How do I Choose the Best Portable Phone Charger?

Jeremy Laukkonen

Choosing the best portable phone charger can involve comparing a number of different feature sets, and determining which are most important to you. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) chargers are typically guaranteed to work with your particular phone, but they may be useless if you get a new model in the future. Aftermarket universal chargers can typically be used with a wide variety of different phones, but may have compatibility issues. There are also other factors to consider, such as whether you will need to charge from alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) sources. An emergency portable phone charger may also be the best choice under certain circumstances, as they can power a phone through various alternate means.

A cell phone charger.
A cell phone charger.

Phone manufacturers often offer portable chargers that are specifically designed to work with their phones. If your handset uses a proprietary connector and you plan on keeping it for a while, this may be the best portable phone charger for you. OEM portable phone chargers that have mini universal serial bus (USB) connections may also be compatible with handsets made by other companies, as this is a common standard in the industry.

A car phone charger must be compatible with a person's cell phone and vehicle.
A car phone charger must be compatible with a person's cell phone and vehicle.

An aftermarket universal unit may also be the best portable phone charger for you. These units will often work with a number of different handset designs, which can be ideal if you have more than one phone or upgrade to a new phone regularly. There may be issues with compatibility, so it is often a good idea to verify that a universal charger will work with your particular handset before purchasing it.

When deciding on the best portable phone charger, you may want to also consider where you will be using it. Small travel chargers that use AC power often have collapsible plugs and small profiles, making it easy to carry them around. This may be ideal if you travel a lot and will need to charge your phone in hotels or other areas where AC power is available. If you spend a lot of time in cars, then a portable phone charger that can be powered from 12 volt DC source might be the best unit for you. It may also be possible to locate a portable charger that can use either power source.

If there is a chance you will be away from both AC and DC power, then an emergency portable charger may be your best choice. These portable chargers will typically include an alternate power source, such as a battery pack, hand crank, or solar cell. This can allow you to charge up your phone in an emergency situation, or any other time you are away from power for an extended period of time.

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