Machined aluminum, anodized finish and smart charging are features you’d expect to find in a high-quality portable battery. What you wouldn’t expect in a high-quality battery is a low price tag of $14, but you get that plus all of the features with Anker’s PowerCore+ mini portable battery. It’s one of Amazon’s best-selling accessories for mobile products and has over 25,000 user reviews with an average rating of 4.4/5 stars.
Is the PowerCore+ mini really as good as the reviews say it is?
The PowerCore+ mini battery benefits from a high-quality fit and finish usually reserved for products with a high price tag. It’s made from aluminum, which is what Apple devices and the latest Google Pixel smartphone are made from. It has a durable anodized finish that comes in black, silver, blue, pink and gold which all look great and match the majority of smartphones available today.
It has a small capacity for an external battery at 3350mAh which keeps the size to a minimum – it’s about the same size as a tube of lipstick. If you look at the power rating, you’d assume you could get over a full charge for the iPhone 7 Plus that comes with a 2900mAh internal battery. However, energy transfer from the power pack to the smartphone doesn’t translate 100% of the energy. In my experience with the 7 Plus, I can recharge it to full when the power remaining on my iPhone is at 10% or greater. With my 4000mAh LeEco Le Pro3 Android, I can get about 70% extra power. No matter which device I am using, the extra power helps me get through 1.5-2 full days of use without having to sit by a wall outlet to recharge my phone. While the power rating may not seem like much, I love carrying the Anker PowerCore+ mini for daily use instead of my larger 10,000-20,000mAh portable batteries that weigh 5-10 times as much. There’s no point in carrying around a one pound external power bank unless I am going away for a long weekend where I need power for my smartphone, tablet and mobile accessories.
The PowerCore+ mini comes with one USB A out port, identical to what your smartphone’s power brick has, and it comes with one micro USB input for recharging. It takes roughly three hours to recharge and can output power at one amp. One amp certainly isn’t quick by today’s fast charging standards, but it is a trade-off I’ll take in place of better energy efficiency. While fast or Quick Charging is very nice to have, it drains the power out of the power source faster. I’d guess you’d see just over half of the rated capacity if charging at fast speeds, and a battery that only adds 40-50% charge to your smartphone isn’t as useful as one that gets you a full day. The PowerCore+ mini does have the intelligence to shut off when your phone is done charging to prevent any damage to your phone’s internals.
Overall it’s a basic battery with a high-quality build that can top off your smartphone to get an extra day’s use without having to find a wall outlet. The 4.4 star Amazon user rating is well deserved, and with a $14 price tag, there aren’t any other batteries I would recommend in this size category over the PowerCore+ mini. While Anker doesn’t have an in-store presence at stores like Target and Best Buy, it has a solid reputation for making great products at affordable prices. The Anker PowerCore+ mini is a great purchase if you’re looking for a little more juice to get you through the day.