Who doesn’t have a heart-braking story when their smart fellow have let them down just when they need it the most. It is no surprise that these days you use your smartphone to work, play, communicate, find a place for lunch or a nice bar. Well that comes with a price – if you really want to avoid charging your phone every day (and sometimes even more often) you may need a larger battery. But those large batteries are attached to even larger and heavy phones which also is not for everyone. If your needs for power are growing then eventually you will end up carrying a large tablet in your large bag which will make you look really funny when you need to pickup a call.
So until you get phone battery capacity doubled for the same size or phone consumption reduced in half you need to have a solution which does not burden you with its size and weight. Well you are probably guessing already that I am talking about the miracle called portable power bank. But then if you realize that with the size of the phone batteries today it takes about 3 hours to charge your phone. So you weather need your fast charging power brick with you which may not be an option if you plan to go in the mountain or if you are mobile all the time like me.
When started to do my own research I found out that there is a huge amount of options. In fact they are so many that even a geek like me was completely lost. I started digging deeper and I found that there are a very little offers which meet my needs:
A compact power bank which I can throw in my bag which also supports fast charging.
Yes it was a challenge even though there are so many offers out there. The main factors which drive my decision are size, capacity, design and of course price. So as you know I like to test everything before I recommend you a solution. So I reviewed 15 products and decided to pick the best 5 and test them in my lab. So lets get to it.
|#||Picture||Size, inch||Capacity||Vendor||Price, $|
|1||3.15 X 1.58 X 1||5000mAh||LinkOn||23.83|
|3.15 X 2.36 X 1||10000mAh||30.79|
|2||4.4 X 2 X 1||10000mAh||RavPower||35.99|
|3||4.2 X 2 X 1||10000mAh||ANKER||35.99|
|4||5.4 X 2.8 X 0.6||10000mAh||AUKEY||29.99|
|5||5.9 X 3 X 0.6||10000mAh||Omars||24.99|
- Design and finish materials
- Smallest Size
- Slightly higher price
- No cable included
This is clearly my leader. I will start with the design. This is the only power bank which has beautiful aluminum finish. I love the ergonomic design and the colors. Even potting everything aside this won my hearth.
Another unique side is that this is the only battery which has 5000mAh fast charging version. I didn’t find any other power bank like this.
When I read vendor’s information I found the reason why this power bank stands out – it is using the innovative Tesla 2170 battery cell. This is the same cell which powers Tesla Model 3 cars today and has one of the highest energy density.
I won’t even bother comparing the 5000mAh battery size as it won’t be fair but the 10000mAh is really by far the smallest one.
When reading more about the Tesla cells I understand that there is one more unique parameter many people oversee. Its capacity drop over time is greatly reduced. The capacity drops less than 10% after 3 years. Compared to most of the batteries you can expect them to lose up to 30% within the first 2 years. I can’t validate that as only the time will show but at least what I read is really very promising.
My personal preference is the 5000mAh one as I really don’t notice it in my bag. I even managed to charge two devices at a time with it but it switches the fast charging off.
All that packed with the two most common fast charging standards PD3.0 and QC3.0 will make every geek like me completely satisfied.
- Highest total output power
- Fast Charging not disabled when multi charging
- USB-C cable included
- Slightly larger
My second choice is the RAVPOWER portable charger. It may not be the smallest in the category but it has the highest total output – the stunning 29W out of this little beast. It will deliver the same 18W out of its PD port but if you plug another device in the USB-A it will continue to fast-charge. It is my clear recommendation if you have wireless headset for instance. It will allow you to get both your phone and headset topped up simultaneously.
It is nice that it also has fast charging USB-C cable included in the package.
So if you don’t have very limited space in your bag and speed is more important to you then go for it!
- Proven quality
- USB-C Cable included
- No QC3.0 Support
- High price
As a user of ANKER for many years I have to include their solution in my rank list. It lacks some features like QC3.0 but still has PD3.0 support. So some of the devices may not get fast charging working. The build quality is slightly better compared to the other plastic competitors. And it comes with a cable and in a nice package. The price is really targeted to the higher range but you pay for the quality and for the proven over time product support.
- Slim form factor
- Lower price
- 3 output ports
- Single output fast charging only
AUKEY have decided to bet on the slim form factor and I admit that some people would prefer slim versus compact. It has a smartphone size and in some situations can be more convenient. The price is also lower than the average for the category which is one of the main reasons this Power Bank made it to my top 5. They include just USB-A to USB-C charging cable which means you need another cable if you want to recharge the bank faster. The advantage is that this power bank has 3 outputs. USB-C PD (18W), USB-A QC3.0 (18W) and one standard 5V/2.4A USB-A. Unfortunately only one of the fast charging ports can work at a time which makes the max total output still at 18W. The advantage is if you really have to charge multiple low power devices simultaneously. That IMHO will happen very rare but I still think this advantage could be important to some of you.
- Slim form factor
- Lowest cost
- 3 outputs
- Larger size
- High price
Last in my top 5 but ahead of many other is Omars slim power bank. This is the only power bank which offers display to show you the remaining capacity more accurately. I admit this can turn out to be really useful. Sometimes when you see two lights out of four on the other banks you are not sure if you have 50% capacity or close to 25%. That leads me to the habit to fully charge my power bank each time so I do not risk it which turns 10000mAh power bank into a 5000mAh one L. Display would help you know if you could rely on your mobile power source for one more charge or you would need to get it replenished.
This is the larger power bank in the slim category but I guess this is the tradeoff for having a display.
But putting all that aside I should mention the main reason this power bank qualifies for my top 5. This is its price which is much lower than the competition. So if you are planning to use this power bank just once in a while and you do want to pay less this is the one for you. Display will come very handy if you plan to keep the bank unused for long time as you will be able to verify the charge level when you decide you will need it.
In conclusion we already have a lot of players on the power bank market and with the advancing technologies I am pleased to see that there are really smart solutions. Having fast charging mobile power source is no longer a dream. Charging times for your device are now down to around an hour while recharging time for the power banks is less than 3 hours. Just two years ago the time required to replenish your 10000mAh power bank was 8 to 9 hours. The batteries have evolved significantly over the last years especially thanks to new players like Tesla who entered the market to show that there is a lot of room for improvement. The big win is for us – the users who can get more mobile and independent.