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Cell phones are a must in modern life. Having a discharged phone can be inconvenient, or even downright dangerous if an emergency arises. Chargers or boosters mean never running not enough power.

AA Battery-Powered Chargers

Fundamental essentials most convenient and portable. Unfortunately, they could be underpowered. They are best for occasional emergency use, for some minutes of urgent talk-time, not to fully recharge the phone every day.

Some chargers run on a few AA batteries. Two-AA chargers are available from major battery brands (Duracell, Energizer).

Advantages

Small and light.

Disposable lithium AA batteries have a shelf life of 10 years and can be the reliable emergency power source.

Disadvantages

Limited power if alkaline batteries are used. Expensive disposable lithium AA batteries will give better performance.

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Can be too weak to charge some phones. Switching the phone off before charging might help.

The buying price of disposable AA batteries will add up if used daily.
Some chargers will not work with lower voltage rechargeable NiMH AA batteries.
Some single-AA chargers are too narrow for rechargeable batteries to fit.
Chargers that use custom internal lithium-ion batteries are usually more powerful. They should be charged from the electrical mains before use.

Advantage

Powerful.Possible to fully recharge a phone.

Disadvantages

Expensive.

Should be recharged. Not possible to continuously replenish power by buying new disposable batteries.

Not suitable for standby emergency use, packed in a bag for three years. Batteries will self-discharge after a few months.

12 Volt Car Lighter Cell Phone Chargers

Cars have electrical power to spare. 12-volt adapters that plug into the car’s cigarette lighter socket, make lots of sense for drivers. They can turn it into a habit to plug their phone in whenever they are in a car, and having a fully charged battery when they reach their destination.

The main concern is having a cable that is long enough for the phone to be placed in a convenient location.

USB Cell Phone Chargers

Like car chargers, these are just adapters with no power supply. They should be plugged into a computer’s USB port for power. Some notebook computers will charge even in standby or sleep mode.

Advantages

Cheap and light.

Especially useful for many who carry computers with them.

Notebook and laptop computers are used by people in many public places. For unexpected expenses, you are able to ask strangers to charge a phone just in a few minutes.

Disadvantage

Not fully independent. Needs a computer.

Solar and Hand Crank Chargers

Solar chargers are usually general purpose AA battery solar chargers with a cell phone or multi USB data cable.

Hand crank chargers for cell phones are usually emergency LED hand crank flashlights or radios, with a cell phone charger port.

The Best Emergency Cell Phone Charger

Many emergency chargers are “universal”, to be able to charge phones from different manufacturers. The issue with chargers is getting the right connection jack for the phone.

Emergency cell phone chargers are light and cheap with many costing only some dollars. For something as useful and potentially life-saving as a mobile phone, it feels right to keep a few different chargers handy:

  • A 12-volt charger in a car.
  • A USB charger next to the office PC.
  • An AA charger in the purse, briefcase or backpack.
  • A solar or hand-crank charger in the emergency survival bag.

Getting into the habit of charging the cell phone more than once a day, whenever it has an opportunity, will help to ward off the flat battery. Keeping the phone in the purse, briefcase or backpack when charging, makes it almost impossible to accidentally leave the phone behind.

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