Review, Teardown: Anker PowerCore 10050 (A1310) QC2.0 Power Bank
When it comes to discussing power banks and USB charging in general, it’s hard to overlook Anker branded products. The company was started by a group of friends working at Google, and has since put out a multitude of USB power banks, wall chargers and cables which have received recognition for their quality from a wide range of sources. In America, they hold a leading position in the USB charging market.
Because of this, many readers have been eager for me to review an Anker product to see how it really stacks up against the competition (or more likely, how its competition compares) from an unbiased technical perspective, backed up with test results. However, as it turned out, nobody was willing to donate a product to me for review and I didn’t qualify for their power user review program due to being in Australia.
Rather luckily, I met with representatives from Anker at CeBIT Australia in early May, as they were looking for distributors in the Australian region. After proving my commitment to producing high quality technical reviews, they were willing to immediately provide an Anker PowerCore 10050 Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 Power Bank (A1310) for review under the review challenge terms.
The item comes packed inside a medium matte cardboard box which has a duotone sky-blue and black print. The front features a simple aesthetic, with the brand and model number front and center. The item sports the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 logo on the front. The rear panel is used to advertise some of Anker’s other products, whereas the sides feature the approvals, model numbers and support information (including a US toll free number).
Upon opening the box, you are greeted with a thank you message on the inside lid. Neat!
Inside, the power bank is packed in a milky plastic bag in the bottom section, with a bit of cardboard isolating the rest of the included accessories.
Lifting out the cardboard, we see that even the bottom is not free of self-praising print. Included is a multilingual welcome guide, and a support details card.
Unlike many other power banks on the market, we get a sense that this product is a premium product as there is a bespoke nylon drawstring bag to store the power bank, and a charge cable with a decent length is included in the set.
The cable is part of Anker’s PowerLine series and has unique serial and model name printing on the cable. No cable thickness is specified on the cable, and while it looks a little thin, it is quite stiff for the thickness implying thicker metallic conductors.
Of course, you get the power bank itself. This particular unit is a rosy colour with sandblasted aluminium finish and etched logo. There is a power check button on the top, featuring a 10-segment LED display which is one of the most generous I have seen. The power bank weighs 238 grams.
The rear has the Qualcomm QC2.0 logo etched into it.
The power bank features one USB A output and a USB micro-B input. The specifications are printed underneath, and imply a 10050mAh/3.6v/36.18Wh capacity with 5V or 9V/2A input (QC2.0) and 5V/2.4A, 9V/2A or 12V/1.5A (QC2.0 18W) output.
The suite of features provided in Anker power banks are given in their marketing brochure. Some of the descriptions were rather interesting, which resulted in me scribbling all over it.
The first technology is PowerIQ, which helps emulate different charging protocols to ensure compatibility with picky devices. This could be quite handy, if you have particularly special devices, although some of the competitors will work with most popular devices out of the box.
The next technology is VoltageBoost, which has a very confused explanation which involves adapting the output power, and has a graph showing current. All three terms are not interchangeable! As an engineer, this really got on my nerves – what they seem to be implying is a voltage drop compensation circuit which increases the output voltage as a function of current to try and maintain a constant voltage at the device based on an assumed resistive cable loss.
Then, there is a suite of protections they term MultiProtect. They have a Qutput Current Limiter … which made me chuckle, as well as Temperature Control. They also seem to class High Energy Efficiency as a protection. I suspect, in more succinct terms, they just mean that the power bank has OCP, OTP, SCP, OVP (input and output) and OPP. The output current stabilizer feature is … well … still a mystery to me because the current really depends on the demand of the connected device, rather than the power bank.
Finally, they also include Qualcomm Quick Charge technology, which we will explore in the next section.
Qualcomm Quick Charge Technology
As this is the first power bank to come across my test rig that featured Qualcomm Quick Charge technology, it’s probably a good idea have a brief summary of how the technology works. From now on, for brevity, I will abbreviate Quick Charge as QC.
To find out more details about the technology, the easiest way is to look up a datasheet. I found the ON Semiconductor NCP4371‘s datasheet to be the most comprehensive, so the following diagrams have been reproduced from the datasheet for educational purposes. This particular IC is a QC3.0 capable device, which represents the state of the art at this time. But first, a little fun –
It seems the guys at ON Semiconductor like title case, and really don’t want their ICs being too obvious about changing voltages … (really, they mean discrete).
