One of the problems with iOS devices is that they do not have replaceable batteries, so you can’t slip in a spare when you run out of power. There is an easy solution, however, when you don’t have a handy wall plug. Enter the new Anker Astro2. It is a powerful external battery, and it will solve your problem.
The Anker unit is sleek and slim. It measures 4 1/8 x 2 ½ x 5/8 inches and weighs 7 ½ ounces. So it’s about the size of the average mobile phone with about the same weigh and it won’t bog you down.
It features a powerful 1200mAh batter with ultra high-energy efficiency (80 percent.) The new second-generation Anker can charge the average smartphone six or seven times before it needs recharging itself. What I really appreciate is that it has not one, but two USB charging slots so you can charge two devices at the same time, which is very sweet.
In the box, you get a nice net tote bag with a draw string. It also comes with a micro USB charging cable that plugs into the device to charge it. The same cable could be used to charge other devices. The micro cable plugs into a provided Apple 30 pin adapter. Unfortunately is doesn’t come with the new lighting connector, so you will have to provide your own, which shouldn’t be a problem for most users. But it would have been thoughtful to have provided such a cable for new iOS users.
I appreciated that it came partially charged when I opened the box. I takes up to six or eight hours to charge if fully. But the charge has lasted for several days so far. There is a circular LED light on the top of the unit to indicate the charge level remaining.
I have had several external batteries for recharging but never one as powerful as this. Some couldn’t handle a laptop. This one does. And it will do it while charging yet another device. What a powerhouse. It’s going to be a permanent fixture in my gadget bag. I even like the way it feels with it's rubberized matt black surface that feels good in the hand and gives traction so it won’t slip out of your grasp.
This device is so smart that it will detect the type of device that’s plugged into it and output the required power. By the way, if charging two devices at the same time is not enough for you, Anker also makes an Astro3 that will charge three devices simultaneously.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $45, but you can get them on Amazon for $39.95.