Everything You Need to Keep Your Batteries Green

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Everything You Need to Keep Your Batteries Green
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This guide was originally published on Gizmos.

Look, Drake may be metaphorically charged up, but the rest of us literally run out of battery on a regular basis. Most of the time you need a little power on the go, for everything from your phone to your laptop, but sometimes you need a new charger for the places where you're the most stationary.

From portable to wireless to laptop chargers, we researched and found the best charging tools to have your devices feeling like Drake. 

01

Best Portable Charger for Most People

Best Portable Charger for Most People


We recommend the Anker PowerCore 5000 for your portable charging needs for its small size, efficient charging, and build quality.

What Works

The Anker PowerCore 5000 can charge a flagship smartphone up to two times. It can also charge tablets and other devices that need a 2A connection, a rare feat for a charger this size. 

Don't worry, it won't ruin anything that only needs 1A (your iPhone) thanks to Anker's PowerIQ technology that helps the battery recognize what's being charged. This charger is also smart enough to stop discharging power when a cable is not connected, so you don't have to constantly recharge it. 

Though it has a plastic build, it's reinforced and can withstand a drop or two.

What Could Be Better

"Though it has a plastic build, it's reinforced and can withstand a drop or two."

Though this can charge devices fairly quickly, it doesn't support Qualcomm's Quick Charge (typically on Android devices that use a Snapdragon processor) or any other fast charging standards. It won't take hours to charge your phone, but you won't get the "50–80 percent in 30 minutes" you may have grown accustomed to with newer phones.

It's a little bigger and heavier (it's less than ⅓ lb) than most "lipstick" chargers, but most of those have half the battery power. You'll get similar power to an entry level, brick-style portable charger in a tiny cylinder that can fit just about anywhere.  

Warranty & Customer Support

Anker offers a 30-day money back guarantee and an 18-month warranty period. Their customer service team is responsive and helpful.

02

Best Portable Charger for Multiple Devices

Best Portable Charger for Multiple Devices

We recommend the Jackery Bolt and Bolt-C portable chargers for their built-in cables, ability to fully charge more than one device simultaneously, built-in flashlight, and build quality. If you want double its charging power, Qualcomm Quick Charge, and don't mind BYOC (bringing your own cable), we also recommend the Jackery Titan.

What Works

Both versions of this charger have a built-in micro-USB cable. The Bolt also has a Lightning cable for your new Apple products and the Bolt-C has a USB-C cable for your new Android phones and tablets.

"Jackery houses their batteries in tough aluminum shells, not plastic."

The chargers have "Smart Fit" technology that recognizes how much power to send to devices with different battery needs. You can also do passthrough charging (charge the Bolt and your devices simultaneously). This is a rare feature in portable chargers since there aren't many use cases for it, but this essentially gives you three charging ports from one outlet.

Unlike other portable chargers that use plastic, reinforced or not, Jackery houses its portable chargers in aluminum shells. This aluminum provides more protection against drops. We also love that you can activate a flashlight by double pressing the power button. The power button allows you to turn the battery on and off when you're using it, so you can leave something plugged in without draining power.

What Could Be Better

These chargers don't support Qualcomm Quick Charge or other rapid charging technologies, but typically charges phones within 1.5 and 2 hours.

A few Amazon reviewers received chargers that stopped functioning within a few months or sooner. With a two-year warranty, we don't think this is an issue.

Warranty & Customer Support

Jackery offers a two-year warranty and has a good customer support team. They're not always the fastest, but they are ultimately helpful and accommodating. 

03

Best Portable Mirror Compact with LEDs

Best Portable Mirror Compact with LEDs
olivia geyelin

The Hyper Pearl Compact Mirror is a must-have accessory for on-the-go makeup lovers. With a regular and 3X magnification mirror surrounded by LEDs, the Pearl can illuminate your face in any lighting conditions. If that wasn't enough, it also charges any USB device in about an hour. Most importantly, the Pearl Compact Mirror manages to be, well, compact.

04

Best Rugged Portable Charger

Best Rugged Portable Charger

We recommend the RavPower Outdoor Portable Charger for its ruggedness, powerful charging abilities, and its built-in flashlight.

What Works

This charger has an IP66 rating which can handle substantial splashes/jets of water (great for fishing, kayaking, etc.). It also has a well-sealed, hard plastic exterior that is dustproof and shockproof.

This charger can also charge flagship smartphones at least twice and has a built-in flashlight. It can deliver power up to a 3.4A connection, but is smart enough to deliver the appropriate power to your devices.

What Could Be Better

It doesn't support any fast charging standards.

The charger is only rated at IP66. If you need an IP67 portable charger that can be immersed in water for up to half an hour, we recommend the much pricier Goal Zero Venture 70.

Warranty & Customer Support

RavPower offers a 30-day money back guarantee, 18-month warranty, and an additional year if you register this charger on their site. Their customer service is good, reliable, and fast.

05

Best USB Wall Charger

Best USB Wall Charger

We recommend the Anker PowerPort Speed 2 for its two USB ports, space-saving design, and Quick Charge compatibility.

What Works

This USB wall charger has two ports that are both Quick Charge and PowerIQ enabled. This means they can charge Quick Charge devices in roughly 45 minutes and other devices will be charged as fast as possible, based on their battery needs. We also love that the slim design of the charger gives you more than one USB port without sacrificing outlet space.

What Could Be Better

Guide.com

The metal prongs/pins don't fold into the base, so this charger is a bit bulky for travel. If you really need folding prongs, but don't want to miss out on a Quick Charge port, we also like this somewhat bulky RavPower wall charger.

Warranty & Customer Support

Anker offers 30-day refunds and an 18-month warranty period. Their customer service team is fast and efficient.

06

Best Third-Party Fast Chargers for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy Phones

Best Third-Party Fast Chargers for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy Phones

Qualcomm's Quick Charge is beneficial to many Android users who want to charge their phones in less than an hour, but owners of new iPhones (8, 8+, and X) and Samsung Galaxy phones are left out in the cold.

The best fast chargers for these phones will come straight from Samsung or Apple, but we found some high-performing, cost-effective alternatives. Galaxy phones will require USB-C to USB-C cables, but iPhone users should stick with Apple's cable.

If you value the fastest charging available for your Samsung Galaxy smartphone or iPhone 8, 8+, or X, stick with the brand's charger and cables or one of these USB-C alternatives.

07

Best Car Charger

Best Car Charger

We recommend the Aukey 3.0 Car Charger for its streamlined design, Quick Charge compatibility, and included USB-C cable.

What Works

This car charger is powerful, inexpensive, and sits flush with your car's cigarette lighter. It supports Quick Charge for compatible phones, providing a full charge in less than an hour. It also recognizes how much power each connected device needs and comes with a USB-C cable.

What Could Be Better

Guide.com

There's only one USB port on this charger. If you want two ports with the same design and don't care about Quick Charge, try this Aukey charger. If you want two ports, Quick Charge, and don't mind a bulkier design, this Aukey charger is another great pick.

Also, because of its design, this charger is difficult to grab onto in order to remove it.

Warranty & Customer Support

Aukey offers a 45-day money back guarantee, a two-year warranty, and great customer service.

08

Best Short Charging Cables

Best Short Charging Cables

A portable charger can often only be as good as the cable you're using. We round the best, most durable short charging cables that wouldn't clutter your bag or pocket.

10

Best Wireless Charger

Best Wireless Charger

We recommend Samsung's Fast Charge Wireless Charging Convertible Stand because it doesn't make you you choose between a wireless pad or stand, it's designed with the pains of other wireless chargers in mind, and it works well.

What Works

This charger can used as a pad or a stand for when you want to use your phone while it charges. The faux leather top replaces the plastic most wireless chargers use and keeps your phone from sliding off due to the charging process or notification vibrations.

There's also a built in fan to keep the charger cool and a small notification light to let you know your phone is properly aligned. Most users also report being able to charge their phones through cases, even Otterbox Defenders.

What Could Be Better

Guide.com

Fast charging only works on Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+ and later models, but it charges all Qi-enabled phones.

Most complaints about this charger come from Note 8 users. The main issue reported is that the Note 8 doesn't stay connected or charge at all when the charger is in the stand position. Though the good reviews vastly outweigh the bad, given the price, we recommend Samsung's pad charger for Note 8 users.

Speaking of cost, $90 is a lot to shell out for a charger, no matter how nice it looks. This charger is currently about $49 on Amazon, but several Amazon reviews for this model reported authenticity issues. Until this is resolved, we recommend buying this product from Best Buy, which does price matching.

