Pokémon Go drains an unbelievable amount of power. Squeezing a bit more Pokemon-catching juice out of your phone requires a backup battery or power bank. But what’s the best Pokemon Go power bank?
Unfortunately, no one makes a Pokedex yet. In reality, the best backup battery depends on your phone. There are two types of batteries that you might need: Highly portable battery cases, which are designed specifically for your model of phone, or hefty backup batteries. The prices range from as low as $20 to as high as $60.
$40 Lenmar Meridian: The best-reviewed battery case for the 5 series iPhone: the ~$40 Lenmar Meridian. While the iPhone 5 doesn’t have very many good battery cases, a few stand out from a relatively weak lineup. The Wirecutter rated the Meridian top dog within the available battery cases for the iPhone 5, remarking, “… against this sorry bunch, it’s the winner.” It scores roughly 3.9/5 stars on Amazon, making it one of the better-regarded battery cases available online.
Overall, the Lenmar Meridian’s 2,300 mAh-sized battery allows it to fully recharge the iPhone 5 at least once (speed up a phone’s recharge), which should result in double the amount of Pokémon caught. While not the greatest backup battery ever made, it’s still the best among the misfits available for the iPhone 5.
$40 Anker Ultra Slim Extended Battery Case: Hands-down, the best battery case on the market hails from Anker. The 2,850 mAh battery from Anker offers a winning combination of portability, durability, and battery size. The battery offers enough juice to fully recharge the iPhone 6 at least once, with a fifth of its power remaining. The Wirecutter regards it as the best backup battery, for most people, on today’s market. It scores 4.3/5 stars on Amazon, with over 1,000 reviews, making it one of the best-regarded cases on Amazon. 9to5Mac regards the Ultra Slim as a slimmer alternative to the Incipio OffGRID Express (UK). I should note, though, that the OffGRID received mediocre reviews from most other websites.
Overall, the Anker Ultra Slim dominates on the competition around $40. It’s really a $100 battery case, available for less than half the price of its higher-end competition.
$50 Mophie Juice Pack: The Samsung Galaxy S6 of battery cases, but the best deal is the Morphie Juice Pack. For $50, you get both a high-quality case and a 3,300 mAh battery pack, with a passthrough feature, which allows the phone to charge both the phone and the battery pack simultaneously. The Juice Pack scores 3.9/5 stars on Amazon, making it the most highly reviewed battery case for the S6. Best Buy’s website rates it 4.3/5 stars.
ZeroLemon ZeroShock: ZeroLemon makes the best reviewed Galaxy S7 case out there, with an aggregate review score of 4.1/5 stars, on 700+ reviews, on Amazon. It includes Quick Charge and pass-through, which allows users to charge the phone at really fast speeds.
It also includes a ridiculously large 7,500 mAh battery, which translates into at least two, and possibly three, recharges of the S7. Zero Lemon also produces a larger capacity 8,500 mAh battery case (UK) for the Edge version of the S7.
PowerBear: The LG G4 may be a little long in the tooth, but at present it’s still among the best smartphones around. Unfortunately, there are fewer battery cases available, compared to the iPhone or Galaxy series of smartphones. One of the best available comes from PowerBear.
PowerBear battery case offers a removable battery, along with multiple layers of protection. Its key selling point is its replaceable 6,100 mAh battery, which should recharge the G4 almost twice. It scores 4/5 on Amazon, which makes it the best-reviewed battery case available for the G4.
Best Generic Power Brick
If no one makes a battery case for your phone, the best option is a brick-style backup battery. While heavy and unwieldy, a brick can provide outrageous amounts of power. Most bricks out there also support a lot of non-proprietary quick charging rebrands, like TurboPower or Fast Charge (both are really just renamed versions of Qualcomm’s Quick Charge specification).
Don’t worry about matching your phone’s charging technology to the charger. Almost all fast charge schemes are inter-compatible with each other. For example, you can use a Motorola Turbo Power (or Turbo Charge) charger with a Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge device.
On top of that, some power brick manufacturers (such as TronSmart and Anker) have their own proprietary technologies which automatically sense your device’s maximum charge speed and can deliver recharge speed custom-tailored to your device. To be honest, if the charger doesn’t possess some method of detecting the maximum charge speed of your device, the charger isn’t worth buying. That said, here are our two favorite picks.
$50 RAVPower Xtreme Portable Charger: The best high-capacity backup battery comes from RAVPower, which is rated at 26,800 mAh. It’s relatively heavy, weighing in at slightly over a pound. It also includes a lot of features common to higher-end batteries, such as amperage detection (for charging your device as quickly as possible) and Quick Charge support.
Overall, you can’t find a better battery anywhere. The Wirecutter regards it as one of the best backup batteries around. iLounge and The Gadgeteer both recommend it on the basis of its extremely deep power reserves. Reviews on XDA indicate it can even recharge a laptop! (Ways to power a laptop.) We’ve reviewed other high capacity power banks before, and the RAVPower Xtreme comes out ahead.
However, not everyone may want to throw down $50 on a battery pack. For those of you looking for a better-priced device, you may want to look elsewhere.
$20 Anker PowerCore 10000: Anker’s PowerCore 10000 model of backup battery offers a low-cost (as well as fast-charging) alternative to the RAVPower Xtreme. While it offers far less power at 10,000 mAh, it compensates with its extremely small form-factor, as well as a much cheaper price tag of less than $20. It also includes the latest Quick Charge standard (3.0). PCAdvisor regards the PowerCore as one of the best power banks on today’s market.
The PowerCore’s reviews on Amazon border on divine; it scores 4.8/5, making it one of the highest rated batteries, period. Frankly speaking, it’s massively better than other backup batteries we’ve reviewed in the past.
Best USB Cables?
Not all USB cables that come with backup batteries are high quality. There are different amperage limits on each cable, and assorted features, for example, “ferrite core”. Most prospective buyers should look at the correct amperage and cable-length. Amperage should be at least 2.1 amps (21 or 20 AWG) and around 3-6 feet in length.
I recommend keeping the battery in a backpack or purse, rather than on your person because of the inherent dangers of carrying around volatile battery technology. My favorite USB cable comes from Monoprice (UK):
So What’s the Best Backup Battery for Pokémon Go?
There are two kinds of backup battery that work best for Pokémon Go: those designed to minimize bulk and those designed to provide as much power as possible. If you own a common smartphone, like a Samsung Galaxy or iPhone, then you can find a battery case for a fairly small sum. For almost everyone else out there, you are best served by a high-capacity battery that can charge your phone as fast as possible.
Anyone else looking for ways to increase their Pokemon-catching battery performance? Let us know in the comments!