Slim is in! Here are the best slim power banks we've discovered.
The Aukey PB-Y13 is the best slim power bank option with great form factor, efficiency, and price point.
The Samsung Super Fast 25W has great capacity and loads of supported fast charge protocols, making it a great daily option for a lot of people.
The ZMI WPB01 is a great option having both a slim form factor and wireless charging.
The Anker Powercore Sense is a terrible pack with horrible efficiency and a too-high price point for its performance.
The Anker Powercore Slim is a bad choice for a daily carry option with horrible efficiency at various outputs.
Slim power banks are our favorite form factor with convenience at its forefront. This is because tiny power banks volume wise – such as the Zendure Supermini and RAVPower PD Pioneer 10,000mAh – still don’t match the ease of having a slim portable charger. One of the main reasons for this is that they’re just not phone-shaped – making them harder to hold in hand whilst charging and slip in pockets compared to the slim options we’re going to be outlining for you.
The slim portable charger form factor is getting more and more popular but in the past, slim power banks were almost universally terrible. Slim packs are constructed differently – they don’t use the standard 18650 batteries typically found in power banks. Instead, they use pouch-style lithium-ion batteries which have the same chemistry as the 18650s but are slim shaped thus allowing for the skinny pack designs. These pouch style lithium-ion batteries are similar to the batteries you may find inside your phone itself. Until recently though, power banks using these pouch-style batteries have performed poorly in our testing – delivering horrible results with low output and low longevity. But that has all changed as there are now numerous packs that use pouch-style batteries and are still able to match the performance of those using 18650s. This means that you’re getting a better form factor without sacrificing great efficiency since slim power banks are far lighter without the large metal enclosure of the cylindrical batteries inside; rather, you get pouch-style batteries which save a lot of weight since they are not cased in steel.
To give you an idea of what you should stay away from first, we’re going to be mentioning two packs that performed badly in our testing: the Anker Powercore Sense and Anker Powercore Slim. We’ve tested them and they are some of the worst performing packs we’ve had come through the studio with only around 47% efficiency. Essentially, this means that when you charge your phone with the max output of 18 watts (the maximum rate at which most iPhones are going to charge at), you get less than half of the stated capacity. If you’re an iPhone user, these will just get the job done but there is also a massive lack of fast charge protocol support with these packs. Despite this, they have a huge price tag to match with the Sense costing $50 and the Slim costing $40 which makes them more expensive than every other pack we’re going to be mentioning on our best slim power banks list.
Now, for what you’ve all been waiting for. We’re only going to be covering 10k packs today as they’re the perfect size for a daily carry option, and larger capacity packs are simply not that “slim”.
The Aukey PB-Y13 is a basic pack – but in all the best ways. It has a standard black plastic design with all four USB ports including the micro. The micro USB port might be good for people who have older Android phones that don’t have USB-C. It has a maximum of 18 watts of output which is the sweet spot to fast charge your iPhone. There’s plenty of speed there and it has the performance to match in terms of efficiency. You get 95% efficiency at 9 watts and 84% efficiency at 18 watts. Talking about this pack’s slimness now, it weighs in at just 15 millimeters in thickness – very nice and thin. It’s a pretty cheap portable charger as well, selling on Amazon for around $29. For all those reasons, this is the best overall slim power bank for the average user – and definitely for iPhone users.
For a 10,000mAh pack, this is an expensive option at around $50. But with that being said, it has a huge 25 watts of output which is amazing for a pack this size. It’s compatible with both AFC and Super Fast Charging which is great news for all Samsung users. It means that if you have one of the latest Samsung phones (Note 10, Note 20, or S20 series), then you’re going to be able to charge with this just as fast as you could charge from the wall with any power brick that’s out there. This portable charger’s build quality is exceptional with a classy brushed aluminum finish and it has great efficiency to match. Even at 25 watts, you’re still getting 80% efficiency of internal capacity. As for 9 watts, you get 88% efficiency and at 18 watts, you get 85% efficiency. Lastly, it’s slightly thinner than everything else on this list at just 14 millimeters in depth. It’s definitely a great pack for Samsung users and anyone who wants something with a larger watt output; including iPhone users who value the higher output.
The ZMI WPB-01 pack is slim and wireless which is a hard combination to find in a power bank. It has 10 watts of output from the wireless side and 22.5 watts from the USB-C charger which is great output for a 10k pack. It delivers 86% efficiency at 9 watts and 84% efficiency at 18 watts. It has great efficiency at the 18 watt range which most phone users are going to be using anyway. It’s a great budget pack as well, only retailing for $25 which is the cheapest on this list.
That wraps up our short (but sweet) list of the best slim power banks. Like we said, it’s very hard to find good quality portable chargers with this form factor as most of the packs out there come from no nonsense brands and have horrible performance. But rest assured that one of the three packs we’ve mentioned has definitely got you covered regardless of your smartphone choice.