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How to shop for a new charger or portable power bank, according to an expert

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For better or worse, most of us are pretty glued to our phones — but all that scrolling, texting and "liking" can really drain your battery life. That's why a solid charger or portable power bank is essential if you don't want to be running on empty halfway through your day.

That being said, the charger your phone comes with isn't always your perfect match. If you're looking for a new one that will suit your unique lifestyle, there are plenty of options out there. And Shop TODAY consulted a tech expert to find out everything you need to know about shopping for chargers and portable power banks, so you'll never be without power again, whether you're near an outlet or not.

What to look for in a phone charger

Most phones come with a charger when you purchase them, but if you're looking to buy another one (say, yours is broken or you want to have an extra one on-hand), there are a few main qualities you should look for while shopping and questions you should ask yourself, according to Khurram Afridi, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University.

Once you've decided what type of charger you want, it's time to make sure that it's actually compatible with your phone. "You should always check this," Afridi said. "There are differences in connectors. Also, some phones (including Apple phones) require additional features in the charger before they will accept a charge."

Here, we rounded up seven top-rated wired and wireless chargers for iPhones and Androids that meet Afridi's suggestions.

Best wireless phone chargers

Yootech Qi-Certified 10W Max Fast Wireless Charging Pad

Qi-Certified 10W Max Fast Wireless Charging Pad


This versatile wireless charging pad works with several iPhone and Android models. The bestseller, which has more than 95,000 five-star ratings, features three charging modes, including 7.5W, 10W and 5W. It also comes in six colors and is compatible with AirPods.

How to shop for a new charger or portable power bank, according to an expert

Samsung 9W Qi-Certified Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand

9W Qi-Certified Wireless Charging Stand for iPhone/Android


Like to make video calls to your family but hate how they drain your battery? This wireless charging stand makes it easy to use your phone hands-free while it charges. It works with Qi-enabled smartphones (including several Android and iPhone models) and also has a built-in fan to keep your device cool. The popular model has an average 4.6-star rating and satisfied shoppers say it "works like a dream" and is "great for overnight charging."

MagSafe Charger

MagSafe Charger


Many of the recent iPhone models feature MagSafe (aka magnetic) technology for wireless charging, and this popular option is a must-have if you're all about the latest and greatest tech releases. The MagSafe Charger can be attached to several iPhone models, including the 13, 13 Pro, 12 and 12 Pro, and is said to provide fast and efficient charging up to 15W. It's also compatible with select AirPods models.

MagSafe Duo Charger

MagSafe Duo Charger


Own multiple Apple devices? This Duo Charger can charge iPhones, Apple Watches as well as AirPods with wireless charging cases. You can power up two devices simultaneously simply by placing them on the charger — no wires required! It also folds up to a convenient size when you're done, making it an ideal option for travel.

WAITIEE Wireless Charger 3 in 1 15W Fast Charging Station

Wireless Charger 3 in 1, 15W Charging Station for Apple


Prefer a charging station? This 3-in-1 version can power up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods all at the same time. It's also compatible with several Android phones. The charging station has racked up over 26,000 five-star ratings and many customers say that they love its sleek design. "The station also takes up much less room than I ever imagined," one reviewer wrote. "All that mess of cords is gone!"

Best wired phone chargers

Samsung 25W USB-C Super Fast Charging Wall Charger

25W USB-C Fast Charging Wall Charger (with USB-C Cable)


With more than 7,000 five-star ratings, this Samsung wall charger comes well-recommended by shoppers. The bestseller is compatible with multiple devices and is said to offer speedy charging to save you time. It also comes with a detachable USB-C cable that makes it easy to charge your phone from a laptop or portable power bank. "It will take a dying battery and give it half its life in roughly under an hour!" one happy customer wrote. "I love this thing!"

Ailkin USB Wall Charger (2-Pack) with 2 Ports

2-Port USB Phone Charger Block


If you're short on outlet space and find yourself regularly battling with your family over who gets to charge their phone first, this handy gadget is perfect. The popular USB wall charger comes with two built-in ports and can power up two devices at once. Over 55,000 Amazon customers have left a five-star rating for the popular product and many say it's "extremely useful" and offers "great value for the money." Did we mention that it comes in 10 colors, too?

What to look for in a portable power bank

When you're on vacation, hitting up an amusement park for the day or are just out running errands, there typically isn't a lot of time to stop and charge your devices. And that's when a portable power bank can come in handy. If this is your first time shopping for one, Afridi recommends paying attention to two aspects:

As with phone chargers, you should make sure that your chosen power bank is actually going to work for your device before ordering it. "Most should be compatible with both types of phones [iPhones and Androids], but it is always wise to check before you purchase to make sure," Afridi said.

Below, six top-rated options to consider.

Best portable chargers and power banks

Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger

Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger


Over 25,000 Amazon shoppers have given this portable charger a five-star rating. It works with several smartphone models, tablets and laptops, and according to the brand, the powerful 2,6800 mAh rating will allow you to power up your phone more than six times on one charge. Even better? It also has three USB ports so you can charge multiple devices at once.

Miady 10000mAh Dual USB Portable Charger (Set of 2)

10000mAh Dual USB Portable Charger


You don't have to break the bank to get a quality portable charger. This bestselling two-pack retails for a mere $22 and has over 44,000 five-star ratings from customers who can't stop raving about how great it is. One shopper called it "a must buy" and another said the portable charger powered up four cell phones off a single charge. The chargers are also said to be compact and compatible with a range of smartphone models.

MagSafe Battery Pack

MagSafe Battery Pack


Have a newer iPhone? This portable battery pack attaches to the back of the phone with magnetic technology so you can charge up while you're on the go. The multitasking product can also be used with a lightning cable when you do have access to a wall outlet, making it a versatile option.

iWALK Small Portable Charger 4500mAh

4500mAh Ultra-Compact Power Bank


Available in five colors, this compact charger offers a little bit of fashion and a whole lot of function. The 4500 mAh model is made to charge multiple iPhone models, as well as AirPods, and fits easily into bags and pockets. The product has 7,000-plus five-star ratings on Amazon and a legion of shoppers who swear by it, including one who called it the "Holy Grail of portable chargers."

Energizer MAX 15,000 mAh Ultra-Slim High Speed Portable Charger

10,000mAh Ultra-Slim High Speed Universal Portable Charger


Finding a portable power bank that will charge all of your go-to devices isn't easy, but Energizer's bestselling model seems up to the task. It's said to be universally compatible with a range of smartphones, tablets, headphones, smartwatches and more, and promises up to 54 hours of power with its rapid charge technology. The ultra-slim gadget can also charge up to two devices at once.

Solar Charger Power Bank

Qi Wireless Solar Panel Charger 10,000mAh


Nothing is worse than realizing your portable charger is out of juice when you really need a boost — but this bestseller has a backup in place for those stressful times. The 10,000 mAh wireless battery pack offers traditional and solar charging. Shoppers say it offers "great quality" and is "extremely versatile" and many people love that it's compatible with any Qi-enabled mobile device. Plus, it even has a built-in flashlight and compass kit for emergencies.

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Chrissy Callahan

Chrissy Callahan covers a range of topics for TODAY.com, including fashion, beauty, pop culture and food. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, watching bad reality TV and consuming copious amounts of cookie dough.

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