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Best power banks and portable chargers to keep your devices powered while on the go

Stay powered up, no matter where you go, with these top-rated power banks

Alex Lee
Tech writer
Tuesday 18 June 2024 12:16 BST
We tested the power banks and portable chargers for speed, weight, portability, power, design and extra features
We tested the power banks and portable chargers for speed, weight, portability, power, design and extra features (The Independent )
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We all know that sinking feeling you get when you’re out of the house and your phone’s battery is about to die. It’s those moments that have us contemplating legging it home early because we can’t do without our lifeline. Sound familiar? It’s high time you got yourself one of the best power banks or portable chargers to rid yourself of that feeling for good.

Power banks and portable chargers have come a long way since the days of those ugly, heavy charging units seen in the early 2000s. Nowadays, you can get slimline, featherlight and ultra-fast-charging power banks that can charge your laptoptablet and phone at the same time at ultra-fast speeds.

Some have wireless charging built-in, some have an in-built Bluetooth tracker, so you can find them whenever they get lost, and some even double up as Bluetooth speakers. Many of the best high-capacity power banks can also recharge within minutes, instead of half a day, which is how long older models used to take.

We’ve been testing the very best power banks and portable chargers, to find the ones that won’t leave you in the lurch.

How we tested the best power banks and portable chargers

Alex tested a whole host of different portable chargers
Alex tested a whole host of different portable chargers (Alex Lee)

We tested the power banks and portable chargers for speed, weight, portability, power, design and extra features. We tested how well they brought dead phones, tablets and laptops back to life, and tested them on holiday when we left our wall charger at home. While there’s a huge number of new brands out there trying to get a slice of the power bank pie, we’ve found the best results still come from the sector’s main established brands, such as Anker and Belkin.

The best power banks for 2024 are:

  • Best power bank overall – Anker 325 powercore 20K II power bank: £26.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best budget power bank – Anker nano 5K: £19.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best 10,000mAh power bank – Anker nano with built-in USB-C cable: £29.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best power bank for Apple devices – Belkin boostcharge pro: £79.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best power bank for multiple devices – Anker Prime 27,650mAh Power Bank: £125.99, Amazon.co.uk

Anker 325 powercore 20K II power bank

Anker 325 powercore 20K II, best power banks
  • Best: Power bank overall
  • Dimensions: 15.8cm x 7.4cm x 1.9cm
  • Weight: 356g
  • Connections: USB-A, USB-C
  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Wireless charging: No
  • Why we love it
    • Does the job fast and well
    • Has a huge capacity
    • Slimline design
  • Take note
    • Not the smartest power bank

It might not have the most exciting design or the jazziest features, but the Anker 325 is our favourite because it offers a huge 20,000mAh capacity and USB-C connectivity in a fairly compact size. This battery pack also has a regular USB-A connection, and its USB-C port can be used to charge the battery itself, as well as other devices, such as smartphones, tablets and even laptops.

We managed to eke out enough power for a week-long trip abroad, with this power bank charging up our iPhone 15 pro max and AirPods pro. If you want something you can pack into your backpack or handbag and take on trips, this is the device that will ensure you’ve always got power, no matter the scenario.

  1. £26 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Anker nano 5K

Anker nano 5K, best power banks
  • Best: Budget power bank
  • Dimensions: 10.4cm x 5.4cm x 2.5cm
  • Weight: 213g
  • Connections: USB-A, USB-C
  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
  • Wireless charging: No
  • Why we love it
    • Nice modern LED display
    • Pocket-friendly design
  • Take note
    • Not a huge charging capacity
    • No bi-directional charging

Essentially a better version of Apple’s MagSafe power banks, the Anker nano 5K is your emergency power bank, with a large enough capacity to live in your car or your backpack, helping you boost your phone back to full health.

Instead of attaching to the back of your phone and charging it up using magnets (which takes a really long time (wireless charging is super slow), the Anker nano 5K has a little foldable USB-C port that sticks out of the side, slotting into the bottom of your phone. This means it charged our devices quickly, and it only added a tiny bit of extra depth.

This is a great dinky power bank that stays in place securely. You won’t be able to recharge it using the USB-C port, but Anker provides a USB-C cable in the box for that.

  1. £19 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Anker nano with built-in USB-C cable

Anker nano with built-in USB-C cable, best power banks
  • Best: 10,000mAh power bank
  • Dimensions: 10.4cm x 5.4cm x 2.5cm
  • Weight: 213g
  • Connections: USB-A, USB-C
  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
  • Wireless charging: No
  • Why we love it
    • Nice modern LED display
    • Pocket-friendly design

If you think the Anker 325 is a little too big for your liking, the Anker nano is a more pocket-friendly device. With a slimline design, it fits more comfortably inside a handbag or your jacket and doesn’t weigh too much, either. It’s also more modern, featuring an LED display that tells you exactly how much battery it has left as a percentage (no more imprecise guessing with the four dots).

What we really love about the nano, however, is that it has a surprisingly durable in-built USB-C cable that doubles up as a carry handle, so, we never needed to worry about forgetting to bring the extra cable to juice up our devices on the go. It also charges the power bank itself.

Thanks to the 30W fast charging, we never needed to plug in for an extended amount of time. The only issue is it’s only 10,000mAh, so it was only really good for a couple of charges.

