Picture the scene; you’re at the festival of the summer and the headline act is about to start. You reach for your handset to capture the epic moment but you find nothing but a black mirror – your phone’s battery has just spluttered out of life.
Cut to airport check-in, and you can’t access your e-boarding pass because your phone is out of power -disaster. Or perhaps you’re just about to embark on a long car or train journey but are unable to get to your downloaded content because you’re out of power. Cue hours of grey boredom.
We promise the point of all these chilling scenarios isn’t to stir up panic. However it is an everyday minor horror; after all, who hasn’t been caught short and found themselves living on a prayer of two per cent of battery? Nomophobia is real folks.
Thankfully, salvation from a digital abyss is here in the form of super charged power banks; compact, sleek and with the superhero-like ability to get you back to full bars in next to no time.
How to choose the right battery pack
There are versions for every need; from a quickie boost on the commute to the heavy duty power needed to get you going through a whole weekend of above-average use.
When it comes to tech, the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true. Batteries tend to dwindle down after prolonged use (a few years), so spend what you can afford on a quality pack that does at least two or three full charges. Better to get one great power bank than a couple of mediocre ones that will be relegated to landfill after a single use.
What do mAh on portable battery packs mean?
Keep your eyes peeled for the pack’s mAh (milliamp hours) rating which is its storage capacity, and compare that against your device’s battery. As long as your portable battery pack has a greater mAh rating than your phone’s, you should get at least one full charge from it. For example, an iPhone X has 2716mAh while a Samsung S9 has 3000mAh; a decent battery pack for those phones needs to be significantly higher than 3000mAhs.
Aside from that, look out for dual USB ports so you can charge multiple devices simultaneously – if you’re willing to share your precious power with a friend, that is.
A word from Captain Obvious: a battery pack or power bank only works if you charge it, so make sure you’re fully loaded up by plugging into mains power before you head out of the door.
Scroll on to find the best portable battery packs, power banks and chargers to keep your device going as long as you do.
To paraphrase Snap’s 90s classic; you got the power
Best Power Banks 2022
Anker PowerCore 5000 mAh External Battery Power Bank
A pocket-sized hero, Anker’s mini portable charger holds enough power to fully charge high power smartphones like an iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9 and nearly two full charges for an iPhone 8 from the 5000mAh rating.
What’s great about this battery is that it facilitates high-speed charging thanks to PowerIQ, which delivers a super-fast charge speed of up to 2amp.
The device comes with a micro USB cable, travel pouch, welcome guide and an 18-month warranty. It’s a helpful bit of tech to keep charged up and in your bag, ready for when your phone needs a pick-me-up.
For the price, it can’t be beat.
Buy now £19.99, Amazon
Belkin 15000mAh Battery Pack – Black
Going out of town for a couple of days with no access to power? Don’t sweat it, just pack Belkin’s 15,000mAh battery, which is enough to load up a state-of-the-art smartphone up to five times, all from a deceptively demure looking 340g durable plastic case.
That equates to around 43 hours of call time or more than 30 hours of web browsing. Impressed yet? Just in case you need more of a reason to invest in this model, the power bank also boasts two universal USB-A ports and 5V 3.4 amps.
As well as smartphones and tablets, it can also revive smartwatches, fitness bands, headphones, portable speakers, action cameras like GoPros – even small drones. It has temperature regulation to prevent overheating and four LED indicators which let you know how much power is left within.
Well thought out and designed by one of the most trusted names in tech, Belkin’s lightweight battery pack is a sound tech investment you can rely on in the years to come.
Buy now £49.97, Appliances Direct
Juice Powerstation XL Power Bank Portable Charger
For a backup battery that’s packing serious power, look no further than the Juice Power Station XL. Its massive capacity – 16,800mAh – is enough for four full charges, so you can afford to upload, download and share with freeloading mates to your heart’s content.
It also has pass through charge, which means you can charge your phone through the Station and they’ll both power up at the same time. With two USB ports, there’s no need for a power struggle with a friend or a second device.
Be warned; it does take a while to fully charge (around 9.5 hours), so it’s one to keep plugged in overnight before your adventures. It comes with a micro USB cable and a pouch to keep everything safe and is available in a choice of colours.
While the Power Station XL is fairly lightweight at 362g, there is a second smaller option from Juice for anyone heading to Worthy Farm this year.
Buy now £32.73, Amazon
Mophie powerstation universal battery
An Apple exclusive, this mini marvel from tech giant Mophie has a decent 6,000mAh capacity, which should be enough for just over two full charges of a high tech smartphone, like the iPhone. When you need power in a hurry, simply plug into the USB-C port’s 18W output and get up to 50 per cent battery in just half an hour.
As with other portable battery packs, Mophie’s Powerstation has multiple USB ports which are a welcome feature; there are two on the side of the minimal aluminium-finished design, itself around the same dimensions as a mobile.
The pack also features high-output charging, which will get your phone up and running even when time is tight. And this gadget has pass through charging enabled too, so you can get the pack and your device juiced up at the same time.
Buy now £59.95, Apple
Duracell Power Bank 10050 mAh
Kiss low battery anxiety goodbye with Duracell’s supersized battery pack, playfully designed to look like the classic Duracell batteries we know so well.
While it hasn’t got as big a capacity as some of the chargers on our list, it charges phones twice as quickly thanks to a 2.4Amps input and output through two USB ports.
Once the Duracell bunny inside starts to slow, the exterior LED lights will show how much power is left, when it’s charging and when it’s fully charged. This bank also has a dual charge feature enabled which lets you charge your device through the bank via mains power, charging both gadgets at the same time. Compatible with most devices and weighing 203g.
Buy now £34.99, Amazon
iDeal of Sweden Fashion Power Golden Blush Marble
iDeal of Sweden’s award-winning range of chic phone covers and portable chargers has earned them a cult following on – where else? – Instagram. But it’s not just down to its pretty face; behind the gold and pink marble façade, the bank holds up to 5000mAh battery power, enough for 1.5 charges of a Samsung S9.
The ultra slim design sits so comfortably in your pocket that you’ll forget it’s there while the light weight means it won’t be a drag in your bag.
As far as power banks go, they are undeniably gorgeous and look more like an ornament than a power source. But does that justify the higher-than-average price point compared to models with a similar mAh capacity? It depends on what you need the power bank for, but as a gift we reckon it would be gleefully received.
Choose from 34 patterns, comes with a one-year warranty and 30 days return and refund policy.
Buy now £29.99, iDeal of Sweden
Pantone Power Bank and USB Cable
In a crowd of black and grey chargers, Pantone’s external battery stands out like a flamingo amongst pigeons. Winning on cool points, the little gadget offers 5000mAh battery capacity and comes two USB ports to help charge. Also included is a 3-in-1 (1 USB-C 2.1A and 1 Micro USB connectors) nylon charging cable, making it the perfect choice for charging up different devices.
Buy now £29.99, Studio