Running out of battery on your phone while you’re out and about can be a stressful experience. There’s no need to panic when your phone’s battery drops into the red, though, because there are many places in Hong Kong where you can get a quick boost of power.
Here are five cheap or free places where you can charge your phone in Hong Kong.
On the MTR
Several major MTR stations are equipped with “iCentres”, which feature free Wi-fi and computers that have access to the internet.
They have USB charging ports where you can charge your phone for free. The time is limited to 15 minutes per user, although if there is no one else waiting for a plug you can just re-plug your phone into the charging point and get another 15 minute of juice.
The charging ports are located at the orange iCentres at 13 major MTR stations on the Island Line, Kwun Tong Line, Tsuen Wan Line, and Tung Chung Line.
On the bus
Some buses run by Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) have USB charging points and Wi-fi on-board, so you can charge up your device on the go.
Not all buses will have them yet, though, as the charging points are only being fitted on some newer buses on the fleet.
You’ll find the USB charging points on the seats towards the back of the lower deck, and around the wheelchair bay. There are also USB ports on the back row of seats on the upper deck.
The charging rate of the USB ports on the bus is actually pretty slow. You probably won’t be able to use your phone while you are charging, or you might actually end up losing power.
Many shopping centres will have mobile phone charging stations, which are normally located by the customer service desk.
Some larger and upscale shopping malls will even rent out portable battery packs for you to charge your phone as well. In most cases you can just approach the customer service counter and ask to borrow one. They might ask you to leave some personal details, or a card, as a deposit.
Not every mall will have battery packs for you to borrow, but you can check on their website if they have this service.
CSL customers can use a self-service mobile phone charging locker located inside many of their stores. You just need to input your phone number to confirm you are a CSL customer, then tap your Octopus card to charge your device. You can charge for as long as you like for free – as long as you collect your device before the store closes for the day.
If your phone is under a SmarTone mobile plan, you can also borrow a power bank from SmarTone stores for free. You can visit any store to borrow a battery pack – just remember to return the battery pack within three days, or you may end up with additional fees added to your phone bill.
There’s a convenience store on nearly every street corner of the city, and some provide rental of portable battery packs.
Although 7-Eleven doesn’t have a battery charging service, Circle-K stores have power banks you can rent out. You can borrow a power bank from any Circle K branch, except the ones that are inside MTR stations. It costs HK$10 for three days, but you must put down a HK$130 deposit that you’ll get back when you return the charger.
If you’re really desperate, then some convenience stores sell battery packs that come fully charged, although this would be a much more expensive option.