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I see no reason why to buy anything but Anker.

I once tried to purposely destroy an Anker MicroUSB cable (bought a 5 pack that had three 3ft, one 6ft, one 1ft, didn't need the 1ft), by grabbing the head of it with clamping pliers and yanking the fuck out of it with the cable wrapped around my hand, and bending it to near 180 degrees repeatedly for about 5 minutes.

I could not kill it without straight up taking wire cutters to it, which I decided not to do.

The cable still works perfectly, and sits in my junk drawer for when I need to plug something into the front of my case and leave the thing sitting on top of the computer.

Literally any other brand? Most I would have been able to rip the head off the cable after the first few yanks, the few that survived that would have broken the wire pairs inside either from that or from the repeated 180 degree bend.

Remember those original Monoprice USB cables we all bought and loved back in the day? Those didn't survive that abuse, and Monoprice cables have only gotten worse then. And the AmazonBasics USB cables (that I recommend for non-MicroUSB cables (only because Anker doesn't make them, only MicroUSB, Type C, and Lightning))? Don't survive that level of abuse either.

Anker also has the best damned USB chargers for walls and cars I've ever seen (heaviest USB chargers I've ever had, no coil whine, doesn't EZ-Bake itself, shuts off completely when nothing is plugged in), they're just perfectly glorious.




Just keep in mind that all these products are mass produced and are subject to imperfections. Really, the only thing that matters is how good their customer support is and Anker is probably better than most but they still have a long way to go.

I say this because I had one of their USB power ports that my children use to charge their iPads (2x 4th gen) that overheated and burnt up[1]. I completed the contact form on their website and used keywords like "fire" but it took my tweet to get their attention. Even after that, their response was fairly slow. After many weeks and me even shipping the defective product back, they only offered to refund me the cost of the unit, send a replacement power port, Anker brand lightning cables (to replace Apple genuine ones - and those broke), and send me an older generation battery pack. In the end, I did not pursue the replacements because I no longer had faith in their products or brand.

After all of this, I will no longer be purchasing or recommending Anker products.

[1] https://twitter.com/mathewpeterson/status/603337986495807489


IMHO there is no reason to ever be loyal to a brand anymore. Brand names are sold, the same two products are built or assembled by different subcontractors, the same two products contain bits and pieces manufactured by different companies at different times... There really is no reliable way to choose the best product without doing some research and often times you have to rely on enthusiasts or experts since frankly it's impossible to know everything about every product...


Their point is not that the product was low quality (although it was), but that the brand's resolution of the problem was of low quality.

Although it may not be possible to control an entire production chain, it is entirely possible to control the customer service department or at least the refund policy.


This may be true, but you still want someplace to start when you buy or recommend products. With certain brands / companies, you can become familiar with quality, cost, design, etc. You don't want to waste hours upon hours researching when you need something.

Even though Anker may not provide perfect products + service every time, they may be a good place to start looking for an accessory.


Wow, scary picture, nice tweet to get their attention (love the coloring page in the background). After a tweet like that I would expect any company to quickly refund your money and send you four apple lightning cables along with two of their top of the line power ports. Just to make up for that issue and keep you a happy customer. And possibly get a positive tweet from you.


Yeah, I agree. They had a many good opportunities to resolve the issue but failed to capitalize. But instead, I get to share my story with everyone who brings Anker products up.


Yikes, that is scary. I have read a few stories about USB chargers burning up like this. Was this one UL/CSA/ETL certified? Thanks for your story; hope you and your kids weren't hurt by the defective unit.


I'm not sure what certifications the device had but It was purchased less than 12 months ago.

Luckily both kids were not injured and were able to unplug the unit before it caused any major damage. Because there were no bodily damage, I didn't push the issue as hard as I could have.


I had a much different experience. I had a 5 port usb charger and all but one of the ports stopped working. I emailed them about it and they sent me a replacement without any questions.


Anker was coincidentally founded by a group of ex-Google employees [1]. Anyone know anything more about them?

[1] http://www.ianker.com/about_us.html


Woah! And I thought they were yet another knock-off Asian brand. They need to advertise appropriately. I held Belkin in higher regard than Anker.


The problems discussed aren't all about durability, they are about using the wrong pull up resisters so your phone thinks it is plugged in to a charger than can supply 3A, but the charger can't. The cable will survive just fine, but it could trash the charger and/or your phone.

The durability of an Anker won't help if they haven't designed it properly.


Definitely agree with this.

I use my phone heavily (Ingress mostly) and it's not uncommon to go through 3 or 4 full charge cycles a day or to just keep my phone plugged in all day.

Before I started buying Anker's cables, I would burn through a cable every two weeks or so. First monoproce, although I quickly dropped those. Then several other brands. Another point in Anker's favor is that the profile of the USB-C plug on their cables is much smaller than most other brands. This is important when you have a hefty case on your phone.

Anker's external battery packs are awesome too, as are their wall and car chargers. Most if not all of their products put out 2 Amps which is the charging limit of most devices (certain tables accept up to 3) as opposed to many other wall chargers that put out .5-1 Amps.


