24 October 2016

Anker PowerCore+ 10050: Great balance of power and size

Confession time: I’m a portable charger hoarder. I’ve been compulsively collecting them for years, and have drawers full of the ones I bought, used for a few weeks, and then replaced with something better. Different sizes and features work better for different scenarios, so lately I’ve been carrying an Anker PowerCore 5000 for a bit of ultra-portable juice while on the go or the massive Anker PowerCore+ 26800 while away from extended periods away from The Grid. Of course, the smaller one really only provides enough power for a single extra charger, while the larger is just simply too big to put in a pocket for a quick outing.

Enter the Anker PowerCore+ 10050. To me, this is the Goldilocks of Anker’s portable chargers - packing enough power to recharge my Nexus 6P a couple of times in a surprisingly compact form factor. Like its big brother, the PowerCore+ 10050 features a sturdy aluminum shell finished in a smooth matte black. This model is roughly the same size as my wallet packed with a bunch of unused rewards and loyalty cards, and the curved sides and rounded edges make it easy and snag-free to tuck into a large pocket or bag.

Many other portable chargers leave you guessing at how much of a charge remains (“three lights, so that’s somewhere between 66.67% and 100%?”), but the round button on the side of the PowerCore+ features a ring of ten tiny white LEDs. Just tap the button and the ring will illuminate to indicate the current capacity in 10% increments. The ring also animates while the PowerCore+ is charging in order to quickly convey the status.

The business end of the PowerCore+ 10050 houses the Micro-USB input for charging the charger and the single USB-A output for charging other devices. Yes, that’s two fewer outputs than can be found on the (much) larger PowerCore+ 26800, but this one does double duty. It supports both Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology for rapidly charging compatible devices and Anker’s PowerIQ feature to ensure the optimal safe charging rate for any other devices. My Nexus 6P only supports USB-C rapid charging, so pulling juice from the PowerCore’s USB-A port can’t compete with a proper USB-C charger, but my phone still charged as quickly as it does from a good USB-A wall charger.

The PowerCore+ 10050 ships with a super-handy mesh pouch, which is an unexpectedly nice added bonus. It’s sized appropriately for the battery pack of course, but it also stretches enough to comfortably accommodate a few accessories as well. I use it to keep the included 2-foot Micro-USB cable, a short USB A-to-C charging cable, and a Rerii charging puck for my Huawei Watch with the PowerCore+ so that I can always charge any of my devices. The drawstring closure makes sure that nothing escapes from the pouch, while also allowing me to connect a cable to the charger without having to remove it.

From my experience with it, the Anker PowerCore+ 10050’s perfect balance of size and capacity combined with a solid build quality and a flexible charging port make it my favorite portable charger. Toss it in its mesh pouch, add a couple of cables and adapters for oddball devices, and you’ll have a great kit ready to keep your devices going in most scenarios. (For the upcoming apocalypse, I’ll probably reach for the 26800mAh model instead.)

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