Anker 2nd Gen Astro 6000mAh Portable Battery Introduction
Anker has been making external battery recharging solutions for some time now, and is always striving to come up with innovative products that you and I will appreciate and enjoy. Today, we’re going to look at an intelligent battery, called the 2nd Gen Astro 6000mAh portable battery. What’s intelligent about it? Anker has incorporated a smart sensing solution to their 2nd generation Astro batteries, called PowerIQ, in that it can detect the device connected and provide a proper recharging solution to it. What’s meant by this? Some devices may only have an input amperage of say 1 amp, while other devices may need 2 amps to recharge quickly and as specified – This battery can provide just the right amperage to your device.
So while we were in Las Vegas for CES, we ran into Anker’s display, in which they were giving out this particular power bank. We wanted to take a look at it and see how it performs. The model that we’ll be looking at is the black version of the 79AN7902 battery.
This battery features a very minimalistic design with a rubberized exterior. You won’t find any buttons on this battery, as it all works on a shake to activate system. You’ll simply give it a little shake and you can either view the status of the battery’s charge in 10% intervals, or start the charging of your device. You can also expect the second generation Astros to be 10% more efficient than their predecessors, which means more recharge power for you!
While charging your device, expect to get up to 2 amps output with Anker’s PowerIQ technology. This battery will provide the maximum charge speed that it can to your device via this technology.
If you want to get your hands on the black 2nd Gen Astro 6000mAh battery that we’re reviewing, you can find it on Amazon for $29.99 shipped and it comes with a full 18 month warranty. You can also find this same battery in green and yellow for the same price.
Anker 2nd Gen Astro Technical Specifications:
- Model: 79AN7902
- Capacity: 6000mAh
- Output: 5V / 2A
- Input: 5V / 1.2A
- Weight: 135g / 4.8oz
- Size: 93 x 46 x 25mm / 3.7 x 1.8 x 1.0in
- Unit Recharge Time: 5-6 hours (1A input)
- Warranty: 18 months
The 2nd Gen Astro is compatible with all Apple and Android smartphones, tablets and other USB-charged devices. The iPod nano, Asus tablets (not including the Nexus 7), the LG G2 and some GPS and Bluetooth devices are not supported.
Next up I will take a look closer at this battery and let you know how it performed for my daily use just after that.
A Closer Look at the Anker 2nd Gen Astro Battery
The retail packaging for the 2nd Gen Astro battery is similar to the rest of Anker’s product line: It’s also very minimalistic. The outside packaging lets you know that you’re getting the second generation Astro and also what capacity the battery is.
On the bottom of the box, you can find just a little blurb with what Anker is about: To make the smart life easier.
Opening up the box, you catch all of the contents inside. Included in the box, aside from the battery itself, is a very nice carrying pouch, an 18 inch USB cable with a MicroUSB end, and the instruction manual. The instructions will let you know how to get started using the battery and how to read the LED indicators on the Astro battery.
Looking closer at the 6000mAh 2nd Gen Astro, you can see the nice matte and rubberized exterior finish. This has a very nice feel to it and also does provide some grip to assist with not sliding on certain surfaces. You also can’t help but notice that the exterior is very plain. I honestly didn’t have a problem with this since that makes for fewer things to go wrong.
Give your battery a gentile shake and you will catch an array of LEDs hidden underneath the minimalistic exterior – the same side with the Anker logo. When the LEDs are off, you will not even notice this feature exists, which helps keep the battery looking very clean when it is just sitting there.
There are a total of 10 LEDs, each indicating 10% of the charge of the battery. I like this feature very much as you get a more accurate representation of what charge level your battery is at.
A concern that some people may have is in regards to the “shake to activate” mechanism during transport and travel, is the fact that it could cause the battery to unintentionally drain. Anker promises that the LEDs on this battery will not have a noticeable impact on the battery’s capacity. Some food for thought: This battery is listed to take on 100,000 shakes and not lose even 1% of the battery’s capacity. In the time that I had to play with this battery, I too did not notice any unwanted drainage.
The opposite side of the battery has nothing to show.
The right end of this Astro battery features the MicroUSB input port, which charges at 1 amp, and the full sized USB port for charging your device up to 2 amps. It is labeled IQ on this device to let you know that this particular port features PowerIQ.
The left side has all of your specifications and government approvals.
Let’s move on and see how this performed for my daily use with my Samsung Galaxy S3.
Anker 2nd Gen Astro Testing and Conclusion
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!