Our Top Pick for 2018: New Trent PowerPak Ultra 14000mAh Portable Dual USB Port External Battery Charger
Read our full review.
We live in a busy world where the Smartphone has become integral to many of our day-to-day functions. We wake up with their built-in alarms, control our homes with smart home processes software, surf on them on our way to work, and read on them as we go to bed. Unfortunately, keeping them charged can be a real hassle. Battery tech hasn’t advanced much since the early 1970s, so the majority of Smartphones are tethered to batteries that are oftentimes shrunken down to fit a small form factored handset. The result is not impressive battery life, oftentimes many phones won’t last a full day of moderate use without intermittent charging. Fortunately, this is where the portable phone chargers come in. These chargers tend to store a lot of power for your phone to charge with and having these items tucked away in a purse or pocket is becoming a requirement in today’s world. To make selecting one easy for you, we’ve rounded up some of the best portable chargers on the market.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
|New Trent PowerPak Ultra 14000mAh Portable Dual USB Port External Battery Charger/Power Pack for...||467 Reviews||Currently not available||Buy on Amazon|
|Ultra Sleek 2-Port Fast Charging 11000 mAh External Battery Pack, Power Bank for CellPhones...||77 Reviews||from $26.98||Buy on Amazon|
|PD USB C Hubs Portable Charger RAVPower 20100 Power Bank 20100mAh 30W (Max.) Type C Port iSmart Data...||480 Reviews||$79.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Poweradd Slim 2 5000mAh Ultra-compact Portable Power Bank External Battery Pack with ID Identify...||4,112 Reviews||$11.99||Buy on Amazon|
#1. New Trent PowerPak Ultra 14000mAh Portable Dual USB Port External Battery Charger
This is one durable Portable Phone Charger. Its manufacturer, California-based company New Trent, has specialized in mobile accessories for the last seven years. They have a wide ranging line that includes everything from phone cases to Bluetooth keyboard protectors. Experiencing a trend of steady growth, New Trent doesn’t play favorites and produces accessories for all of the mobile brands and operating systems.
This New Trent PowerPak is a great example of a Gold Pick product. Like many of the Gold Picks before it, this produce has a great rating when it comes to both consumer and critical groups. As a matter of fact, its sturdy construction and robust charging capacity are part of the reason why we picked this as our Gold Pick portable phone charger.
Firstly, you’ll notice that this device is huge. It’s much larger than a standard cell phone and is best hefted around in a bag or pack. Its physical dimensions are seven inches in length, 4.4 inches in width, and 1.7 inches in thickness. When you look at the top to bottom area of this device, you might say it has a very cell phone like profile, but this is where those similarities end. Simply put, the thickness of this portable battery is about two to three times the thickness of a standard Smartphone.
New Trent was certainly shooting for ruggedness and reliability when they designed this device. The first thing you’ll notice is the hard rubber chassis that encloses the internal battery. This chassis is comprised of a semi-soft, orange plastic that is designed to protect the device. This material is bolted on securely, you can tell because New Trent utilized a design that prominently features the bolts that hold the device together. For design purposes, the surface of the covering is pocked in regular patterns. Along the sides of the device, you’ll find a rubberized grip that is textured so that it’ll be hard for you to lose your grip on the device.
Another thing that you might notice is the flapped connectors that are on this device. This device is designed to be waterproof, so these rubber flaps are there to prevent water or dust particles from getting inside the battery itself.
To charge this power bank, simply remove the flap on the side, plug in the cable, and wait. Unfortunately, it takes about 12 hours to fully charge this unit. This is because the power bank has an internal power capacity of 14,000 mAh. Also, New Trent included two USB jacks on this portable power bank. With this connection configuration, you’ll be able to charge two independent Smartphones or tablets simultaneously.
92 percent of the Amazon reviews for this product are of a positive nature. Of these reviews, a full 79 percent are of a five star rating level. Most five star reviewers have indicated that they appreciate the ruggedness of this device; most feel like it can go anywhere; as a matter of fact, the term rugged comes up quite often in the reviews.
