When it comes to power, let's face it, our phones never have enough. Our phones are getting more and more powerful, yet battery technology has stayed pretty much the same. That's where manufacturers like Anker have come in. With their external power banks. They have a number of power banks available, in a number of sizes, with their most popular ones being under 10,000mAh in size. However, their Anker Astro E7 is a 25,600mAh capacity. Just to put that in perspective, most smartphones have a capacity around 3,000mAh in size. Which makes this Astro E7 around 8x the size of most smartphone batteries. The Anker Astro E7 is currently priced at $69, a bit pricey for a battery pack, but when you look at the capacity, it's understandable.
The Astro E7 is Anker's highest capacity battery pack, at least for now. I say "for now" because we've seen bigger on Amazon, and it's likely that Anker will make larger capacity power banks real soon. On the Astro E7, we have three USB ports. Each of these support Anker's Power IQ Technology. This isn't exactly Quick Charge 2.0, but it's close. In short, what Power IQ Technology does, is it detects your device and it determines how much power the device can take without damaging the device. So while it's not Quick Charge 2.0, it can charge your device pretty quickly. It was able to charge my Galaxy Note 5 in under 2 hours. Which is pretty similar to using the included Quick Charge charger that comes with the Galaxy Note 5.
It measures around 6.5 inches long, about 3 inches wide and about three-quarters of an inch thick. It is heavy, but actually not as heavy as I thought it would be. It's a bit taller than the Galaxy Note 5, and obviously quite a bit thicker than the Galaxy Note 5. Also quite a bit heavier. Anker includes a microUSB cable, which comes in handy, obviously. Additionally, we have a mesh bag that can carry the Astro E7, and looks quite nice. The Astro E7 is housed in glossy plastic. Not the ideal material, but it does make it lighter than my 20,000mAh power bank here that is made of aluminum. However, it does pick up fingerprints like crazy.
Have you ever used a power bank to charge your phone, then unplugged it and put it away? And a while later, the power bank is dead? That's because not all power banks shut off when you unplug the device. However, the Astro E7 has an intelligent on/off system built in. So when you plug in your phone it automatically turns on, unplug it and it turns off automatically. A very nice feature indeed. One thing I'd like for Anker to improve on here, is that when the phone is fully charged, that it turns itself off. As it still is using power that could be saved for later on. Anker also has four LED lights on the Astro E7, which shows how much power is left in the Astro E7. Not the best way of doing this, I still prefer the LED display that is found on other power banks from Limefuel and others.
I took the Anker Astro E7 with me on my trip to Shenzhen last week, and didn't take any wall chargers with me (that wasn't on purpose, I actually forgot). So I was charging my Galaxy Note 5 and ZUK Z1 exclusively from the Astro E7. It worked out great. I charged the Galaxy Note 5 about 4-5 times, and still had plenty of juice left. Which was pretty impressive. Overall, I was pretty impressed with the Astro E7, and it now has a permanent place in my bag for traveling, alongside another Anker battery pack which we'll be reviewing very soon.