As it turns out, the whole Qualcomm QC system is another form of charger-and-device negotiation. Whereas in previous systems, the chargers signalled to the device about their current capabilities in various ways while sticking to 5v, the QC system allows devices to request the charger change voltages between fixed voltages of 5v, 9v, 12v (Class A) and 20v (Class B) in QC2.0 or to have an adjustable output voltage between 3.6v and 12v in 0.2v steps (Class A) or 3.6v and 20v in 0.2v steps (Class B) in QC3.0 capable devices.
This system works as illustrated in the state machine diagram to the left, and has specific timing requirements.
This system improves charging speed by improving the efficiency of power transfer as resistive losses in the cable become less significant at higher voltages as a smaller current is required to deliver the same power. It also allows for better power efficiency in some cases, by allowing the device to control the input voltage in QC3.0 to reduce internal losses (e.g. in linear based chargers).
A list of Quick Charge certified devices (phones, chargers, ICs, etc) is maintained and updated by Qualcomm on a periodic basis. If your device is on the list, then you will likely benefit from noticeably faster charging from a Quick Charge capable power bank. Of note is that the Anker Powercore power bank is capable of QC input as well, so charging the power bank from a QC capable charger is likely to save you time.
A teardown of the product was performed after testing had completed, and sadly, it was not without some significant damage to the casing as I had absolutely no idea how to get it open. I suppose it’s a good sign, because it shows how well-fitted the parts are. I would highly recommend others do not attempt taking their product apart, or risk potential damage.
The first plan of attack was to remove the front plate, which … was actually just hiding another plate, which when unscrewed … am I really getting anywhere? I tried to pull it out with the holes, thinking it was a form of extraction hole – but that didn’t work. I tried prying it out the top, and it didn’t budge. Maybe there’s something in the bottom?
Only after a lot of fiddling around did I manage to get the whole unit to push out from the bottom to the top. The fit was very tight and the internal guts were covered by a full protective plastic shell. I suppose this is what their internal short circuit protection is and gives additional peace of mind that the internal parts are not likely to ever short out on the aluminium casing.
As promised, the power bank features three Panasonic NCR18650B cells, which are rated at 3350mAh typical, and 3250mAh minimum at 25 degrees C, which sums up to the 10050mAh on the label. The batteries are tabbed and spot welded, with the negative connected by a thick piece of wire soldered to the tab. There is no sign of pack thermistor, as with some of the competitors products, or any obvious one-time protective fuse.
The circuitry is made of a two-board set-up with the LEDs and button on a separate board. The LEDs are surrounded by a black foam to isolate each LED and prevent light spill-over.
Internally, the design of the board appears to be dated to 23rd May 2015. The top side of the board shows a large toroidal inductor, as well as an enclosed inductor to the right (likely for charging). There is probably an IC behind the large inductor, but I did not photograph this.
Rather concerningly, the board uses three electrolytic capacitors from Fcon, which are not a highly reputable company and may have suboptimal performance. One of these capacitors was forced to be surface mounted due to the design with excessive solder and adhesive silicone, leaving solder blob traces on C20 which may later break off, rattle around and short something out. It also makes the capacitor vulnerable to mechanical shock. This is not what I expected, as electrolytic capacitors have poor frequency response and are not optimal for smoothing out ripple in high-frequency switching converters.
It is heartening to see a vast array of MOSFETs on both sides of the board for switching purposes unlike some other low-cost designs. Resistors on the rear side appear to be used for current shunt measurements of both input and output. The output is produced by an Holtek Semiconductor NTMP2014-3, a certified Qualcomm QC2.0 controller.
Testing of the power bank was performed using the standard (new) test rig which all the other power banks have been tested with. Test instrumentation include the Keithley Model 2110 5.5 digit benchtop digital multimeter for current/voltage (dual measure) discharge measurements, Keysight Technologies U1461A with USB current shunt for charging profile measurements and Picoscope 2205A USB digital oscilloscope for ripple current measurements.