Another Ingress player here. I know several people who managed to destroy Anker cables due to Ingress, but all in all Anker still seems to be the best choice. Almost everything else just breaks much faster.

One exception to this are the cables which came with both my Motorola Moto Gs phone. They charge very fast and I use one of them for over 1.5 years and it does not show any wear. I really wish I knew where to buy more of those specific Motorola cables.


Yeah the cables Samsung provides are pretty solid too.


I've also started buying Anker exclusively. Their chargers work with every device at full-rate, and their cables are decent. I have had the clips break on a couple of MicroUSB cables, including the 1ft from a similar 5-pack. I had my phone attached to a battery pack and stuffed both in my pocket. The stress of bending the cable in strange directions messed up the clips on the cable. Not quite bulletproof, but not bad (and I was lucky I didn't damage the phone instead).


> Not quite bulletproof, but not bad (and I was lucky I didn't damage the phone instead).

This is one reason why I don't mind if the cables aren't that difficult to break. I'd rather the cable break than my devices.


It's my understanding that the entire spec is engineered this way intentionally: The wear items are on the cable rather than the device.


They also make a ridiculously amazing Solar charger array, which when I took across a border to Israel, had the inspectors in serious awe and wishing they could get one as inexpensively as we can in the States.


Yeah shit here is crazy expensive. Nexus 5X will cost about $600[0]

[0] https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=iw&tl=en&js=y&prev...


Amazon link?


This looks to be the newest, most powerful out of the group: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012YUJJM8/

Here's the full set of products: http://www.ianker.com/Solar-Chargers/category-c53-s1

There are Amazon links on each individual product page.


Thank you!



As someone who also owns and recommends several Anker products, I do have a counterexample: A microUSB cable I bought about a month ago has gotten it's locking pins stuck in the retracted position somehow, and no longer secures itself inside the port. Not a common case, of course, but they're not infallible.


On most microUSB cables I've used, you can take a needle or safety pin and gently pry the locking pins back out to whatever locking strength you'd like.


That's what happens to all my Anker cables one after another.

I've opened one failed cable's connectors and it looked like a design problem: The micro USB connector's metal jacket is really short and not properly anchored inside the connector (it is attached to 2 plastic hooks inside). Once it's bent too much, those hooks loosen and the two steel springs lose their tension and retract.


Good quick fix for this: put a tiny pad of scotch tape on the flat face of the connector. Don't let it overlap the edges.

The extra friction will almost always hold the connector in the port reliably.


That's the standard failure mode for a lot of the monoprice micro-USB cables, it's annoying as hell.


As I remember, this is by design - better to have the cable break than the socket (as it was with miniUSB).


I recently got a Nexus 5X and it only came with a usb-c to usb-c cable and I wasn't able to connect it to my computer. I searched specifically for anker, usb-c to usb-a and couldn't find anything. Can anyone confirm that this is a product somewhere?

This is what I went with, but it didn't seem to support data transfer. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011N7ME48?psc=1&redirect=t...


Anker Type C to USB 2.0 Type A: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y0K51PU/

Anker Type C to USB 3.0 Type A: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0119EIHTG/

Both are currently out of stock, which might be why you didn't find them. I was told by someone I know that asked Anker that they should be back in stock before the end of November.


Nicely done spreading the word about Smile.


Do you know of any tool/extension/thing that will auto-redirect me to smile instead of the regular one, I always forget to go there myself.



Only because you ask, my company at https://givingassistant.org/coupon-codes/amazon.com has a deal with Amazon that donates 1.5% on top of their 0.5% to make it a full 2%, with no category restrictions. Start shopping here and we direct you to smile as a starting point. Free, and if I don't have your charity on file, ask and I'll add it.


Since I already use it for other things, I use https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/requestly/mdnleldc...

Just have a rule that changes www.amazon.com to smile.amazon.com and it works for me.


So I realized that charging only was on by default on my device. It wasn't the cable that was the issue. It's possible that J&D cable is good.


I just bought a 3 footer from Joto, seem's to be pretty well made.


Aukey now rivals Anker, if not exceeds. Check them out.


Haven't tried their cables, but I switched to Aukey's chargers some time ago. In particular, the 4 port 9.6a/48W car charger is an engineering delight.


I'm not sure who's OEMing those, I've also seen them under the "Tronsmart" brand.


So far they've been exceeding when it comes to QuickCharge 2.0 devices.


Interesting. I bought an anker wall charger that blew up the second I plugged it in, and an anker car charger that is so noisy it kills FM reception when it's plugged in. I had assumed that they were just another shenzen shit factory at that point. Maybe both items were fakes?


Anker has had problems with fakes.

Unless you bought it through Amazon using the links off Anker's website, it's probably a fake.

Though, if it's any consolation to Anker, scammers only counterfeit the best.


Its only a pity that most scammers do a poor job. If someone made a better counterfeit, then the problem is much smaller. I'd be glad to pay less for better!


> scammers only counterfeit the best.

They counterfeit anything they can make money from, but "the best" is generally a go-to market for sure.


