The Anker Nano charging block is the best phone charger on the market.

You never know how useless a phone or tablet can be until you’re staring at a black screen because they’ve run out of battery.

If you’ve ever been in a scramble where you’re begging for your device to charge or, at the very least, turn on, you know the struggle. Usually, the factory-given chargers don’t cut it.

When I was given the Anker Nano ($16.99, as part of a package of devices to try, I didn’t think anything of it. I already had a charger for my iPhone and though it’s not great, I thought it was fine.

One charge to my iPhone using the Nano, as well as an included Lightning Cable (which can be added for $13 more) and I won’t be going back unless I’m stuck with the factory charger.

With its 20-watt charge (as opposed to the standard 5-watt charger), the Nano is designed to give devices like the iPhone 12 the maximum allotted power and it shows. As a person who is often on the go, I can run down my phone battery pretty quick and don’t have a lot of time to recharge. This cut charges that normally would take 30 to 45 minutes almost in half.

The same goes for my iPad, which I mainly use for battery-draining Zoom and Google Meet calls. While a 15- to 20-minute gap between meetings won’t get the battery to 100%, it will juice it up enough to not make me nervous that the battery will die during the call.

I’m normally skeptical of after-market products, especially ones aimed at Apple products, though this can charge Android products as well. With this, I’m sold on Anker.

While this column often features a product with a lot of frills or modern twists to an old idea, there’s nothing flashy or extra about the charger. It’s white, compact and charges electronics fast and efficiently.

If you’re a person on the go who struggles with your device’s battery, this is the perfect solution. By far, it’s the best charger you’ll find on the market.

Andrew Gaug can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNOWGaug