Hands-on with Anker’s Lumia 950 USB car charger using Quick Charge 3.0

Staff Writer

One of the great conveniences of the modern car is that with a few inexpensive accessories, it can become the central charging hub for all your gadgets, granting you even greater mobility and the comforting feeling knowing that you have a portable charging station within an arms reach no matter where you are.

While the Lumia 950’s carries a hefty 3000mAh battery and can usually last me a full day, it’s not quite immortal as my Lumia 1520. As such, I purchased the very well-received and cutting-edge Anker PowerDrive+ 1 with Quick Charge 3.0 to supply my Lumia 950 on the road.

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Anker goes to great lengths to tell its customers that it features Qualcomm’s latest QuickCharge 3.0 technology. QuickCharge 3.0, Qualcomm claims, juices your devices up to 4 times faster than conventional charging, and can intelligently adapt its charging rate to suit the needs of your particular device.

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The PowerDrive+ 1, a 24W car charger, plugs into a standard 12V outlet and features one standard USB female port, which can interface with virtually any USB wire.

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The Lumia 950’s marketing materials vaguely mentions “fast charging” Qualcomm technology. While the PowerDrive+ 1’s marketing materials omit the Lumia 950/XL from its support devices list, I can verify that the advanced charging capabilities do work with the Lumia 950, as it takes my 950 about 40 minutes to go from under 10% to over 80%, while making my phone extra-toasty in the process. Admittedly, that side-effect could also be because of the sizzling UK boys Sean Michael and Zac Bowden on the latest WinBeta podcast being shown on the 950’s gorgeous AMOLED screen. 50-50, could go either way.

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One rather minor annoyance comes not from the product itself, but in what Anker “used to” do with this charger. In the earlier Quick Charge 2.0 version of this product, the LED was bi-color. If it shined blue, it’s charging conventionally. If it shined green, it’s using quick charge. As far as I can tell, this version seems to omits that handy ergonomic feature.

I purchased the PowerDrive+ 1 for $20 USD. Not exactly cheap for a car charger, but I figure, given its flexible standard USB nature, it’ll last me for a long time. Besides. flagship devices deserve flagship chargers.

You can purchase the Anker PowerDrive+ 1 with Quick Charge 3.0 on Amazon. Alternatively, if you don’t care about having the latest and greatest and are willing to settle for a very fast charger, you can get its predecessor with Quick Charge 2.0 for significantly cheaper.