Review: Anker PowerCore III Sense 10K

Introduction

For frequent travelers and tech power users alike portable batteries have become an essential tool. In today’s mobile sphere, battery life has been a chief concern for those who often find themselves away from a wall outlet or unwilling to deal with the added bulk of a battery-powered charging case for their smartphone. Anker, a leading tech accessory provider aims to deliver an industry-leading portable battery solution with the new PowerCore III Sense 10K priced at $49.99

Design & Build Quality 

The PowerCore III comes in a variety of color options including Sun-Kissed Coral, Steel Blue, Winter Sage, and Venetian Red which is the model that Anker sent to us for review. The vibrant Venetian Red model makes a bold statement that is sure to pair well with any of Apple’s Product Red devices or accessories. For a more subdued aesthetic, I would definitely recommend the Winter Sage or Steel Blue color options. Characterized by a well-balanced 149.5 x 68.5 x 14.5 mm form factor and a weight of 212 grams, the PowerCore III feels quite robust. 

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Sandwiched between its lightly-textured plastic rear and color-matched fabric front is a 10,000 mAh battery which promises to deliver over 46 hours of talk time with 18W power delivery. Lightly rounded corners give the PowerCore III a very premium feel making the device just as ergonomically considerate as a modern smartphone. Along with some documentation, Anker included in the box a handy fabric carrying case and a short USB-C to USB-C power cord. 

Charging can be activated by pressing the metal button on the front of the power bank which is also color-matched and features a circular texture pattern. When the device is powered on, four LED lights will illuminate on top of the button to display quarterly battery levels. While many charging brick competitors feature products that require you to repeatedly press a button to view the battery’s capacity, Anker’s PowerCore III conveniently includes LED battery indicators that remain illuminated until you power off the device.  

Functionality

As you can imagine, I found it quite challenging to assess the utility of the PowerCore III while in quarantine since this is largely a product meant for a mobile lifestyle. Unfortunately, I found that the PowerCore III did not live up to it’s claim of offering 18W fast charging on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. While the 18W charger that came with my iPhone 11 Pro charges my iPhone from 0-100% in 1 hour and 57 minutes the PowerCore III took roughly under 2 hrs and 20 minutes to charge my iPhone from 0-100%. When it came to my 12.9 inch iPad Pro (2018) the PowerCore III was not enough to provide a full charge taking a staggering 4 hours and 35 minutes to charge my iPad from 0-84%. 

According to Anker, the power bank itself can take up to a painful 9 hours to charge if you use the USB-A to USB-C cable that comes with your iPhone to charge the PowerCore III. If you use the included USB-C to USB-C power cord that charging time is brought down to a more reasonable 3.5 hours. It is important to bear in mind that my battery tests were conducted using Anker’s USB-A to Lighting cable. Individual results may vary. 

Conclusion 

Though Anker has been criticized for its somewhat slow charging times this is likely due to its PowerIQ technology which trickles out battery power more slowly in an effort to maintain the battery health of your device. Anker even provides an 18-month warranty for the PowerCore III upon purchase. Fast charging is a practice that has proven quite taxing with many regular users of the feature seeing their battery health degrade significantly after only a few months of use. While this portable charger may be more feasible for smaller mobile devices instead of large tablets, it is definitely a fantastic long-term solution for those looking to maintain their battery health and consequently the longevity of their device over time.

Brahm Shank
Author: Brahm Shank

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