I wrote a 4-star review in which I mentioned this issue, and within an hour or two, I received an email from an agent asking if my address was still the same so they can send me an updated unit. A couple of days later, I had a replacement that didn't suffer the same issue.
I never was pressured to update my review, never asked to return the original unit, never solicited to buy more stuff. They seemed to have a genuine desire to make sure their customers are being served well, and that is the kind of thing that will make me a customer for life.
Also their Type C chargers didn't work with a MacBook + accessory adaptor, which was only described in the reviews.
It's not like one bad experience has soured me on the whole company, but now I try to spread my purchases between them and Aukey (who has also had some Type C duds -- check Benson Leung's reviews before purchasing!)
If you're advertising & selling version 1 of a product, the reviews should be for that version. Enticing users with a newer or superior version shouldn't make them change the review for the version 1 item.
If a user does update their review, it should state that a replacement was sent that is better, yet different, and possibly provide a link to the better or updated item.
After having left a review on Amazon, i was contacted by Anker and got an apology and 6 new replacement cables. Alas, they were of the same bad quality :-(
I had a faulty cable that was ordered through Amazon, and was able to receive a replacement in about two days, through their site.
Have you seen any of the photos from Amazon clients of Anker while their unit blew up?? I had the same issue (thank God I was home because their adapter was behind wall and within seconds curtain caught fire. Had nobody be home I would be going back to the rubble). I emailed Anker photos and haven't heard from them for three months, until I decided to go back on Amazon and gave them 1-star review (I barely spend time reviewing anything). That finally got their attention.
That said, I'd consider it more carefully if i was going to engage with them beyond buying accessories. Or if they nearly burned my house down, I guess.
But it sounds like joering (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14395539) was describing precisely a practical difference: a company that genuinely cared about its customers' experiences would, it seems, have responded to attempts at direct contact, rather than responding only to a threat to its public profile.
1) the packaging was cute, very apple-ish in sensory pleasing, the product is cute and solid, below it there's
a tiny card with Happy ? on one side, Not Happy ? on the other ... it was very engaging.
2) there's a fitting issue in my car, the positive electrode doesn't connect with the socket until I put 10kg of pressure on it. Maybe I should make a review.. (I don't even need a replacement, just a tip on how to fix the issue)
This is great, and behavious we should encourage. But lets not pretend this isn't a carefully manage strategy.
A company doesn't care about you. It cares about messages like this.
If a company acts in a great way (e.g. replacing slightly dodgy equipment) whenever a customer lets them know they have an issue that's great for the customer, regardless of whatever internal reasoning the company may have for acting in that way.
Most people don't want to have to think about USB power delivery handshakes and resistors. And they don't want to research what they need to look for in a USB 3.0 cable vs that USB 2.0 cable they bought years ago.
Anker seems to be technologically on the ball, but above and beyond that it's a "we promise not to @$^# up the accessory we sell to you" guarantee. Which the Chinese fly-by-nights seem incapable of grasping.
I did find the packaging a bit ostentatious for a USB charger. A plain corrugated cardboard box would have been more appropriate for mail-order, though I can see why they might want to "steve-job" the packaging for retail.
You do messy stuff there, like take off your winter boots, or leave your bike.
No, total agricultural land is less than 1 billion of a total of 2.3 billion acres.
Getting Anker products is so much easier and quicker than the old way of trawling through pagefuls of cables trying to find those that appeared spec compliant (thanks, Benson!), reasonable quality, and don't try any scams like "Fully USB 3.1 compatible" thanks to USB 2.0 fallback.
This comment doesn't make sense in the context of the battery pack being used as a charger. Are you talking about when the battery pack is charging?
(for clarification, the principle is V=IR, you could hook a 5V incandescent lightbulb or LED up to that same 1000A supply and it would only draw I=V/R (Current = 5v / series resistance). Yes, there is silicon controlling the battery, but at the most basic level, if the series resistance of all that plus the battery is 5 ohms, it will only draw 1A)
Edit: math fail
LEDs use constant current power supplies with variable voltage, and I've seen some hybrid designs with exotic combinations of constant current / constant voltage regulation.