Amount of Full Charges on Modern Smartphones
LG G5 – With this Smartphone, you should be able to get around four or five full charges on this LG flagship phone.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – Samsung’s newest entries into their Galaxy line have some of the industry’s best power capacities of 3600 mAh; as a result, you should be able to get two or three full charges off of this device using a S7.
iPhone 6S – Battery power has steadily been an issue with the iPhone. This is partially because this model only has an internal power capacity of 1715 mAh. With this size of battery, you should be able to get a full eight charges out of the PowerPak.
#2. Impower 11000 mAh Portable Phone Charger
Our Silver Pick product has eschewed ruggedness for speed and grace. Impower, the manufacturing company of our Silver Pick, is a relatively new player on the global electronics landscape. As a matter of fact, this style of charger is currently their primary product. Even with such a small catalog, it’s clear that this small company values aesthetically pleasing design, as each product is beautiful and elegant looking.
The first thing that you’ll notice about the design of this power bank is the fact that has a smooth piano black finish. While this is the type of material that attracts smudges, the device still looks sleek and elegant; not at all like a typical power bank at all. Surrounding the semi-reflective face is a zinc alloy frame that shines impressively. The whole device is relatively small, but also maybe a little bulky for a pocket; its measurements are five inches from top to bottom, 2.8 inches from side to side, and 0.8 inches in width.
Impower was sure to include a very minimalist design for this device; as a matter of fact, this Silver Pick has some designs that are in stark contrast to our Gold Pick item. The front face really only has two features: a circular power indicator and the word “Impower” printed directly on the front. The LED used for indicating the level of charge is actually a really cool feature. When it’s charging the swirl fills up with blue radiant light. Unfortunately, like our Gold Pick, this device has a very large battery (11,000 mAh), so filling it up takes some time.
At the base of this power bank, you’ll find three connectors: two are standard USBs and are for connecting devices that you wish to charge and the other charges the portable battery itself via a micro-USB connection. Each USB has a different amount of amps of power, the first connector has one and the second has two. For a faster charge the second is the only connector you should use, and it will provide a charging rate that will be similar if not the same as charging it directly from the wall.
This Impower portable phone charger comes with a grey carrying case that can double as a cleaning cloth; in case there are a few smudges on the shiny black face plate. This device is so attractive that you’ll actually want to pull it out from time to time in order to polish it. When it comes to devices of this type, this unit is certainly very unique.
An astounding 97 percent of the 103 reviews on Amazon were positive. Of this high percentage, a full 88 percent of reviews were of a five star ratings level. For the most part, reviewers have noted the sleek design and robust battery capacity offered with this device. Many also appreciate the luxury feel the device exudes and many have commented favorably about the included carrying case.
Amount of Full Charges on Modern Smartphones
LG G5 – For this LG Smartphone, you can expect around three full charges from this power bank.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – This is one of the best aesthetic fits for this power bank, and you can expect about two, maybe three full charges from this device.
iPhone 6S – With its lower capacity battery, you should be able to get a full five or six full charges from the Impower portable phone battery.
#3. Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 RAVPower 20100mAh Portable Charger
RAVPower’s company outlook is present right in their name, the RAV in their brand’s name stands for Reliable, Affordable, and Value. It’s these three concepts that really illustrates that this company is really here for its customers. The company has been in operation since 2011, and in those five years they have produced several power options for consumers worldwide. Our Bronze Pick has some excellent features that are unique on this list, so let’s get to it!
The first thing that you’ll notice about this portable charger is that it’s probably the closest to a modern phone’s form factor of all the devices on our list. To understand this, here are the devices measurements: 6.7 inches from top to bottom, 3.1 inches from left to right, and 0.8 inches in thickness. While there is definitely some more width to this product than some of the hyper-thin cell phones of today, it’s still not incredibly far off; as a result, this is probably the most pocket-friendly of all our devices thus far.
Aesthetically, the device is relatively nondescript. It’s mostly just a rectangular-shaped device that has rounded edges and is composed of metal. It does look somewhat sleek with its gunmetal grey coloration, but clearly RAVPower was aiming for function over design when they created this charger; a great move on their part, because this is a very feature-rich product.
