Anker Astro Mini 3000mAh Review

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This charger is one of the smallest and lightest we researched and can fully charge most any smartphone at least once. Reviewers laud its dependability.

The Anker Astro Mini 3000mAh (starting at $20, Amazon) does not hold a particularly large charge. On the other hand, Anker Astro Mini reviews describe the device as the height of portability, coming in a bit bigger than a lipstick tube. Notably, it supports pass-through charging; i.e., it can juice up other devices even while it's being charged.

A reviewer at Boing Boing calls the Astro Mini a perfect travel companion. It takes only about two hours to charge fully, in this reviewer's experience (three to four hours according to the manufacturer) and then holds enough power for more than one full juicing of an iPhone 5.

Another reviewer writing on the travel blog Map Happy is a little less enthusiastic about the Astro Mini. She points out that the charging capacity, already fairly small, is significantly less than the advertised amount. No charger is 100 percent efficient, and this product's manual advises that the external battery loses about 20 or 30 percent of its total capacity to circuit resistance and voltage conversion. That leaves a true capacity of less than 2,500 milliampere hours. The reviewer notes that the battery should be able to produce one and a quarter charges for an HTC One S -- good enough to get you through the day or a weekend away, just not ideal for long trips.

The Anker Astro Mini 3000mAh weighs in at 3.5 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches and 2.8 ounces. It can charge a full spectrum of Apple and Android smartphones and other devices, as long as they support a 5-volt input (notable exceptions include the iPod Nano and Classic, HP TouchPad, LG G2 phone, and Asus tablets). The Astro Mini comes with a micro-USB charging cable; users of devices with other types of connectors must use their own cables. This sleek external battery is available in black, silver, and gold. Anker provides an 18-month guarantee.

Despite its shortcomings, this is one of the highest-rated chargers on Amazon, with 4.5 stars overall from more than 5,500 reviews at the time of writing. Reviewers have high praise for the reliability and portability of the Anker Astro Mini 3000mAh and encourage others to keep this cheap, useful little device close at hand.

Jeremy Bender

Jeremy Bender is currently an editorial intern at Business Insider. Previously he has written for BuzzFeed and a host of blogs. He is constantly frugal, and finds every way possible to pinch the few pennies he has.

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