See, for example, this design note from Linear Tech:  which describes a 20V adapter, analogous to OP's 5V USB 'charger', that can provide 2A (40W total) to the laptop. If the laptop battery charge management IC says that the battery can use up to 2.2A at 12.6V = 27.7 W, but the laptop computer is using more than 40-27.7=12.3W, it will reduce the charge current to the battery to avoid damaging the 20V 2A adapter. The problem that pdelbarba's USB battery packs are solving is that they can be plugged into various adapters - perhaps a port on a laptop limited to 500 mA, or a 1A 'phone charger' or a 2.1A 'tablet charger'. Some manufacturers solve this by adding resistors to their chargers so that the device can sense the resistance and know it can use up to 0.5, 1, or 2.1A. But everyone uses different resistors.
So Anker does a functional test rather than the electrical equivalent of user-agent-string parsing to set the current limit.
> unless the charger could somehow sense the resistance of the charging cable and compensate for the voltage drop, then the output would be >5V at the charger, but =5V at the end of the cable. That would take some sorcery I'm not aware of though.
That's pretty standard for lab power supplies. It also is used in precision metrology with sensors like load cells. All it takes is a pair of non-current-carrying wires to sense the voltage at the device. The current-carrying wires experience a voltage drop, but the sense wires are only feeding into high-impedance measurement inputs. This is known as a Kelvin connection. With a device that takes an excitation voltage, you'd use a 6-wire connection.
Yes, I suppose it's incorrect to think of the charger as pushing current; but with a resistive load, with LEDs, with raw lithium cells, most batteries, and with most loads in general, the current can be expected to increase as the voltage increases. And some power supplies regulate output by current rather than voltage. I didn't know that about lab power supplies, very interesting!
Let us simplify the situation for you –
#1 An Anker PowerCore+ powerbank is BETTER and NEWER than Astro Gen 1 or Gen 2 of same capacity.
#2 An Anker PowerCore (without the +) powerbank is BETTER and NEWER than Astro Gen 1 or Gen 2 of same capacity.
#3 Anker PowerCore+ and Anker PowerCore powerbanks exist side by side with PowerCore+ usually having some extra features while PowerCore offers excellent value for money.
If amazon would extend their car parts search functionality -- letting users put in their phone model and then giving a curated list of compatible devices, it would be awesome.
It works pretty well for car parts, although you're at the mercy of the seller to determine compatibility for less prominent things.
Where do you see that?
First I want to know the feature difference between Astro, PowerCore, PowerCore II, and PowerCore+. (WTF are PowerIQ, VoltageBoost, QuickCharge, etc.) Next I want to see something that compares product dimensions, weight, and mAh between all of their products. Recharge times would be ideal as well, but I understand those can vary based on ambient temperature and other factors.
It seems like that should be Step 1 for any decent marketing department, but either their website doesn't have this information or it's hidden very well:
In your post. The bit about "BETTER and NEWER".
I've never had an issue finding out any metrics about their products from the Amazon page. That includes what all of their trademarked features mean. Having a chart that compares all of them doesn't really make sense when each one has the relevant info.
It's surely Anker's fault if they list the two generations of products side-by-side on their own website (which, as can be seen at jobu (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14395302 )'s link https://www.anker.com/products/taxons/107/Batteries , they do).
I can decide which product is best for me. My family and friends? Not so much.
(They may get "good enough" and put up with it, but e.g. not experience fast/fastest charging that their device can actually support. As one example.)
P.S. Even then, I'd prefer not to sort through so many products / product specs.
I assumed part of this was older product inventories staying up on Amazon. But apparently, the Anker product line is just confusingly diverse and overlapping.
What input does it draw? Does this support PD, and if so what modes and how fast? Will this cable work for Thunderbolt 3? How much amperage is it rated for?
These are some of the easiest products to quantify in technical terms; make that information easy to find, and give me the marketing pitch afterward.
It's not as integrated as it could be, but it accomplishes the same thing.
Newegg I've found to fulfill the Shoprunner "two day" shipping promise pretty reliably. I actually get a lot of stuff the next day due to being relatively close to their Indiana drop-ship partner/warehouse/whatever.
Verified address(es) sound like the only answer, and that brings up another set of problems to solve.
Beyond that, just because UPS offers a membership doesn't mean that retailers will have it integrated into their checkout flow/logic. In a lot of cases that would be a re-work and could take a long time before it was practically usable.
Below constitutes my (limited) experience working as an engineer at a company with a big logistics component (not Amazon).
