Anker PowerCore+ 26,800mAh QC2.0 Powerbank Review

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will34
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Anker PowerCore+ 26,800mAh QC2.0 Powerbank Review

Hi everyone, it’s been some time since my last powerbank review, and I decided to abandon my “all-in-one” review thread to not saturate a single page with tons of images from different reviews causing excessive load times.

Obligatory disclaimer: I paid full price for this product so rest assure this is an actually honest and unbiased review unlike 50% of the reviews on amazon: “I was given this product for free in exchange of my honest review, product is 200% flawless, AAA+, perfect, must buy…” Smile

Anker PowerCore+ 26,800mAh QC Powerbank
-Paid $57.99 on a daily deal, curently $79.99 from https://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerCore-Portable-Capacity-PowerPort/dp/B0...
-26,800mAh capacity
-Output: 2x IQ 5V2.4A, 1x QC2.0 up to 12V1.5A
-Input: Micro USB with QC2.0 support
-7.1 × 3.1 × 0.9 inches
-1.3 pounds

Unboxing:
As with all of my powerbanks they have been through heavy use and real world testing prior to review, so scratches, dents and blemishes are to be expected.

Typical Anker box, it comes with a PowerPort+1 QC3.0 adapter, 30cm MicroUSB cable, a mesh bag and some paperwork.

I was pleasantly surprised with the included adapter and the high quality USB cable, they are including a $21.99 adapter with a $58 powerbank, how nice! Specs are according to QC3.0.

Build quality & size
First thing to notice is the weight, this thing has some serious mass to it but at the same time can be held with one hand just fine. The design is very minimalist, with just a logo in the front. Build quality is top notch with a single piece aluminium housing, about 1mm thick. The anodizing is well done and even better than some budget lights. Because of the housing material and mass I wouldn’t expect it to remain pretty after a drop.

Compared to other heavyweight powerbanks it is the tallest: Anker 26,800, Aukey 30,000mAh (to be reviewed soon), Xiaomi 20,000.

Size comparison with an iPhone 6 and S2+:

Ports & Operation
The PowerCore+ has 3 USB ports for output and one microUSB for input:

All 3 ports have PowerIQ technology, which is anker’s propietary automatic output coding and voltage selector to allow fastest charging, up to 5V2.4A each. The third port supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 up to 9V2A and 12V 1.5A.

Operation is extremely simple, clicking the button shows remaining capacity via 10x LEDs which light up in a neat sequence. They also light up when charging and turn off when full. A short press is needed for powering on and it has an auto-off timer of 30 seconds if a load isn’t applied.

Performance & Test Results
I have upgraded my chart with some more data and this is how to interpret it:

-Rated Capacity: self explanatory

-Rated Energy: This is somewhat tricky… Why is energy important? By knowing the energy rating by the manufacturer I can use it to calculate the efficiency, however this could be altered by underrating the energy or overrating it and achieving low efficiency numbers. The only way to know exactly how much energy does the pack has is to disassemble it and measure it via discharge test. Normally it is safe to use the manufacturer rated numbers but sometimes they don’t provide the available energy of the powerbank, and I have to manually calculate via the capacity x 3.7V = energy formula and will mark it as not specified. I use 3.7V because it is the industry standard for moderm li-ion cells, but doesn’t strictly mean the cell is 3.7V, could be 3.6V, like in this case.

-Cells: Often there are teardowns from other reviews around the web and I will specify which cells are being used. Sometimes not even the brand knows what cells are inside their products, and they will just claim it has LG or Panasonic cells.

-Output capacity and efficiency: Highlighted in green and yellow are the two most important numbers for the tests, output capacity tells how many times you can charge your device and efficiency is how much output energy do you get at certain discharge rate. The colors don’t mean anything they’re just there for highlight.

-Average voltage: it lets you know if the output maintains a healthy voltage thorough the discharge process. Much like a simplified version of a discharge graph. Normally you should expect no less than 4.75V for a 5V load, personally I like to see it above 5.1V but thats just me.

-Output energy and mah%: the two least important numbers. Output energy is only used to calculate efficiency and mah% tells the out/in capacity in relation. I will remove the mah% and replace it with time in my future review, as I don’t see its importance.

-In the bottom of the chart you can see the time it takes to fully charge and the max rate, also the input energy so we know how efficient is the input circuity.

Observations:
-One of the highest efficiency I have seen in a consumer-level powerbank, achieving above ~90% in all 5V load tests. This is partly thanks to the 8x cells in parallel resulting in minimal current draw from each cell, thus maintaining higher input voltage.
-Peak efficiency is achieved around 5V 1A, and the reason it gets lower with the 0.5A load is because the conversion circuity requires some energy just to operate, and at 0.5A it works twice as long.
-It has internal overload protection, but I only managed to trigger it with a 12V 2A load. My highest discharge device for 5V limits at 2.4A and they were handled fine.
-The included QC3.0 adapter works great with extremely stable output, this is actually a high quality adapter not just some cheap bundled accessory.

