This is a review of Anker Astro E5 15000 mAh external battery: Anker Astro E5 15000mAh External Battery - White
Being familiar with footprint of their E4 battery, when Anker announced a new E5 model with higher capacity I was expecting to see bigger and heavier model with a typical 30% efficiency loss. I know I bring it up in a lot of the reviews, but labeled capacity of ANY external battery is not what your phone battery going to see. Its a total capacity of cells inside of external battery which gets converted to 5V usb interface output and then back to your cell phone battery while charging - the efficiency loss during the conversion reduces the actual capacity by approximately 30%, with some batteries close to 40% and others maybe slightly better to 25%. On top of that, a lot of no name ebay HK sellers have batteries with super exaggerated capacity where you will be lucky to get even half of what they advertise on the label. That is why I only trust a few brands, Anker being one of them.
Once I received E5 unit for review to my surprise, the footprint stayed almost unchanged and difference in weight was negligible in comparison to previous E4 gen. But you actually get 2000 mAh more in capacity to bring it up to 15000 mAh. The battery cells are changing and improving, and I'm glad to see that Anker is keeping up with a new technology. E5 external battery is not exactly feather light, but at about 11.1 oz and 5"x3"x0.9" is manageable and actually the same as Note 2 with Zerolemon battery. The exterior is solid plastic, no flex, and comes in either white or black. For this review I chose a white unit and found it to be great to cover up any fingerprints. The top has a large power button with dual functionality to also turn on built-in led light. At full charged battery capacity, the light could last up to 700 hours if you only use it for that purpose. Next to power button you have 4-led capacity/charging indicator in 25% increments. Charging input to the battery is a standard micro-usb and has 1.5A charging speed for a fast charging of this battery. Output is a dual full usb port, rated at 2A and 1A both of which can be used simultaneously to deliver 3A of combined current. Each port current output is regulated where I confirmed charging Note 2 from one gave me max 2A and from the other one only up to 1A.
This extended battery comes with usb cable and interchangeable tips for micro-usb, mini-usb, and apple 30-pin connector. Also, it comes with a convenient storage pouch for a battery, cable, and attachment. It also comes with a detailed manual and 18-month warranty card. But there is also a big surprise. I have been reading other independent test reviews of this module and it turned out to have an actual capacity close to 11,800 mAh. We are talking about 21.5% efficiency loss which is very good considering typical batteries of such capacity have it at 30% or higher. This mean you can charge your Note 2 with a standard battery almost 4 times, or easily charge Zerolemon and have some juice still left - all this at a max 2A speed. Overall, I'm very impressed with this battery and its performance!
Here are the pictures.
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