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Review of Anker Astro 3 (2nd gen) 12000 mAh external battery w/pics!!!Tips


  1. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    This is a review of Anker Astro 3 (new 2nd gen) 12000 mAh external battery: Anker 2nd Generation Astro 3 12000mAh External Battery

    *** The Review of the updated version was posted: http://androidforums.com/samsung-ga...-mah-external-battery-w-pics.html#post6520785

    ***

    Yes, another external battery. No, this one is like nothing I have ever tested from Anker or anybody else. It's not a surprise Anker became one of my favorite companies to review new products from because they are constantly introducing something new and/or improved. That is the only way to stay on top of the game and to earn the top rating of your customers.

    First of all, even with it's 12000 mAh capacity, this new 2nd gen Astro shrank up in size down to 110 mm x 83 mm x 26 mm which fits very comfortably and feels very nice with its soft touch rubbery finish in your hand. At close to 10 oz in weight you will feel it for sure in your pocket, although it's slick design is very portable and with included mesh pouch is easy to carry around in your bag/purse/backpack or even pants pocket, as long as you are not wearing skinny jeans :) In contrast to most of the today's external batteries with dual output, Astro 3 comes with 3 independent full size usb outputs that deliver a whooping 4A of combined current. I checked it by charging Note 2, S4, and Nexus 7 simultaneously and was able to confirm that right on a dot. N2 was charging at about 2A, S4 at about 1A, and N7 at about 1A as well. I was actually timing and monitoring the percentage of battery change, not just relying on Current Charge app. These 3 usb charging outputs are actually partitioned into one Smart output (intended for Apple devices and other android devices) and two Universal outputs which are specifically designed to charge Android devices at maximum speed. There is some custom circuit which determines max speed and optimizes output correspondingly. I also noticed the safety nature of this circuit prevented me from charging both N2 and S4 at 2A each from Universal outputs where N2 was charging at 2A and S4 at 1A, leaving 1A for Smart output, thus confirming it's not a bulk current sharing between all 3 ports. The input port, micro-usb, for charging Astor 3 is actually a fast 1.5A input which is great since it charges this external battery at 1.5x times faster rate.

    While you charging the battery itself or using to charge other devices, another huge improvement in the design is a circular 10-segment indicator with granularity of 10%. You no longer have to rely on a typical 4-segment led. This one will give you a more precise reading, although it might take you a little while to get used to figuring out on a spot the exact percentage by counting segments before light times out. Once the light turns off, it's a clean surface design with no leds or buttons. So how do you turn it on or verify led count? Yet another cool innovation, just do a shake of the battery and indicator circle turns on to reveal number of active segments. I really like that motion activated switch, makes it very unique. But trust me, it's not the most unique part of this new Astro 3 design. As I mentioned in a number of my previous reviews, the labeled capacity of the battery is not what you actually get. It's the capacity of the cells inside of external battery when it has to be converted to 5V usb interface at the output and then back from 5V to 3.7V inside of the phone. During this conversion ALL external batteries loose anywhere between 30%-35% of its capacity. Well, this new 2nd gen Astro 3 is optimized to a much higher efficiency. I have tested it and can confirm it provides the actual charging capacity of 10,044 mAh, which means a loss of only 16%!!! Basically, the internal battery circuit has been optimized to provide a more efficient output. I have tested a lot of external batteries, and this is the first one I have seen at such high efficiency.

    Overall, I was very impressed with a design and features of this battery, especially with how efficient it's output. Currently offered for $49.99 on Amazon its a great value where it provides the actual capacity output equal to other more expensive batteries labeled at around 14000 mAh. With a high output efficiency, 4A of total combined charging current, triple output, and motion activated 10-segment led indicator - I highly recommend it!

    Here are the pictures.

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  2. drexappeal

    drexappeal Well-Known Member

    Another great twister review! My 1st gen Astro 3 is still going strong, but I'm going to keep my eyes out for special deals on this one. It's way smaller than my 1st gen astro 3, so I wouldn't mind lugging it around in cargo pants (the 1st gen is a little too heavy to really lug around all day).
  3. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    Agreed, a very good review and thanks also left to reflect this.

    I also have the original Astro 3 and use it all the time, preferring its use over a standard charging plug.
    What I find missing on this one though is the 9v & 12v selector.
    It used to come in handy for charging my ASUS Transformer Prime.
    Although the Prime has long gone I still like the fact the voltage selector is there should at a later date I find a need for it.

    Also I'm not convinced this new charger fully supports the iPad4 which amongst my many Android tablets I also own. The iPad4 is very different to other iPads with it's power requirements.