As I did not have any QC2.0 or QC3.0 capable devices to test the power bank with, the QC capability was not assessed. I did, however, purchase a QC2.0 charger to assess the effectiveness of QC2.0 in reducing charge time.
Keep in mind that I am not an accredited testing laboratory – merely a hobbyist who has worked to obtain the necessary test equipment in previous reviews, and one who wants to put this equipment to good use in generating knowledge for the greater internet community in good faith. I generally stand behind my test results, but slight variations in the absolute values are possible due to accuracy/calibration limitations and unit-to-unit variances especially as only one unit has been tested.
Charging Current Profile
When the power bank is first connected to the charger, the charger consumes only a small current for a few seconds as it tries to negotiate with the charger to obtain its optimal charging voltage. When operated with a regular 5v 2A charger, it can be seen that the initial current peak slightly exceeds 2A, as the power bank tries to determine just how much current is available. The charge current then settles down into the 1.6-1.8A range as it backs-off to optimize the voltage drop (some lost in the current shunt). The charging current profile has discrete steps in the tapered section, and a sawtooth appearance during constant current. The charge terminates at about 5 hours and 47 minutes using a regular charger, at a current of about 300mA. The estimated per-cell termination current is 119mA, which is a little higher than the 65mA recommended by the datasheet. As a result, it may not extract every last drop of capacity from the cell, but will avoid overcharging.
When connected to a QC2.0 capable charger, the current is very similar (likely due to losses in the shunt) but the delivered power is increased by 80% (9v versus 5v). As a result, charging terminates in just 3 hours and 54 minutes, which saves you almost two hours compared to using a regular charger. If you’re pushed for time, this difference could well be important to you.
As it utilizes virtually all the current available from the respective chargers, the charging process is pretty much optimized, making for relatively fast charging given the capacity.
Discharge Voltage Profile
The accuracy of the output voltage as a function of current loading and time is graphed above. The blue trace representing a 500mA load shows that the voltage accuracy is astoundingly good, resulting in a very stable voltage which is pretty much spot-on at 5v, varying by less than 0.02v.
When the load is increased to 1A, the voltage falls somewhat to about 4.92v, which is still very much within the acceptable territory. Some of this may be due to resistive losses in the cabling in the test rig.
Once the load is increased further to 2A, the voltage actually increases slightly to about 4.93v, which demonstrates the VoltageBoost feature in action – it must boost the voltage as a function of the current to compensate for an assumed loss in the cable, and it actually does quite well. The result is an output voltage that varies
Discharge Capacity and Conversion Efficiency
|Load (mA)||Run||Capacity (mAh)|
|Load (mA)||Run||Capacity (mAh)|
|Load (mA)||Run||Capacity (mAh)|
All power banks are sold on their cell capacity, however, the actual amount of energy that your devices can extract from the power bank also depends on the efficiency of the conversion circuitry. For consistency, the capacities have been calculated based on a nominal cell voltage of 3.7v to be comparable to the rest of the power bank reviews to date. The capacity at 500mA was 8704mAh, at 1A was 8516mAh and at 2A is 8036mA. On a 3.6v basis (as specified in the cell datasheet), the efficiency at 500mA was 89%, at 1A was 87% and at 2A was 82%.
On a whole, the range of recorded values shows variations up to 200mAh. In most cases, about 100mAh of variation can be attributed to my instrumentation, so the additional error suggests that the low-battery termination and full-charge termination may not be as consistent as it could be, resulting in capacity variations from cycle to cycle.
The efficiency figures are not the best figures I have come across, and have been bested by others, however this may be because of the energy consumption of having a 10-LED continuously lit capacity display which consumes some energy, and the increased complexity of the QC2.0 capable chipset. In light of this, the result is still quite good.
Discharge Voltage Ripple and Noise
Ripple and noise are an often neglected output power quality parameter. Ripple and noise are basically high frequency variations in the output voltage which occur mainly due to the nature of switching converters which produce discontinuous bursts of output which need to be smoothed out. These cannot be measured with multimeters which normally measure just the average value, and require the use of an oscilloscope. High ripple voltage can cause malfunction in connected devices including interference with touch screens, stress to electrical components, audio noise or even damage to the connected device.
