on 22 January 2014
I'm really impressed with this Anker external battery. Great delivery, packaging and high quality product which is just brilliant.
I absolutely love the packaging – it’s simple clean lines and appearance just shout “quality”. And there's certainly no disappointment when lifting out the charger with it's soft rubbery surface and curved shape. It's also a good size and not too heavy! So I'd be happy to have it in a pocket if I felt I might need it with me, with my Note II in my other pocket. The charger is about the same width as the Note II, but not as long and slightly thinker.
It so simple to use too. Just a slight shake to wake it and a circular segmented light shows the level of charge, which was near fully charged on arrival. So it didn't take long to complete it's charge using a micro USB cable I already had plugged in for my phone. It comes with a micro USD lead, but not with it's own USB wall plug - which was fine by me as I have plenty anyway.
There are 3 USB sockets, one of which is intelligent so it will charge any device as quick as possible. So plenty of flexibility.
I've not done any charging time tests, but the first time I charged my Nexus 7 tablet was plenty quick enough for me. It probably used up roughly 10 to 15% to fully charge the Nexus 7 from about 30% to fully charged. So the charger still has loads of charge left.
I fully recommend others to buy this product, or other Anker charger, if you want a good quality product. They have a good range of chargers with different capacities depending on your requirements.
I will definitely be looking at Anker products in the future.
on 28 February 2014
****just a quick update to my review, it is now June 2015, and my battery is still going strong with regular weekly use***
Well, I am a bit of a techno-nerd, I have far too many mobile devices, and as is the vogue these days, they all have sadly underpowered batteries - gone are the days of mobile phones going 4 days without looking at a plug socket!!!
I have in the past made the mistake of buying those cheap "e B a y" specials, quoting phenomenal figures like 18000mAh, and then struggling to charge anything at all. Thankfully, I'm not one of those "once bitten, twice shy" types and I carried on looking for a portable battery charger that would actually be worth buying - I think I've found it!!!
I decided on this larger Astro3, with 3 USB ports because not only do my wife and I have iPhones, my son has a Samsung Galaxy and my daughter has a Tablet, plus on a day out we might also take their PS Vita or Nintendo DS. So as you can imagine, one 12v car charger isnt really enough, and as a family that enjoy camping and day trips, we arent even near a single plug socket on some occasions.
At £35.99 I will say this was a big decision, its a lot more than I have paid in the past for the aforementioned chinese specials (£9.99) but then they were a complete waste - my scepticism was prevalent at this point. However, with a special offer for a free "3000mAh Astro mini lipstick style charger" (worth £13.99) I decided to give it a go.
I will add that informing my decision to purchase was some fairly remarkable feedback and reviews on Anker products. Mostly their reviews are very good (5 star) which I can now understand, but on the odd occasion someone had given a bad 1-star review, they often included updates with tales of how Anker themselves had gone to lengths to replace devices that had been faulty on first use.
So right from ordering my positive impressions began - after the usual "Order Confirmation" emails, I received a dispatch update and then an email advising me my delivery would be arriving next day - while at work, I then received an email advising me that my delivery was with my next door neighbour!!
So on arriving home, I was eager to check out my new goodies.
The packaging is very stylish, quite minimalist, brown cardboard box with a printed sleeve. Clearly Anker arent into overpackaging, thats a good thing, and getting into the box is no problem with no need to destroy the box. Inside is the battery, micro-USB charging cable, a little grey carry bag and the "instructions". All very neatly packed and protected. My only gripe here is that Anker recommend to use a 1.5A AC adapter but do not supply one in box. I'm not sure whether 1.5A is a "standard" but if not, then perhaps ANker would benefit from including one? Luckily for me, I had also received my new "Anker 5-port 40w/5v charger" so this does the trick very nicely.
The Battery itself is so very obviously well made, a premium quality product, with a lovely tactile feel, a soft rubber like finish around the main body. It is quite weighty, not something to carry in your trouser pocket, but definitely OK in a coat or jacket pocket. The cable aswell is clearly a good quality cable, no corners cut here, and the carry bag is a nice little touch, keeps the lovely clean body of the battery safe, snug and clean while its in your pocket.
Performance. Well, the battery has about 70% charge on delivery, a little shake lights up a circle of Amber LEDs, 10 in total, 1 for every 10% of charge. I decided to charge it fully before first use. This didnt take long at all, only a few hours. So, now fully juiced up, and with a perverse pleasure, I plugged in just about everything I had to hand. My iPhone 5 on 60% battery (1440mAh), my wifes iPhone 5c on 41% (1510mAh) and my PS Vita at about 50% (2210mAh). Now stacking all that mAh up, theres a combined total to charge of just over 2600mAh - a fraction of 12000mAh available...however, these external batteries are only ever quoted at 65-70% efficiency (although Anker do say their second gen are 80% efficiency then...). SO at 80% the 12000mAh quoted should be worth 9600mAh usable.
So after a sound nights sleep, I check the result. all 3 of my devices are fully charged to 100% - success!! Even better, the Astro3 is still showing 7 LEDs or 70% charge, about 6600mAh remaining. Admittedly, I've only done all these calculations after the fact for this review because of how impressed I was, frankly I was just happy it charged all 3 devices.
SInce then, I've used it to charge my iPad 4, my wifes iPad mini, my work Blackberry and Playbook and my sons Kindle Fire (admittedly not on the same charge) so all in all this product really does deliver, .
Would I recommend it yes. Would I pay £35.99 - depends on what type of user you are...I know I will get good use out of this on camping trips with the kids watching their tablets, so absolutely yes I would. If this one is a bit much for you or your needs, maybe look at getting one of the smaller models that Anker have available..
My scores ;
Value 4.5/5 (it is expensive, but you do get what you pay for, and I did get the Astro mini free)
on 16 January 2014
This is the 3rd unit I have bought now, the first was stoeln by a friend (I kinda let them keep it as they loved it so much) the second I still have and use almost daily and this third one I intend to take with the other on longer trips away.
Pros: Huge battery charges my phone (Samsung Galaxy S3) from flat to full around 4-5 times on a full charge of the power pack. It charges as fast if not faster than a standard UK Power outlet, and alot faster than the in car charging system I have so I often favour this over the car charger when I'm driving. You can charge upto 3 devices at any one time which has proven very useful when I have been out with friends we just all connect up and throw the phones in a bag while they all charge up. Granted charging multiple devices does share the charging speed thus slowing it down but it is still very quick and effective at charging the devices. I have used with various phones and tablets of various brands including apple product and never had a problem with any of them. Design:- The product is extremely well designed, a little heavy but again to be expected given its capacity. Its about the size of a small 2.5" external portable hard drive perhaps a little bigger but certainly small enough to carry around with the rest of your gear in a backpack. It could even be considered pocket sized if you have large pockets.
Cons: The charge time of the battery pack is very very very long, I would estimate 16-24 hours to charge the pack from flat to full however I have found that this seems to vary but it ideally wants to be charged at least a day before any long trips. This is kind of to be expected however given that the device has a 12000mAh battery and is therefore about 5 times the capacity of most high end smartphones. The lack of a power button, this was originally a concern of mine as the pack is shaken to activate charge or to check the power level. I first thought this might prove annoying or even affect the battery life of the pack, however I have since read that 100,000 shake activations consumes less than 1% of the battery of the pack. This elevates any concerns about it draining whilst bobbing around in your bag and also I have actually found no issue in activating the device to charge or to check remaining power levels.
Overall: Brilliant, dont even hesitate, just buy one now, infact if you travel alot or often find your battery runs out then buy a couple, you will not be disappointed. I honestly dont know how I have lived without it.