After MagSafe came along in 2020, most of Anker’s iPhone-specific portable chargers took advantage of the feature; magnetically adhering to the back of the device and charging it wirelessly. For the first time in a while, Anker has released an iPhone backup battery that connects directly to its Lightning port, but if rumours are true, the new accessory could be obsolete in just a few months.
As convenient as it is to slap some extra power onto the back of your iPhone with a MagSafe accessory (or at least the iPhone 12 and later models) there’s a reason not every device on the planet charges wirelessly. Wireless power transfer speeds are much slower than what you get with a wired connection, and wireless charging is far less energy efficient, producing excess heat which is not only wasted energy, but it’s bad for the battery of the device being charged.
With its new Nano Power Bank, Anker has returned to creating portable iPhone chargers with a built-in Lightning connector that flips down when not attached to your smartphone, so there’s less chance of it getting bent or broken when tossed in your bag. The charger boasts 5,000mAh of capacity, 12W charging speeds — which is almost twice the charging speed of Anker’s MagSafe solutions — a simple four LED charge level indicator, and a single USB-C port for recharging it.
The use of a Lightning connector means the Nano Power Bank is compatible with a long list of older Apple devices, including iPads, AirPods, and smartphones as old as the iPhone 5, which debuted back in 2012. However, if rumours are to be believed, the charger may not be compatible with the yet-to-be-announced iPhone 15 models potentially debuting later this year, as many suspect Apple will finally retire the Lightning port and switch them over to USB-C.
So if you’re the type who absolutely has to upgrade their iPhone year after year, the new Anker Nano Power Bank might not be an accessory worth considering, as trying to use it with a Lightning to USB-C adaptor would be less than elegant. But if you’re planning to hold onto an older Apple device for a while, and particularly one that’s starting to show its age in terms of battery life, the $US32 Nano could help you avoid a costly upgrade for a while.