The cylindrical lipstick external battery I purchased a couple of years back was at best functional, granted, the battery had only 5000 mAh of power so charging my smartphone and tablet were often slow to a crawl, thus not getting the full charge I needed. To be fair though, the external battery and the devices I was charging at the time didn't have PowerIQ quick charge technology and of course you have to also factor in the minimal amount of external battery power in comparison to what's on the market today. Surprisingly, it's the only external battery I’ve ever purchased and I still use from time to time as an emergency backup when engaging in long distance traveling.
Today external batteries have come along way, some if not most can not only power up mobile devices such smartphones at a rapid pace, but it can also supply enough juice to power up an entire laptop, even bring it to a full charge. Even better, external batteries today have quick charge technology and you get that extra mAh of battery power at your disposal.
Compared to what's currently on the market, my ole reliable external battery is a bit archaic in terms of technology, so it was time for an upgrade. So I did what most tech enthusiast do, resort to the most reliable vendor of em all, Amazon. On there, amongst the many choices, I settled for the Anker 20000 mAh PowerCore 20100 portable battery. Anker by far are the industry leaders, it's the one company most consumers turn to when buying external portable batteries. In spending a week with the portable charger, I got to say I got some positive vibes from my newly purchased power brick. Of course as with many devices it's not perfect as there are minor issues. So with most tech gadget and hardware I cop, I must share my opinionated review. The Anker, the portable charger, the review, lets get to it shall we?
In full physical description, with Anker PowerCore 20100 having a 20000 mAh battery it may seem big in size, it weighs approximately 12.5 oz which is almost the same weight as a can of soup, its overall measurements comes in at 6.5 inches in length x 2.3 inches in width . Based on the images I've posted you might be thinking there's some heft to this portable battery charger, surprisingly its nicely compact with superior portability. It fits nicely in the backpack without space being compromised. I can even place it in pants or shirt pockets and not feel like I'm being weighed down.
The PowerCore 20100 features a one micro USB port and two USB ports which is a big plus for those who plan on charging more than one device simultaneously. Present are four blue LED indicators, when all four illuminated, it signifies the battery is at full power. The powering up the battery is made possible by a button that's placed on its left side. I found the button to be a bit unresponsive when you press it the first time, you must hold the button down for a 2-3 seconds in order to power up the battery.
In terms of design, its pretty sleek I must say, nicely compact as I mentioned before with a smooth texture matte black finish giving off a nice feeling in the hands when holding it.
The core technology within the Anker PowerCore 20100 comes in twos, first we have the Power IQ technology or as I like to call it quick charge tech, this identifies any device that's connected, delivery high-speed charging to any device no matter if its a Android or Apple, as well as charge cameras and tablets. I even used the portable battery to charge my Bluetooth on-ear headphones. Then we have external batteries other core technology which is the VoltageBoost, this is dubbed by Anker as being Smart technology which determines charging output that may be encountering any cable resistance. By compensating resistance, the technology will ensure charging speeds are unaffected with old or long cables. I must say, the technology is indeed effective, I was able to charge iPad Mini 4 which has a badly damaged cable with no problem.
Design and spec numbers are fine, but the determining factor whether or not you made a wise consumer decision when it entails portable batteries is the number of charges each device can achieve on one single charge of the portable battery. On PowerCore 20100 spec sheet the devices listed is consider it to be yesteryear's technology, the number of charges you get on both the iPhone6 and Samsung S6 is 7.3 and 5.2, again, that's yesteryear technology. Today smartphones have somewhat better batteries, I'm sure the number of charges will increase by a few digits. In my own personal experience in using my current smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, I was able to get a 6 charges off of one charge with the portable battery. With the iPad Mini 4, I was able to achieve the same amount charges in accordance to the spec to the sheet which is 2.5.
When it comes down to how fast the devices charge, well with the Note 8 I was able to take it from 50% to full charge in less than a hour which is pretty impressive. That certainly attributed to the smartphone also having PowerQi technology.
There isn't a lot to go over when it comes to overall performance, does the battery charge devices well? The answer to that question is yes. Not only does it charge devices well but it charges device in a rapid fashion. When it comes to portable batteries, its no wonder Anker are the industry leaders. The only qualms I have with he PowerCore 20100 and trust me its a minor issue it takes a long time to charge. Bringing the battery to a full power from zero charge takes at least 8-10 hours.
All in all, if you're shopping for an external battery the Anker PowerCore 20100 certainly gets my seal of approval.