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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.

• 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!
11 comment| 127 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 February 2015
 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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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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I must say that the Anker Astro e$ 13,000 mAh has been excellent. I've had it for around 2 weeks, testing it and charging my Samsung Galaxy S III. I use the 1A output, because that's what my wall charger for the S3 uses. I could quick charge with the 2A output, but rather not reduce the lifetime of the lithium battery within the S3 (adding more current to something not capable of taking it, reduces its life)

Battery times:
It took me around 2-3hrs to charge my S3 from 0-100% - which is exactly how long it takes my wall charger to charge my phone. Each charge depleted the E4's charge by 20-25%. Meaning I got around 4-5 full chargers for my S3, which is extremely handy, as my S3 on its own lasts a day - meaning with the E4, I can be out without any batteries (even though I have 2 spare batteries for my S3, one of them being coincidentally an Anker one) for over 5 days (almost Nokia 3310 worthy territory haha)

Charge time:
Now this was incredibly long.
Considering my S3 takes say 2hrs MAX to charge for a 2100 mHa battery within it.
The E4 took a whopping 12hrs to charge, from 0-100% (using the S3's wall charger rated at 1A max output)
That's 6x longer than my phone took to charge, but that said it reflects the battery size.

So do bear that in mind, before travelling, to give yourself ENOUGH time to charge the E4.
I should note that for charging the E4 - all you do is connect its USB to micro USB to a USB port, and it will start charging

Usability of the E4:
VERY easy and straight forward.
It has a button that basically does everything.
-Tap it once to switch it on (I actually wish there was a lock button for this)
-Tap it twice, to activate its LED that is located at the front of it, to give you some light (useful in the dark)
-Hold it for 5-10secs to switch it off

Now, unto the looks:
I got the black one - and even though it is a fingerprint magnet - it is very lean to look at. Great design by Anker.
Further more, the light indicators - allow you to know if it is charging, or its remaining battery life. Each dot effectively represents 25% of the Anker.

This device is excellent, and does exactly what it says on the tin. I would HIGHLY suggest it for travelling abroad, where a power source might be abundant. One could also put it in a bag to take (its pouch provided is very nice too). However it is slightly heavy, and isn't something I can see myself putting in my pocket and walking around freely with.

Hope this review helps!
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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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 October 2014
I bought this to run a dash cam from - unfortunately although all the initial reviews and online manual all said that passthrough charging is supported it's incorrect. The old devices supported it but the 2nd Gen Astro E4 does NOT support it.

As soon as you connect power to the input the device will shutdown the outputs and they remain unresponsive until power is disconnected from the input.

I only bought this device after reading the online manual to confirm that passthrough was supported and now after having bought it I've found it that the manual and various reviews online are wrong.

Anker also confirmed to me today that the manual was wrong and they've since changed it as passthrough can cause premature failure.

To be fair other than that it seems a stable power bank and I've used it for a day at the horse races but I'm disappointed that it doesn't support passthrough like it was originally sold as supporting.

Test wise when it's fully charged I managed to fully charge an iPhone 5S and then run a small A118 dash camera for 22 hours.
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on 11 February 2015
Ordered this on the 13th December. It worked well for two weeks. After this time it became quite temperamental. Now when I switch it on to charge, it stays on 4 seconds before switching itself off. This happens no matter how many times I turn it on. Not impressed for a product 2 months old!!
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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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on 8 March 2015
I can't believe how poor this product is, and what's worse is the so-called Anker Customer Support.
Right from the start the LEDs did not display the actual charging status. Whilst charging they would show 4 lights, but as soon as it was unplugged it would show only one. I contacted Anker who suggested I fully charge overnight using a 2 Amp charger and then see how many charge-cycles I get with my iPhone 4s. In total I was able to get 5.4 full charge cycles before it wouldn't register on the phone, so I thought maybe just the LEDs were faulty - SILLY ME!.
BUT NO. Since then the unit has failed to charge at all, even overnight. It's COMPLETELY DEAD. So I paid £20 for 5 1/2 charges of a 3-year old phone. Brilliant.
It is now outside Amazon's return window, but well within Anker's 18-month warranty period (16.5 months left), but Anker refuse to reply to my emails and all the evidence I have sent has disappeared into the ether. Even registering on the Website is a waste of time - it's just a portal through to their Amazon tie-in.
All I can do now is post this review and hope others don't make the mistake of buying their products.
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