I thought this Anker 26,800mAh portable battery was too big — I was wrong

Think about any conceivable situation in which you'd need to charge up your phone, tablet, accessories or even laptop away from a wall socket, and there's a battery out there to serve you. I typically carry a 10,000mAh battery with just a single USB port (opens in new tab) — it's something compact I can always carry with me, and I'm willing to take the trade-off of only charging up phones one at a time.

But then I bought a new MacBook Pro, and started to transition more aggressively to making everything in my life USB-C — considering every phone and tablet I have also has the same port. The number of great USB-C batteries out there is small, and the number properly supporting the USB-C Power Delivery spec is even smaller — but it's something that I'd ideally have to charge up my MacBook Pro just as well as any phone or tablet.

I found this Anker PowerCore battery (opens in new tab) with its massive 26,800mAh capacity, and my mind has been changed about carrying big external batteries.

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Anker PowerCore 26800mAh

Yes I realize I'm legitimately talking about buying a $100 battery pack in a world where you can get some really great ones for less than $30. But this Anker PowerCore 26800mAh battery is worth it, at least in my case.

Having USB-C Power Delivery immediately changed the calculus of lugging a big battery around.

I typically scoff at such large portable batteries because I feel I'm never going to be away from a wall plug long enough that I'd need to charge a phone eight times or a tablet three times. And at the same time, such a huge battery typically takes forever to charge back up. My flip-flop on both of these feelings comes from one thing: USB-C Power Delivery.

USB-C PD lets the battery output 30W of power — enough to charge a MacBook Pro 13-inch, but also charge many phones (Pixels, Nexuses, the HTC U11, LG G6 and more) at their fastest possible rates. Just as importantly, the battery also uses USB-C PD for recharging itself. So now instead of waiting overnight, or connecting two chargers at once, it takes just 4.5 hours to get this big battery from dead to full. A game-changer, in both respects.

Beyond the USB-C port, there are also two high-speed USB-A ports for plugging in whatever you want. No, there isn't Qualcomm Quick Charge here, but these are "PowerIQ" ports that output 5V/3A — plenty capable for your phones, tablets, accessories and cameras. Having a portable (well, relatively portable) battery that can charge my laptop, phone and tablet at the same time is awesome and extremely important when I'm traveling. When I can't find a wall socket, or just don't want to carry a wall charger, it's immediately worth more than that $100 price.

Then there's an extra bit of nice-to-have kit in the box: a 30W USB-C PD wall charger. This little charger, with its foldable plug, can of course charge up the battery but also works perfectly with a MacBook Pro as a travel charger or with any of my USB-C phones or tablets. A real value-add that's worth factoring into this $100 price.

Let's quickly address the one downside here. Yes, the battery is huge compared to your typical choices — but moreover, it's dense, weighing in at 1.29 pounds / 590 grams. Part of that weight comes from its hefty metal construction, but it's mostly the massive battery capacity inside. It is far too big to put in a pocket or easily carry around while you're using your phone. But it is comfortably under the 100Wh limit for carrying on a plane. Good call, Anker.

This isn't a go-anywhere portable battery; it's a venerable power station for all of my devices.

But this isn't supposed to be a go-everywhere super-portable battery for just your phone — you can find those anywhere. This is a venerable power station that you can take out knowing it can not only recharge a phone eight times, but more importantly can charge up your phone once while also giving a 100% charge to your MacBook Pro or other USB-C laptop on the go.

Am I going to get rid of all of my smaller batteries and just stick to this monster? No, that's just not practical. Sometimes all I need is a 5000mAh battery to slip into a jacket pocket to top up my phone, and I'll keep using those. But for a battery that's going to stay in my bag, ready to charge up anything I need while I'm out of the house or traveling, it's going to be this Anker PowerCore 26800mAh battery.

