So to get started with charging your device, you’ll obviously have to connect your respective cable to the full sized USB port and hook it up to your device. To get it to actually start charging, there are no buttons to press, but rather you will give it a little shake and you’re in business!
According to Anker, larger capacity batteries, like those found in the Galaxy S4, should get nearly two full charges, while the iPhone should be able to get three full charges from this battery. I’ll be testing this out on my Galaxy S3, which has a 2100mAh battery, to see how far I can stretch the 2nd Gen Astro!
Another item to note, is Anker says the latest generation Astro line is 10% more efficient than the previous gen, so you will get more out of this battery and not as much energy lost to circuitry, power conversion, etc.
Dropping this battery in your pocket with your phone might feel a bit awkward. This Astro battery is somewhat small (3.7 x 1.8 x 1.0in), but it isn’t thin like some of their other products, so you will know that it is in your pocket. Regardless, it’s very possible to put this in your pocket with your phone and it isn’t overly heavy, either, weighing 135 grams or 4.8 ounces.
In my testing, I drained my Galaxy S3’s battery completely – to the point that it powered off, hooked it up to the Astro battery, and gave it a gentile shake.
Everything in my testing went without a hitch, so this battery is definitely quality craftsmanship! From 0-100%, it took 2 hours and 19 minutes, which is spot-on (if not slightly quicker than previous tests with batteries), plus I got two complete charges! I am very happy with these results! The LED indicator said there was right around 20% battery life left, which meant I could squeeze a little more out of it if I needed.
Unfortunately I am unable to test this battery on my ASUS Transformer Prime, as it is not compatible with it. The Prime requires a 15v input, in which this battery can only provide 5v. However, this battery is compatible with other tablets that don’t demand as much, such as the iPad.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Anker brought a little innovation to the table with the second generation Astro, by infusing it with a smart charging port, which they call PowerIQ technology. This port being smart and having the ability to provide the maximum output that your device needs, is a great idea.
The battery itself is very sleek with its minimalistic and rubberized exterior. The addition of the 10-LED light system to inform you how much charge remains is a very nice touch. The fact that it remains hidden until it lights up is a neat little feature, too.
The 2nd Generation Astro that we checked out was black in color and runs $29.99 shipped on Amazon, but there are also green and yellow colors available. Each battery comes with an 18 month warranty, which definitely helps give you piece of mind that the Astro is meant to last.
The shake to activate mechanism is a great replacement for an annoying button that can be easily pressed. Unfortunately we can’t forget that this thing will shake, rattle, and roll while in your pocket, backpack, or purse, providing the same annoying power up function. Now fortunately Anker claims that you can give the Astro 100,000 shakes and you won’t even lose 1% of the battery’s capacity. I am confident that trying to shake it 100,000 times to get the LEDs to power on will probably take you a while. Some people may complain about the LEDs powering up, but in reality the power drain is so minimal that it doesn’t really matter.
I am happy to say that the battery met my expectations with charging my Galaxy S3, and I’m even happier to see it charge it up fully twice and then some. It’s too bad that it doesn’t work with my ASUS tablet, but that’s only because my ASUS tablet is a power input hungry device, requiring 15v vs. the battery’s max output at 5v.
So for right around thirty bucks, you can charge your smartphone roughly 2-3 times or even provide your tablet some extra power. This feels like a pretty good value to me!
Legit Bottom Line: The 2nd Gen Astro is very sleek, has a fantastic capacity at 6,000mAh, and can help you get through your day by providing extra juice to your smartphone, tablet, or other compatible device!