I am happy user of Anker mouse and I must say - I dropped it so many times, but it works great. My wireless Microsoft mouses, while great, had average life of 1-1,5 year (I am using mouse ~10-12 hours a day). Anker is with me since almost 2 years and only visible sign of fatigue I can notice is that brand name wear off from the face of mouse.

Great quality for silly price.


Keep in mind that if the cable is stronger, a strong yank will be more likely to break the next weak thing, which might be the USB port of whatever device you are using. I've seen phones where the micro-USB port was just held on by the solder pads, with no special strengthening or through-hole mounting.

Since the device is likely more expensive than the cable, this might not be desireable.


What does it mean when something "EZ-Bake[s]" itself?


There's a toy made by Hasbro called the Easy-Bake Oven that's been in production since the early 1960s. It has a heating element (originally a 100 watt light bulb) that lets kids bake "cakes" using packets of mix. Despite it having a very good safety record (percentage-wise, given how many millions of them have been sold) the urban legend persists that it's dangerous.


What sparked the myth?


No idea - it's just one of those things that arise out of nothing. Someone thinks "OMG someone could cook a pet hamster in it!" and it just goes from there, like a game of Chinese Whispers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_whispers


That's a very intriguing thing. Thanks for that. :-)


I'm assuming getting too hot when plugged in and cooking itself.


Interesting...


Anker++, their chargers and cables are super solid. Most of mine are from them.

Aukey is similar, I recommend them also based on the two chargers from them I own. I don't have any cables though so YMMV.


Anker's support seems great too, with a sample size of one. I had one their larger USB battery packs, and it had a problem where it would turn off the juice after a few minutes every time I plugged a device in. I submitted a claim through their support website (which, admittedly, is pretty bad) and they mailed me a new one. I don't even have to return the old one, not that it's usable anyway.


If only I could find something similar with cars. Whenever I get a new car I beat the crap out of it with various tools to test the durability of the body. I understand that this isn't anything to do with the purpose of the vehicle itself, but I want to make sure it's durable against unrealistic expectations. I suppose I could see the value in things like crumple zones that protect the passengers inside the vehicle, but unrealistic expectations and all. One day I'll find that car and be able to recommend it. Right now, I can't suggest anyone buy any car from any current major manufacturer.

As for your cable, I'd rather have the connector on my cheap USB cable pop off than drag my computer to the floor if I happen to snag it somehow. But to each their own, I'm glad you found a USB cable you like.


Huge fan of Anker products. Really solid design + aesthetic (just wish their Micro-USB cables were a bit thinner at the plug). Monoprice is also very good when it comes to bang for your buck.


I just had to deal with a defective Anker Cable after 5 months.


Interesting, me too (4 months) - the charge will cut in and out randomly, although looking at the cable it seems to be in perfect condition still. Makes playing music through my car's USB port a challenge, as it's rare to be able to play more than two songs in a row without a disruption. Disappointing.


This is good to know. I just bought my first Anker charger a month ago to be able to start my car if needed and to charge my phone. It came with really nice cables which really pleased me and I've been able to test the charger on a strangers truck that happened to be parked next to me in a parking lot. It did great btw. I just happened to stumble onto it on Amazon and thought I'd give them a shot.


Wait, you can use a mobile battery pack to start a fucking vehicle? Was that one of the ones with 12V DC out? How did it have enough current?



Presumably you leave it connected for a while to charge the car battery, and then start.


They are powerful enough to crank the engine.

Random youtube demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLZeFiJA5LM


Wow, I stand corrected. That's impressive.


Did you try pulling it out of the plug by pulling it by the wire at a 90 degree angle (up/down or left/right) from the way you would usually pull out a USB cable like a toddler might do?


I had an Anker iOS Lightning cable fail on me. It worked for a while and then stopped charging or syncing.


i like Anker (good bang for buck) but they are not above fail: I have a 5 port USB charger and the middle port stopped working (thankfully the others still work, so I have a 4 port charger now)

I bought a bunch of their external battery packs (aprox 15 of them) and none of those have failed)


The same thing happened to me as well with the 5-port version, and more recently with the more powerful 6-port version. I still buy and recommend their products thanks to their very responsive support, though.


I had a port die on an Anker unit that was about 11 months old - it was replaced by Amazon (UK) without any fuss + I got a prepaid label to send back the faulty one.


i was in the same boat with a charger that i bought in 2013. they sent out an email explaining that was a design fault (non-reversible current limit) and they were willing to replace/refund. i wanted a replacement but unfortunately i bought it when i was travelling to the US and they can't ship outside the US. they refunded the $20 and 2 of the 5 ports still charges fine.


It seems to be occurring rather frequently according to Amazon reviews.


It's difficult to buy Anker outside of North America. The Amazon Basics stuff is reasonable, too.


Very untrue. Their PC website has direct links to their products on almost every regional version of Amazon, with local support even. I've had a few of their wall chargers permanently lose 1-2 ports, and while I'd be much happier if it didn't happen in the first place, I received a replacement the next day here in Japan.


I should have rephrased it - I can't buy them without using a reshipper in Australia.


Widely available in the UK.


I have never heard of this company before. Thank you for the comment.




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