Warranty & Customer Support

We reached out to Samsung to find more information regarding their warranty to no avail, but this charger can be returned to Best Buy within 15 days of purchase.

11

Best Budget Wireless Charger

Best Budget Wireless Charger

We recommend the Anker PowerPort Wireless 10W charger for its effectiveness, fast charging compatibility and build quality.

What Works

For less than $30, this Anker charger can power-up any Qi-enabled smartphone. It charges phones via 10W (fast charging) 5W. We also love the sturdy design and how it doesn't get too hot, despite not having an internal fan. It's also as effective as wireless chargers that cost double.

What Could Be Better

Guide.com

Since fast charging for iPhones is currently set to 7.5W, iPhone users won't be able to get fast charging. By having a 10W maximum, however, the charger is future proof for any upgrades from Apple. If you want that 7.5W charging speed now, we recommend the RavPower Fast Wireless Charger.

We also don't love that this charger won't work through a phone case (unless it's wireless charging case) and that it doesn't come with a USB wall charger. If you want to keep your case on without splurging on our main wireless recommendation, try Samsung's pad charger.

Warranty & Customer Support

With this charger, get Anker's responsive customer support team and an 18-month warranty.

12

Best Multi-Phone Wireless Charger

Best Multi-Phone Wireless Charger

We recommend the Ikea Nordmärke Triple Wireless Charging Pad because it looks great, charges devices well, and can charge up to four devices.

What Works

The Nordmärke comes in two, decor-friendly styles: a birch outline or a white plastic outline. The rubber center of the pad has three crosses that show exactly where the Qi (wireless charging) chips are, for easy placement. There is also a 2.4A USB port that could charge another phone or a more powerful device like an iPad.

What Could Be Better

Guide.com

The slippery plastic on top is less than ideal, but phones don't seem to stray from their positions. We also didn't like the LED placement, since the size of most modern smartphones blocks the charging notification light.

Warranty & Customer Support

Ikea offers a one-year refund/return policy on all of its products.

13

Best Macbook Chargers

Best Macbook Chargers

Sorry, folks, but the best Macbook chargers are the ones that came with your computer. We looked high and low to find a better or at least cheaper charger. Unfortunately for your bank account, they were all either unsafe or just didn't work.

The only Apple charger we don't recommend is the 29W USB-C charger because we prefer the Innergie 45W USB-C charger. As more powerful USB-C chargers are released, we will update our recommendations.

14

Best USB-C Charger

Best USB-C Charger

We recommend Innergie's PowerGear USB-C 45 for its design, plug-n-play cables, and cross-device compatibility.

What Works

This USB-C charger has four different charging modes that automatically deliver the appropriate voltage to your devices. This means it can deliver the right amount of power to everything from a new Macbook Air to a Google Pixel 2.

Guide.com

Unlike many of the USB-C chargers we found, this model ships with both power cable and USB-C cable. The permanently attached USB-C cable wraps snugly around the small power brick for sleek portability.

What Could Be Better

Since this charger maxes out at 45W, you won't be able to charge Macbooks that need more power, especially the 15 inch models. For those Macbooks, we recommend sticking with Apple. We'll keep our eyes peeled for an upgraded or more powerful third party version.

The charger brick also gets a bit warm when used continuously, but not to the point where it's difficult or dangerous to handle.

Warranty & Customer Support

Innergie offers a three-year limited warranty and great, though a little slow, customer service.

15

Best Universal Laptop Charger

Best Universal Laptop Charger

We recommend the Innergie PowerGear 65 Pro because it's compatible with most PC laptop sand Chromebooks, it's compact, and it provides a USB port for charging another device.

What Works

This charger comes with six popular interchangeable tips for popular laptops. If your laptop uses a different tip, you can have it sent to you via Innergie's Free Tip Program. The charger supplies 65W of power, which is enough for most laptops, and a 2.1A USB port to charge another device simultaneously. We also love the small, lightweight design of the power brick and its cables.

What Could Be Better

Guide.com

If you only plan on using this charger on one laptop, you might find it to be expensive. High quality, laptop-specific chargers run $10-20 cheaper. Plus, if you need to request a different tip, you'll have to pay the shipping costs.

Warranty & Customer Support

Innergie's customer service time can be on the slow side, but is ultimately helpful. They provide a three-year warranty for this charger.

16

Best Portable Laptop Charger

Best Portable Laptop Charger

We recommend the Jackery PowerBar because it's well-designed, it has all the right ports and jacks, and charges devices efficiently.

