7 ways to beat the US flight ban on uncharged phones

Flying to the States? Make sure your mobile avoids confiscation with one of these quirky USB chargers
USB chargers

We've all been there: you set off for your holiday with a fully charged phone, but by the time you reach passport control it's dead.

That's hardly a surprise - how better to kill time while you wait for the Gatwick Express, or queue for check-in, than by playing LEX on your iPhone 5s? But beware - US transport officials have now announced that customers on direct flights to the States may be asked to prove their devices turn on as a security measure. In which case too much LEX could quickly spell disaster.

Fortunately, there's an easy workaround: carry a decent USB charger with you. Although you might also want to make sure you've got a charger for your charger. And a charger for the charger's charger. And so on.

Anyway - here are seven USB chargers we like the look of.

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1. Apelpi Slim

What could be more perfect than an apple to fill up your iPhone? Well, a mini-Steve Jobs? But that might feel weird if you were using its 3200mAh battery to charge up a Samsung.

Buy the Apelpi Slim here for US$55

2. Momax iPower Extra

See how aping a human action brings untold fun to recharging? This charger mimics the effect of a can of energy drink by having a whopping 6600mAh battery. That’s 4.6 iPhone charges.

Buy the Momax iPower Extra here for £35

3. Arka USB Charger/Lantern/Flashlight

There may be half a packet of Lockets in your glove-box, but wouldn’t this 4000mAh charger, torch, lantern and SOS warning light be more useful?

Buy the Arka USB Charger/Lantern/Flashlight here for £50

4. Star Wars Lightsaber Portable Battery Charger

Darth: “If only you knew the power of the dark side.” Luke: “No thanks, you goth nutter. I don’t need it. I’ve modded my lightsaber to be a USB charger. ”

Buy the Star Wars Lightsaber Portable Battery Charger here for US$50

5. Monster Powercard

In two dimensions, this 1650mAh charger is handily credit-card-sized. In the third, for practical reasons, it has to be exactly one USB port thick. But still, that isn’t very much, really.

Buy the Monster Powercard here for £35

6. Devotec Fuel

The tiny handbag-and-forget Fuel only has a 220mAh battery, which will add a few percent to your ailing phone. But if you can remember it’s in your bag, it might just save the day.

Buy the Devotec Fuel here for £22

7. Xoopar Robo Power Bank

This 2000mAh cybuddy might appear to be designed solely to power devices with her 30-pin neck and USB arms, but she also has a data transfer mode.

Buy the Xoopar Robo Power Bank here for £24