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Old April 6th, 2013, 10:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Review of Anker Astro Slim2 4500 mAh External battery w/pics!!!

This is a review of Anker Astro Slim2 4500 mAh dual output External battery (5V 1A Input, 5V 1A dual output with built in hideaway cable for one of the output ports): [New] AnkerŪ Astro Slim2 4500mAh Dual 5V 1A Output Ultra Slim External Battery with Hideaway Micro-USB for Android, USB Port for iPhones and other devices

Every time I start to think about extended battery, I run into a big question of what am I going to do with all my cases that no longer going to fit the phone. That is why I decided to explore external battery solution. I don't trust no-name ebay brands because those have overly exaggerated capacity rating. So I turned to a trusted brand, Anker, since so many people in this forum had a lot of positive things to say about their products. In comparison to our stock 3100 mAh battery, this Slim2 external battery is not over the top with its 4500 mAh labeled capacity. If you take into consideration all the conversion factors between external lithium battery, USB port transport, and back to phone's battery, we are talking about final capacity which could realistically be closer to 3100 mAh (and actually stated in the manual as 30% internal power consumption due to losses). What makes the battery stand out is it's unbelievable slim form factor and all the design details that go with it.

When you first take it in your hand you can't believe how light and slim it is. We are talking about 10mm slim! I actually took exact measurement with my digital caliper and found it to be 4.97" x 2.52" x 0.41" (126.34mm x 64.08mm x 10.64mm) and weight to be 4.1 oz (116g) which also includes built-in micro-usb cable. I can see that a lot of thought went into it's design. The case of this external battery is made out of tough plastic with a matte finish and sides have a rubbery finish for a nice grip. The form factor is very slick, something that can go easily into your pocket or purse or even carried in one hand attached externally to your phone. The unit has one micro-usb input port which is cleverly covered by hideaway micro-usb output cable/connector, and another regular usb output port. Pretty much it eliminates a need to carry any external cables since the one you need for your Android device is already built-in. The cable for that external micro-usb connector is flat, flexible, and just long enough to wrap around the end of the battery pack, and it should be sufficient to connect to any phone or tablet. As part of the accessories that come with Slim2, you also get usb-to-micro-usb extension cable with additional mini-usb adapter and Apple 30pin adapter. This second regular usb Output port also comes very handy for another important reason. If you look at the pictures I took, you can see that hideaway micro-usb connector has trapezoid shape. It should work fine with most of the slim or rugged cases that have silicone or tpu inner shell/bumper surrounding micro-usb port opening. With my UAG case is was a very close call where I had to push it in with some force. This hideaway port will not work with Defender case due to its inner plastic shell suited and standard rectangular port opening. That's where 2nd usb output port comes in handy to use external usb cable with a regular micro-usb connector.

There is no power button, instead you have auto on/off capability and display of battery capacity using 4 led lights partitioned in 25% increments. Every time you plug/unplug power cable those lights lit up to show you capacity level or charging level. Also, auto shut off reassures that you will not overcharge the battery once it reaches 100%. I charged this battery to 100% (indicated by 4 solid lights), and used with my Note 2 which was down to 55%. To my surprise charging time was very fast considering it has 1A output, and I was able to get my phone back to 100% within 1.5 hour with 2 led lights remaining thus indicating that battery still had 50% of charge left. That is consistent with my assumption of battery capacity to be around 3100 mAh.

Overall, I'm very pleased with Slim2 as an emergency battery pack. It's slim, easy to grip, light weight, small footprint, NO need for external cables (unless if you have a case like Defender), and ability to charge 2 devices simultaneously. Furthermore, if you remember my mod with clip stand from a car mount, I actually found it to fit together really well which is great, for example, while watching a movie and charging your phone up at the same. Everything is captured in pictures below!


































With a clip-stand:




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Old April 7th, 2013, 02:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks very nice that!

And works great with that stand
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Old April 7th, 2013, 08:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks very nice that!

And works great with that stand
For me the convenience of using it with that clip-stand mod is a huge bonus because my biggest battery drain is when I watch movies/tv on my phone. But of course, its being slim is the best feature

I'm actually so impressed with this product that planning to get Astro 3E (10000 mAh external battery from Anker). Will review it as well once I get it.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 12:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've been thinking about picking one of these up. I don't really want to get a extended battery so this works perfect.