What Works

"This charger is smaller than a 1 liter Fiji Water bottle and within TSA guidelines for portable batteries. "

This powerful portable charger is actually smaller than a 1 liter Fiji Water bottle and within TSA guidelines for portable batteries. That's no small feat considering there's an AC outlet onboard. You also get a Qualcomm Quick Charge compatible USB port, a USB-C port that can supply and receive power, and a regular 2.4A USB port.

Whatever device you take with you, the PowerBar can charge it. It can charge most laptops once, the most recent flagship phones 6–8 times, and tablets up to three times. There's also a power button to help you conserve battery power.

What Could Be Better

At $150, this is hardly a steal, but it's definitely the best in its class. The premium RavPower Power Station is a little cheaper, but has neither enough buffer space for chunky plugs nor a Quick Charge USB port.

Warranty & Customer Support

Jackery's great customer service team is more than happy to enforce their two-year warranty.

17

Best Charging Station for Your Desk

Best Charging Station for Your Desk

We recommend the Great Useful Stuff Charging Station because it can hold several devices, has a great power supply, and hides all of your cables.

What Works

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This bamboo charging station can simultaneously hold three phones, a tablet, and a laptop. The power supply, which also has a bamboo exterior, provides five hidden USB ports and two AC outlets. All of your USB and power cables can fit in the base of the dock, so there's only one cable leaving the charging station.

What Could Be Better

Guide.com

Yes, this is more expensive than its competitors, but we think the decluttering, decor-friendly design is worth it. We also placed value on the design of the included power supply since other stations simply used unsightly plastic power banks or didn't come with a power supply at all.

The only other issue we found with this dock was the cable space. Feeding charging cables into the phone docks is a somewhat intricate process since too little cable makes connecting your phones difficult and too much can prevent them from resting properly in the dock. We recommend keeping your cords tidy inside the base with some wire ties or pipe cleaners and only leaving 2–3 inches of cable free.

Warranty & Customer Support

Great Useful Stuff has a 30-day return period, but they'll only pay return shipping if the charging station was defective, lost in transit, or if the wrong product was sent to you. Their customer service team is far from fast, but ultimately helpful.

What to Look for in a Charger

There are many of different chargers to consider and unique features to look for in all them.

Portable Chargers/Power Banks

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Yevhen Prozhyrko

Portable chargers, a.k.a. power banks or portable batteries, can be lifesavers if you won't be near an outlet and need to charge your phone. Many of them can also power tablets and Nintendo Switches.

Whatever device you plan on charging, you want to make sure you can get at least one charge out of your portable charger. The charger should weigh under two pounds, but if you're not looking to charge something like a laptop, it should be less than one pound. You'll also want a power button or smart shut-off so you don't lose battery when you're not charging anything.

Wall USB Chargers

These chargers are simple in design. They typically have one to two USB ports and shouldn't be able to block both outlets. Bulky, outlet-blocking wall chargers should have at least four USB ports to be worth the size.

Wireless Phone Chargers

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These chargers will work on any Qi-enabled smartphone. You can choose from a stand, so you can use your phone while it charges, or a pad, if you're more interested in overnight charging. Some wireless chargers have a fan inside to keep it cool while it charges, but some people might not enjoy the noise.

Laptop Chargers

Though PCs and Chromebooks are a bit more openly compatible, Macbooks tend to rely on Apple chargers. Laptop chargers should stay cool and ideally come with all the cables you need.

Charging Stations and Docks

The best charging stations provide a stylish way to dock your devices and hide your cables. Charging hubs can be useful, but they still leave a bunch of wires on your desk.

A Note About Fast Charging

The most widely compatible fast charging standard is Qualcomm's Quick Charge which supports certain smartphones which usually have Snapdragon processors. Samsung smartphones use a proprietary Adaptive Fast Charging process while iPhones have their own fast charging standard. 

How We Chose

We thought about popular devices that need charging, all the ways they could be charged, and where you might need recharge them. Once we set our categories, we cross-referenced professional reviews from Wirecutter, The Verge, Digital Trends, and Engadget with user reviews on Amazon, Best Buy, manufacturer websites, B&H, and REI. We chose our recommendations based on this information, our personal experience with these products, and the products' adherence to basic safety features like overcurrent protection. 

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The Guide Team