At 500mA loading, the ripple voltage measured 309mV peak to peak with a frequency about 74.46kHz While not likely to cause immediate damage, this level of variation is somewhat higher than the 150mV of most OEM chargers, and higher than the 50mV ATX standard (which you can expect from a computers’ USB port). From the graph, it seems to show a positive excursion of about 200mV, and a negative excursion of 100mV. With an average voltage of 5v 0.2V ripple, the peak output voltage reaches 5.2V, just below the 5.25V absolute maximum USB voltage (5%).
The ripple voltage at 1A loading reduces slightly to 257mV, with the frequency increasing to 138.8kHz. This suggests the use of a variable frequency converter, and the change in ripple voltage amplitude likely reflects the frequency-dependent effects of any filtering (inductor/capacitor) elements. This is still somewhat above the 150mV of OEM chargers.
At 2A loading, the ripple voltage falls again to 181mV, with the frequency increasing to 325.5kHz. At this loading, the ripple voltage is now much closer to the level of OEM chargers.
Unfortunately, while the Anker was able to do well or excel in the other parameters, the ripple voltage performance is somewhat poor in comparison. Other competing power banks have been able to achieve ~100mV ripple levels across the board which is more likely to be kinder to end devices and avoid unintended problems. The reason for this may be due to cost – as Qualcomm QC2.0 increases the output voltage, any filtering elements (e.g. high frequency capable MLCC capacitors) have to be rated for the higher voltage which increases cost, and size. To compensate, it seems they have added bulk capacitance in the form of electrolytic capacitors, but these do not function well at higher frequencies, which would let down the ripple performance.
On the whole, the power bank had many attractive qualities. As an end user, I definitely appreciated the higher energy density cells which reduced the size of the power bank for the same amount of energy making it easier to travel with. While I did not have any particularly picky devices, the power bank was compatible with all the devices I threw at it – Android, Apple and even a Sony PS Vita. The unit had a solid feel, and the 10-segment power indicator was much more accurate and descriptive both during charging and discharging than the more common four-segment efforts by competitors. This reduced anxiety as to whether there was enough charge in the bank, and as to how long it would take to finish recharging.
One of the downsides was that the included nylon drawstring bag had lots of loose frays inside, so whenever I’d take out the power bank, it would be covered with black nylon scraps which needed to be brushed off and blown out of the USB port. Improving the quality of the case would be a nice touch, but I think it’s quite amazing that it is included in the bundle in the first place and will help prevent the body from being scratched.
The Anker PowerCore 10050 is a premium package, using more expensive, highly energy dense Panasonic cells to achieve the smallest size for the power. The exterior build quality of the power bank is exquisite, and it feels extremely solid. It even comes with a decent cable and nylon drawstring bag. It comes with the full suite of technologies, including Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 which will allow some devices to charge quicker from the power bank and allow the power bank to charge quicker from compatible chargers.
Performance wise, the power bank showed exceptionally good voltage stability, relatively good efficiency and good charging efficiency. Where the power bank faultered was in voltage ripple and noise, which had ripple voltage up to twice as much as OEM stock chargers which could cause potential issues. The internal build quality from a teardown shows some minor deficiencies in its design and construction quality.
It is currently listed on Anker’s website for US29.99 (plus shipping) which is quite a bit less than I had expected based on the premium feel of the product, and would probably be worthy of your consideration if you absolutely require the best energy density, have very picky devices that won’t work with other power banks or need QC2.0 capability.
Thanks to Anker for providing this sample for review.
Bonus: Anker micro-USB Cable (3ft) (A7103)
After rummaging through the bag, I found a very nice inclusion – a micro-USB cable, so I thought I might as well unbox this in the review as well. This product comes from their Micro USB cables category, and is less flashy than the higher “Powerline” and “Powerline” series cables.
The item is boxed in a matte finish colour thin cardboard box printed in duotone sky blue and black, consistent with their other products. The package touts very similar features of eco (and user) friendliness.
Inside, there is the same support information card, and the cable itself bundled with a reusable velcro tie which is a nice addition. The cable itself does not have any Anker-specific printing like the bundled Powerline lead with the power bank, and it does not have any indications as to its thickness. That being said, the cable had a thicker feel to it compared to the Powerline cable, although the stiffness was similar suggesting the conductors may be quite a similar gauge. This has a significant bearing when it comes to the speed and efficiency of charging your devices.