When you run an operation the size of Amazon (or even muuuuch smaller) and are putting out a lot of freight for UPS/FedEx, you batch up your outgoing material based on ship method and 'next hop'. In order to speed up the delivery from a 3-5 day window to a 2 day window, you would have to explicitly purchase the '2 day' shipping option for that customer, or it would get batched in with all of the other 3-5 day goods, which could get sent to a totally different distribution center than the 2 day.
We're talking huge numbers trucks all going to "Indianapolis 2 day" versus "Lexington Ground" or whatever - once it gets on that ground shipping truck, I don't think it matters a ton what your address is flagged, as it's going to go that shipping method.
The first and largest complaint people will make is that they can't use UPS Prime while on vacation or to ship gifts.
I signed up for a free 1 year trial 5+ years ago, and it's still active. I don't know if they're desperate to goose their user numbers or what, but I've never heard of anyone's trial expiring.
I would love to see "independent" fulfilment centers. E.g. I order at my favorite company a few cities away, and my local fulfilment center (the former huge amazon warehose) processes it, and I get it next day. I could imagine a shipping flat, for all packages that go through "my" center. Note, I am not thinking "mom and pop" centers, I am imagining local joint ventures beween logistics/delivery companies and these huge warehouses/goods transportation centers. But still a few orders of magnitude smaller than Amazon. (For the Germans: all my Amazon packages go through Bad Hersfeld. Imagine that logistics center would be it's own company, maybe backed by DHL / Schenker / Trans-o-flex / ... I believe it has a critical size to be viable.)
Unfortunately, the free market is not going to bring me that...
First I heard of this is when I found out that some "mail order" companies let UPS handle their returns. (I think it was Lands' End.)
While it is true Amazon does negotiate very good deals for themselves, they have been moving more and more into UPS/FedEx's business of shipping logistics and delivery. If these shipping companies want to survive they need to find a way to support Amazon's competitors.
Furthermore, if Fedex/UPS will start to find sucsess in this "prime" project, Amazon could instantly change it's software to add a box "only from branded manufacturer's store", or some other software change, and solve this hit and miss experience you speak of.
Apparently on their Google IO podcast they complained quite a bit how one of them installed the new developer preview of Android and "none of the new features worked".
Because of course it's as though they expect the new APIs already being used out of the box in a build meant for developers to use. It's not called a "customer preview"...
Checking my Amazon order history, I can see purchases for wall socket chargers (mains to 2x USB), a 3-port PCI-E to USB 3 card, and a mains powered SATA to USB 3 adaptor. All used frequently, never had a problem with them. The wall charger is the best one I own: fast charging, reliable, gets the job done. As a computer tech person, their stuff works for me.
[No affiliation to Anker, customer since 2015; all products Fulfilled By Amazon.]
they did send new ones of an upgraded design that even had a pouch. but why not do that when I contacted via the regular way? that lowered my respect for them.
Edit: they may have asked trying different cables first, now that I think about it
If so, which do you recommend? Would be nice to get rid of the wall warts for the charger blocks.
Some balls definitely dropped over at apple's product teams.
Apple sells a USB-C to Thunderbolt 2 adapter that looks identical to the mini-displayport connector on my previous laptop but is only thunderbolt, no video modes supported. A lot of unhappy reviews on that one.
They dropped just about every ball possible with monitor hookups. I actually haven't bought a USB to DP cable yet because last time I looked they weren't well reviewed, had gone out of stock, or cost like $40. I'm debating whether I should get one or hold off for the TB3 docks to show up.
I made that same mistake, but it's also broken the other way around.. turns out you can't use a 2015 iMac as a display using DisplayPort, it has to be a Thunderbolt :-D So now I have two connectors with the same socket but two totally different uses.
If you plug a Dell laptop into a Mac, would you expect to automatically get to use the Dell's monitor as a secondary Mac display?
2009 and 2010 models supported vanilla DisplayPort, 2011 to 2014 cut that for Thunderbolt only.
Guess I'll snag a cable and try my luck. Looks like they're generally around $15-20 right now, which isn't too bad.
I'm still pissed that I can't connect with my 2014 MBP over DisplayPort without knocking out the wifi with interference.
Anker is dope.
Some of their products are offered direct. Others are Amazon only.
I'd purchased several PowerLine cables that all died within a month or so of purchase. I attributed it to being a cheap cable.
Sold by AnkerDirect and Fulfilled by Amazon
Not even "Ship from and sold by Amazon.com" is safe for the same reason I believe.
