Most helpful positive review
80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
Essential for the digital traveller - if going to far-off corners of the world, or just commuting to work!
on 27 January 2015
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.
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.
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!
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!