Despite battery life improving and theboasting a long-lasting battery, even the latest Apple phone won’t run forever. It’s always smart to keep a portable charger on hand just in case you’re in a position where you need power but don’t have access to an outlet. Having your phone die on you at an inconvenient time is one of the worst feelings in the world, so why wouldn’t you take the proper precaution to make sure you always have a charge on you?
There are plenty of great solutions, and they’re affordable, too. There are battery cases that can add a few extra hours of juice, but they also add a lot of unnecessary weight. Plus, they’re bulky and hide your new iPhone’s beautiful design. That leaves portable battery chargers and external power banks as the best option for increasing your iPhone battery’s lifespan.
To that end, I’ve rounded up the best portable power banks and battery chargers that will add a little extra oomph to your iPhone’s battery life. Although they cost more, I personally like batteries that have a Lightning cable built into them, so I don’t have to worry about carrying around a charging cable for fast-charging when I don’t have enough power. But I’ve also included some budget picks for the best portable charger for iPhone models, and of those, some come with a charging cable for those who want to spend as little as possible on charging their Apple devices via power pack.
While this list is geared toward iPhones, any portable battery pack here without an integrated Lightning cable will work perfectly well for charging an(or any other portable gadget), so long as you provide a compatible smartphone cable.
So which is the best portable charger for iPhone models? Which is the best portable power bank for a charge on the go? Let’s find out. We update this list of the best portable charger options for iPhone periodically, and we’ve anecdotally tested all of these models or their direct predecessors.
Infinity Lab is Samsung-owned Harman Kardon’s new accessories subsidiary and I like its InstantGo 5000 and InstantGo 10000 power banks, which come with an integrated Lightning cable for easy charging for iPhones. The larger 10000 mAh costs $20 more and is heavier and bulkier but it can charge most iPhones twice. Though the white model is currently unavailable, the black one is in-stock.
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What’s cool about Anker’s 622 magnetic battery is that it’s a wireless battery that has an integrated magnetic flap that converts into a stand. You won’t get fast wireless charging from this 5,000-mAh battery (it charges at up to 7.5 watts) but it’s slim and easy to carry around.
It charges via USB-C and if you use a USB-C to Lightning to charge your iPhone, it will charge at a faster rate of 12 watts. That’s not as fast as what a 20-watt USB-C power adapter can deliver, but it’s faster than 7.5 watts.
It’s listed for $60 at Amazon, but you can save $10 by activating the instant coupon located on the product page.
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You don’t want your phone to go dead on the mountain so it’s always good to pack a battery pack.
MyCharge calls its new line of magnetic power banks Superhero MagLock, implying that they’re real saviors. I was impressed by their design. Not only do the batteries, which come in various capacities, have strong magnets and stick really well to the back of your iPhone 12 or 13, but they have raised coils, which are supposed to help reduce heat levels while charging. It does seem to work.
The 3,000-mAh battery is lightweight and slim and is nice to have around for some emergency charging. However, it won’t get you a full charge, so you’ll probably want to step up to one of the higher-capacity options like the 6,000-mAh model. The 9,000-mAh version is beefy and feels like your phone is attached to a small brick — the battery and phone do fit in your hand nicely, but the combo certainly isn’t pocket-friendly.
All the MagLock batteries charge Qi-enabled iPhones at 5 watts, although you can get faster charging if you go wired and use a USB-C-to-Lightning cable. I also liked how there’s a chime when the charging starts and your phone tells you how much juice is left in the battery pack (it’s tied into iOS 15). You can wirelessly charge Android devices as well but the MagLock won’t stick unless you have a metal ring on the back of your phone’s case (stick-on rings are available).
The SuperHero MagLock is available in a few colors and has a glossy finish. It’s currently the best designed magnetic power bank — better even than Apple’s.
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The Anker 523 PowerCore Slim 10K PD is impressively slim for a 10,000-mAh portable phone charger and has a fast 20W USB-C out charging port (it’s also a USB-C input to charge its battery), plus a 12W USB-A out port. While the Anker 313 PowerCore Slim 10K is cheaper, this offers fast USB-C out charging, which makes spending the extra dough a big plus if you have a USB-C to Lightning cable.
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Thanks to Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology, chargers have been getting more powerful while shrinking at the same time. The latest example of that trend is Anker’s new line of GaNPrime chargers with next-generation GaN 3 technology, which the company says is even more energy-efficient. The Anker Power Bank 733, combines a 65W charger with a 10K-mAh portable battery and is part of the new GaNPrime line. It’s pretty compact for what it is and offers two fast-charging USB-C ports and one fast-charging USB-A port. You can charge up to three devices at once, but note that to get a full 65W charge for a laptop, you can only plug in the laptop.