Room for improvement
I would like to see an upgraded version with modern 18650s instead of the old Panasonic NCR-Bs, they are tried and true cells but better alternatives are available in the market. Price-wise it could be better too, it often gets discounts but the MSRP of $80 is hard to deal with. Probably has something to do with the inclusion of a $21.99 charger.

Should you but it?
This is my first high capacity Anker powerbank and despite all the paid reviews on Amazon it did not disappoint, however, solid construction and excellent performance does not come cheap, at more than twice the price of the Xiaomi 20,000mAh but only 30% more capacity puts it in a premium price range not suitable for everyone. But I think it’s safe to say this is one of the best performing portable charger in the market at any price, and I would highly recommend it to anyone with the need of high capacity and QC compatible output.

If I wasn’t going to review this it would have been a total overkill for my needs, I only have an iPhone 6 which doesn’t draw more than 1.3A, but I’m in pursuit of the highest possible efficiency in a portable charger, much like how we pursue those crazy lumens, it’s never enough! Smile

There are many other aspects that can be tested but I chose not to because I try to keep these reviews as layman-friendly as possible, however if there is something specific you want to know feel free to ask!

Edited by: will34 on 09/09/2016 - 19:11
sidecross
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Thank you for an excellent review. I have a similar but smaller Anker 10,0050mAh one which has many of the the same features.

 

As more small electronic devices enter the market, I hope more R&D is developed for the power bank market.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

maukka
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Thanks a lot! Can’t really go wrong with anker. I also think that the mAh in/out percentage is not very important especially when measuring the QC output on voltages other than 5V.

Did you test all 3 outputs at 2.4V simultaneously?

dodge_911
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Excellent review, once again.
I love high mAh powerbanks. Don’t know why, they’re big and heavy, but hell, a brick of power Wink

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will34
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maukka wrote:
Did you test all 3 outputs at 2.4V simultaneously?

Just one port at a time with the YZX load, I have a ZKE load on the way which will allow me to test two ports simultaneously.

The Burgh
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Thank you very much for this review.

The price and lack of objective reviews have been the only two reasons holding me back from purchasing this model. (I really only want one power bank, that being for power outages.)

Now, it’s down to the price obstacle.

Anker?

There will always be more darkness than I have lights.

sidecross
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The Burgh wrote:
Thank you very much for this review.

The price and lack of objective reviews have been the only two reasons holding me back from purchasing this model. (I really only want one power bank, that being for power outages.)

Now, it’s down to the price obstacle.

Anker?


I use my power-banks for when power is disrupted too, but I decided on multiple smaller ones that could be more easily recharged by 14 watt or larger solar panels.

I have two Anker PowerCore+ 10050 Premium Aluminum Portable Battery Charger with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 Technology which have most of the features in this review.

I am impressed with the efficiency these current Anker models I have, and hope to see big improvements in the future.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

The Burgh
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What made will34’s (OP) deal so very sweet was that his “daily deal” included the price of the PowerPort+1 and the cable.

Wonder if anyone here on BLF, especially our “deal doers,” can get Anker to budge on their price. They don’t seem to distribute far and wide.

There will always be more darkness than I have lights.

will34
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The Burgh wrote:
What made will34’s (OP) deal so very sweet was that his “daily deal” included the price of the PowerPort+1 and the cable.

Wonder if anyone here on BLF, especially our “deal doers,” can get Anker to budge on their price. They don’t seem to distribute far and wide.

There’s a amazon price checking tool called camelcamelcamel, with it you price watch an item and it notifies you know when it reaches certain price. It has helped me save money on amazon, I plan to write a short article about it soon.

Price for this anker powerbank has been stable at $80 in the last two months and I don’t think they plan to lower it near Christmas season.

sidecross
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will34 wrote:
The Burgh wrote:
What made will34’s (OP) deal so very sweet was that his “daily deal” included the price of the PowerPort+1 and the cable.

Wonder if anyone here on BLF, especially our “deal doers,” can get Anker to budge on their price. They don’t seem to distribute far and wide.

There’s a amazon price checking tool called camelcamelcamel, with it you price watch an item and it notifies you know when it reaches certain price. It has helped me save money on amazon, I plan to write a short article about it soon.

Price for this anker powerbank has been stable at $80 in the last two months and I don’t think they plan to lower it near Christmas season.

!{width:70%}http://i.imgur.com/Xyfmqr6.png!


+1

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

The Burgh
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Thank you, will34, for that site reference.

Never heard of it and plan to use it for several items I watch.

There will always be more darkness than I have lights.