Btw nice granite counters and sweet range! Yeah I'm a sucker for a nice kitchen.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 11:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I almost got one, but then I realized that I would not be able to use the built in micro USB cable because my metal frame charger port opening is very narrow and very deep. There is no way the wide plastic head of the built in cable would fit thru. I cannot easily open the frame either as it is fit together with screws. Anyway, I nose around a bit on Amazon and found this one:

Amazon.com: [New Release] EasyAccTM PowerBank iChoc M5 5000mAh 2.5A Dual Port Fast Charging Ultra-Slim Portable External Battery Charger Pack built-in Micro-USB Cable and LED Flashlight for iPhone 5S 5C 4S (Apple adapters not included), Andorid Smart

It is very well made. When I bought it, it was $15.99, but now they raised the price to $18.49. It is still a really good deal. I charged my Note II from about 52% to 95% in about 1 hour and then takes another 1/2 hour to get to 100% as the the charging rate slow down more and more as it gets closer to 100%. The spec sheet said it is only suppose to have a 1A output on the built in cable and a 2A at the USB port, but Battery Monitor said I am charging at around 1500mA with the Note II.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 01:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I almost got one, but then I realized that I would not be able to use the built in micro USB cable because my metal frame charger port opening is very narrow and very deep. There is no way the wide plastic head of the built in cable would fit thru. I cannot easily open the frame either as it is fit together with screws. Anyway, I nose around a bit on Amazon and found this one:

Amazon.com: [New Release] EasyAccTM PowerBank iChoc M5 5000mAh 2.5A Dual Port Fast Charging Ultra-Slim Portable External Battery Charger Pack built-in Micro-USB Cable and LED Flashlight for iPhone 5S 5C 4S (Apple adapters not included), Andorid Smart

It is very well made. When I bought it, it was $15.99, but now they raised the price to $18.49. It is still a really good deal. I charged my Note II from about 52% to 95% in about 1 hour and then takes another 1/2 hour to get to 100% as the the charging rate slow down more and more as it gets closer to 100%. The spec sheet said it is only suppose to have a 1A output on the built in cable and a 2A at the USB port, but Battery Monitor said I am charging at around 1500mA with the Note II.
With Astro Slim batteries, all that rubbery bulk around micro-usb connector is easily trimmed. That's exactly what I did with mine using kitchen knife

Is that EasyAcc part micro-usb connector trimmer? Does it get stored inside? Can you take a picture of it next to your phone, would be very useful!

I have no doubt its a good product, but the price seems to be way too low which is an indicator of low quality cells. There is no way around it. For example, Anker released 2nd gen of their slim battery with 6000 mAh capacity (I reviewed it here: Review of Anker Astro Slim3 6000 mAh external battery and stand w/lots of pics!!!) and its a top quality grade A cells, while the price is around $35. I know Motorola and somebody else make similar ones for a higher price. Anker usually re-brands Chinese products they buy in bulk and test out to sell with 18-month warranty, and typically they have a small markup. That is why I'm a bit surprised at $18.99 price of 5,000 battery. But if it works for you - it all that matters!
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Old September 26th, 2013, 02:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I will need to get home to borrow my wife's phone to take a picture side by side with the Note II. It looks to be bigger than the Slim 2, as the width of the battery is almost exactly the same as the screen on the Note II. The length is about 1/4 inch longer than the Note II screen. It is about the same thickness as the Note II.

I don't know about the cell quality, but I do have another EasyAcc battery bank which is 12000mAh and it is working great after 6 months so far. I got it for the plane ride to keep my son's iPad Mini, my wife's Kindle Fire, and my Note II charged during the 16 hours flight. I was going to get the Anker one but I need 3 USB ports and Anker only got 2.

This thing looks really well made and feel like quality. The outside is the matte soft touch rubber material like that on a good phone case. The micro usb plastic housing is thinner than most of my cables and only a tiny bit wider with the little tab.