Aesthetics aside, this power bank is comprised of a very tough, scratch resistant metal that’s perfectly suited to the weather the dangers, such as keys that you might find in your pocket. If this tough exterior isn’t enough for you, RAVPower has also included a padded carrying case for the device. This will ensure that it’s well-protected from the accidental impacts that can happen over the course of a day.
The top surface of this device is where you’ll find one of its few design concessions, its depressed power button. This button is accompanied by four LEDs; each that represent 25 percent of power remaining on the external power bank.
As mentioned before, this power bank has a few features that are unique to this model. Firstly, this is a dual level fast charger; not only can you charge devices that feature this functionality at a more heightened rate than other chargers, but the actual power bank has the option to charge quickly as well. Along the top portion of this device, you’ll find four distinct connections. From the left edge, the first connect that you’ll see is a standard-seeming micro-USB connection. This connector is actually for a Qualcomm Quick Charger 2.0 connection and is designed to draw power at 5V, 8V, or 12V rates.
The second connector on the top of this device is a jack for the new USB-Type C style of connection. This new connector is also a quick charging interface that will help your power bank charge quicker than any of the other devices on our list. With both of these connectors, the RAVPower charger will fill its 20,100 mAh battery in an amazing five hours.
The next connector is another quick charging connection, finally designed to quickly draw power from the portable phone charger into your phone. Since many of the new models of phone have quick charge functionality, whether they use the Qualcomm system or the USB-Type C style of connection; this connector will be able to accommodate quick charge times, as it features the same 5V, 8V, or 12V power options.
The final USB is relatively standard compared to the other connections, but has a larger power output that is designed to charge tablets at a heightened rate.
On Amazon, 92 percent of 462 reviews have deemed that this portable phone charger is worthy of a four or five star rating level. Most reviewers appreciate the ability for owners to fast charge both the device and the attached Smartphones.
Amount of Full Charges on Modern Smartphones
LG G5 – As is becoming the trend with modern Android and Windows Phones, many manufacturers are switching to the USB-Type C format for its dual sided and quick charge capabilities and LG is no exception. The device has a 3000 mAh battery, so you should have no problem charging your phone almost five to six times on a single power bank charge.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – Another device that uses the new format, you can expect around five full charges from this device.
iPhone 6S – You’ll be able to charge Apple’s product more than ten times with this portable phone recharger before you’ll need to recharge the battery.
#4. Poweradd Slim2 5000mAh Fast Charging Portable Charger
Our budget pick comes from electronics company Poweradd. This device is smartly designed, has great features, and most importantly, won’t break the bank when you buy it. The first thing you might notice with this device is that it’s completely cylindrical. This power bank holds a lot less power than the others on our list, which is something you might expect from a budgetary item. Still, you’ll get a fairly reasonable 5,000 mAh from it on a full charge.
This is also the smallest device of those we’ve reviewed; this batter only measures in at 3.9 inches from top to bottom and about 1.3 inches around. It’s also super-light, weighing only about four ounces, causing this device to edge out our Bronze Pick as the most pocket-friendly on our list.
The topmost surface of this device is where the charging happens. There are only two connectors on this device due to its size, but these will certainly get you through the day. The first is a two amp input that will help you charge the device at a relatively fast speed. The second connector is a micro-USB connector that carries 2.1 amps; this will also charge your device at a relatively fast rate (though not at quick charge levels.
83 percent of the 1,197 reviews on Amazon are positive, four or five star rated reviews. Most reviewers appreciate the portability of this device; it’s simply easy to toss into a pocket or purse and use when you need a boost.
Amount of Full Charges on Modern Smartphones
LG G5 – You should be able to get a single full charge out this device for the G5.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – You’ll get the same amount of charges for Samsung’s flagship, with a little less to spare.
iPhone 6S – The iPhone should able to get couple of full charges out of this device, at max, three.
Size and Shape
As with anything pertaining to the world of the Smartphone and tablet, portability is the key to the functionality of your portable power supply. While larger-sized types of these devices might have larger batteries, this doesn’t necessarily make them any easy to carry around in your bag. When purchasing one of these types of devices, be sure to look into how large it is, so that you don’t end up having to lug around a heavy charger.