  1. £29 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Anker prime 27,650mAh power bank

Anker prime 27,650mAh power bank, best power banks
  • Best: Power bank for multiple devices
  • Dimensions: 16.2cm x 4.9cm x 5.7cm
  • Weight: 667g
  • Connections: USB-C
  • Capacity: 27,000mAh
  • Wireless charging: No
  • Why we love it
    • Charges loads of devices really fast
    • Has a huge capacity
    • The LED screen is really helpful
    • Connects to a Bluetooth app for real-time stats
    • Can be rung when lost
  • Take note
    • Hefty
    • Very expensive

It’s weird to say this about power banks, but if they were smartphones, the Anker prime would be the equivalent of the iPhone 15 pro max or the Samsung Galaxy S24 ultra: big, powerful and brimming with features. It has a huge 27,000mAh capacity and charges devices super quickly, making it ideal for anyone travelling away from home.

We were able to simultaneously charge our phone, headphones and laptop just using this one charging brick. The USB-C ports offer up to 100W of power, and our laptop was juiced up to full in less than an hour. Like the Anker nano with the built-in USB-C cable, the Anker prime has an LED display that shows you how much battery is left (in minutes), as well as how many minutes it’ll take before it’s fully charged. 

Even better, and this might be overkill, it also has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can link it up to the Anker Smart Control app and input your devices into the app, so you know how long they have left before running flat. You can also see stats and optimise your charge. The app can also ring your power bank if you ever lose it, so you can hunt it down if it goes missing.

The only downside is its heft and price. It’s about the size of a Coke can. While it’s great for work trips when you aren’t near any power outlets, it’s not so great for day trips.

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Anker 622 magnetic MagGo power bank

Anker 622 magnetic MagGo power bank, best power banks
  • Best: MagSafe power bank
  • Dimensions: 10.5cm x 6.6cm x 1.3cm
  • Weight: 142g
  • Connections: USB-C
  • Capacity: 5,000mAh
  • Wireless charging: Yes
  • Why we love it
    • Has an in-built kickstand
    • Can charge wirelessly and via the USB-C
  • Take note
    • Wireless charging is quite slow

What’s neat about this power bank is it not only works like a handy little 5,000mAh power booster when connected to your iPhone via USB-C, but it’s also one of the few power banks that can charge your gear wirelessly.

There are strong magnets on the inside, which kept our iPhone glued in place as it charged, and we loved that there was a fold-out kickstand on the rear, so we could prop it up and charge it at the same time. Yes, it’s not got a huge capacity – you won’t be using this for more than a single charge – but, even without the charging functionality, it still worked great as a stand.

  1. £27 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Belkin boostcharge pro power bank

Belkin boostcharge pro power bank, best power banks
  • Best: Power bank for Apple devices
  • Dimensions: 13.5cm x 5.6cm x 2.8cm
  • Weight: 240g
  • Connections: USB-C
  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
  • Wireless charging: Yes
  • Why we love it
    • Has magnets for fast-charging your Apple Watch

If you’ve got the trifecta of Apple gadgets (iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods), the Belkin boostcharge pro is the very best power bank for all your needs. With a hefty 10,000mAh battery capacity, it doesn’t just serve as a fast portable charger for your iPhone and other gadgets, it also has an in-built MagSafe charger, which we used with our Apple Watch series 9.

Boasting super-fast 20W power delivery, the power bank took around 40 minutes to charge our Apple Watch from zero to full. It’s a great little portable charger for Apple devotees.

  1. £79 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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JBL charge 5 wifi

JBL charge 5 wifi, best power banks
  • Best: Bluetooth speaker with a built-in power bank
  • Dimensions: 22.3cm x 9.7cm x 9.4cm
  • Weight: 960g
  • Connections: USB-C input, USB-A output
  • Capacity: 7,500mAh
  • Wireless charging: No
  • Why we love it
    • Really solid speaker with Bluetooth and wifi compatibility
    • Packed with features
  • Take note
    • The power bank is more of an add-on
    • Charging via the power bank is slow

This is one of the niftiest inventions we’ve ever laid eyes on – it’s a speaker that has both Bluetooth and wifi connectivity, which also happens to double up as a 7,500mAh power bank. That means we could charge our phone using the USB-A port while blasting our tunes in the garden. 

It’s not the fastest power bank in the world but as a speaker it’s excellent. It works as an extra Alexa multi-room speaker, has Spotify Connect support, works with Chromecast and you can AirPlay your music from your iPhone. Sound is strong, the bass is good, and there’s no distortion when playing our favourite tracks. It sounds even better over wifi. Plus, you get 20 hours of battery on a single charge (not including the power bank battery).

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Why you can trust us

Alex Lee is a tech writer at The Independent. He’s been reviewing gadgets since 2017, and has a particular interest in charging technology. Always tinkering with new fast-charging tech, he’s been reviewing the best power banks and portable chargers for IndyBest since 2021.

The verdict: Power banks and portable chargers

The Anker 325 might not be the smartest power bank on this list but it will charge your smartphone fast. It’s a slimline, lightweight model with a hefty 20,000mAh capacity, meaning we could juice up our iPhone several times while on holiday. For something smarter, you can’t go wrong with the Anker prime power bank, which has a huge 27k capacity and can be optimised using the Anker app. Apple user? You’ll get a lot of use out of Belkin’s boostcharge pro, which has a handy magnetic charger on the top. 

Looking for a new handset, too? Read our round-up of the best mobile phones

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