I was kindly selected by Anker to receive the UK version of the Powerport III Nano. This is a small single port USB-C IQ3 18W charger.
In the Box:
The size of the box is considerably larger than the charger. All that is in the box is the charger, no cable, and the welcome guide and happy / not-happy card.
Note the serial number is printed on the charger (if you look close, on a paper stuck to the back) which is an excellent idea to help expedite any warranty claims as you then can’t lose the S/N like as if it were on a cable or packaging.
The charger is extremely small, it is very low profile, the port is pointing down, so would be ideally suited to being behind furniture which is near a wall, behind kitchen appliances, etc. The pins do not fold so it’s not going to save that much space in a travel bag relative to alternatives.
Comparison to many of the current and recent UK Anker wall chargers
This compares to Anker’s 12W dual USB-A, 18W x2 32A dual USB-C , 18W C +12W A 30W , 30W C + 18W A 48W chargers.
What this shows is the benefit of making a UK specific shaped charger, as the others are US design with just a UK plug on, they have “wings” to the side to safely cover the socket but the charger otherwise does not make use of the width, instead going for height, which in UK can mean you’re blocking another port below. So good to make use of the width in UK charger design.
I tested with a iPhone XR with a C-L cable, known to take 18W, a Huawei Mediapad which is 18W, and a Powercore 20000 PD Essential which also recharges at 18W. I also tried with a 30W port on a Powerport 5 to see if the Wattage was any different.
Before plugging in anything other than cable, there is a 5V no current output.
On plugging in an iPhone XR, which was around 60% charged
I was seeing not far off 18W. 8.91V, 1.96A is 17.5W. So I tried with a 30W Powerport 5 port and got lower readings, 9.2V 1.57A is 14.4W, so the iPhone was not wanting all of 18W, and this Nano charger was doing an excellent job to persaude the iPhone to ingest at the fastest possible charge.
I tried a Huawei Mediapad, a larger tablet, it is more power-hungry than an iPhone.
Here I was seeing the full 18W, in fact 18.4W, slightly more than the 18W. Impressive.
Not relevant to this charger review, I did move the USB meter to the other end of the cable and saw about 0.5V Voltage drop, that is due to power lost (as heat) in the cable, so good electronics engineering from Anker to have headroom in this charger to over-deliver to compensate.
I also left it running for an hour under this high 18W+ load and felt the charger, it was warm but not hot. Also impressive, for such a small charger. This implies some very efficient electronics and intelligent design. This also affirms the good most useful role of this charge of being behind furniture where less chance for it to get cooling from air circulation.
I also charged a 80% full Powercore 20000 PD Essential, this is not a load test so much as the Powercore is nearly full and would not be expected to take 18W anyway, but confirmed it did work.
Pros & Cons
- very small, impressive for 18W
- does not get hot, impressive for 18W and small size.
- IQ3 with 5V 3A and 9V 2A means it can multipurpose with older devices which need 5V 2A 10W and when the owner wants a longer USB cable.
- actually delivered more than 18W when asked to, this means there is headroom to allow for some cable losses and still deliver 18W to a device which can ingest at 18W.
- ideally suited to cramped places where the protruding forwards from the socket is an important consideration, such as behind furniture, in kitchen, etc. The efficient low-heat, port down not out, and low profile is a good answer to the challenging corners in homes behind furniture, kitchens, etc.
- no annoying blue light. Most Anker chargers currently have a blue light which is bright, which makes them a bad choice in bedrooms. We don’t need a light to know it’s on, the device plugged in tell us that, so good it’s finally dropped here. Anker, drop all blue lights going forward!
- You may be thinking of this as a travel charger, but given the non-folding UK pins, it doesn’t save that much space in a bag, you may want to go with one of the other dual port chargers to get more use from a wall socket.
Summary and my thinking
- the engineering is impressive, this is going to be a perfect answer to someone with an 18W charging device (most iPhones, some Android phones, tablets, many Anker Powercore). Hats off to the electronics engineer behind the design.
- I don’t understand this:
I know exactly how the electronics work and there should be no magnets inside this charger. While true that the electromagnetic force is the cornerstone of electronics, and it is true magnetic fields are core to the induction required, there should be no permanent magnets inside this. Translation error?
- The low cost, low profile, and only 1 port does lend this charger to be sold in bundles, such as two-packs and bundled with 18W PD input Powercore to help people choose a charger which will work with their Powercore choice. I can foresee phone owners buying multiple of these and placing around the home, so a two-pack would sell well (hint).
- If Anker could take this engineering skill, make the charger deeper (further out from the wall) added a 2nd, or possibly also a 3rd port, made it say 30W with using 1 port or it becomes 18W + 10W if using 2 ports, then it would then become an excellent travel charger to keep a phone + Powercore + buds charged.
- Looking forward to this excellent design and electronics engineering producing smaller 30W to 100W chargers, dual and triple port, hopefully in the near future. I can imagine smaller versions of all the other chargers in the above photos being viable in the near future.
I thank Anker for the opportunity to review the unit, currently available for £15 but note it’s not due delivery until late July.
Interesting how the USA equivalent has the port facing out, UK facing down. I guess opportunity taken to tune the size down, a little smaller the port down in a wider form factor?