 10K is an excellent battery charger. Available in a variety of bright colors, it has a woven wire surface on the top and a matte plastic on the bottom. Unfortunately, it only delivered 4,189 mAh of the expected 10,000 mAh capacity. This represents 42% of the expected value, compared to 61% for the Anker PowerCore 13,000. Despite its aesthetic beauty and high-quality finish, this battery has a lower capacity.

Anker PowerCore II 20000 (€ 49.99;

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The Anker PowerCore II 20000 costs the same as the Anker PowerCore III Sense 10K, but delivers 12,300 mAh of the promised 20,000 mAh. This is a more respectable value – 61.5% of the expected value. The battery is quite heavy and large, but it is very sturdy and has a unique texture that prevents smudging. Compared to its 20,000 mAh counterpart, the Elecjet PowerPie Power Bank, it weighs significantly less and offers more mAh.

Aukey 8,000 mAh Power Bank ($29.99;

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The Aukey 8,000 mAh powerbank was the favorite of the devices we tested. It is quite thin and a bit lighter than the Anker PowerCore 13000. On the expected 8000 mAh, it produced 5509 mAh, that is, almost 70%. That’s impressive, and it’s made even better by the three functional output ports and wireless charging (a feature that n’t work on our device). But despite the promise of this battery, it doesn’t match the capacity of the PowerCore 13000 for a higher price, nor does it charge the iPhone 11 as quickly.

Elecjet PowerPie Power Bank ($49.99;

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The Elecjet PowerPie Power Bank has the same 20,000mAh capacity as the Anker PowerCore II 20000, but it only achieves 11,969mAh, which is about 60% of what we expected. It also weighs more and has a less elegant design, which didn’t help the results. Overall, he has a lot of spunk, but he hasn’t found his place among the winners yet.It’s no secret that charging our phones can be a hassle. Whether it’s because we’re using a phone that’s too old to support wireless charging, or because we’re on the go, we all need a way to charge our devices quickly and easily. However, not all chargers are created equal, and that’s where the CNN Underscored team comes in.. Read more about best portable charger for laptop and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best portable charger on the market?

The best portable battery chargers on the market have been hard to come by. The first generation of chargers, such as the Anker Powercore+ 10050, was plagued with issues that made them poor performers, and the newer chargers, such as the RAVPower’s Dual USB Portable Charger, have yet to be released. Whether you’re using your phone as your alarm clock or need a little extra juice to stay connected, it’s important to have a portable charger. But there’s no shortage of options on the market today. Here’s a rundown of the best ones, based on the top-rated reviews on

Are Portable Chargers allowed in stadiums?

According to the International Laws of the game, portable chargers are prohibited in stadiums. This regulation is applied regardless of whether the charger is powered by a battery or a wind turbine, and regardless of whether the charger is used to charge a personal device or to charge up electric cars. The last few years have brought us an explosion in the number of portable chargers for charging our smartphones and other devices. These power banks provide a much needed solution to our needs for power, as there are almost always outlets available somewhere to plug in our portable devices.

What portable chargers are allowed on planes?

You don’t want to be caught off guard next time you’re on a flight. And you don’t want to be stuck with another dead phone. Here’s where portable chargers come in. As a general rule, electric devices can be powered by the plane’s outlets. You’re also allowed to carry them on. But portable chargers, those that can be powered from batteries instead, are another story. That’s because they usually draw power from your phone, and that power is a regulated part of the airplane’s electrical system. So, unless your charger is specifically approved for use on planes, you could be in for some trouble. An increasingly common type of item that passengers can bring onto planes and use to power up their phones and other devices to keep them running during their flight is the portable charger. But what is the full extent of what is allowed to be used in the cabin? For some, just a smartphone charger is allowed; for others, it’s a portable power bank with a built-in battery. What about charging from a laptop screen? Or using the plane’s electrical outlets?

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