Yeah, I know: it’s weird to refer to a phone charger as “impossibly cute,” but this little guy (pictured at left) from Anker looks great. More important, it charges a device (or two at once) just as fast as your typical wall charger.
You can connect any USB cable to it, allowing you to charge your iPhone (of any generation), iPad, or other device. The best thing about it is that you can charge two devices at once–so you and your friend don’t have to fight over whose turn it is to charge a phone on a long road trip.
Here are a few things I like about the charger (with no counterbalancing complaints so far to lodge):
As with another Anker charger I tested, the PowerDrive 2 Lite charges a device quickly. I have an Apple wall charger that gets warm when plugged in, but this one maintains a normal temperature.
It’s small. You can easily fit it in your pocket, or stash it in even the smallest compartment of your car. Anker lists its weight as 0.7 ounces. (!)
The design isn’t fancy, but it looks great. The red and black color combo gives it an attractive look.
It pops in and out of the cigarette lighter (what else do you call that port in your car?) really easily. It’s nice and secure when plugged in.
Despite its size and being 12W as opposed to a 24W model Anker makes, this model gets the charging job done just fine. At the time of writing, the 12W model appears out of stock on Amazon, but the (comparable) 24W model is here. (UPDATE: Here‘s the in-stock link to the model I’m reviewing here.)
And you can check out the 12W PowerDrive 2 Lite at Anker’s page here, with all the specs.
Thanks to Anker for the review sample, offered for my honest impressions.
The iPhone 6 upgrade never happened, but Anker had already sent the review sample of a sweet iPhone 6 case. I told them I’d still post about the thing, reviewing it as best as I could.
The Anker Ultra Protective Case With Built-in Clear Screen Protector for iPhone 6 appears to achieve that rare balance in mobile device cases between lightness and durability. You put its front screen protector and back casing on separately. It’s not a heavy case at all, so I doubt your hand will get sore even after playing too many minutes of games on your encased phone! The case adds only 0.15 inches and 1.6 ounces to the dimensions of the iPhone 6.
The openings for the charger cord and earbuds appear to be cleanly cut:
Anker says the case was “drop tested 6 times from 3 feet onto its corners and back on a hard concrete floor without sustaining any damage.” Presumably this test took place with the iPhone 6 in it.
As much as you think you will just be careful and never drop your phone… you WILL drop your phone. This case has some good grip to it, so your phone is unlikely to slip out of your hands, but if so, you may get lucky and still have a working phone after the drop!
I’ve recently had the chance to try another iPad mini case–the Slim-Fit Synthetic Leather Case from Anker. It’s a decently made case, but it won’t replace my current go-to. I’ll jump right in and break it down into Pros and Cons:
Even though it’s fake leather, it seems to be built well
There is no visible stitching that could unravel
The cut-out holes (to access camera lens, earbuds, volume switches, etc.) are sized perfectly, as one would expect
The wake/sleep function works as it should–shutting the case puts the iPad to sleep, and opening it wakes it up
I am able to hold the iPad, with the case front folded back, in one hand
The fit of iPad into case is secure and snug
It is a classy-looking case
It is slim and lightweight
Here’s how it looks–the grey material at left is designed to be scratch-free:
I had a hard time getting the iPad mini out of the case–on the one hand, it’s good that it’s secure, but I was worried something would snap as I tried to remove the iPad (even according to instructions)
It is possible to use the case in its prop-up mode, but it often slides and doesn’t stay in place, especially if you have it in the typing position
It’s pricey (retails at $29.99, slightly cheaper on Amazon), given the cons above
It is difficult to access the camera lens for photo and video with the iPad in the case. Since the cover is not a tri-fold, it doesn’t bend back enough to be able to easily take a picture–you’d have to hold the case with two hands or let the cover dangle open
The cons in this case outweigh the pros. Future iterations of the case ought to have some way for the iPad to lock in or not slip when propped up in landscape mode. And a tri-fold front would allow for easier camera access when the case is on. As for protection, the Anker case will get the job done, but there are better options on the market at present.
Thanks to Anker for the review sample, offered for my honest impressions of the case. They make plenty of other cases and products, too. The case reviewed above can be found at Anker’s site here and at Amazon here.