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Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • Do you have a Nintendo Switch (says it's compatible) to test it with? If so, see if you can charge and play at the same time (no battery drain on the Switch before the Anker runs is depleted)...and holy crap, it's $106. Edit - read an Amazon review, apparently it performs exceptionally well with the Switch - ~2 hours to charge *while playing Zelda*. Not bad.
  • I don't have a Switch, but a lot of people on the Amazon reviews specifically talk about its Switch compatibility. I would think as log as the Switch is properly USB-A PD compliant it'd easily be able to charge and play considering the 30W output.
  • I have the Aukey 30,000 mwah which was $$$$ and could be used as an anchor. Testing out with a switch all my portable packs work with the switch.
    Here is the Aukey model I have....and it's QC 3.0.
  • That Aukey model looks nice but it exceeds the 100w allowance for airplace carry-on. So it's a no-go for me.
  • Bummer.
    I don't fly much so I lucked out. Has a lightening port too. A family brick lol.
  • Yep I have the same model. Bough it for half the price as the model Andrew is posting about with 2000W more watts. Almost another phone charge.
    The thing is a brick but it's awesome. Already took it on two flights no with no issue. A family vacation where everyone use it and not once did it die on us or leave us wanting. the quick charge works great too since your not attached to this brick for long. I was like Andrew here I thought these big battery were too much but after using them I'm sold
  • I wonder if it could actually power the dock to use it in TV mode.
  • Wish Oneplus phones were USB-PD compliant... I bet the UK model doesn't come with a nice folding travel charger!
  • Well that's not Anker's fault. That's your crazy huge plug design :P
  • True to an extent, but it surely wouldn't be impossible to license the Mu plug design... Which, anyone who travels to or within the UK should definitely buy! And there are other collapsible UK plug designs which are less elegant but just as functional, and more easily fused.
  • I bought the previous iteration of this back in March I think when it went on sale. Worth every penny. Recharge overnight and they throw in like five cables to deal with every possible iteration. Being able to charge from all ports at fast charging is mindblowing the first time you do it. Cannot recommend this puppy enough.
  • It even charges my Surface 3.
  • I can't imagine not having a high-capacity power bank on hand any longer. I've got a 2-in-1 Windows 10 laptop compatible with USB-C Power Delivery, an 8" tablet, and 2 phones to keep charged on the go. Since I've already got a bag containing the laptop and tablet, it's no big deal to keep the power bank in the bag with it. My particular power bank is only 24,000mAh, but has a digital power meter giving a percentage of power remaining, 3 power ports, and a nice high power flashlight. Bought it on clearance a while back when a local place was going out of business, and picked it up for $24. Have never regretted it.
  • "only" 24000mAh hah!
  • I'm actually thinking my next will be a smaller 5Ah one, I've got one that's "only" 21Ah for in my rucksack, but it's no good for stuff like taking to the pub.
  • I have a similar version of this without the USB-C charging, but I definitely agree, this thing is amazing. It actually outputs enough to charge my Miix 300 tablet on it, which will make traveling really great.
  • I have the previous model (20.1 Ah), and it's great. It's definitely not pocketable, but it's not heavy or large enough to be a pain in the butt if you keep it in your pack. My only complaint is that it'd be nice (for my use case, anyway) if they had two C ports and one A port, as opposed to its 2 A and 1 C setup.
  • Looks like the day is not very far away to have a battery pack with 100k mAh capability on your palm!!
  • FYI, typo ("if" instead of "is"): "But this Anker PowerCore 26800mAh battery if worth it, "
  • +1 spelling points to you. keep track of your balance.
  • Nice "Pura Vida" sticker greetings from Costa Rica.
  • Loved visiting Costa Rica. Want to go back some day.
  • Nice infomercial, Andrew!
  • Huh
  • I like Aukey and RavPower chargers. I have a 20,000 brick that I only paid about £20 two years ago. I also have a smaller 10,000 brick with 2 USB A ports that output 2.4A each. Will charge a phone and tablet together a couple of times. I have a small 5000 brick that I can chuck in a pocket. This brick is a bit expensive for my liking but seems like a good buy for a traveller.
  • So they make the devices small and lightweight, then you have to carry a half-kilo battery to keep 'em charged. We're suckers, folks...
  • Thanks for this post! I've been waiting for them to update their biggest charger and they never mentioned it in the newsletter. I love the previousngeneration of this and keep it in my bag at all times. It's been great. Ordering this new one tonight and keeping the previous generation as a backup at home.
  • "But it is comfortably under the 100Wh limit for carrying on a plane. Good call, Anker."
    Hate to be that guy, but isn't 26,800 mAh @ 5V = 134 Wh?
  • That lack of QuickCharge means no deal for me and many other Samsung users. (That's 660% of the Android market in the US.)