Anker has made a name by offering top-notch products at extremely aggressive prices, and they’re easily one of the most popular brands for electronics and accessories on Amazon. Whether you need a speaker, a charger, a phone case, or pretty much anything else, Anker is the first stop for many people.
For this review, we got our hands on the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD. Yeah, it’s a mouthful. It’s a 20100mAh portable battery with an extremely quick recharge capability and a USB-C port. It’s definitely a little more expensive than your typical portable battery bank, but is it worth it? Let’s find out.
We’ll start with the design. When you’re buying battery banks, the materials it’s made out of may not be on the top of the list of importance, but you do want something to be well-built if you’re going to lug it around all the time and trust the battery to not explode on you.
The PowerCore is fairly large, bordering on being impossible to stick in your pocket. It’s made of a soft touch plastic but overall feels pretty sturdy, so I wouldn’t be concerned with tossing it in a bag while you’re out. That non-pocket size might be a dealbreaker for some people, though. Anker does include a mesh pouch to carry the battery around.
You’ll find the Anker logo and an LED battery indicator on the top of the pack, with the USB and USB-C charging ports on the right side. The top side of the battery if you’re looking directly at the Anker logo houses the button to check the battery level of the accessory.
It’s a matte black color, finishing up a simple but clean design. Some battery packs do look pretty cool and make good fashion accessories, but Anker’s all function here.
The PowerCore features an absolutely massive 20100mAh capacity, which means you’re going to get multiple charges on your phone with enough juice left over to charge your other devices, too. Since it has a built-in USB-C port, Anker also expects you to be fast charging other compatible devices, too. The description lists things like laptops and the Nintendo Switch, all of which are starting to move towards USB-C charging.
Charging up these devices with the included USB-C to USB-C charger is fast. At least, it’s as fast as your devices will support it. The Anker PowerCore delivers 22.5 watts of power, which is pretty insane for a portable battery. That means you’ll charge your smartphones as quickly as they can possibly charge while giving your bigger devices a considerable boost. With this much capacity, it makes the PowerCore is an excellent choice for long trips or covering multiple devices between charges.
And when you need to recharge the PowerCore? It’s even faster. Anker’s rated this device to be recharged at 30 watts, which is capable of fully recharging in four hours. In practice, I managed to get it fully recharged in less than that using the included USB-C cable and the included fast charge wall block. It’s the easiest way to guarantee you’ll never be without some kind of battery while you’re out.
There are a few drawbacks to the PowerCore, some of which are Anker’s fault and some that are just industry flaws.
The PowerCore has two ports, including a USB and USB-C. If you’ve got a ton of USB-C devices, you’ll love that, but if you’re still hanging onto old microUSB devices, you’re basically stuck with just one usable port and a charging port for the PowerCore itself. This is a really expensive battery if you can’t take advantage of the USB-C port.
Tons of laptops, modern phones, and even things like Xbox and PlayStation controllers still use older USB ports. Apple devices also don’t typically use USB-C, although you can always buy extra cables to make things connect. That’s an extra price though.
Not counting the USB-C thing, only having two ports is a relatively low number compared to other battery packs in the $100 ballpark. You’re also not getting any Qi charging or extra functionality, like a flashlight.
It’s a one-trick pony, but the Anker PowerCore does its one trick extremely well. It’s one of the fastest chargers you’ll find, and Anker throws in enough extra goodies to mostly justify the price point. It’s definitely priced to be your primary portable charger, though, not a spare to toss in a bag for emergencies.
Buy it now: Amazon