In general use, it performed as expected, performing indistinguishably compared with the OEM supplied cables when charging my tablets and phones. Indications made using the Ampere app and various “charger doctors” showed very similar values. The connectors felt sturdy, and the moulding was solid. As I don’t have a specific test rig to test cable and connector resistance, I can’t really say much more than that.
Anker PowerCore 26800 PD Review Best Alternatives
The Anker PowerCore 26800 PD is not a new power bank in 2020, but it’s one of the most popular power banks available on the market.
A big reason for that is its features. It has a couple of things that make it stick out, as we’ll see in today’s review.
Let’s take a look at the features of the PowerCore 26800 PD and why it’s worth talking about.
The Features Of The PowerCore 26800 PD
Let’s start with the basics. It has a 26800mAh battery capacity, which is almost exactly the watt-hour limit you’re allowed to bring on an airplane. You’re allowed to bring a battery up to 100Wh, the PowerCore 26800 is 99.48Wh.
So what can a 26800mAh battery do? Well, the biggest iPhone available right now has a 3969mAh battery, so you could recharge the iPhone 11 Pro Max over 6 times. Not bad for a portable power bank.
The USB ports are Smart ports that can regulate the power depending on the device connected to it. Making it great not only for phones, but also for tablets, Nintendo Switch, and other USB powered devices.
One of my favorite features on the PowerCore is the LED power wheel. Push it once and small LEDs will let you know the state of charge. It’s not a small screen showing you a percentage, but still a quick way to see how charged it is.
Most power bank manufacturers struggle with this (in my opinion), and Anker’s solution is one that I like due to its simplicity and accuracy.
Anker’s MultiProtect Safety System protects your devices in case something would go wrong with the battery.
Inputs/Outputs Found On The PowerCore 26800 PD
It has two Smart USB ports, which Anker calls the PowerIQ feature. These ports can provide larger devices like tablets and a Nintendo Switch with more power as needed.
These USB A ports are 5V/3a each, which means they can output up to 15 watts. Both these ports can be used at the same time to charge more than one device.
In addition to the regular USB ports, it has a USB C port capable of outputting up to 30 watts, making it a great power bank to charge a more power-hungry device like the Nintendo Switch, and an iPad Pro.
The USB C input can also charge the power bank in less than five hours with the included USB C wall charger, which is impressive. I like not only the charging speed but the fact that Anker includes the fast wall charger.
Note that the PowerCore doesn’t allow pass-through charging, meaning you can’t charge a device through one of the USB ports while the battery itself is charging.
Solar Panel Charging Compatibility
You can charge the PowerCore 26800 with a solar panel through USB. I recommend a portable panel like the BigBlue 24W Solar Panel Charger.
All you would need then is a USB-A to USB-C cable so you can plug the solar panel into the USB-C input on the PowerCore.
What’s Included In The Box?
Included in the box you’ll find the 30W USB-C wall charger, a micro USB cable, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a travel pouch. Note that no lightning cable is included.
I have to give Anker a huge plus for including the fast wall charger. It would’ve been nice to see a USB-C to USB-A included as well so it would connect to portable solar panels easier, but it’s alright.
Conclusion And Pros/Cons
The Anker PowerCore 26800 PD is the power bank to beat, even in 2020. It can be brought on planes, charge your devices several times, and recharge quickly with the included wall adapter.
It doesn’t have a small LCD screen indicating how charged the battery is, but it’s still better than most power banks since it has circles that light up when you push the LED power wheel to let you know the state of charge.
Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the PowerCore 26800.
- Two USB-A ports, one USB-C for quick charging
- PD (Power Delivery) Support
- Lightweight (1.3 lbs)
- USB-C wall adapter included
- LED power wheel shows the state of charge
- 18 month warranty
- Allowed on planes in the USA (99.5Wh)
- USB-C to USB-C cable included
- Can be charged with a solar panel (with additional adapters)
- Includes a travel pouch to protect it during travel
- Micro USB cable included
- Compatible with Nintendo Switch, iPad Pro, USB-C Macbooks
- No lightning cable included
- No Micro USB input
- No USB-A to USB-C cable included
- No pass-through charging
Alternative Power Banks On The Market
One alternative that sticks out is the Powkey AC Power Bank which has a 88Wh battery and an AC outlet. You can plug electronics straight into the outlet as long as they don’t draw more than 65 watts. It’s airplane friendly, lightweight at 1.14 lbs, and comes with both a wall charger and a car charger.
