- Category: Gadget Review
- Created on Monday, 29 July 2013 20:47
Battery life is a huge issue for smartphone users. Often, with more powerful units, comes more power consumption. As we grow our devices to be more capable in terms of processing power, our devices no longer have the ability to stay powered for days at a time like the old "Nokia brick phones". The battery life on those devices would last between 3 and 10 days depending on use and signal strength.
At a Glance
This entry's item for review is the Anker Astro3E 10,000 mAh External USB Battery. The device promises 10,000 mAh of power, which translates to roughly three times the capacity of a standard cell phone battery. The device has two USB ports, one dedicated to Apple and one dedicated to Android. According to their product description, each one is tailored to efficiently charge their respective device. The device charges through a micro-usb port on the right side.
What's in the Box
The device comes with the following extras:
- USB Mini-A Port
- USB Mini-B Port
- iPhone/iPod/iPad Charger Wire(not the lightning port)
- An additional charger attachment for older phones/devices
- Coiled USB Connection Cable(Connects to each of the above listed items)
- Mesh Holder for the Device
The Astro3E Device is very well built. It feels solid, has no "loose" feeling components, and the USB ports are very firm, extinguishing the fear of breaking the USB port. The device is covered in a shiny plastic that protects the device, also making it easy to pull from a pocket.
In terms of port placement, I really like how the device is planned out. I can leave the device in the mesh case and charge a device easily. I can also slide it out a little bit and plug in the charger, thus charging my external battery and phone at the same time.
On the top of the device, there is a charge indicator, which tells you how many fourths of the battery charge is left(both when charging a device and being charged). There is also a button to initiate the charging sequence, which is a great way to make sure the device is charging.
The only complaint I have with the device is the glossy plastic coating and how it shows fingerprints. Most people prefer function over appearance, but the fingerprints constantly leave me cleaning it. Had the device been made from aluminum or a "rougher" plastic, I would have appreciated it just a little more.
Another thing I would like to bring up is that this device is slightly larger than the Galaxy S3. It is thick, but for a battery triple the capacity of my phone with the ability to charge it, this is hardly a complaint, but rather an acknowledgement of where our battery technology is.
- iPad 2
- iPad 3(used my own lightning cable)
- Samsung Galaxy S3(AT&T)
- Bluetooth keyboard
- HTC Evo 4G
During each of the tests, the battery did a great job of charging devices. While it took slightly longer(estimating about 10% longer) to charge, it provided the sole reason that I purchased the device. Convenience. I took this battery pack camping, on a hike, on a motorcycle road trip, and tossed it in my messenger bag when I was going to be gone for more than 10 hours. The device provided a comfort knowing that I could charge my device to 100% in a pinch.
When I tried charging both an iPad3 and a Galaxy S3, charging took a large dive in charging time. Obviously, I was drawing a lot of power from the device. They both were charged from the result, but using either device while it was charging kept me neutral at battery percentage.
I have used the device about 25 times now, and I am very happy with it. This device is definitely one of those products that delivers on convenience, function, and design.
Overall, this device is a must-have for anyone that is away from the convenience of a charger regularly during the day. The device is a piece of art in how it functions. As of the time this post was published, the device has stellar reviews, and for those that did not like the device, it seems as if there was a refund or replacement provided by the company. From what I can tell, Anker is a great company that makes quality products.
If I were to choose again, I am not sure if I would choose the 10,000 mAh battery. While it can charge my phone three times over, I only really need a device that could charge it twice over. Heck, I would settle for a device that had 1.5 times the capacity if it could be made smaller. I realize that there are smaller battery packs, but I was afraid of not getting my money's worth. Hence, I bought one that I thought would fit nicely between the two extremes. I don't regret the purchase, but hindsight is 20/20.
To conclude this review of a great product, this is definitely something you should consider buying. If you are on the move a lot, this is the device for you.