Clutch Charger review: Ultra portable power in a pinch

Clutch Charger Built In Cable Compare
(Image: © Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

iMore Verdict

Bottom line: The Clutch Charger may only pack in 2300mAh of power, but what it lacks in capacity it makes up for in convenience. It's super thin at only .15-inches, so it can fit into most wallets without an issue. It also has a built-in charging cable within the metal encasing.


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    Super thin and portable

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    Built-in Lightning cable

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    Sleek metal casing

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    Fast charging speeds

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    Can charge iPhone up to 70%


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    Only 2300mAh capacity

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    Metal casing gets warm

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    Built-in cable feels flimsy

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    No remaining charge indicator when not in use

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    Charges via micro USB

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Portable power banks have become ubiquitous in today's world as we all have smartphones and use them for hours on end each day. The batteries on our iPhones will continue to trickle down throughout the day, even when we aren't necessarily using it, and sometimes we may not even know when we will have access to an outlet to charge up again. That's why it's so vital to have portable battery packs on-hand with us at all times, but there's another problem with those: they're usually bulky and hard to carry if you don't have a bag to throw it in.

Enter the Clutch Charger.

The Clutch Charger is one of the thinnest power banks that I've come across, and while it may not have the most capacity (of course), it has definitely come in hand... in a clutch.

Power that goes with you anywhere

Clutch Charger: Features

Clutch Charger next to wallet

Clutch Charger next to wallet (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

I have a lot of power banks around the house that I regularly use, especially on my spontaneous trips to Disneyland. But the problem with pretty much all of them is simple: they're big and bulky, even the "small" ones (look, I wear girl jeans, and unfortunately, they don't have those nice spacious pockets that males get, grrr). So that's why the Clutch Charger intrigued me when I first heard of it — something that provides me with enough power in emergencies, and it can slide into my tiny little pockets or wallet if I don't bring my purse? I'm in!

Clutch Charger Card Stack

Clutch Charger Card Stack (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

The best feature of the Clutch Charger is the slim profile. It's only .15-inches thick, which is equivalent to four credit cards (Apple Card and three regular, non-titanium cards). Because of this size, the Clutch should be able to fit into most wallets without adding too much bulk, though it may not fit if your wallet is already jam-packed full of credit and membership cards (like mine). But even if your wallet doesn't have room, you can easily slip this into a clutch (hah), purse, backpack, or pant pocket. Since it's so thin, you'll barely notice it's there, and may even forget you have it.

However, since Clutch is incredibly thin, it can only hold so much power. It packs in 2300mAh of power capacity, which is slightly above what you would find in a battery case like mophie's juice pack access (2000mAh) or Apple's Smart Battery Case (1430mAh dual cell for the iPhone 11 versions). It should be enough to charge your iPhone up to 70%, according to Clutch. For most people, this should be enough to get through a day, especially if you're using one of the newer iPhone 11 series devices.

Clutch Charger Plugged In

Clutch Charger Plugged In (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

To add to the convenience factor, the Clutch Charger has a built-in Lightning cable that tucks away into a corner. It's located on the side closest to the micro USB charging port, and you simply pull it out. However, the cable for this is also thin and feels like a rubber-like material, so I'm not sure how durable it is. So far, it seems fine after a few weeks use, but it just feels a bit flimsier than other cables.

Since the Clutch is a battery pack, it recharges via micro USB in the bottom corner. Due to the thinness of this battery, it is just barely enough space for a micro USB charging port. The device comes with a micro USB cable, but at this point, I just used one of the dozens I have around the house without issue. When you plug it in to charge, a small red LED light on the adjacent side will blink.

As you charge your iPhone with the Clutch, the same red LED light will blink to indicate the amount of charge remaining. When it's solid red, that means it is at 100 percent. Four flashes indicate a 75-99% charge, three flashes for 50-74%, two flashes mean 25-49%, and one flash tells you that there is less than 25% remaining. Unfortunately, there is no button on the Clutch to display the remaining charge — the only way is to plug your phone in and see. But it can hold a full charge for several weeks before discharging, making it great for emergencies.

And since the Clutch Charger features a metal casing, this means that it stays cool when not in use, but it does get warm when charging your iPhone.

Power in a pinch

Clutch Charger: What I Like

Clutch Charger In Wallet

Clutch Charger In Wallet (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

I've had the Clutch Charger for a few weeks, and I've found it incredibly useful. I always keep it with me in my everyday carry purse, and it's proven to be handy in a pinch. I absolutely love the size of it — in fact, a lot of the time I forget it's even there until I need it. And due to the thinness, it's easy to plug in to charge, and you can continue to use the iPhone as normal without any extra wires and cables to deal with. I just keep it behind my iPhone and tucked away in my hand as I continue to browse my social networks, check email, and play games.

I also enjoy the fact that it has a built-in Lightning cable, so I don't even need to worry about that either. It's a nice, all-in-one solution that is useful to have when you don't have anything else.

And as far as charging speed, it seems decent enough for the size. During my tests, it would take about 50 minutes to charge up about 30 percent on my iPhone 11 Pro. Considering that this more of an emergency battery, the charging speed isn't too shabby. And since it has 2300mAh capacity, you shouldn't have any issue going from 0-to-70 percent in just about an hour, which is good for an emergency battery pack.

That cable is thin, perhaps too thin

Clutch Charger: What I Don't Like

Clutch Charger Side Cable Led Light

Clutch Charger Side Cable Led Light (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

While the built-in Lightning cable is great to have, I worry a bit about its durability. It feels like it's made from a rubber-like material, and like the battery pack itself, it's thin, perhaps a little too thin. It feels a tad flimsier than I'd like, and I'm not sure how it will hold up over time of being pulled out from the side repeatedly. I also notice that it doesn't exactly sit flush when tucked away into the side anymore either.

Another thing I noticed while using the Clutch is that it does tend to get warm, almost to the point where it can get uncomfortable to hold because of the metal casing. But this seems to happen when the battery itself is about to be depleted, so you can still get a good amount of charge before it gets to that point.

I also wish that there was a way to tell how much charge is remaining in the Clutch without having to plug in my iPhone. After all, this is an emergency battery pack, and we should be able to tell when we need to charge it up before using it, especially if it has been sitting around for a while.

Great for emergencies

Clutch Charger: The Bottom Line

While the Clutch Charger isn't packing a huge amount of power, it's still fantastic to have on hand for emergencies. It is so small and thin that you won't notice it, but having that extra juice for a quick charge when you have no other option is invaluable. And even though the built-in Lightning cable is a little too thin for my liking, it is one less thing to worry about.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.