    Regardless, I too will be keeping a close eye on the new charger.
  4. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    9V/12V output has been moved to Anker Astro Pro 14400 mAh ext battery model: http://androidforums.com/samsung-ga...ro-pro-14400-mah-external-battery-w-pics.html

    And it makes sense because most of the people only care about 5V usb output, with 9V/12V becoming specialized function. For that, you still have an option with Astro Pro and it's enormous capacity :)

    With iPad 4, what is up to in terms of current supply? I think iPad 3 was 2.1A or was that iPad 2? Lost a count already. If iPad4 needs 3A, yes, I doubt Astro 3 will be able to supply full 3A out of a single output (with such electronics it's wise to current limit to 2A so you don't overheat/burn anything).
  5. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    Apple increased the iPad4 chargers wattage from 10W to 12.5W
    Given it has 5V means it would require 2.5A (12.5
  6. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

  7. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    It would appear I got the voltage wrong.
    The correct figures are 5.2V but with still 12.5W

    That would make it 12.5
  8. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    Twister, if you get a chance to speak with your Anker guys ask them if the product was tested with an iPad 4.
    If they can confirm 100% that it charges correctly I'll order one.

    So far I have not found ANY portable charger that will charge the iPad 4 correctly.
    By correctly I mean it charges at the correct power rate.
    Some charges port themselves as fully compatible only to find they merely 'trickle' the charge due to inadequate power delivery.
  9. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    Yep, forwarded to them a link to this whole thread ;) Hopefully will hear back in a day or so with their test results. Believe me, if I would have iPad 4 or know anybody around me with it - I would have done the test already.

    Btw, I just checked with their website and see they are running back-2-school sale, where Astro 3 is $45.99 with a discount code: Back To school-United States
    Beards likes this.
  10. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I look forward to their findings.
    In reference to purchase; I'm located in the UK.
    Previously I have purchased my Anker items from Laptopmate UK at Amazon.co.uk
    However I note this new product is not showing with Amazon.co.uk nor is Laptopmate selling their products. It now shows AnkerDirect for all other Anker products.
    If they have a UK seller that would be great..
  11. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    Looks like sold out in both US and UK amazon stores, here is a link to UK store: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...17145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=B00CEZBKTO

    ... UPDATE...

    Apparently there is a glitch on Amazon (both US and UK), so they are not actually sold out but rather Amazon messed somehting up with all anker products.

    ... UPDATE 2...

    They confirmed it's fully compatible to charge iPad 4 at full speed with 2.4A of current.
    Beards likes this.
  12. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    That's the same Amazon UK link I found as well (hence why I found Amazon UK as not showing the new charger).

    Brilliant news it supports the iPad4 fully. All I need now is for Amazon UK to sort out the stock situation and I'll order one immediately.
  13. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    From what I heard, something was messed up with US Amazon where Anker product listing didn't show up correctly. Then, they finally fixed the problem, but Astro 3 new model is sold out on US Amazon and will be back in stock in a week, while on UK Amazon it's available (I just checked).

    In general, and this doesn't refer just to Anker but any other product/vendor I have reviewed. If anybody has a question for a vendor and can't get an answer right away - let me know because I receive review samples directly from their marketing department and can get in touch quicker to get you an answer.
    Beards likes this.
  14. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    Thanks again Twister.
    Just looked back at Amazon UK and yes you are correct the item is in stock.

    :thumb:Job done..... Ordered and on it's way to me. I should receive it this Friday so will check it out on the iPad 4 (the sole reason I have bought this new portable charger). If I come across any issues I'll let you know so you can 'feed' the info back to Anker.
  15. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    Hi Twister,
    Well it arrived early, yesterday afternoon.
    After taking it out from the packaging I noticed (love the new shake to wake feature) it only had 4 bars of power, so like I do with all devices that have a battery I left it to charge.....
    After 4 hours all lights went out indicating a full charge so to work it went..
    Plugged one end into the 'Smart' connection and the other into my iPad 4 and immediately noticed the charge light came on.
    Now this is a first as no other portable charger I have tried offered enough power to actually change the battery symbol indicate it was charging the Pad.

    As to charging; this device is MAGIC. Not only did it indicate a charge but it did so at the same level as the mains charger that comes with the iPad 4.

    At long last I now have a portable charger for the hungry iPad 4.

    Am I happy? You bet I am. So much so I will now order another one to keep as a backup.

    Please let the guys at Anker know and my sincere thanks to you in providing all the info.

    Cheers
    Beards
  16. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    Twister,
    Help..... I am in need of your assistance please.
    This morning I put the charger on charge as it had depleted most of the cells.
    After 3hrs it had only lit up one further cell (2 cells in total) but I left it to carry on.
    After a further 3 hours I checked it again and it still had only the two cells showing as charged.