I like that it has a button you could push to tell you the state of charge of the battery. I read that on the slim 2 you have to plug in the phone to see the battery status lights. I know from experience with the 12000 mAh battery, I am always checking to see if it is charged. It was supposed to be for OUTSIDE uses, but my son and wife are using it so they don't have to plug their devices into the wall during their marathon kindle reading or youtube playing sessions. And I am left to find a empty battery when I need it... part of the reason I got this one so I have my own.

EDIT: Adding some photos.



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Old September 26th, 2013, 04:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the great review.
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Old October 9th, 2013, 02:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The Astro Slim2 is on sales at Amazon for $19.99 for 3 days. Use code SLIM2AST at checkout to get the discount.

Amazon.com: AnkerŪ Astro Slim2 4500mAh Ultra-Slim Portable External Battery Charger Power Bank with Hideaway Micro-USB for Android, USB Port for iPhones (Apple adapters not included), Google Glass and other USB-charged devices: Cell Phones & Accessor

I got one for my niece.
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Old October 11th, 2013, 10:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Got the Slim2 yesterday thanks for Amazon Prime! The Slim2 is smaller than the EasyAcc one I got, but as I suspected, the connector won't fit into my case. My niece does not use any case so it would be perfect for her.

Here are some side by side pictures of the 2 battery packs.

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Old October 11th, 2013, 11:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Very easy to trim it (Slim2/3). You can cut the excess rubber from the sides around the connector. That's exactly what I did to fit it with my UAG case. Like I said before, just used a kitchen knife and sliced it away. Just be careful not to cut the actual power wires
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Old October 14th, 2013, 01:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Was looking at the accessory pack in the 11th pic, does this include an adapter for the Note10.1? (would be a major plus for me if I can carry 1 battery to charge both my devices if needed)
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Old October 14th, 2013, 03:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Was looking at the accessory pack in the 11th pic, does this include an adapter for the Note10.1? (would be a major plus for me if I can carry 1 battery to charge both my devices if needed)
Sorry, that was 30pin apple micro-usb adapter.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 07:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Very cool review and beautiful photos!

I recently purchased an Anker Astro E5 and found it to be a really great product too.
Good stuff!
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Old October 16th, 2013, 08:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You guys realize this is their older model which has been replaced by Slim3 with 6000 mAh already? Review of Anker Astro Slim3 6000 mAh external battery and stand w/lots of pics!!!
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Old October 17th, 2013, 11:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Btw, I just posted another review of their brand new 2nd gen Astro 6000 mAh battery: Review of Anker 2nd gen Astro 6000 mAh external battery w/lots of pics!!!

If you guys are looking for a compact design - this new Astro battery is just want you want!
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Old October 18th, 2013, 01:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Aw bugger. So, the Anker Astro's with the built in micro-usb cable don't connect well if you're using a Defender case? Crap.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 11:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Aw bugger. So, the Anker Astro's with the built in micro-usb cable don't connect well if you're using a Defender case? Crap.
I have a feeling that Ander will change the built-in connector for the next Slim. I kept looking at it and it really doesn't need to be that big even just for the look.

And twister6, you can go camping for 2 weeks with that many Anker battery packs! I think between the 2nd gen Astro 6000 and the Slim3 6000, I will probably pick the Slim3. It is easier to hold behind the phone and thinner. Unless the 2nd gen Astro is a lot cheaper (I haven't check the price), then I might pick the 2nd gen.

I am still happy with my EasyAcc though. Although the rubbery surface is very easy to pick up oil from the fingers.
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Old November 3rd, 2013, 03:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Clip stand mod is extremely cool

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Originally Posted by twister6 View Post
"...Furthermore, if you remember my mod with clip stand from a car mount, I actually found it to fit together really well which is great, for example, while watching a movie and charging your phone up at the same. Everything is captured in pictures below!"
With a clip-stand:



I went nuts over that clip stand mod and ended up finding that same car mount in a Big Lots store.
That clip is better by itself than attached to that stand. For me it ended up being a bit wobbly with my Note 2 on the windshield of my Jeep.

Thanks for the great idea and all the reviews!
I ended up buying an Anker product in part because of your write ups.
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