Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD Review
Pros: Great for large devices, can handle higher outputs than most
Cons: Bulky, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This battery pack didn't score terribly well compared to the rest of the group, finishing towards the back of the group just behind the RAVPower Deluxe 16750 and ahead of the RAVPower Super-C 26800. The PowerCore+ is mainly hurt by its size and weight, making it much more cumbersome to carry around than many of the other products and it doesn't really have that much when it comes to integrated convenience features. The Super-C is plagued by the same issues, but also takes a lot longer than the PowerCore+ to recharge, dropping its score even further. The RAVPower Deluxe isn't quite as bulky as either of the other two, but it isn't exactly easy to carry and was mediocre across the rest of our tests, giving it a tiny edge over the PowerCore+. The PowerCore+ is also the most expensive of these three, but it is by far the best for charging larger devices.
In our crusade to find the most perfect portable charger around, we started off by undertaking an extensive research project, covering hundreds of different chargers. From this, we narrowed down our selection to the models that had the best chance of winning and bought them all to compare side-by-side and see which one is the best. We grouped our tests into four separate rating metrics — each weighted based on their significance — with the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD's results described below.
The first series of tests that we conducted focused specifically on how portable each of these portable battery packs are. We looked at the size and weight of each product, as well as how easy it is to fit inside different pockets. Unfortunately, the PowerCore+ got off to a bit of a rocky start in this metric, which accounts for 40% of its overall score, meriting a 2 out of 10.
This is one of the largest and heaviest battery packs of the group, measuring about 7" lengthwise and a little over 3" wide, while being about 1" deep. It also weighs in at well over a pound!
Needless to say, this isn't a portable battery that you really want to carry around in a pocket. It is very noticeable in a front or back pocket of most pants. However, you can usually deal with it if you have to, but it is much more suited to being carried in a large jacket pocket or in laptop bag or backpack
Our next metric dealt with the actual electrical capacity of each battery, which is responsible for 30% of the overall score. We used a dummy electrical load and multimeter to measure the total number of milliamp-hours we could pull from a fully charged battery at both a 1 amps and at its maximum discharge rate — usually 2.4 amps — and compared it to the stated capacity to determine scores. Additionally, we also looked at any manufacturers' claims about how many times a battery can charge a specific device and tested out those claims to see how well they held up. The PowerCore+ did quite a bit better, earning a 6 out of 10.
The PowerCore+ has a rated capacity of 26,800 milliamp-hours and did fairly well in our resistive load tests. We were able to extract about 62% of the stated capacity — 16641 mAh — at a 2.4 amp discharge rate and a tiny bit more with a 1 amp rate.
Anker claims that this battery pack can charge and iPhone 8 nine times, which we calculated to be equivalent to charging a Samsung S8 about 5.46 times. The PowerCore+ exceeded this in our tests, charging an S8 a little over six times before it was fully depleted.
While the main purpose of these products is to recharge your consumer electronics and all of them will do that to some degree, we also took any other features and functions these products might have that make them easier to use. We awarded points if you can charge multiple devices at once or if there were any integrated features, such a flashlight or cables, as well as on the terms of the warranty. Overall, these tests account for 20% of the final score, with the PowerCore+ 26800 PD meriting a 6 out of 10.
This portable power pack can charge multiple devices at once, using its pair of USB-A iQ ports and its USB-C PD port. All three can be used at once, with each port being nominally rated for a 3 amp max discharge — though this will drop if using the higher voltage capabilities of the PD port.
This battery has 10 small LEDs that indicate its level of charge, but lacks both a built-in wall plug or integrated cables. It also doesn't have an integrated flashlight , but does have one of the better warranties — 18 months limited.
Our fourth and final metric deals with how long it takes each of these portable battery packs to recharge, which is responsible for the remaining 10% of the total score. As this is one of the largest batteries, we initially thought the PowerCore+ PD would score quite poorly compared to some of the smaller packs, but it held its own quite well, earning a 7 out of 10.
The PowerCore+ includes a dedicated PD charging wall brick, which allows this massive battery to recharge in a little over four hours — faster than some other products that are less than half the size. However, it does take considerably longer to charge without it.
Unfortunately, the PowerCore+ PD isn't really a bargain buy, being one of the most expensive portable power packs we have tested. It isn't worth spending the extra money for unless you have some of the larger devices that make use of the PD capabilities of this battery.
Overall, the PowerCore+ 26800 is a great battery pack if you need to get a ton of charges out of your portable power pack or need to charge lots of high-power devices, but it is probably overkill if you are just looking for a way to ensure that you aren't caught with a dead phone. However, if you do have a larger device, like a newer MacBook or if you need to charge multiple tablets simultaneously, this battery from Anker is our top recommendation.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer