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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2015
OVERALL
I was very impressed with this charger. It charged up multiple phones quickly and many times, is well designed and made, and Anker's approach and ethos are very refreshing.

CHARGING
I bought this to take on holiday with me, as we were going to be travelling quite a lot and I wanted something that could keep my phone charged up if I couldn't get to a plug (I did NOT want to lose my music and films 2 hours in to an 18 hour long-haul flight!) This baby was a life-saver. I reckon I could fully charge my phone from absolutely dead almost 4 times before the unit needed charging.

What was more impressive than that was the speed it charged - I could almost see the percents ticking up as I watched! You might think that a phone will charge at the same rate regardless of how it's plugged in, but that isn't so. Sometimes different chargers are lower powered, and sometimes they just don't speak the same language as the device being charged. Anker use something they call PowerIQ to identify the device plugged in and charge it at the optimum rate. Clever stuff. I can safely say that this charged my phone FASTER than the wall charger that the phone came with. I'm considering using it at home as well as travelling!

The best thing about it is its portability. You can plug your phone in, leave them both in your bag for the 20 minutes it takes to transfer at a bus station (when you're too busy trying to work out the timetables/terminals/tickets/toilets to be using it anyway) and your phone is well on it's way to being charged again.

It was useful having 2 USB ports, as both me and my girlfriend could charge at the same time. Plugging 2 phones in does make the charging a bit slower, but not by much.

The unit itself charges up quite quickly but this depends on what you use to plug it in. My travel adapter has a USB port which gave out a good amount of power and charged the unit from flat in about 5/6 hours, but my phone charger (wall plug to USB) took all night and some of the morning!

NB. there is no wall plug adapter supplied with this unit, just a USB cable. To charge it, you either need to buy a USB-wall plug adapter, or use a computer (not very practical) or phone charger.

DESIGN
The unit feels very well made. Size-wise it is slightly smaller than a laptop transformer, and probably about as heavy, but it's not fat, it's all muscle as they say. On the end are 2 standard USB ports, a micro-USB port (that you use to charge the unit) and a bright LED torch. The torch is a bit of a gimmick, but who knows - one day I might be very pleased to have it! With the battery power in this pack, I imagine the torch would last for ages.

On the top, 4 blue LEDs show you the capacity of the unit and if it is charging. On the side is a single button that turns the unit on (but it turns on automatically when you plug something in) and also turns the torch on (press and hold for a few seconds). I was slightly concerned that the button could be long pressed accidentally in my bag and the torch could be burning away, but I never had any problems.

The unit also comes with a very nice, fitted, padded mesh bag. Far from being a useless "extra" that they've just thrown in, this bag is very good. You can keep the unit in the bag all the time and still have access to the ports, it does a great job of protecting the unit, you can store the USB cable in the bag when not in use, and because it's mesh, the unit won't get too hot when charging.

There was only 1 little niggle for me: the USB cable supplied with the unit was not great quality and had a dodgy connection. This was a real shame, because the quality of the rest of the unit was so high. Given that most of the time this will be used for charging on-the-go (in backpacks, pockets, vehicles etc) they should have invested in a better quality and more rugged cable.

I'd never usually single out the packaging of a product, but in this case I will because it came in a very neat cardboard box that was both eco friendly and easy-open. It included a feedback card that told you how to get in touch if anything was wrong (it's got an 18-month warranty anyway) and a proper, well written instruction booklet that had useful info like what PowerIQ was, USB adapter charging times and FAQs.

TOP TRAVEL TIPS WITH THE ANKER ASTRO E4
• My advice? Buy this product. In a modern world, it is invaluable.
• Keep it charged up - who knows when the next plug will appear!
• Take a spare cable with you. Not only are you covered in case you lose one, but then you can also help out a friend/lonely traveller who is in desperate need of some juice!

*****

UPDATE 7/2/15
Extra gold star for Anker customer service!
They emailed me through Amazon asking if I was happy with this product. I said yes very, apart from the dodgy USB cable, but that I wasn't really bothered - hadn't impacted my experience/review. They were very apologetic and sent a replacement cable without me asking for one! And it wasn't just a straight replacement, it was a much thicker and better quality premium Anker cable!
If I could give 6 stars I would!
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
 The Astro is a rechargeable 13,000mAh battery unit that can then be used to charge a slave device connected to it via USB. Included in the package is the Power Bank, micro USB cable, user manual, and travel pouch.

Because this is billed as MFI certified, it ships with a lightning cable for recent iOS devices which is a nice addition. This is black to match the Astro and well constructed - it certainly compares to the official cable and has no issues with charging or syncing.