Shape is also a factor you should consider when looking into one of these types of devices. As a rule, you can find these types of items in a myriad of shapes that range from simple cylindrical devices to flat, Smartphone shaped chargers. The shape of your power bank will greatly affect how easy it is to store in a purse or pocket, so be careful when you are selecting one for yourself.
Today, these devices come in a wide variety of power capacities. The amount of energy that can be stored in a battery is typically measured in the mili ampere hour (mAh). The more storage capacity of a battery, the more mAh it’ll have. Simply based on the items we’ve reviewed, you’ll notice a wide variety of capacities. Here is a breakdown, one by one:
Gold Pick: This one has an inherent 14,000 mAh of power.
Silver Pick: This small device will hold 11,000 mAh of power; a fairly large amount of energy storage capacity.
Bronze Pick: Our Bronze Pick has the highest mAh of all of our portable phone chargers, at 20,100 mAh
Budget Pick: This device has a 5,000 mAh of power, this is typically enough to charge many devices at least one time.
You don’t want to accidentally drop one of these items and then find out it no longer works. Many of these types of power banks are designed to be durable enough to take a ding or two from time to time. Some have otterbox-style housings, while others might not be quite as sturdy. When searching for a new power bank, consider how well the device is rated for falls and shocks. While these devices aren’t incredibly expensive, you still want to be sure they’re at least semi-protected from damage. Durability features also include things like scratch resistance and side bumpers as well.
Connection and Cross Platform Compatibility
Some power banks are designed with a particular platform in mind. For example, there are specific power banks which attach the bottom of your iPhone specifically. These types are outfitted with a Lightning connector and cannot be used on an Android device. Others have this same connector type but are shaped like an actual case and are designed for specific iPhone models. If you want to be safe, a good idea is to purchase a power bank that has USB ports, not one that has wires that attach to your device. Having a dedicated USB connector makes your power bank semi-future proof, as even if you use an iPhone, a new Android device with a USB-type C connector, or a standard micro-USB, all of these will fit into the standard port on your power bank, so you’ll be able to charge with ease.
As power banks progressively appear on the market, more and more additional features are being added to sweeten the deal a bit. Here are just a few:
Fast Charging – This can indicate either the ability to take advantage of the current crop of phone fast charging wires or the ability to charge the power bank itself in a fast manner. Both are really great features that will cut down your time charging significantly. Being able to quickly charge for less than an hour and unplug is nice; especially if you have a phone that can take advantage of a fast charging cable.
Flash Light – This might seem trivial considering the majority of Smartphones have flashes that can double as a flashlight, but having a power bank with this functionality can really add a layer of protection and convenience to your mobile life. Typically, the flashlights on these units drain very little of the battery, are relatively bright, and are a quick click away when you need them.
Waterproofing – This extra feature is one you can depend on when on vacation. With phones like the Galaxy S7 embracing the outdoors by adding a degree of weather protection to their designs, it would really be unfortunate to have a charging device that will cease functioning when it comes down raining. A degree of water protection is available on a plethora of power banks; just so you’re ready for the trail.
Multiple USBs – This feature will allow you to charge multiple devices at once. Since many people today have a phone and a tablet, this is a great option for those situations where you are running out of power for both. There is one caveat about this: with this setup, you’ll drain your power twice as fast and this can be disastrous since tablets tend to have higher capacity batteries than Smartphones. Just be sure to monitor how much power if left before you hook two devices up to your power bank.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
Finding a place to power our devices is at best annoying and at worst embarrassing. With the advent of the power bank, we don’t have to search for an outlet and hopefully have enough time to charge before we’re told to leave. These devices make our connected lives simpler to maintain and we hope that the list of great devices we’ve provided here helps you find what you’re looking for. All of our gold through bronze products will give you days of charging potential, and our ballin’ product will help you stay as unencumbered as possible. Consider any of these options and take a look at our pre-purchase considerations again if you need a little more guidance for finding the portable phone charger that’s best for you.