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The Anker PowerCore III 10K portable charger has fast USB-C out charging (18 watts) as well as a USB-A port and up to 10-watt wireless charging. It’s not a MagSafe-enabled device so your MagSafe-equipped iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 won’t adhere magnetically to it for wireless charging. Perhaps the next version will be magnetic.
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The LinearFlux Hypercharger Pro has been out a while and doesn’t feature the latest technology or the slickest design. But it’s a good value if you’re looking for a decent-size battery with a built-in Lightning cable. It also has an integrated Micro-USB cable with a USB-C adapter that you can stick on top.
This model with charging cable came out a couple of years ago, so it’s discounted at Walmart.
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Otterbox gears its Folding Wireless Power Bank toward those who like to watch movies on their phones or play games with a controller. It has a built-in stand that folds down when you take it on the go. It also has USB-C and USB-A ports that are capable of fast-charging your phone at up to 18W. The wireless charging is up to 7.5W with the iPhone and 10W for Android devices.
The Mophie PowerStation Mini 5,000-mAh has been out for a few years and is now being discounted to a little more than $20 in black (other colors are about $5 to $8 more). The best thing about it is its slim design and that it offers both USB-C and USB-A ports for charging your phone, though don’t expect real high-speed charging. There’s also a higher capacity 8K version that doesn’t cost much more in certain colors.
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This Aukey power bank has both wired and wireless charging options, as well as an integrated kickstand, which makes it an appealing external battery for gamers and binge-watchers. If you use the USB-C port, you can get 18 watts of charging. Go wireless and lay your phone on the charging dock and it will wirelessly charge at 10 watts, which is where the charging speed of the iPhone currently maxes out for wireless charging. You’re paying a premium, but this fast-charging phone charger unit has a massive 20,000-mAh battery, a built-in kickstand and a digital readout listing the remaining charge. It comes with a USB-A-to-USB-C cable, but you’ll need to supply an adapter to charge it.
Released a few years ago, the MyCharge HubPlus Turbo is a power bank with integrated foldable wall plug and both Lightning and USB-C cables. The wall charger is called the Turbo because it has power delivery and Quick Charge 3.0 (USB-C cable) to deliver fast-charging speeds, meaning up to a 75% faster charging speed than a standard 5-volt charger. This fast-charging wall charger has a 6,700-mAh battery.
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Nimble’s Champ portable charger uses recycled plastic in its construction. You have to pay a bit more for going green, but it is a nice, compact 10,000-mAh charger that features PD 4.0 fast-charging (18 watts) via its single USB-C port. Also, the coupon CNET25 will get you 25% off at checkout.
Nimble also sells some higher-capacity fast-charging battery packs.
The Atom XS portable charger comes in two versions: a smaller 800-mAh model and a larger 1,300-mAh model. These smart devices are designed to fit on a keychain and are about the size of an electronic car key. But be warned, they won’t fully charge your phone. The idea is to have them around for charging in case your phone dies and you need a spot of juice to get you through a few hours.
Both Atom XS models have an integrated Lightning connector and won’t weigh your phone down while charging. At around $40 for the larger 1,300-mAh fast-charging output variant (the one I’d opt for), the Atom XS is a fairly expensive device and you may be disappointed that it will only charge some of the larger iPhones to about 25%. But again, this all about the convenience of having a tiny battery charger for emergency charging purposes. A model with USB-C charging is slightly cheaper at $35.
Like some competing magnetic wireless chargers, Mophie’s magnetic power bank isn’t an official Apple MagSafe accessory, but it magnetically adheres to the back of your iPhone 13 or MagSafe case — yes, it sticks nicely — and is svelte for a 5,000-mAh battery. It can also be used with other phones that support wireless charging and comes with a stick-on magnet.
For wireless charging, Mophie says you’re looking at up to 7.5 watts for iPhones, but it felt a little more sluggish to me (more like 5 watts). If you need a faster charge, you can connect a USB-C-to-Lightning cable to bump the speed up to 12 watts.
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What to look for
Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for an external battery pack or power bank:
- A higher power output rating (mAh, short for milliamp hours) means more charges — but also a heavier portable charger weight.
- For the latest iPhones (everything after the iPhone 7) you should buy a battery with at least a 3,000-mAh capacity, which should give you at least one full charge for a device. With the exception of the Atom XS, all of the models featured above hit that mark.
- Multiple integrated charge cables or USB-out ports will allow you to charge more than one device at a time, such as an iPad or another iPhone.
- These best portable chargers for iPhone all use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and should thus always be stored in carry-on luggage when flying. Airlines and regulatory agencies are increasingly banning li-ion batteries in checked baggage.
- If you want maximum power output, opt for chargers with USB-C PD (power delivery) models, which should charge nearly every device smaller than a laptop, such as a tablet or Nintendo Switch.