10 excellent battery pack gifts for your friend whose phone always dies

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10 excellent battery pack gifts for your friend whose phone always dies

Welcome to the 2017 TechCrunch Holiday Gift Guide! We check out a lot of really cool stuff here at TechCrunch, so we figured we ought to put that experience to good use and help you get your holiday shopping done quickly. You can find all of our gift guides right here.

After putting our favorite battery packs in various gift guides over the years, we decided to go all out this year and do a gift guide just for battery packs. I consider myself something of a battery pack aficionado, so I decided to step up to the plate and lay out some of my favorites.

While I’d say the two top brands in terms of reliability and price Anker and Aukey, we tried to get a variety of products with different special features and size/capacity configurations.

Remember, the most straightforward way to judge a battery pack (besides price and reliability) is by its capacity — i.e how much power it can hold. All of these devices are measured in mAh, or milliamp hours. To give you an example, the new iPhone X has a capacity of 2,716 mAh, meaning a 10,000 mAh battery pack would be able to recharge a fully drained phone a little over 3 times.

Tap that right arrow key to start the gallery — or if you’re on mobile, just scroll.

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Aukey 7,000 mAh

If you’re looking for a battery pack you can slip in a pocket, this one will do the trick. This Aukey Portable 7,000 mAh charger is the same lipstick-like shape as the cheap generic chargers you’re handed for free at career fairs, but with an actually worthwhile battery. At 7,000 mAh it can charge most phones about two times, making it perfect to slip into your pocket to carry around for the day.

2/10

Anker PowerCore Fusion

Two birds, one stone!

The Anker PowerCore Fusion is a personal favorite, because it’s a battery pack and a two-prong wall adapter in one. You can plug it into the wall to charge your phone, which also charges the built-in battery pack for all those times when there’s no outlet handy. At 5,000 mAh it’s not the biggest player in the game, but the 2 in 1 convenience makes it worth it.

3/10

Apple's Smart Battery Case

While this gift only applies if you have a compatible iPhone, so many people swear by this it’s worth putting on the list. Apple’s Smart Battery Case adds a bunch of extra battery without the need to carry around any external packs. For the non-iPhone folk (or even for the iPhone folk, if you’re not liking the Smart case), there are third-party cases available for most popular phones.

4/10

This 30,000 mAh Monster

Here’s the mother of all portable chargers. Made by Aukey, this 30,000 mAh beast can charge your iPhone X 10 times before it’s tapped out! This thing comes with two USB ports, a built-in flashlight and two USB-C inputs to charge. It also has Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 to speed up charging time.

Fair warning: this thing is heavy, at just under 1.5 lbs. But the capacity is amazing and the great price ($60) makes it worth it. It’s good to keep around the house in case the power goes out, to use on a camping trip or even just when the outlet feels too far away.

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5/10

Anker Compact PowerCore

Here’s a great option for one to slip into a purse or backpack, and one that hits the sweet spot when it comes to capacity and size/weight. The Anker PowerCore is a 10,000 mAh device that only weighs 6 oz, and can still charge your phone 3 or 4 times. While it only has one USB outlet, it should last you throughout the day, and isn’t so bulky that you’ll regret carrying it around.

6/10

PowerCore Plus

This Anker PowerCore+ is a personal favorite because it has a USB-C outlet, meaning it can charge devices like the Nintendo Switch or even a MacBook Pro. And at 26,800 mAh it has the capacity to handle even those beefier devices, plus a lot more.

At about 1.3 pounds this one is a bit heavy, but it’s a great one to pack in your carry-on — especially if your laptop is USB-C powered. It comes with a high-power wall adapter to recharge the battery pack itself in just four hours, so you can juice it back up quick on your layovers.

7/10

The Jackery Bolt

The Jackery Bolt is cool because it has built-in lightning AND micro USB cables, meaning a few less things to carry around/lose. This makes it great for travel or a long day trip. It’s pretty light at 5 oz, and at 6,000 mAh should be able to charge most devices twice.

8/10

Wireless Battery Pack

Here’s an interesting one, and probably not for everyone. It’s a battery pack with a built-in Qi wireless charging base, meaning you can use it to charge any device that supports wireless charging — like the new iPhone X.

One downside: it charges phones extremely slowly. But this is more an issue with wireless charging in general right now, and the novelty (and convenience) of being able to charge by just putting your phone on top of a battery pack is pretty cool. Plus, it also has regular USB outlets if you ever need to charge things at a faster speed.

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9/10

Retractable Cable

While this isn’t technically a battery pack, it’s a great addition to one (and a great stocking stuffer.) It’s a retractable USB cord that you can use when you charge to avoid the annoyance of a long cord hanging from the battery pack, or the hassle of wrapping it all back up when you’re done. You can buy the Lightning version here and the micro USB version here.

10/10

Tesla's Battery Pack

And one final last-minute edition. Tesla just announced a mobile battery pack to charge your phone and other devices. Aptly named the PowerBank, the external battery pack is shaped like the Tesla supercharger monument that is outside their main office in California.

It costs $45 and has built-in USB, micro USB and lightning cable so you’ll always have the right cable with you. One downside: at just 3,350 mAh, this one is pretty small.

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