To clarify: This is based on experiences I've had en AmazonES buying things directly from Amazon (Gillete razors from the top of my head) and them being obviously fake.
Also from previous discussions in HN
Really wish they wouldn't mix SKU and stock. Perhaps its cheaper for them and if the customer notices they can replace it and still come out ahead. But it doesn't seem fair for someone who can't identify a fake product.
So, to answer your question: if that all happens, and assuming AnkerDirect doesn't have shady stock, then yes, it should be genuine.
Further, when I did once have a dud Anker battery pack, they just sent me another one next day delivery, didn't even ask for the broken one back.
The same thing goes with chargers -- I can get high quality, OEM level stuff for pennies, directly from China, or, for a small surcharge, from the US.
I understand Anker is trying to be "better" than OEM, but realistically, they're not 10x better -- maybe 10 or 20% tops, yet they charge significantly more. I personally do not see the appeal, other than maybe convenience.
The problem is counterfeits are all labeled as one homogeneous group, when they most definitely are not. Some are very, very good, some are not.
I've become genuinely disturbed at how substandard generic peripherals have become. What's especially disturbing to me is that the problem often seems to be drifting from spec standards, adhering to specs just enough to be functional for most products for just long enough.
I have a audio system that I went through like 4 generic cables on. I was just about to get a replacement system when I saw Anker enthusiastically recommended somewhere, and thought I'd give it a last-ditch chance. It's worked beautifully, no problems.
I've seen similar issues with other types of cables. The scope of the problem is astonishing to me--it's like the manufacturing standards at 85% of producers just suddenly went out the window over the last 5 years or so. I suspect there's a good newsstory somewhere there.
I'd rather pay a bit extra and have peace of mind.
Good products though.
1. Anker - started buying them for their HTC Sensation batteries, which were superb. Bought a load of multi USB ports for the home, last couple of years they've been flaky with ports dying. Customer service used to be superb, now not as mich.
2. Aukey - only bought a car multi USB charger, thing broke apart in a week. Like everything else, may just be Amazon comingling.
3. Ravpower - only bought one of their big battery packs, 28000mah or whatever. The thing is bulletproof, well made, and works. I need to test the capacity at some point, but it's not given me any surprises.
They're all examples of Chinese companies going direct and emulating the Western companies who used to rebrand their stuff. As long as they do it properly, I do not have a problem with this.
The real reason our phones don't get much more battery life than 5 years ago is packaging; every step forward on efficiency or battery capacity is consumed by making the phones thinner. Because the manufacturers have decided lasting one day is fine. They don't recognize any consumer demand for longer lasting phones as significant.
I would guess the reason is that a Chinese company has plenty of market in China already and if they expand they would expand to other Asian countries first for language and cultural similarity reasons. Same reason US companies expand into Canada and Europe first.
Anker has finally arrived.
As a similar potential business model, Monoprice seems like a great business for the customer, as cables are/were the highest margin items in electronics store, but I wonder if they're making enough money to be viable: anyone can knock-off cables and compete to the bottom worse than DRAM ($.75 USB cable, where's the profit in that?)
I'm wondering if Anker is potentially investable or if it will at least earn a comfortable living for workers, suppliers and owner/s. Differentiating a-la Zappos but beware of an inherent lack of long-term defensibility and brand-crowded marketplace.
I'll give em a try when I need that next thing that normally would be an Amazon/Newegg/Fry's purchase.
I can't recommend them enough.
Step 1. Contact Anker (okay so far)
Step 2. Wait
Step 3. Wait some more...
Step 4. Three days later they finally reply, but want me to provide a serial number from the cable? WTH? A serial number 4pt type.
Step 5. Wait some more. When I didn't get a reply that day, I contacted them again and received an email with this lame excuse:
"In our continual effort to provide the best and outstanding service to our customers, we will be conducting an important training program from Sept 30th (Wednesday) through Oct 9th (Friday). While we are making our best efforts to respond to all messages in a timely fashion, we will be slower than usual for the upcoming days mentioned."
Step 6. Wait some more until they shipped the cable, which lasted another three months before failing.
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...
Sorry but the entitlement of some people just throws me off.
If this were a TV ad there'd have to be the word 'Dramatization' in soft white lettering at the bottom of the screen because this is definitely going overboard.
I've gone through this process and it's pretty damn easy - contact anker, send the the serial number (the rep even tells you it's so they can do proper QA) and get a new one in the mail.
