3 Portable Chargers to Give Your Smartphone an Energy Boost

Make your phone last longer without breaking the bank

By David Isaac

Whether you're on the go or just planted at a coffee shop where outlets are limited, a good portable charger can be worth its weight in gold. Luckily, you don't have to pay nearly that much. We rounded up a trio of excellent chargers that can be had for a reasonable price, slip easily into your bag, and can get you out of a tight battery spot during the day. You won't go wrong with any of these.

Anker PowerCore 10000

I like the way the Anker PowerCore 10000 squeezes big power (as the name suggests, 10,000 mAh) into a reasonably diminutive body. It's like the Simone Biles of portable chargers: Compact yet full of pep. You'll be able to power an iPhone 6s up to four times, for example. Yet, it's smaller than a pack of playing cards at 3.6 x 2.4 x 0.9 inches

Anker

The charger comes with a micro USB cable, a travel pouch, and welcome guide. You'll have to purchase a lightning cable for your iPhone separately. It also includes an 18-month warranty. This warranty looks pretty solid as it includes a full refund or replacement if there are quality issues. It retails for $24.00.

Zendure A2

The Zendure A2 wins for toughness. The company even rode a car over it just to prove its point.

What really puts this 6700mAh charger over the top, though, is its array of really neat features. Besides charging your smartphone several times, it supports pass-through charging so you can charge the powerbank even as you charge your phone. Not all chargers do this. Even Anker doesn't recommend doing that for its charger.

Zendure

The Zendure A2 has an auto-on feature; just plug in your smartphone and it starts charging. And it fine-tunes the output for maximum charging speed. LED lights indicate how much charge you have left. The charger is pretty compact at 3.7 x 2 x 1 inches.

The only downside is that this charger doesn't work with every device. These are listed on Zendure's site, but they include "the iPod nano, Asus tablets, the LG G2 and some GPS and Bluetooth devices." Assuming you don't own one of these gadgets, this charger is a great choice. The Zendure A2 retails for $30.00.

Zilu Smart Power Basic

The ZILU Smart Power Basic 4400mAh Portable Charger is the best value I've seen in recent memory--it retails for just $15. What's impressive is how much you get for that price, and how incredibly small it is.

 Zilu

The biggest feature is its reliability and safety. (After all, when a portable charger sells for $15, you might wonder about that.) But the Zilu Smart Power Basic uses high-quality Samsung 18650 li-ion battery cells. And it offers an impressive 1,000 cycles of use.

Zilu's 4400 mAh battery will get you one full charge for your smartphone, which isn't bad when you consider it's not much larger than a pack of chewing gum. Four LED lights show you how much juice you have left, with each light equaling 25% of the total power pack. The charger also features an LED flashlight.

The Zilu Smart Power Basic weighs 5.2 oz and measures 3.7 x 1.8 x 0.85 inches. It's available in several colors and comes with a Micro USB cable and user manual.