    All day and evening I have tried it with two other USB Mains chargers and none of them will charge the charger any further.
    All it shows is the charging lights lighting then going out with only the first two showing as charged.

    As such this device is defective.

    Can you please speak with Anker about this for me. Unfortunately I am not in a position to send it back to Amazon just yet (holiday coming up) and knowing Amazon they will want me to pay postage to send it back which I am reluctant to do seeing as the item is obviously defective.

    Look forward to hearing your comments.

    Beards
  17. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    First of all, what wall charger/usb cable are you using? I would prefer original Samsung combo since you know it guaranteed for 2A full speed charge. Also, check to make sure your electric outlet is not busted (it could happen). Using something like Galaxy Charging Current free app can give you a good idea to baseline your charger/cable.

    Another thing to keep in mind, even with a perfectly working charger/cable, it can still take you up to 10 hours for a full charge, and charge sometimes might not be linear with a constant increment. So I would let it sit for 12 hours; lithium batteries like to be overcharged a bit for a full capacity since often as soon as it reports "100%" it might not always be exactly 100%. Once a battery fully charged up, use the same usb/micro-usb cable to charge your phone/tablet.

    Don't panic yet, see if these steps would help. If something is found to be defective - gotta replace it under warranty. You get 18-months of warranty, USE IT!!! I'm surprised Amazon UK makes you pay for return shipping, here with Amazon US they send you prepaid label when item is defective or unwanted.
  18. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    Thanks Twister,
    Yes, I have tried various USB chargers from 5V 1A to my Samsung Tablets 5V 2A and another which is rated at 5V 1.5A. All have been connected to different power mains which I know work correctly.
    I even tried three different micro USB cables all which I know work fine.
    So yes I have tried various combinations.

    Since my last message I left it overnight for a further 6hrs charging on a 5V 1.5A (which according to the instructions is the Input rating) and have just checked to see how it got on.....
    It is still only showing 2 cell bars complete, having not budged one bit overnight.
    In other words it's now been on charge for well over 18hrs and all I have to show is 2 bars complete.

    Both the plug and the charger are hot and the battery bars on the charger are still glowing clockwise so it indicates it has been providing a current.

    In reference to Amazon UK. They only do returns and a return is not what I want.
    In other words if I require a replacement (which I do) I have to return the item at my expense and then order another again paying for postage for delivery.
    So you get hit 3 x with postage. Once for initial order, twice for returns and thrice for another new order and Amazon UK aren't cheap on delivery costs for this item.

    In the past if I had an issue with any of my Anker products (I have three) I could contact LaptopMate who provided all of them and they would simply send out a replacement unit at no additional cost and I returned the defective one after.

    What is more annoying is this Anker product is the first portable charger that actually charges the iPad 4.
    The first charger that charges correctly but I can not recharge the charger itself.... Quite ironic really.:(
  19. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    I forwarded to Anker this thread, and they suggested to contact them directly at: support@ianker.com (everything is covered under 18-month warranty).

    Good luck!
    Beards likes this.
  20. Beards

    Beards Well-Known Member

    Thanks Twister, I have now sent them a request for further instructions.

    Beards.
  21. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    A lot of companies follow a simple formula: if it ain't broke, don't fit it. So if you have a great selling product, just continue with it. But, not the Anker guys. I was very impressed with their 2nd gen release of Astro 3 external battery, but was made aware they took it to the next level with a few of important updates. Now, I got a chance to receive it and to confirm these changes.

    In general, it's the same 3 full usb port external battery with a capacity of 12,000 mAh per my original review you will find in OP. The footprint didn't change, the shape and the soft touch material stayed the same, in addition to black color you also get a white color option. One important change was update from 5V/1.5A charging input to 5V/2A which means 30% faster charging of the actual battery. I think it's very important considering it's large 12,000 mAh capacity. Another update is all new velor draw string storage pouch which is more durable and looks classier than a previous mesh pouch. But the most important change is that now ALL 3 ports are Smart universal ports able to charge any Android or Apple device (even the latest gen iPad) at the max charging speed. Just keep in mind, the combined max current is still capped at 4A, so don't expect to connect 3x iPads :) But as you can see, I had my Note 2 (charging at max speed) along with 2x Nexus 7 tablet without any problem while still maintaining 85%-87% charging efficiency.

    Below are the pictures of the updated Astro 3 (2n gen) external battery (Anker 2nd Gen Astro3 12000mAh External Battery Charger with PowerIQâ„¢ Technology).

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    MISS DIVA likes this.
  22. MISS DIVA

    MISS DIVA Well-Known Member

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