The alternative would be for them to make you send the old one back which would be significantly more annoying. I think asking for the serial is reasonable on their part. Helps them verify you have the cable, prevents people from filing multiple times on the same cable, and allows them to control quality better.
One thing I've noticed is that they do launch bad/mediocre products from time to time, but they kill them pretty quickly if the Amazon reviews come back weak.
The cable has long since been recalled, but it is worth mentioning that Benson Leung is a Google employee and Anker was formed by former Google employees.
I guess it's working for them, but it sure seems like an odd strategy.
(For the record, I'm in about the same boat, I have probably half a dozen Anker products, and they replace for free the one battery that failed. My wife really likes their super-duper iPhone cables because she destroys regular Apple cables, and the Anker ones seem to hold up much better.)
I'll also give them props for consistently having not-annoying packaging. Basically just cardboard boxes that are easy to open.
I have no connection to either company, this is my personal experience, and both make great products.
It looks like something they are already taking into consideration
The lack of success for the Moto Maxx is a testament to the idea that there isn't really a substantial power user segment that doesn't care about thin/light,
One of those is the Anker, another is Banggood's household brand, Blitzwolf.
I have had two (out of 3 purchased) Anker 5-port units replaced within the warranty period, and this one has now failed a couple of months outside of warranty, so I don't particularly rate Anker in any elevated way.
I supposed I should also try contacting Anker first to see if they will stump up a replacement - I think my unit is less than a year old, but was a replacement for another that was about 10 months into its warranty when it died completely.
Not to mention that I can't find what type of chip this is from the markings (most likely an integrated overcurrent protection chip with high-power mosfet build in but eh...)
I've personally had zero issues with the very few things (literally 1 cable, and the oldest one of all of them; they don't even produce this design anymore) I've had to get warranty on.
Also purchased their led desk lamp, has good qualities but they unfortunately used bright blue leds on the indicators, which made it practically unusable in my room. They have a good rep for listening to customers, so I made a request to change to orange leds, let's see if it happens.
This is a major beef I have with Amazon in general, and the reason I almost never buy stuff there. Most stuff I want doesn't ship to my location, there's no way to filter out unavailable items from search, and shipping is usually horribly expensive. When AliExpress offers a better experience, your ecommerce store has some serious issues...
Now, I can go on eBay and get an Anker cable more reasonably priced, but then it's 85% likely I'm getting a Chinese knockoff. Then I might as well buy 10 straight-outta-Guangzhou $0.99 cables and get 1 that works well for a year. Which is what I do now.
Does anyone know a quality yet reasonably priced micro usb cable brand available in Europe/Scandinavia?
Wanted to buy a new car charger recently, and got really annoyed at how difficult it was to find someone who would ship to Norway without breaking the bank on shipping or risking a fake item.
Then I discovered their official AliExpress store - https://anker.aliexpress.com/store/1710553
They won't ship batteries to Scandinavia - but chargers and cables are fair game, and decently priced. All original stuff.
I know it seems silly, but it is amazing to be able to just swap batteries whenever I get low. I never have to leave my phone somewhere plugged in and charging.
"Yang says he and Anker’s small team “definitely saw the explosion of smart devices”…"
This quote made me smile in light of recent issues with exploding batteries.
Two or three days later, I had a replacement unit in the mail. When asked how I was supposed to return the faulty unit... I was told to keep it. So now I have two units, both work perfectly fine in most situations and I'm one happy customer. Like below - I was never told to update a review or buy more stuff.
Highly recommend Anker.
I asked Nick to go write this piece myself, after realizing all my nerd friends all carried around Anker battery packs and charging blocks. "Where did this company come from?" is a pretty good tech story pitch, you know?
EDIT: Previously linked to AUKEY cables that were defective, not ANKER. Sorry about that. Benson has only reviewed two ANKER USB-C cables, and both followed the spec, as far as I can tell:
And yes, I mean Anker as the OEM, not sharing Anker's OEMs (because they build stuff like how Apple uses Foxconn (and like literally every single electronics manufacturer does)).
Aukey and Ravpower always seem to be a generation behind, but keep up with Anker quality. So either I'm correct, or what is actually happening is still very similar.
I do own more than a few Anker products and am happy with them.
That scrappy, eighty-year-old company has certainly made it.
You know you're somebody when you're basically the mafia running a country.