The Astro measures in at 15 x 6.2 x 2.3 cm and 295g. It feels sturdy in the hand, in part due to the weight of the internal battery and also thanks to the good construction on offer. The unit does have a smooth all over finish though so be wary of placing this somewhere it may slide.

It features four LEDs on the top to indicate remaining power and a power button on one side to enable the remaining power indicator or to operate the LED torch function which is a handy feature that is creeping into more and more power banks. On the end it has two full sized USB ports as well as a central micro USB port for recharging which sits just above the LED torch. It takes around 6.5 hours to fully recharge the unit from empty using a 2A charger. There is no supplied charger but the included cable or indeed any other micro USB cable can be used in connection with any USB source.

From a full charge, 13,000 mAh of portable power is on offer. To put this in an IOS perspective, an iPhone 6 rated @ 1,810 mAh could be fully charged around 7 times. An iPad mini @ 4,490 mAh could be charged almost three times while a full sized iPad Air 2 @ 7,340 mAh could be charged 1.7 times. The USB ports are not labelled with their output but utilise Anker's PowerIQ Technology to detect the connected device and charge up to maximum of 3A. Two devices can also be charged simultaneously for a combined output of 3A which makes this a flexible performer. One thing I did note during my testing was that regardless of what device you are charging or even if you are recharging the Astro, it remained cool at all times with no sign of heating up. This is a welcome surprise when it comes to portable devices and batteries.

For me, travelling with my usual compliment of gadgets makes a product like a power bank a sensible purchase. All my portable gadgets from phones, tablets, music player, ebook reader, keyboard and camera can be charged via USB and having the ability to do this when away from a fixed power source gives real peace of mind. The Anker Astro E4 delivers a high power capacity and flexibility of dual charging in a portable and well priced package. If you are in a similar position then this comes highly recommended.

Disclaimer. Many thanks to Anker for supplying this unit for review. As always my reviews are objective and only of my own opinion and are in no way influenced by the supplying company.
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211 of 227 people found the following review helpful
Anker gave me this product free to test so that I can give my honest feedback.

I have had a number of Anker products to review recently and I have rated them all as 5 star products. This item is a brilliant idea, it is in essence a rechargeable battery that charges other items, such as my Android phone. The product is quite small and relatively lightweight given the capacity of its charge. It is made from quality black plastic, with a chrome casing around the outside, which makes it look and feel superb. There is a chrome button which turns the unit on and off and also switches the internal LED flash-light on and off. Above the button are 4 blue LED lights which indicate the amount of charge left in the unit. There are 3 outlets, 2 USB ports and one Android/Phone charging port. To use you simply charge the unit using a USB port and then use the included cable to charge the item you want to charge such as a phone. On my test, I charged my Sony Xperia phone from empty to 100% charge in 1 hour 20 minutes, so equating to almost the same charge rate as plugging it into a socket. This charge also hardly dissipated the internal battery of the unit. I think the units' battery once fully charged, will allow 7 full charges of my mobile phone, giving the unit an enormous capacity.

I am very impressed by the unit and how it looks and the quality of its construction. As always the item is backed by Anker's 18 month warranty and helpline. For the first time with an Anker product I have two minor concerns. Firstly the instruction book is far to small and was difficult to read. Secondly the On/Off switch can be turned on too easily, resulting in the LED torch illuminating and so discharging the battery. I strongly advise being very careful when storing this item in the bag, which is included, as I have accidently pressed the button twice and left the torch on.

Ignoring the two minor issues I have highlighted, I cannot recommend this charger enough. It solves one of the most common problems with an ageing phone battery, in that it seems to run out when you are in the middle of nowhere and have no socket to plug it in. With this product you have a fully charged phone in less than 90 minutes.

This is a fantastic product, which I highly recommend.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2015
I bought this power bank to charge both my LG G2 and my Nexus 9. It works great, charges the devices pretty fast - I believe it charges my G2 even faster than the AC adapter. The only downside I could mention is that it does not have a 'real' 13000mAh output amperage. My G2 has a 3000mAh battery and the N9's capacity is 6700mAh . Together they shoud drain 9700mAh out of the 13000mAh of the power bank, and it should still be good for another G2 charge. However I can only manage to charge my G2 one time, and my N9 to about 80% before the power bank dies on me.
This is somehow explained on Anker's website, on the FAQ's:
"The efficiency of this battery is around 70%-80%. The internal circuit board is 92% efficient, accounting for power lost through circuit heat and voltage conversion, which is up to 5% above the industry average. Energy is also lost within the charging cable and the device being charged (approximately 15-20%). Additionally, the efficiency can be affected by the cable length and the age of the device being charged."
So I guess this is a problem that affects every power bank to some extent.

