Hardware

Mobile Phone | Accessories

Long-term Field Test: 16.08.2016 to date


Anker PowerCore Edge

Charging the Battery away from Sockets

The company Anker calls its battery tank in the flat aluminium housing PowerCore Edge. According to the manufacturer, it has a nominal capacity of 20,000 mAh. Even with a 20 % deviation, this factory specification leaves a net capacity of about 16,000 mAh. I could have charged my Apple iPhone 6s Plus seven times with this. To protect the PowerCore Edge, however, I don't charge my devices until it is completely empty. That's why it was "only" six iPhone charges. I generally recharge batteries at around 30 % remaining charge up to around 70 %. However, it can be assumed that the battery of the iPhone 6s Plus has at least 16,000 mAh: 2,783 mAh * 6 = 16,698 mAh. For lack of a measuring device, I cannot determine the actual battery capacity. Most manufacturers round up for energy tanks. This is similar to the size specifications of hard drives.

Unfortunately, this product is apparently no longer marketed in Germany.

Photo: Anker PowerCore Edge 20000mAh

Fig. #1: frontside of the Anker PowerCore Edge

Each Device draws only as much Power as necessary

Thanks to the high current (3 A) and intelligent charging electronics, devices with a USB charging socket are charged much faster than at the USB socket of a computer, where normally only 550 to 850 mA are available. During battery charging as well as during normal operation, devices always pull only as much current from mains adapters and chargers as necessary. So it does no harm to the smartphone if this external battery could supply much more energy than the connected device really needs.

On the other hand, it would be damaged if it were used to charge a device that requires too much power, such as a notebook. Severe heat generation would be the result. This could even cause an uncontrollable fire; in the most harmless case, it would shorten the life span drastically (heat is the main enemy of a battery)!
The energy is easily sufficient to charge an iPad, but you should not want to charge a notebook with it!

Photo: Anker PowerCore Edge 20000mAh

Fig. #2: backside of the Anker PowerCore Edge

Ordering Process

14.08.2016: Ordered online at amazon.de on Sunday. The price: 48.99 EUR.
16.08.: DHL delivers the shipment into my favourite DHL Packstation.

Photo: Anker PowerCore Edge 20000mAh Original packaging

Fig. #3: Opening the box (flap). Mouse click on it brings you to a photo with the Box Contents …

Box Contents

  • Anker PowerCore Edge 20000mAh
  • manual in 6 languages
  • folded card “Happy?/Not happy?” with phone numbers in 4 countries to contact service, e-mail and website
  • felt cover with magnetic catch
  • short USB 2.0 cable, plug type B to type Micro-B

Attention: Do not throw away the packaging!

At least not until you have taken the USB cable out of its double bottom …

Photo: Carton Contents Anker PowerCore Edge 20000mAh

Fig. #4: Box Contents Anker PowerCore Edge. Attention: the carton has a double bottom!

Tech Specs

Photo: Anker PowerCore Edge 20000mAh connector block

Fig. #5: Anker PowerCore Edge 20000mAh right side with LEDs, jackets and status button">

Model description: AK-A1283041

Battery capacity: 20000 mAh/74 Wh

Input Current: 5 Volt/2 A
Output Current: 5 Volt/3 A

Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 19.3 x 1.4 cm

Weight: 572 Gramm

For further information please visit the website of the manufacturer:
https://www.anker.com/uk/products/variant/powercore-edge-20000/A1283041

Experience

Since the purchase I am still very satisfied with this energy bolt!
I left it in the drawer for months without using it and only occasionally checked the charge level (self-discharge is very low). So I hardly used my smartphone during the day and a lighter and smaller energy bar for emergencies was enough for recharging.

Most of the time, this big heavy power bar is used in the summer months when there are many thunderstorms and I want to make sure that no lightning strikes damage the expensive hardware when recharging the iPhone batteries.

Update June 24, 2020:
Since today the anchor PowerCore Edge is used more often again. In the beginning only at home, when all sockets and USB ports on MacBook Air are occupied, later also when I'm on the road in a café.

Tip for on the road: Backpack!
The bundle of energy is most comfortable to carry in a backpack, because the weight is hardly noticeable.

