Anker made a name for itself by making some great battery packs in its early years, which was really only about 5 years ago. Anker made battery packs that were as small as lipstick that could fit in a purse, to those that were pretty large that could charge your phone for a week straight. But now things have changed in that industry, and users are looking for faster ways to recharge their smartphones, also looking for smaller battery packs with larger capacity. And that's exactly what the PowerCore II lineup has done for Anker.
The PowerCore II is part of Anker's new slimmer battery packs, but they still offer the same great capacity you know and love from Anker. So how exactly is this done? Well, inside the battery pack, Anker has been able to move to a single chip for charging - both input and output - of the device. That is thanks to PowerIQ 2.0, which was announced earlier this year, but began making its way into newer battery packs in August with its official unveiling at IFA 2017. With PowerIQ 2.0, Anker is still able to charge your phones quickly, but with a smaller chip, which means slimmer battery packs. And the PowerCore II 20000 is a product of PowerIQ 2.0.
Since this is a PowerIQ 2.0 battery pack, and part of its PowerCore II lineup, this does not feature Quick Charge 3.0 or earlier from Qualcomm. Which means you are using PowerIQ 2.0 for fast charging, and that's not a bad thing. In general terms, PowerIQ in general works with your smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, or whatever item you plug into the battery pack to charge, to determine that fastest speed it can take without causing damage to the device. For many, that will be around 2-2.4A. Now that may sound pretty slow, but keep this in mind, most chargers that are not Quick Charge or Fast Charge, that are included with your smartphone are about 1.5-1.8A, tablets are almost always 1.5A. So while it's not Qualcomm's Quick Charge standard, it is still Fast Charging, and that's good to see, it's actually about as fast as Quick Charge 2.0 from Qualcomm.
Speaking of charging speeds, the PowerCore II worked well with the Galaxy S8, which doesn't sport Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 anyways, only Quick Charge 2.0. The PowerCore II was able to charge the Galaxy S8 about as fast as it would if it were plugged into the wall, using the Samsung-provided wall charger. So no issues there. And since this has a capacity of 20,000mAh, that means you'll be able to charge something like the Galaxy S8 around 5-6 times before it needs to be recharged, which we were able to do during our testing. Something a bit larger like the LG V30, will be closer to 5 times, but that is still quite good for a battery pack of this capacity.
The size of the PowerCore II is actually similar to the original PowerCore, but it is lighter and a bit thinner. Now you may notice the difference unless you have them both side-by-side, as the changes aren't that big, but the weight is. It's much lighter now, which makes it great for carrying in your bag and not adding a ton of weight to it. It's about the size of a king-size candy bar, and fits easily in a pocket in my backpack, and with the two USB-A ports on the end of it, it's easier to plug in smartphones without taking the battery pack out. Which is also another good thing for the PowerCore II. It does have USB-A, one that is 12W and the other is 18W. While it takes input from a micro USB port, which is really the only downside to this battery pack. With most smartphones, laptops and really everything moving over to USB-C, that would have been a much better choice for Anker, especially for those that are planning to keep this battery pack around for quite some time.
Anker is selling the PowerCore II 20000 right now on Amazon for $49.99. That is more than other 20,000mAh battery packs right now, but like with Quick Charge 3.0, this is a new technology which costs more to use in lots of battery packs. So as Anker is able to use PowerIQ 2.0 in more battery packs, the price will start to go down. But it's still a great battery pack to pick up.