Almost everything these days seems to require a USB charger, which is great until you’re stuck in the middle of a field without mains electricity and a mobile phone that’s run out of juice. Thankfully, the market is flooded with portable chargers to suit almost every need.
I’ve had my charger for three years now. It’s an Anker Astro with a capacity of 5600mAh, which means that it should charge a device with a 2800mAh battery about one-and-a-half times. Why not two? Claimed capacity doesn’t tell the whole story as it doesn’t take into account the efficiency of the unit. Anker don’t quote a figure for the Astro, but from what I’ve read 70 percent seems reasonable. Therefore, I’m guessing that the
Anker’s real-world capacity would be around 4000mAh.
Anyway, the figures are academic because I’ve never run the Astro flat. That’s partly because I use a feature phone with a battery that will run for well over a week on one charge. Consequently, the little Anker (it weighs 120g and is about the same size as a Twix) is only used in emergencies.
The Astro only has one charging port (on a unit this size that’s not uncommon) but there have been rare occassions when the ability to charge two devices at the same time would have been handy. Other than that there’s not much to say. It’s made of black plastic, feels solid, has a built-in torch and sports a quartet of blue LEDs to show how much charge remains. Smartphone users might want something with a bit more oomph, but until I upgrade my phone it suits my needs perfectly. The latest version has slightly less capacity (5200mAh) and doesn’t have a torch, but for around £12 it’s better than nothing.