Review: Anker Astro2 9000 mAh Battery Pack

Oh geeze. “Another battery pack”, you say. Well, truth be told, I have an affinity of sorts for battery packs/cases. I shudder at the thought of being left without a working phone. Such a thing means I’m disconnected from the world. And as sick/disturbing as that may sound, it’s the simple fact. I must have a working device hence my army of battery packs.

Considering the rather basic nature of such an item, it’s easy to see how differentiation between competing models is slim to none. The saying “once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” very much rings true here. Boxes of battery cells with small amounts of variation in color and texture, maybe an extra port or two, and occasionally, a display of some sorts (those are pretty nifty). But occasionally we’re surprised with something that stands out, something that makes us take a second look. Today, that device is the Astro2 by Anker.

The Goods

Offering 9,000 and 12,000 mAh, it’s clear that these are for multi-device users or those of you with serious disconnection issues such as myself. There’s no running out of power even on two devices for at least a day with either one. Max Borges was kind enough to send me a 9,000 mAh unit to play around with and I must say, it’s my go-to charger for the time being. For starters, it’s 9,000 mAh. Instead of charging both my phone and a battery pack daily, I can now go a few days between charging my backup power source.

Being many times larger than your average battery pack would lead one to believe that the Astro2 units are unsightly and large. But nothing could be further from the truth. The 9,000 model I have isn’t large by any means. It’s a couple inches longer than a deck of cards and about twice as thick. The edges running length wise are heavily rounded leaving the ends of the device with the only hard edges (but even those are rounded a bit). A soft touch finish wraps the entire device.

At one end of the device you’ll find the microUSB input for charging the Astro2 itself and two USB ports for external devices. One port is labeled “Smart” while the other gets slapped with “Universal”. Really, either port will work for any device. That said, the Smart port tops out at 2.4A charging while Universal just goes all out at 3A - the 9,000 mAh model’s max output. You can also use both ports at the same time to charge (at full speed), two high power devices.

Once other nice perk of the Astro2 is that instead of the normal 4-light indicator of the unit’s charge, Anker has given the Astro2 series a 10-piece ring that read out in 10% increments. Minor, yes, but highly apreciated and far more accurate.

Get This

What’s a charger packing this much power cost? Normally you’ll spend anywhere from ~$40-$90 for something with only 4-5000 mAh on tap. The Astro2 9000, meanwhile, hits the wallet at a mere $40. It may be simple in utility and unassuming in appearance. But at $40 for 9,000 mAh with two high-speed charging ports, there’s really no reason I can think of to recommend anything else over this. Seriously. Whatever battery pack you’re thinking about getting, at least check Anker out before you hit “buy”.

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