Before Apple’s keynote event this month, there was a lot of anticipation building around whether or not a new USB-C wall charger would ship with the latest iPhones. Well, it came and went, and only select models scored an upgraded wall charger. iPhone 11 remains stuck in the past with a slow 5W USB-A charger, while higher-end Pro models shipped with a faster and modern USB-C power block. That leaves us with the Anker PowerPort III Nano. Described as the “world’s smallest USB-C wall charger” it packs more value and importance than ever before. I’ve been checking it out for a few weeks now following its announcement earlier this month. Head below for some quick thoughts and comparisons with Apple’s own first-party offerings.
Starting with pricing
Apple’s official in-house offerings start with that paltry 5W charger at $19. Upgrading to the new 18W model drives the price up to $29. Anker has positioned its new PowerPort III Nano for $20 at the time of our hands-on review. Not only is that significantly more power than the 5W model at the same price, it’s looking ahead with USB-C in tow and a footprint that’s equally as small.
The PowerPort III Nano makes Apple’s official 18W USB-C wall charger a non-starter right out of the gate. Anker includes the same 18W output in a smaller design that’s more attractive. Anker kills it in this area where Apple has absolutely zero excuses at this point.
Design: USB-C and a small footprint
Anker packs its IQ3 technology into the PowerPort III Nano, which promises to provide “18W of power to provide full-speed charging to phones, tablets, and more.” Now those speeds won’t handle higher-end devices (read: MacBooks), but for Apple’s smaller tablets and latest iPhones, that’s plenty of juice for overnight or powering up at the office.
Here’s a quick look at the Anker PowerPort III Nano specs:
- Unbelievably Small: The ultra-compact design is just 1 inch thick, packing 18W of power into a package the size of a 5W iPhone charger.
- High-Speed Charging: Equipped with a USB-C Power Delivery port, and loaded with 18W of power to provide full-speed charging to phones, tablets, and more.
- Universal Compatibility: Anker’s PowerIQ 3.0 technology works flawlessly with virtually all mobile USB-C devices.
- Highly-Integrated Technology: Anker’s latest technology uses a stacked design with custom magnetic components to reduce size, boost efficiency, and improve heat dissipation.
I also can’t oversell how great the physical design is here. The white color scheme fits in with Apple perfectly, there’s not much fuss and the overall footprint is so small that you might even risk losing it. But what else would you want from a single port USB-C power block? Anker puts Apple to shame here with a design that should’ve shipped with iPhone 11 and 11 Pro/Max.
Until Apple decides to make the jump to USB-C on iPhone, having a multi-faceted wall charger like the PowerPort III Nano is imperative. You can still grab legacy cables to work with USB-C, including Lightning, and easily pair this charger with the latest offerings on the market as well. If you’re specifically targeting iPhone, consider going with Anker’s USB-C to Lightning cables for some of the fastest charging speeds out there.
Obviously the PowerPort III Nano is a home run from a value perspective. Apple’s inability to include a suitable charger with iPhone 11 makes Anker’s latest product all the more compelling and a great pair with the latest smartphones on the market.
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