Last but not least, the AINOPE 10,000mAh PD USB-C power bank is a very small neat little power bank capable of a lot of things the bigger banks do, plus some that they don’t. Starting with the little LCD indicator showing the battery percentage.
It also maxes out at 18W output through USB-C and is capable of fast charging. It includes both a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-A to USB-C cable, making it a perfect buddy for a BigBlue 24W Solar Panel. It doesn’t include a USB-C wall charger though. Extremely impressive for its size, maybe two of these would suit you better than one big power bank?
Frequently Asked Questions About The Anker PowerCore 26800 PD
Can you fly with the Anker Powercore 26800 PD?
How big is the PowerCore 26800 PD?
It measures 6.54 x 3.15 x 0.91 inches and weighs 1.28 lbs.
How do you charge an Anker power bank?
Anker power banks can be charged with the USB cable provided. Some power banks use micro USB, and some use USB-C. You can also charge an Anker power bank with a portable solar panel if the solar panel has a USB output.
How long does it take to charge the PowerCore 26800 PD?
When using the included USB-C wall charger, the PowerCore 26800 PD recharges in less than 5 hours.
Can the PowerCore 26800 PD charge the Nintendo Switch?
Yes, it can. It won’t, however, charge the Nintendo Switch if it’s connected via HDMI to a TV.
Does the Anker PowerCore 26800 PD allow pass-through charging?
No, you can not use the battery to charge a device while the battery itself is charging.
What is USB-C PD?
PD stands for Power Delivery and is a new specification for handling higher power to allow different devices to charge quickly over a USB connection.
3 thoughts on “Anker PowerCore 26800 PD Review Best Alternatives”
I have a yose power station that I thing uses a G4.01.7 connector where will I obtain a connector to run of a solar panel and what solar panel would you recommend Reply
Anker PowerCore 26800 PD review: Quickly recharge your USB-C MacBook or MacBook Pro
If you’re looking for a USB-C battery with no compromises and with all the extras, consider the Anker PowerCore 26800 PD (119.99 MSRP; 110 on Amazon). Using Power Delivery 2.0 (PD 2.0), the Anker battery can charge a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or other USB-C devices at up to 30 watts, allowing use of most laptops while you’re recharging.
Anker has paired its 30W output charge for devices with a 27W recharging capability and includes a small AC adapter capable of that feat. The PowerCore 26800 has internal cells that add up to 26,800 millampere-hours (mAh) or 96 watt-hours (Wh).
Anker PowerCore 26800: Charging laptops
It took about two hours to fully recharge a 2015 12-inch MacBook with a new Apple battery from empty, and about five hours to recharge the PowerCore 26800. That’s substantially faster than any other USB-C battery without PD 2.0 on the market.
This higher-wattage battery is much more efficient than previously tested USB-C packs. The Anker PowerCore 20100 (70Wh) model charged a MacBook’s 40Wh battery to nearly full with a roughly 10-percent charge remaining in the pack. By contrast, the PowerCore 26800 used about 40 to 50 percent of its charge, based on its LED display. (It has a ring of 10 white LEDs, each of which corresponds to up to the next 10 percent of capacity; five LEDs means 41 to 50 percent of charge remaining.)
With a little math, we can figure that the PowerCore 20100 consumed 65Wh for a full MacBook charge, while the PowerCore 26800 used an efficient 45Wh, including powering the laptop while recharging it—about 30 percent less energy required.
The 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models have batteries that range from slightly more to about twice the capacity of the MacBook, so you’ll be able to charge smaller models twice or nearly so and larger models fully at least once.
