Monday, November 04, 2013

I've got the power! Review: Anker Astro 3E 10000mAh Portable Cell Phone Charger

During the work week, my cell phone is plugged into my computer nearly all day. That means that battery usage never drops below 80-90%. But on the weekend, and especially when traveling, I find that I can chew through the battery in what feels like a matter of hours. A couple Sundays ago I was fiddling exclusively with my phone in the morning, and by the afternoon it was completely out of battery juice.

A little poking around on the web taught me that there's such a thing as a portable cell phone charger. Essentially, this is little more than a battery that plugs into your cell phone to recharge its battery. Unfortunately, there's too many choices for which to pick! Do I want compact, inexpensive and low capacity or do I skip worrying about size and focus on one with lots of capacity?

In the end, I just went with the LifeHacker.com recommended Anker Astro 3E 10000mAh external battery. At 10,000mAh, it was supposed to charge my Galaxy SIII's 2,100mAh battery almost 5 times. I was hoping that this would finally put my battery woes to rest.

The Anker arrived and the size, as promised, is almost exactly the same as the Galaxy S3 itself:

The coiled cable, variety of tips and mesh travel bag all seem to be high quality. I thought about only carrying the one tip that I need for charging my phone, but the charger, cord and tips all fit in the mesh bag without a problem, so for now, I carry all the options. This is useful if I need to charge my Garmin GPS, which uses the large USB sized plug. Here's what the setup looks unpacked an packed:

This past Sunday, I had a chance to run the setup through its paces. I used my phone for web surfing in the morning, GPS tracking for a run, and photo editing throughout the day. By the time I was done with my run, my battery was at 44%. Throughout the day, as I noticed the battery usage dipping, I simply plugged in the phone to the battery and dropped it the man bag I was carrying. At the end of the day, I had 88% battery left on the phone, and 3 out of 4 bars still lit on the Anker backup battery.

I'm sold. For someone who uses his cell phone for a heck of a lot, this may be my best purchase in a long, long time.

As for surprises, the Anker didn't have many. I expected relatively compact size and quality, and that's what I got. The only real surprise I had was just how fast this sucker can charge my phone. I guess I'm used to USB charging, which is inherently slower than AC charging. The Anker Astro 3E must deliver AC levels of charging, because I found that in what seemed relatively short order (30 minutes?) the battery percent available would often go up significantly (say, 15 or 20%). I didn't keep any sort of detailed notes on the topic, but I was definitely surprised how quickly the charger worked.

For now, I'm happily considering my battery woes solved.

1 comment:

  1. Nice. I've debated getting one of these...Most recently I was looking at the Brunton Ember:
    http://www.brunton.com/products/ember-hybrid-solar-charger
    ...it can be charged by solar power!

    ReplyDelete

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