If you’re a frequent traveler or you just happen to spend a ton of time in a vehicle, you likely know how important it is to have a reliable car charger for your phone and other gadgets. And for many of us, when we’re in the market for any kind of device charger, Anker is one of the first brands that gets looked at.
With that in mind, we set out to review the PowerDrive 2 Elite, a 24W charger with two USB ports and Anker’s PowerIQ charging. Is it worth the relatively low price of admission? Let’s find out.
I’m sure you’ve seen a car charger before, and, well, that’s exactly what you’re getting out of the PowerDrive 2. It’s a slim, black charger that fits into your vehicle’s lighter port, but it feels much more premium than its price tag suggests. It’s not heavy, but doesn’t feel plasticky and easily damaged. Of course, once you plug it in there’s not much that can really happen to it, but if you frequently move your chargers around this little guy seems more than up to the task.
It’s not quite flush with a car charging port, but it’s small enough to stay out of the way. Obviously this thing will eventually have a cable sticking out of it, but even in cramped spaces it blends right in.
It boasts two USB ports that are both capable of putting out 12W to charge your phones and tablets. It doesn’t technically support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, but with Anker’s PowerIQ charging and VoltageBoost it still manages to juice up most devices pretty quickly. Testing it with larger devices like the OnePlus 5T had very acceptable results, even if it wasn’t as fast as a super high wattage wall charger (although we’ve got you covered if that’s what you’re looking for). You’ll get plenty of extra charge on your commutes and while driving around town.
Since it can output 2.4 amps per port, that means you can also get by with charging a tablet, too. That’s not going to be incredibly common, but if you’re worried about road trips with a tablet for movie playback or using a small tablet for navigating as an Uber driver, the PowerDrive 2 works wonderfully.
Anker has also built a blue LED light into the charger, which is a very nice touch. Both USB ports will glow light blue in dark settings so you won’t struggle to find the port at night. Not that you should be plugging anything up while you’re driving, but your car passengers will thank you.
The charger also doesn’t seem to wiggle itself out of your car, either. I’ve had countless chargers that would slide far enough out of the port that it would stop charging my device, and I didn’t realize it wasn’t connected until I’d made an entire trip with no extra charge on my phone. It could just be because it’s new, but the PowerDrive 2 has managed to stay put a little bit better.
Car chargers aren’t the most glamorous accessory, but they’re incredibly important to have if you rely on your phone for emergencies and navigation. So is the PowerDrive 2 Elite worth the purchase? If you’re in the market for one, absolutely.
At only $11.99 it’s only undercut by extremely cheap gas station brand chargers that are significantly less reliable. Two ports is plenty for the average user, and the speed is nothing to sneeze at. It won’t radically change your car riding experience, but it’s a workhorse backed by Anker’s 18-month warranty, and sometimes that’s all you need.
Buy it now: Amazon