Anker PowerCore 26800: Charging an iPad Pro and an iPhone
In addition to the USB-C port, the pack also has two USB Type-A jacks that can each output a maximum of 15W (5V at 3A) at the same time, useful for both iPads and other mobile devices, which typically max out at 2.4A over Type-A, but also to charge other USB-C devices capable of handling 15W with a Type-A to USB-C cable.
I tested an iPad Pro with the battery pack, and it charged at the full 2.4A rate via the Type-A port, as expected. When using the Lightning to USB-C cable—which can charge at nearly 30W with an Apple USB-C power adapter—the battery only delivered 7.5W. But that’s actually saying something, as other USB-C power adapters and batteries I tested provided no power at all with that cable. An iPhone 7 Plus drew 1.7A. (To be exhaustive, I also tried charging the MacBook via a USB-C to Type-A cable, and it only provided 2W of power.)
The PowerCore 26800 not only comes with a USB-C adapter, but a USB-C to USB-C power cable that worked fine with the MacBook as well as the adapter. Anker also includes a Type-A to Micro-USB cable, and a mesh carrying case. At 1.3 pounds, it’s not light, but it’s worth its weight. At 7 by 3 by 1 inches, it’s fairly compact, too. The company offers an 18-month warranty.
There’s a lot to like about the Anker PowerCore 26800: the large power capacity, the fast charging of Mac laptops, and USB ports for charging iOS devices. It’s hard to go wrong with this battery pack.
Anker PowerCore vs. PowerCore: Which Power Bank is Better?
If you were shopping on Amazon for a power bank, chances are you came across a product in the Anker PowerCore line. They are, after all, some of the most popular power banks on the market and for good reason. But if you look carefully, you’ll notice that some models are branded as Anker PowerCore while others are Anker PowerCore. Anker PowerCore power banks tend to be significantly more expensive too.
Since they look pretty similar by design, you might ask what’s the difference? Since the higher price on the PowerCore insinuates a premium product, should you splurge on it? Here’s a quick comparison between the PowerCore and PowerCore to aid in your shopping spree.
Better Build Quality on PowerCore
One of the primary differences between the Anker PowerCore line and the PowerCore is the build quality. The PowerCore is made with an aluminum shell that Anker calls “Apple-grade.” The aluminum casing instead of the standard hard plastic is going to make PowerCore far more durable.
If you’re someone who is always dropping your gizmos and gadgets, this is something to consider. The innards also feature improvement in materials too, featuring “high-quality materials and circuitry” according to Anker.
PowerCore paints a more accurate picture of the remaining battery life.
The PowerCore still has decent build quality too. I own an Anker PowerCore 20100 myself and it feels very solid in the hand, but folks who need that extra layer of protection might look toward the PowerCore.
The PowerCore also has more LED lights to inform you on battery life. The standard PowerCore tends to have up to four LED lights while the PowerCore has a wheel of ten LEDs.
This paints a more accurate picture of the remaining battery life. lights mean a closer portrayal to the actual percentage remaining.
Faster Recharging and Included Wall Adapter
PowerCore advertises faster recharging. Anker power banks do come in small sizes that aren’t too inconvenient to charge, but larger models like the 20100 and up can take hours upon hours to recharge. That’s especially true if you don’t have a proper wall adapter that can sufficiently feed it large amounts of power. A 2.4A adapter can charge a large PowerCore in eight hours.
The largest model, the PowerCore 26800 that can charge an iPhone 10 times, has the added benefit of including a 2.4A charger in the box. So you don’t have to hunt around or spend extra money to get a charger that can efficiently handle such a large power bank. None of the standard PowerCore models include this.
Sticking with the PowerCore is the best bang for the buck.
As you can see, there really isn’t a whole lot different between the PowerCore and PowerCore.
Personally, it’s definitely not enough to justify the often significant price difference. For instance, the PowerCore 26800 is 58.99 while the PowerCore is 79.99.
All you get for that is the aluminum shell and “high quality materials” plus the included 2.4A charger and slightly faster charging. Plus, if you’re not going for the 26800, you don’t even get the charger as a differentiator.
Most people should be able to make out just fine with the PowerCore. If you’re clumsy or plan on using your power bank in extreme weather conditions, PowerCore might be better. Otherwise, sticking with the PowerCore is the best bang for the buck.
Last updated on 03 February, 2022
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