While the USB Type-C standard has yet to find mass adoption in the mobile world, 2015 saw a decent uptick in the number of devices embracing such technology such as the OnePlus 2, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P. Things aren’t going to slow down any in 2016 either, as LG has jumped into the mix with the LG G5 and we expect the same port to make its way to HTC’s upcoming flagship. You can also bet that other manufacturers will be offering Type-C ports on their flagships later this year, and even mid and low-end phones and tablets.
One of the biggest downsides to the new standard however, is that you have to either buy a ton of adapters so you can keep using your chargers, portable batteries, and other microUSB accessories — or you have to start over again from scratch. If you already have invested heavily into power packs and other accessories, going the former route might make the most sense. That said, a portable battery charger designed for USB Type-C has its advantages over using an adapter with one designed for microUSB. First, charging speed will be much faster with a Type-C connection. Second, less adapters and other cables to bring along with you.
It’ still very early days for USB Type-C portable battery chargers, but a quick look at Amazon turns up about a dozen or so options. Below we listed just five that we felt were worth highlighting due to their brand recognition, as well as their positive ratings and reviews.
Anker PowerCore+ 20100 mAh
The Anker PowerCore+ packs 20100 mAh and is comes in at $50.99 on Amazon. Along with the 10 LED capacity indicator, the PowerCore+ has 2 USB ports outputting power at 2.4A each, and a USB Type-C port. Included in the box is the power bank, a USB to USB Type-C cable which is used to quickly charge the power bank, a travel pouch, and a micro USB cable. Keep in mind that you don’t just charge the power bank using type-C, there’s also Type-C output, meaning you can charge your Nexus 6P (or whatever have you) from the battery charger as well.
The Anker PowerCore+ is also utilizes a number of special technologies to help ensure the best experience possible, such as PowerIQ, a proprietary technology used to replicate the charging protocol of each device to ensure safe and efficient charging. VoltageBoost is another proprietary technology that detects cable resistance in order to provide a steady charge. It is worth noting that Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 is not supported with this one however.
RAVPower 20100 mAh
The RAVPower 20100 mAh External Battery pack is offered for $59.99 on Amazon. The battery pack is a simple black box with a four dot LED battery indicator. The battery pack has a micro USB port used to charge the battery pack, a USB 3A Type-C port, a USB port capable of supporting Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0 technologies, and an iSmart USB port.
The iSmart port is used for devices that have been identified by RAVPower, and is optimised on a device by device basis. There’s certainly plenty of juice here too, as 20100 mAh is enough juice to power a Galaxy S6 close to 5 times, and an iPhone 6S nearly 8 times. The pack has overcharge and circuit protection to protect your devices from the very thing that keeps them running.
While the RAVPower is the more expensive than the first two options, it’s big battery combined with Quick Charge 2 and 3 support make it a pretty compelling option.
Talentcell 10400 mAh
The Talentcell 10400 mAh power bank the least expensive device on the list, at just $26.99 on Amazon. The power bank is charged via micro USB 2.0 and has a USB Type-C port, a full sized USB port, and an LED flashlight. Included in the box is the power bank and a male to male USB Type-C. This power bank supports a variety of Type-C devices other than the 12 inch Macbook, and can charge up to two devices simultaneously.
If you are looking for the cheapest option out there, the Talentcell fits the bill, and is still relatively well reviewed. Of course, there’s something to be said for brand recognition and trust, so if that’s a factor for you — you may be better off considering one of the previous power banks.
Once again, a lesser known brand name but the ivoler is aggressively priced at $31.99, making it a tad more expensive than the Talentcell. The ivoer 10000 mAh offers one standard USB port and one Type C that supports up to 5v 3a. While the iVoler doesn’t have Qualcomm quick charge support, it does claim to offer rapid recharge capabilities that lets it top off many devices from 0% to 100% in around 3.5 hours or less using Type-C.
Personally, we’d probably pick the TalentCell over this one, but it never hurts to have a few more options.
Xiaomi Type-C Powerbank Pro
Xiaomi is joining the mix with its newly announced Mi Powerbank Pro, which features a USB Type-C connector port and a whopping 10,000mAh capacity. This one packs fast charging suppor wtih 5V/2A, 9V/2A, and 12V/1.5A configurations, meaning you can charge up devices and the power pack itself much faster than before. Xiaomi states that the pack can be charged up in three and a half hours using fast charging, which is 40 percent faster than using a regular 5V/2A charger.
While the power bank costs just 149 Yuan in China, or about $23, it’s a bit more to important with GeekBuying offering it for $42.99. While that’s almost double the price, that’s still in a similar league to many of the other USB Type-C battery chargers here.
ORICO 10000mAh Portable Battery
Orico isn’t exactly a hot brand in the battery pack market, but this is a pretty solid looking offering. There’s input and output support for Type-C and the pack intelligently detects the ideal furrent from 0.5 to its max of 2.4A. You’ll also find 1 USB type-A slot for your traditional devices that need powering up, and a microUSB in for charging up the battery (though you can also use the Type-C port for this if you prefer).
The 10,000 mAh size is similar to what we’re seeing from many of the other packs on this list, and the pricing is just right at $28.99.
Any other solid options you are aware of that didn’t make it onto our list? Give us a shout in the comments and we’ll be sure to take a look.