The build quality is pretty decent - I would love aluminium instead of plastic - and the little pouch provided is just perfect for traveling and prevent nasty scratches to the unit.
Overall, the quality-price relation is one of the best on the market, and I am extremely happy with it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2015
I rarely post reviews, but in this case I'm going to. I brought the Astro to power a mini insulin fridge whilst travelling and it works a treat. Be aware that it is big and quite heavy, but it seems to power my power hungry device for ages!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2015
Such a good concept and worked fine the first few times i used it but I must have charged up the Anker Charger around 4 times fully and now the battery doesnt last long at all, iv had it like 2 months or so, i charge it up to full and plug my phone in and within half an hour the battery remaining goes from 4 lights to 2 lights, then 1 light within another 20 mins and then it starts to flash like 10 minutes later.

Iv brought the Anker to work with me today and it started out fully charged, plugged my phone in to it which was on 49% battery. My phone has now got to 84% and the Anker is on 1 flashing light already! what a joke! It is supposed to charge my Iphone4 upto 4 times from a full charge and now it can only manage a 35% charge of my phone.

I thought this was brilliant at first and would be a great saviour to carry around in my bag for them times of need when your phone dies but it has quickly gone down hill and is now a total liability.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2015
In a sentence, I'd say, this is a great product and definitely fulfils it's duty as a portable charger but there are some cons.

Let me start off with the pros:
HUGE battery capacity - I've got a note 3, which if I recall has a 3000 mA battery, that's 4.3 full charges for my phone, on a single charge on the anker.

It has a handy measuring system for how much charge is left- 4 lights on the case, it feels like they work off percentages, each light seems to last the same amount of time.

Now the grey area between good and bad:
It looks awesome WHEN you're not holding it/playing around with it, it has a gloss finish so it gets fingerprinty very quickly.

It's quite bulky, but it fits quite well in the inside pocket of all of my jackets, so can use it on the move, but with the size of my phone can be a pain when on a table, but that's not really the chargers fault.

Cons:

There's only one which I can think of, after using the charger constantly for two weeks, it takes approximately 3 hours to charge (from one light, it has never actually ran out of juice on me so good job anker!), so it requires a bit of planning ahead.

All in all its a great product I would definitely buy it again (although I'm sure I won't need to!) and I'd recommend it to a friend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2015
This is a brilliant device. Especially for ladies with handbags, as it can charge your phone conveniently in one corner of your bag.

In terms of the functions, it is very well thought out. Information for battery charge, a built in torch, 2 usb ports which charge at roughly 3 amps ( this is very good btw ) while it charges its own battery with a 2amp input ( this is normal ). Sometimes I find myself using this to charge my phone faster then if I had a wall charger. I charged two devices impressively fast at the same time. One being a one plus one phone and the other being an htc one x. I bought this size due to my power requirements. It is a fairly chunky size, which has been designed really well with curved edges and shiny gloss finish to distract you from the size. With that in mind my only advice would be to find out the size of your batter in mah, and then decide how many times you would like this charger to charge your device and then choose your size. This means you can get the right size for you. In terms if size, it is worth noting that there is a size to power ratio which no manufacture can get past at the moment, so the more power you need expect it to be much larger. No fault to Anker, I think their design is beautiful and I am very happy with my purchase.

For peace of mind, it's worth noting I have other Anker devices. I took a punt a while back by buying an Anker device, and I was very impressed of the quality of the manufacturing. I am now sold on their products and would not hesitate choosing Anker over other well known brands. The price is always competitive and their products perform.

If you do buy an Anker product, do post your review as good products deserve our time and voice!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2014
Managed to keep my iPhone 4 and GoPro camera both fully charged whilst away for 5 days at Glastonbury, and it even had nearly half the charge left on it when I got home. Would definitely recommend this product
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2015
Bought this for keeping my devices topped up on upcoming long haul flights, and while I haven't tested it in this capacity yet it is doing a great job of saving my phone when I'm about to go out and it's on 9% (and even when I can't be bothered to find a mains socket)!
Takes a while to charge so I generally have charged it overnight and it's good to go, so no complaints here. Good size for the capacity, not very lightweight but certainly light enough for travelling with a bag.
Lovely sleek design that feels quality, LEDs look good but I'm not 100% convinced they dropped accurately with the battery as it was on 3 LEDs for ages then dropped to 1; but that could be my perception.
Charges my Nexus 5 and Nexus 10 extremely quickly, in fact it charges the 10 faster than the Nexus mains charger I have for some reason. Definitely a top quality product and the IQ charging lives up to the hype. All I wanted was a compact battery pack that would hold a couple of charges for my devices and would charge them rapidly, and this does all the above.
Overall it does everything I wanted and comes in lovely packaging with a great mesh bag and USB cable. Only time will tell how it holds up, but great so far!
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