Portability & Design
Lower priced than Quick Charge power banks, but charges just as fast. It's a great successor to the Anker PowerCore 20100, and while it may not be as versatile as the Anker PowerCore Elite 20000 with its three USB slots, the PowerCore II charges faster, has a slimmer design, and much more convenient battery indicators. All in all, The Anker PowerCore II 20000 is simply an excellent power bank.
Anker seems to be releasing a new series of power banks every three to four months, and even though it’s getting hard for us to keep up, we’re always delighted to review new Anker products. A few months ago we reviewed a power bank dubbed the Anker PowerCore II 20000, which has since been renamed by Anker to Anker PowerCore Elite 20000. This time around, we’ll be reviewing the actual Anker PowerCore II 20000. Let’s check it out.
Design and portability
At first glance, the Anker PowerCore II 20000 looks like a spitting image of its predecessor. It’s the same shape and measures in at 6.7 inches in length, 2.4 inches in width and is 0.9 inch thick, making it nearly the exact same size as the original PowerCore 20000 series. What sets this one apart however—upon closer inspection, we see that the shell has a ridged texture, making it look almost carbon fibre like.
It turns out that the previous models were too prone to scratching, despite having an “anti-scratch layer”. And thus Anker decided to change it to this ridged texture. It doesn’t scratch easily at all now, and at the same time gives the power bank a better grip when holding it. Unlike previous models that would easily slide out of your hand due to the smooth brushed shell.
A round power button sits on the front of the powerbank, and near the bottom we find the new Anker logo with a small lightning bolt below the capital A. It’s nice touch-up of the old logo, and shows Anker’s crave to keep renewing and improving on even the smallest details.
The weight of the power bank has not changed since its predecessor and the Elite. It’s still quite hefty and weighs in at 13oz (0.8 lbs). However, it’s definitely not heavy enough to be uncomfortable when carrying around. It’s no different than carrying an extra book in your backpack, as it weighs about the same.
As we pointed out, there’s a round power button on the case of the power bank. This button can be pressed to show the battery status of the unit, which is shown by eight LED lights in the shape of a wheel. This is a very welcome change. Whereas the previous 20000mAh models were fitted with just four LED’s, 25% increments could leave you wildly guessing as to how much power was still left. Eight LED’s are much more convenient, giving a more accurate measure in increments of 12.5%.
On the front of the power bank we find two USB charging slots, making simultaneous charging of devices possible. We would’ve loved to see three charging slots, just like we saw on the Anker PowerCore Elite 20000. However, Anker brought some innovation that makes up for this slight letdown, which we will explain now.
The charging slots are rated at 12W and 18W respectively. The 12W slot is familiar. This is simply an output that provides 2.4A at 5V, which is the normal PowerIQ slot. If you don’t know what PowerIQ is, it’s Anker’s version of smart charging. The port will detect your device and send the most optimal output so your device will be charged as efficiently as possible.
The 18W slot however, is something we haven’t seen before—outside of Qualcomm Quick Charge slots that is. So how come this output is rated at 18W? Simple, Anker has created their own version of Qualcomm Quick charge, called PowerIQ 2.0. PowerIQ 2.0 is able to produce 3A at 5V, 2A at 9V, and 1.5A at 12V, which is almost identical to or actually a slightly improved version of Quick Charge 2.0. What this means is that your devices can be charged almost twice as fast as they normally would. It’s not only a great alternative to Qualcomm Quick Charge power banks, but also a cheaper one, as the PowerCore II costs less than its QC 3.0 fitted brother: the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000.
Besides that, PowerIQ 2.0 works both ways. Meaning that charging the power bank will also be much faster. Instead of ten or more hours, the Anker PowerCore II 20000 can be fully recharged within five hours, if a Quick Charge charger is used.
A whopping 20,000mAh will supply you with plenty charges for the whole week. It’s enough for about seven average smartphone charges, or two tablet charges. Thanks to the PowerIQ 2.0 feature it also charges blazingly fast. A Samsung Galaxy S6 is charged in just one hour and ten minutes, which is literally the same speed as Qualcomm Quick Charge. Apple devices do not respond that well to quick charge functionality, so the power bank will provide it with a tailored current output as to still efficiently charge the device. Nonetheless, an iPhone 6 is charged in just over one hour. Keep in mind that the iPhone 6 has a much smaller battery than the Samsung Galaxy S6, so it’s not quite comparable, but still very impressive.
Since the input is also part of the PowerIQ 2.0 package, it results in great recharging speeds of the power bank. Supporting 9V, the Anker PowerCore II 20000 is charged in under five and a half hours. Meaning it recharges even quicker than some 10,000mAh power banks.
To be completely honest, we have no idea yet what the negative effects of these blazing fast charging speeds will be in the long term, both for your device and the power bank. Typically, the faster you charge a battery, the shorter its lifespan will be. However, there have been no reports yet of units breaking down, so for now everything seems to be good.
Although we would’ve loved to see an extra charging slot, the PowerIQ 2.0 feature with fantastic charging speeds easily make up for it. The Anker PowerCore II 20000 is cheaper than Qualcomm Quick Charge power banks, but charges your devices just as fast. Whether you travel a lot or just need an extra charge now and then, the Anker PowerCore II 20000 provides you with enough charges for the entire week and is overall an excellent, quality purchase.
|Measurements:||6.7 x 2.4 x 0.9 inches|
|Charging ports:||2 (12W and 18W)|
|Safety features:||Overcharge protection, short circuit protection and more|
|Compatible with:||iPhone, Android, tablet, digital cameras etc. (most micro USB devices)|
|Pass through charging:||No|
|Quick Charge:||Yes (PowerIQ 2.0)|
|Battery indication:||8 LED’s|
|Power capacity:||20000 mAh|
|Max output:||3A (18W slot), 2.4A (12W slot)|
|Time to recharge itself:||5 (with Quick charger)|