The top portable chargers for Nintendo Switch, laptops, tablets, and smartphones
Avoid running out of power for your electronics. You can recharge while you’re out and about thanks to our selection of the best power banks.
Power banks are essential. Despite bigger screens and more powerful processors, the ability of the battery to last the entire day with today’s mobile devices does not seem to be improving.
And despite the recent introduction of several excellent long-lasting smartphones, you may still find that you run out of battery before you can reach a socket, especially if you’re streaming video or playing games.
But even when you’re far from home, you can always recharge with a power bank. In fact, larger power banks allow you to travel or go camping while still keeping your phone charged. And not just smartphones can gain from this. Tablets, digital cameras, and Bluetooth speakers frequently require a recharge, so if you enjoy using a Nintendo Switch, a good power bank is a must-have device.
Which brand or model should you select out of the numerous options? We’re prepared to assist. We’ll go over the various specifications and what to look for before directing you to the top power banks available.
How to pick the right charger or power bank for you
What sort of power bank ought I to purchase?
In essence, you’re balancing four variables: size, speed, capacity, and pricing. The guidelines are straightforward: the power bank will charge more slowly and with a smaller capacity if you spend less money.
low-cost power banks
The lowest and most affordable power banks will range in size from 2,500mAh to 10,000mAh. Today, anything less than 5,000mAh should be avoided because it won’t have enough power to recharge the majority of modern smartphones. One the size of a smartphone or a Mars Bar may be found for between £12 and £18 and will have enough capacity to recharge your phone or give a tablet a respectable boost.
medium-priced power banks
Spending £18 to £30 will get you power banks with capacities of 10,000–20,000mAh and greater connectivity—USB-C connections are now essentially the norm. The size and weight of the battery may also rise; 20,000mAh batteries can be about the size of a large-screen smartphone, but they are also around 50% heavier. With Quick Charge 4 and USB PD, you’ll have significantly faster charging, though.
costly power banks
Spend more than £30 and you may get a power bank that is much larger, with capacity ranging from 20,000mAh to 26,800mAh or even higher. To compensate for the fact that you’re lugging a bulkier brick of a charger, USB-C with Quick Charge 4 and USB-PD will be standard. The benefit is that you’ll be able to charge several gadgets at once, and you’ll have enough power to power them for a weekend or longer.
What else do I need to watch out for?
Although some models will still contain a micro-USB port to maintain compatibility with previous chargers, the majority of power banks now use a USB-C port to recharge. If you don’t have the necessary cable, don’t worry; one will typically be included in the box.
This switch to USB-C has some benefits, one of which is that power banks now enable USB PD for quicker charging. This implies that when connected to a compatible fast charger, ranging from 20W to 60W, your power bank will typically recharge more quickly. Even a high-capacity charger can complete a full recharge at those speeds in three to four hours.
You often have a choice between USB-A and USB-C connections for charging your devices, with the latter enabling the fastest USB PD charging standards. The USB BC 1.2 standard, which can deliver up to 7.5W over USB-A or 15W over USB-C, is supported by all power banks and smartphones. The majority also support the USB Power Delivery (PD) 3 standard, which raises the maximum voltage and current to supply up to 100W of power – sufficient to quickly charge a light laptop. Not all USB PD power banks have that much output power; you’ll frequently find them capped at 15W, 27W, 45W, or the maximum 100W. Even so, 27W will be sufficient for rapid charging on a variety of smartphones and tablets.
Beyond that, there are Qualcomm’s Quick Charge standards. The most popular is Quick Charge 4, which can generate 100W at a maximum of 21V and 4.6A. Because Quick Charge 4 hasn’t received as much support from power bank manufacturers as the previous Quick Charge 3 standard, it’s fortunate that it is also USB PD compatible. with most standardizing around USB PD The same holds true for the new Quick Charge 5, despite the fact that, when used with the proper charger, it can charge compatible phones 50% of the way in just five minutes. It is simple to understand why as USB PD is still capable of providing rapid charging for Quick Charge 4 and Quick Charge 5 phones, and is supported by recent Apple and Google products. What’s more, it’s a free standard with no licensing fees.
Is a power bank with quick charging worth the extra money?
Yes. These days, price differences are hardly noticeable, and even if your current phone doesn’t support USB PD or Quick Charge 4, there’s a strong chance that your next one will. In fact, there is a claim that standardizing around USB PD and ensuring that your power banks, chargers, smartphones, and tablets can all function under the same charging ecosystem, offering you fast charging anytime you need it, would be the wisest course of action.
Is a power bank with quick charging worth the extra money?
What about Bluetooth headphones, wireless earphones, and other devices that require charging?
Smaller accessories, including wireless earbuds, Bluetooth headphones, fitness trackers, and smartwatches, are made to charge using a low-wattage trickle-charge rather than the 10W to 25W used to fast-charge your standard smartphone. This can pose issues for power banks. The possibility of harming the accessory or its charging case exists, or the more intelligent power banks may even turn off owing to low demand. But some power banks now have a trickle charge option made especially for charging these gadgets securely. This is a feature to keep an eye out for if you’re planning a long weekend (or longer) away where you’ll need a recharge.
Consider wireless charging.
Wireless charging is definitely the way to go if convenience is more important to you than speed, and an increasing number of power banks enable it. You can recharge your smartphone wirelessly by simply setting it down on the built-in pad. You’ll only be able to charge at 7.5W or 10W, which is a compromise but is not a major deal if you don’t need a quick recharge. In addition, Magnate-compatible chargers are now available that can clamp onto an iPhone or a ring within an iPhone case, allowing you to recharge your iPhone even as it is in use.
How we evaluate batteries
To determine how much power power banks emit from their individual USB-A and USB-C connections, we connect them to a variety of devices, including Android and iOS smartphones and an Acer Chromebook. Additionally, we examine their wireless charging capabilities and assess how quickly they charge using a 65W USB-C charger. In order to determine how much they can recharge our test smartphone in 15 minutes, we conduct a quick charge test.