Anker PowerCore II review

Anker has unveiled a new line of power banks that builds in its PowerIQ 2.0 technology, allowing them to offer up to 18W fast charging from a single chipset when most QC3.0 power banks (including others in Anker's own product family) need at least two charging chips. (See our Best power banks group test.)

Though you might not notice the difference when compared to any other QC 3.0 power bank, by reducing the number of chips PowerIQ 2.0 can make batteries smaller, lighter and more efficient. PowerIQ intelligently recognises the type of device to deliver an optimum charge, from 12W for the iPhone to 18W for the latest Android flagships.

(Note that the PowerCore II will only be able to charge your device at 18W if that device supports fast charging.)

Its PowerCore II 10,000 Slim is the first to build in the technology, and is available from Amazon UK for £25.99 (Amazon US price $37.99). We were also sent a 20,000mAh version, though it's not yet on sale in the UK. You can buy the PowerCore II 20,000 from Amazon US for $49.99.

The key difference between these two power banks, aside from the capacity and price, is the fact the larger model has two full-size USB outputs. However, only one of those outputs is an 18W PowerIQ 2.0 port; the second is a 12W PowerIQ 1.0 output. This is still 'fast' when compared to the 5W chargers bundled with iPhones and some other smartphones.

More good news comes in the fact both power banks support fast charging on their Micro-USB input as well, so you can recharge the Slim in just four hours using a compatible charger. This goes a long way to make up for the fact it does not support passthrough charging, which is the ability to charge both the power bank itself and a connected device at once.

Despite being from the same family of devices and building in the same technology, the two look nothing alike. Both are black rectangular devices with Anker's branding on the top, but the 20,000mAh unit has a textured surface that improves grip in the hand.

It's also chunkier, and has eight LEDs built into its power button, while the Slim has four LEDs on the power bank's top surface and a small power button embedded in its side. There's a soft-touch silicone rear here too, which makes it feel better protected from drops. features a second Anker logo that takes up much of the surface.

We like the auto-on support, meaning you don't need to fiddle around with buttons - you just plug in your phone or tablet and charging begins. But beyond this the Anker power banks are really about pure speed over anything else.

The slim, in particular, doesn't strike us as significantly smaller than any other 10,000mAh power bank - when compared to the 10,000mAh PowerCore Speed it is indeed slimmer, but significantly taller, which makes it feel bigger.

It has a nice design, but it's still just a black plastic power bank, and it doesn't feature the extra LEDs of the 20,000mAh model or a fancy LCD screen for an exact readout. There's no support for USB-C or Lightning, and no extra features such as an LED flashlight. But you do get a mesh carry case, which is a nice touch and welcome for keeping the power bank and cables together. And, to be fair, what you do get is very reasonable for the money.

In terms of capacity the PowerCore II 10,000 Slim is good for at least two charges for most Android phones and three charges for an iPhone. Double that for the 20,000mAh model. That you don't get more charges is due to the fact some energy is lost through voltage conversion and heat generated - normal for a power bank.

Anker PowerCore II 10,000 Slim: Specs

  • 10,000mAh (38.5Wh) power bank
  • 1x 18W Micro-USB input
  • 1x 18W USB output with PowerIQ 2.0
  • auto-on
  • mesh carry case and Micro-USB cable supplied
  • 4-LED status system
  • 137x66x16mm
  • 210g
  • 18-month warranty
  • 10,000mAh (38.5Wh) power bank
  • 1x 18W Micro-USB input
  • 1x 18W USB output with PowerIQ 2.0
  • auto-on
  • mesh carry case and Micro-USB cable supplied
  • 4-LED status system
  • 137x66x16mm
  • 210g
  • 18-month warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Anker PowerCore II Slim comes at a good price and has a useful amount of capacity for keeping your phone or tablet topped up away from home. The Quick Charge 3.0 support and fast recharging is very welcome but only for phones that support it, and the design is reasonably attractive as far as black plastic power banks go.