Battery Performance

Battery Capacity: 20000 mAh
Output current: max. 3 A

The high amperage enables rapid battery charging of power hungry devices such as iPhones and iPads.
Modern smartphones with very large screens like Samsung Galaxy Note and its successor models can be repeatedly fully charged.

Because each device only draws as much power as it needs, you can also invite other mobile devices so – which goes as soon as the power supply at home.

The capacity is sufficient for about six Smartphone battery charges and additionally for several bluetooth headset battery charges. Only then the power bank  must itself back up to twelve hours to the socket (charging time depends on the power supply. Recommendation: Anker 36W 5V/7.2A 4 Port USB Charger).

To save batteries you should avoid that they become completely empty and never fully charge them to 100%. Therefore, the charge overnight is optimal.
Apple's standard power supply (5 watts) might reach overnight 80%, so it loads hardly too long.

Photo: Anker PowerCore Edge 20000mAh Connection strip

Fig. #6 (right side): status display with 4 blue LEDs. 2 x USB 2.0 jacket, 1 x Micro-USB jacket, status button

Pros

  • flat design, fits in every briefcase, handbag and notebook bag
  • excellent processing quality
  • very high capacity
  • Device batteries are charged very quickly
  • simultaneous charging of two devices
  • never again be unreachable on the road because the phone battery is empty

Cons

  • Mains charger not supplied (you probably have a few mains adapters from other devices)
  • only four LEDs for charging status (4 LEDs = 100 %, 3 LEDs = 75 %, 2 LEDs = 50 %, 1 LED = 25 %, no LED = empty!)
  • not suitable for the trouser pocket due to high weight and size (that's physics, you can't have everything)
  • charging this battery takes a very long time (that's physics, …)

Note on the last point: there is no memory effect, so the battery can also be recharged in stages.Charging up to 100 % is not healthy for any battery, it is better to charge up to max. 75 % (3 LEDs) and charge at 25 % (1 LED) for at least 1 hour.

Conclusion

Highly recommended!

High quality of processing, everything well described except for information on charging time, customer service with Frankfurt telephone number available free of charge with flat rate.
Reviews on the internet are consistently very good.

I didn't have an Anker power supply for the first charge, so I charged the Anker PowerCore Edge from 10pm overnight on the USB power supply of my BlackBerry. Around nine in the morning, the battery was at about 75% and I unplugged it (three of the 4 LEDs lit up after pressing the status button).

In the meantime, I also charge the PowerCore Edge using the Anker 36W 5V/7.2A 4-port USB charger.
One LED corresponds to 25 % remaining charge, which is enough to charge an iPhone 7 Plus once. Then the PowerCore Edge urgently needs to be charged itself!

Because of its weight, I don't always carry this energy tank around with me. But it is also useful at home and quickly charges the iPhone from 30 to a desired 70 %.
When there are frequent thunderstorms in summer, such an energy tank is a life insurance for expensive/important mobile devices.

Alternatives

  • Anker® PowerCore Slim (5000 mAh Charging capacity, flat plastic housing)
  • Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 [Upgraded model]
    Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Portable Charger, Backwards Compatible With Quick Charge 1 & 2, with PowerIQ, 20000mAh Power Bank for Samsung, iPhone, iPad and more

Postscript

It's not the size that makes the difference with these energy tanks, but the practical application that is decisive for selection.
If you need a handy part that fits in your pocket (or a small corner of your briefcase), a large battery tank with 10,000 or even 20,000 mAh, as tested here, is not suitable because it is simply too heavy. As flat as a thick wallet, but much heavier. In addition, charging takes several hours, even if you only want to charge up to 75 % to save a longer battery lifetime. Charging a smaller battery tank also takes hours, but you can always take it with you and recharge it during the day at the office PC's USB socket, and it will be full again at the end of the day.

A large energy tank with 10,000 or 20,0000 mAh can be handy for a business trip or for backpacking users, and can serve as equipment insurance in the summer when thunderstorms are prone, because if you don't trust the lightning protection and your smartphone or iPad battery is running low, having a large energy dispenser gives you a safe mobile outlet to recharge safely.

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