Removable batteries? Who needs 'em? Well some will still want them, but when you have power banks like the PowerCore 15600 from Anker, it's not going to replace the ability of popping out a battery and popping in a new one. But then again how many times have you done that? For me, even when I was using the Motorola Droid Bionic or the Galaxy Nexus – both of which had considerably less battery life than some of today's devices and removable batteries – I never popped them out for a fresh one. Anker's PowerCore power bank here is a bit more rugged than their Astro line up. We recently reviewed Anker's massive Astro E7, which is a 26,800mAh power bank and can keep you charged up for weeks.
While the PowerCore 15600 is a bit rugged, I still wouldn't recommend anyone dropping the thing. While it likely won't cause any damage to the battery, it's still not a good idea. With a capacity of 15600mAh and most smartphones hitting that 3000mAh battery capacity mark, you should be able to charge your phone about 3-4 times. And I was able to do just that. Using the ZTE Axon Pro, which has a 3000mAh battery, I was able to charge from under 10% to full about 4 times before the PowerCore 15600 completely died. Now charging it up is another story. This is a massive battery, so it is going to take some time to charge it up. I typically would plug in the PowerCore 15600 at night and let it charge throughout the night. When I wake up, it's fully charged.
As far as charging up goes, Anker has included two USB ports here. Now you do get one USB to MicroUSB cord included with your PowerCore 15600, but any other USB cable will work for charging just about anything. That includes USB Type-C. I even used the ZUK Z1 which has USB Type-C and it charged just the same as plugging it into the wall. The two full-sized USB ports here both support Power-IQ Technology. I mention Power-IQ because it's important, it allows you to charge your devices quickly and efficiently. It's not quite Quick Charge, but it almost does the same thing. In a nutshell, what Power-IQ does is it communicates with your smartphone or tablet or any other device, to see how much power it can take and then pushes that much power to the device. So it'll charge your device as quickly as it can without damaging it. Always an important factor with these quick charging technologies being used these days.
PowerCore packs a lot of juice but just how heavy is it? I have to say it's a bit lighter than I was expecting. It's not going to be as light or as small as your smartphone. But it will fit in a nice pocket in your bag or purse. I generally place it in a pocket on my Timbuk2 bag that I take to shows and events, and pull out the USB cable to charge my phone while I'm still using it.
Overall the PowerCore 15600 is a great power bank here from Anker. I do like that they got away from the glossy plastic that was used on the Astro E7. You can pick up the PowerCore 15600 from Amazon today for just $29.99. Now it's important to keep in mind that prices on Amazon do fluctuate a bit, so it could be a different price when you go to buy yours.