Running out of juice on your phone or tablet while on the go is becoming a problem for many of us since OEMs are focusing more on making devices thinner than putting bigger batteries in them. Some phones offer solutions like a removable battery or quick charging technology which is great if you’re near a wall outlet or have close to $50 for an extra battery that you’re still going to have to put into your phone to charge. Anker has a more elegant solution: The Anker Astro Mini 2nd gen External Battery Charger. You now have the ability to stay on the go with enough juice to avoid those annoying power saving modes that sap features out of your pocket computer/camera/music player/telephone.
Astro Mini Specs
The small size of the Anker Astro Mini is impressive when considering it packs almost the same amount of battery as the Note 4 and will get you 1.75 charges on an iPhone 6 or a little more then one charge of an iPhone 6 Plus with a bit of juice left over. While on about a 90 minute drive to a friend’s house I took my Note 4 from 61% to 100% which isn’t bad at all considering this thing packs only a 1A output. On something this small and compact, you’re not going to get all the bells and whistles of bigger chargers so there’s no second charging port at 2.1A unfortunately.
Look And Feel
For the fashion conscious, have no fear. The Anker Astro Mini not only comes in 5 colors (Silver, Black, Blue, Pink and Gold) but it looks equally good in all color combinations. The shiny aluminum body is offset by a matte Anker logo in the middle of the cylinder. Not only does it look good but it’s a good size. About the size of a tube of lipstick, it can easily be put in your jeans pocket for charging on the go. The tube is solidly built.
Made of aluminum, it feels like it can stand up to a drop or two with only surface damage. It has a decent amount of weight to it (almost 3 ounces) but in my opinion, it isn’t heavy. I would have no issue carrying it around in my pants pocket or bag for an entire day.
Anker’s big selling point here besides the compact size is it’s PowerIQ Technology that comes included on the Anker Astro Mini. PowerIQ detects what the maximum your device can charge at and delivers power at that speed. This is great because you don’t want to leave your phone charging any longer than you have to especially when you’re on the go.
I wish we could have seen a 2.1A output here in addition to the 1A to get an even quicker charger but being in such a small package, you can’t have everything. In future versions we hope to see support for Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 2.0 standard which can get you about 50% of the Note 4’s battery in a half an hour.
Anker Astro Mini Conclusion
The Anker Astro Mini 2nd gen is excellent option for those on the go who use their phones a lot whether it’s for snapping those unforgettable moments on their camera or playing games like Ingress which suck a lot of battery power. Throwing this in your pocket next to your phone and plugging it in shouldn’t be an issue unless you’re wearing the skinniest of jeans.
Don’t forget once you plug in your phone to hit the button on top of the charger (which is a little difficult to press, we must say) or it wont start. In the next version of this charger we’d love to see Anker add some kind of solution to tell us how much battery left in the charger. Since there is only the one LED on top to tell you if it’s charging or discharging, there’s no way to know how much you have left or if you need to top off. If you’re looking for an ultra portable option to keep you powered up while you’re on the go, you should definitely check out the Anker Astro Mini.